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IOM Libya Provides Essential Medical Supplies to Health Ministry

IOM - News - Mar, 11/06/2018 - 08:29

Tripoli — The UN Migration Agency (IOM) delivered essential medical items and equipment yesterday (05/11) to the Libyan Ministry of Health through the support of the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF). The supplies and equipment will be delivered to 14 health facilities across Libya, and include ultrasound machines, medical monitors, wheelchairs and other types of medical supplies and equipment. 

In collaboration with the Libyan Ministry of Health, the donated equipment will be distributed amongst 10 primary health care centres and four hospitals across Libya, in Tobruk, Benghazi, Kufra, Misrata, Garaboli, Tripoli, Bani Waleed, Azzawya, Zwara, Sebha, Ubari and Ashati. The donation comes after an assessment visit conducted by IOM medical teams with the Ministry of Health determining the requirements and pressing needs of the health sector in Libya.

Due to the ongoing conflict and political instability the country is witnessing, healthcare facilities in Libya have struggled to maintain an adequate stock of medical equipment and, thus, provide necessary health care to populations in need.

Following a recent donation of insulin to several areas in the country, IOM continues to expand and scale up health assistance to Libyan populations (including internally displaced persons) and migrants as well as equip health facilities in the Eastern, Western and Southern parts of the country. IOM, in collaboration with the Libyan Ministry of Health, is working to strengthen existing health facilities and improve access to basic lifesaving primary and emergency secondary health care services.

“We are grateful for the support provided by our Libyan counterparts in assessing the needs of health facilities in Libya. The equipment provided will be of great value to the health sector in the country,” said Mohamed Abugalia, an IOM doctor in Libya.

Since beginning its intervention in Libya in 2006, IOM has worked closely with the Libyan authorities to ensure populations in need are assisted either directly or through support to already existing facilities.

So far in 2018, IOM has provided 25,590 migrants and 107 internally displaced persons with primary medical assistance, while scaling up collaboration with Libyan counterparts and supporting the public health sector.

For more information, please contact: Maya Abu Ata, IOM Libya, Tel: + 216 53 382 385, email: mabuata@iom.int, or Safa Msehli, Phone: +216 22 241 842 Email: smsehli@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:07Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM has handed over essential medical items and equipment to the Libyan Ministry of Health. Photo: Shaebi/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Partners Host Gender-Based Violence Workshop for Korean Aid Workers

IOM - News - Mar, 11/06/2018 - 08:28

Seoul — IOM and Good Neighbors Korea last week organized a capacity-building workshop in Seoul on how to respond to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in humanitarian interventions.  

Some 40 field practitioners from Korean NGOs and gender-related organizations took part in the event, which was sponsored by the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation (KAIDEC).   

The workshop was designed to raise awareness of GBV and enhance the capacity of participants to address the problem, which is a human rights abuse that occurs in most complex humanitarian emergencies, regardless of region and disaster type.

IOM has led efforts to integrate gender mainstreaming in its design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes. Its Institutional Framework for Addressing GBV in Crises (GBViC) aims to systematically strengthen efforts by IOM and other organizations to prevent GBV.

“Despite GBV being one of the most widely and historically witnessed forms of violence in crises and displacement, there are still gaps in terms of legal mechanisms and data management to ensure a gender perspective in all humanitarian activities,” said Miah Park, who heads IOM’s office in the Republic of Korea (ROK).

“The workshop was a great opportunity to share IOM’s GBV expertise and to enhance awareness about GBV among ROK aid workers. It also equipped them with practical skills that they will need when supporting this very vulnerable population,” she added.

Maria Moita, IOM Regional Emergency and Post-Conflict Specialist for Asia and the Pacific, and Monica Noriega-Ardila, an IOM GBV specialist in Geneva, led the workshop, which focused on the IOM GBV framework and other guidelines developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC).

“Lack of coherent and holistic GBV response approach to tackle related stigma, insufficient awareness and limited data are major obstacles for GBV prevention, mitigation and response. This is the reason we need to take collective actions between organizations, donors and communities to build a systematically integrated approach in combating the ongoing human right violence,” said Moita.

Case studies of GBV prevention and response mechanisms discussed included ongoing efforts in the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh and among conflict-displaced populations in Northern Nigeria.

Professors Jihyun Lee and Sunhee Kim of the Seoul Women’s University also facilitated two sessions on psychosocial support for GBV survivors, focusing on a case study from the 2015 Nepal earthquake to discuss essential components of psychosocial support, mental health interventions and applicable therapies for victims.

Since 2015, IOM ROK has provided a wide range of capacity-building trainings for Korean humanitarian actors, including Data Analysis and Management Training, and Safe and Secure Approach in Field Environment (SSAFE) training, funded by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

For further information please contact IOM ROK. Miah Park, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email: mipark@iom.int. Or Jumi Kim, Tel: +82 70 4820 0292, Email: jukim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:06Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Capacity BuildingGender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Regional Emergency and Post-conflict specialist Maria Moita shares with Korean aid workers IOM’s Institutional Framework for Addressing GBV in Crises. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Border Agencies Plan for Inter-Agency Cooperation in East and Horn of Africa

IOM - News - Mar, 11/06/2018 - 08:28

Nairobi – Eight countries in the East and Horn of Africa have committed to the establishment of “inter-agency cross-border technical working groups” that would facilitate the implementation of 22 identified good practices meant to boost cooperation and improve the efficiency of border operations.

The region’s borders are some of the busiest, as they cut across key migration routes focused on the movement of people within the region and to other major destinations, including Europe and the Gulf countries. Disparate national priorities among adjourning countries do not always make cooperation possible. But this could soon be thing of the past, as border authority managers from neighbouring states – some meeting for the first time – established a new rapport and struck significant operational agreements.

This followed a first-of-its-kind workshop organized by the UN migration agency IOM in late October that brought together directors general of immigration and senior immigration and border management officers from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.

The workshop took place under the aegis of the Better Migration Management (BMM) Programme - a regional, multi-year and multi-partner programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

Bilateral and trilateral meetings between and among representatives of all the eight countries represented produced significant results for implementation. The highlights of these IOM-facilitated meetings, include:

First time agreement between Ethiopia and South Sudan to conduct joint, cross border patrols; and to work together to open new border crossings points between the two countries.
Sudan and South Sudan agreed to work together to open four border crossing points, including One Stop Border Posts.
Uganda and South Sudan agreed to implement joint, cross border patrols, and to establish “Integrated Border Management Committees”.
Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia agreed to implement Integrated Border Management Committees; and Joint Interagency, Cross- Border Patrols.
Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania agreed to increased cooperation and implement “Good Practices” on Counter-Trafficking efforts; implement Joint Interagency Cross- Border Patrols.

The eight countries requested IOM to support a follow-up meeting to buttress the establishment of the proposed interagency, cross-border, technical working Groups. IOM is currently developing action plans to respond to stakeholder requests which will be funded through BMM and will be completed by June 30, 2019.

Keynote speaker at the workshop, Kenya Principal Secretary for Immigration and Registration of Persons, Rtd Maj-Gen Gordon Kihalangwa, said: “With increasing complexity of migration flows, countries in the East and Horn of Africa region should enhance cross-border cooperation in order to effectively deal with existing challenges in border management which include; trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrants among other forms of transnational organized crime”.

Julia Hartlieb, the BMM Senior Regional Programme Coordinator, said: “The Better Migration Management  Programme has recorded key milestones in providing support to countries through  the National Coordination  Mechanisms for Migration, the provision of equipment and MIDAS border equipment, training, benchmarking visits to operationalization of e-visa and e-immigration systems.

For more information please contact IOM RO Nairobi:
Charles Mkude, BMM Programme Officer, Tel: +254 715 903 291, Email: cmkude@iom.int 
Wilson Johwa, Communications Officer, Tel: +254 701 838 029, Email: wjohwa@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:05Image: Region-Country: KenyaDefault: Multimedia: 

Kenya’s principal secretary for immigration Dr Gordon Kihalangwa making the keynote address. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Bahrain’s National Referral Mechanism for Vulnerable Migrants Goes Digital

IOM - News - Mar, 11/06/2018 - 08:27

Manama — In an effort to build the most efficient system possible to monitor the referral of potential victims across different governmental and non-governmental institutions, the Kingdom of Bahrain this week is launching the digital platform of its National Referral Mechanism (NRM). Digitalization will also capitalize on stored data to profile victims and increase prevention measures.

NRM relies on a local Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to manage the cases of victims of exploitative abuse of any kind by efficiently referring their cases to the relevant governmental agency. It was developed throughout 2016 by Bahrain’s Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) with support from IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency. It is the first referral mechanism to be digitized in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

“Automating the NRM makes it more accurate in how it registers the different types of cases that enter the referral mechanism; it also allows an effective follow-up on the progress of the referral process for it to be time efficient, and to oversee that each stakeholder is fulfilling their specific function in the referral mechanism,” explained Mohamed El Zarkani, IOM Bahrain’s Officer in Charge.

The new NRM promises improved speed, efficiency, consistency and accuracy in case management, according to Ausamah Alabsi, the Chief Executive Officer of the Labour Market Regulatory Authority, and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons.

“The importance of transforming the referral system into an electronic system is that it links all relevant parties in all relevant processes from the identification of the victim until their reintegration or voluntary return, thus enabling a consistent and expedient application of the standard operating procedure Bahrain already has in place,” Alabsi said, adding, “Under the digital NRM, no file is closed until all legal and administrative procedures have been completed; it also acts as a digital archive to all documents pertaining to a case.”

“The digitization of the mechanism allows us to build profiles of vulnerable victims that are realistic, and specific to Bahraini society so we can streamline messages to specific groups to try to educate and protect them, as well as to assure them that they can always reach out to us for help,” added Shereen Al Saati, Head of the Expat Protection Centre in LMRA.

IOM and LMRA have been working together for years in developing standard operating procedures for the protection and assistance of victims of trafficking and have trained LMRA staff and first responders to that effect.

For more information please contact Mohamed El Zarkani at IOM Bahrain, Tel: +973 351 66 215, Email: melzarkani@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:04Image: Region-Country: BahrainDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and LMRA discuss functions of NRM digital platform. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 100,630 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,989

IOM - News - Mar, 11/06/2018 - 08:25

Geneva — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 100,630 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 4 November, including 49,013 to Spain, the region’s most active destination point this year, with just under 50 per cent of all 2018 arrivals. The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 154,825 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 337,773 at this point in 2016 (see chart below).

This marks the fifth straight year arrivals of irregular migrants and refugees have topped the 100,000 benchmark – although in all previous years that arrival threshold was reached much earlier in the year. Last year that quantity of arrivals was reached in July, just as was the case in 2014. In 2015 Mediterranean arrivals reached 100,000 in June. In 2016 the number was reached in February.

IOM Italy’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday Italian authorities have released data on the nationalities of those arriving by sea from North Africa through the end of October. The largest single sending country continues to be Tunisia, with almost 5,000 arrivals – almost all of whom are thought to be arriving in Italy directly from their own country.

Among the main arrivals coming from Libya are two from the Horn of Africa – Eritreans and Sudanese – and, from West Africa, citizens of Guinea, Mali, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria – all of those in numbers considerably below those posted in previous years (see chart below). Pakistan, Algeria and Iraq were also among the leading sender nations.

IOM Libya reported this week that the total number of vulnerable migrants rescued or intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard through the end of October was 14,377 – or close to the number (14,349) who have agreed to Voluntary Humanitarian Return departures from Libya since the start of the year.

IOM Libya also reported this week that during the last two weeks of October the organization’s staff had been able to assist 1,600 migrants in four different Libyan detention centres, and 93 more at disembarkation points along the Libyan coast.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 49,013 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 4 November (see chart below).

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported Monday that over five recent days (Wednesday, 31 October through Sunday, 4 November), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported there were at least 10 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos, Lesvos and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 406 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Additional arrivals of 219 migrants or refugees to those same islands – as well as to Rhodes – over those recent days brings to 27,715 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 4 November (see chart below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) estimates that at least 1,989 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the Mediterranean so far in 2018, compared with 2,960 at this time in 2017 and 3,780 in 2016.

This week IOM’s Missing Migrants Project team recorded in the Eastern Mediterranean another death connected to the shipwreck of 22 October, when a boat carrying 34 people capsized off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey. Tragically, three children died at the hospital in Bodrum: two Palestinians and one Somali. About 27 per cent of the deaths documented this year in the Aegean Sea have been of children.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimates that at least 3,123 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018, the fifth consecutive year that more than 3,000 fatalities were recorded (see chart below).

In the Mediterranean, the remains of two men were recovered on the beaches of Morocco and Spain.  On 29 October, the body of a Tunisian man was found on a beach outside of Nador.  It is believed that he tried to reach Melilla (Spanish territory) from Morocco by water.  In the early hours of Monday this week, an unidentified man's body was found on the beach at Barbate, in southern Spain.  He is believed to be a migrant who was trying to reach Spain from Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar, although so far it is unclear what happened to the boat on which he was travelling.

Elsewhere over the weekend, a man trying to cross into the US from Mexico drowned in the Rio Bravo near El Indio, Maverick County, Texas.  Last week, a Honduran man died of cardiac arrest soon after crossing the border into Starr County, Texas, where he was rescued by the US Border Patrol. The MMP also recorded the death of a 21-year-old Mexican man, who was found dead in the Sawtooth Mountains in southern California in mid-September. That young man was identified, and his remains are being repatriated to his family with the help of the local Mexican Consulate.

An Iraqi woman and her two children remain missing after trying to cross the Evros River from Turkey into Greece on 25 October.  The woman’s husband survived the crossing and alerted authorities that his loved ones were lost in the waters.  Also, on 25 October, on the land border between Turkey and Greece, an unidentified migrant was killed when he was hit by a train outside Alexandroupolis, Greece.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int 
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel:   +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166), Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:03Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Global Migration Film Festival Announces 2018 Jury Members

IOM - News - Mar, 11/06/2018 - 08:08

Geneva — After receiving nearly 800 films during a successful call for entries to its 2018 Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), the United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) now has just under a month left for its jury to issue its choice of finalists for the festival’s most outstanding film.

Films have played an important role in tipping the scale on important issues, and it was with this spirit that the first Global Migration Film Festival was launched by IOM in 2016.  Last year, the Festival was present in 100 countries with a total of 345 screenings that had an audience of over 30,000 people.

The list of jurors for the Festival has now been posted on the official GMFF website (see it here). These jurors will focus on the two main categories of films sent for submission: full-length features and short films.

The six jurors bring expertise in migration, film-making and visual storytelling along with their passion for showcasing the challenges and promises of migration in our world today.

Florence Kim, who holds a PhD in International Law and has been the driving force behind IOM’s successful #IAmAMigrant perception change campaign, will be one of the judges for the feature films category. Kim currently directs media and communications for IOM’s Regional Office in West and Central Africa. She will be accompanied by David Hands, currently a partner in the Cyprus-based production company Crewhouse Media.

Hands brings 29 years of experience in film-making. He is a part-time lecturer on Documentary Production at the University of Nicosia and serves as Artistic Director of the Children and Youth Section of the Cyprus Film Days Festival. Kim and Hands will be joined by award-winning Somali-American filmmaker, Idil Ibrahim who has also served as an International Jury Member for the 2018 Plural Plus Global Youth Video Festival.

The second category of Festival judging will include Luca Lamorte, IOM’s social media manager. Lamorte earned a PhD in International History and Politics from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. As a cinephile who previously worked as a stage actor and theatre director before pursuing his career as an international civil servant, Lamorte presents a unique perspective on the judging panel.

He will be accompanied by Jacqueline Coté, Director of Public Relations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. As one of the country’s youngest film directors, Coté’s production of the animated film “Smarties” put her on the film world’s radar screen early in her career. She was six years old at the time. Since then Coté has added experience as an international corporate lawyer who has worked in various business associations including the ICC in Paris.

The vibrant Brazilian visual storyteller Felipe Fittipaldi, based in Rio de Janeiro, will be the third member of this judging trio. His work has been displayed in numerous exhibitions around the world and placed first in the 2017 Life Framer photography awards. Fittipaldi recently completed his award-winning Lens Culture photo essay Backlands Sertão, which reflects on the current youth exodus and modernization of Brazil’s semi-arid countryside.

Out of the 784 submissions, selected to be part of the Official Selection were 20 feature films and 21 short films.  The jury will evaluate the entries and select a winner from each category. Each winner will win a cash prize. All selected films from the short films category also are eligible to win a cash prize and nine films from the Feature Films category are in the running for a USD 1,000 cash grand prize. 

Click here to access the official Global Migration Film Festival portal.

For more information, please contact Amanda Nero at IOM HQ at Tel: +41 227 179 482, Email: anero@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

GMFF 2018 Jury Members: Top l-r: David Hands, Idil Ibrahim and Florence Kim 

Bottom l-r: Luca Lamorte, Jacqueline Coté and Felipe Fittipaldi

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Announces Global Migration Film Festival Screening in Washington DC

IOM - News - Mar, 11/06/2018 - 08:07

Washington, DC — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will bring the Global Migration Film Festival to Landmark E Street Cinema in Washington, DC on 29 November at 5:30 p.m. The event will feature the global premiere of One Way Ticket, a film that follows the journey of two Congolese refugees, Jean-Pierre and Isaiah.

After fleeing the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Jean-Pierre and Isaiah spent nearly 20 years in a refugee camp in Uganda. At the start of the film, Jean-Pierre, his wife, mother and six children, along with Isaiah, are leaving the camp and travelling to their new homes in the US.

The film explores the difficulties and hopes of resettlement as the refugees navigate shifting family dynamics, new jobs, culture shock and romantic prospects.

“They spent 20 years in a refugee camp, cut off from their roots and robbed of a future, yet they never lost hope and remained dignified,” said Gregoire Gosset, the film’s director. “They generously agreed to share their daily life with our camera and thanks to them, this film is perhaps an opportunity to see our world with fresh eyes.”

One Way Ticket is the latest release of Echo Studio, a film studio dedicated to the production and distribution of films that address social and environmental issues. This particular film invites viewers to reflect on the lives of refugees and how conflict is a significant driver of forced migration.

IOM first launched the Global Migration Film Festival in 2016 to use the power of film to spark conversation around migration topics. This year, the annual festival is scheduled to take place in more than 80 countries. 

Last year, IOM Washington screened the film, Bonjour Ji, which examined the misperceptions of migrants. Following the film, a panel discussed the art of storytelling and its role as an instrument for raising awareness on migration issues.

“Film can help shape and change our vision on issues, such as migration and social cohesion,” said Luca Dall’Oglio, IOM Chief of Mission in Washington. “We look forward to building on the success of previous festivals to inspire further debate and reflection around this critical topic.”

Admission to the festival is free, but guests must register at http://usaforiom.org/film. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the director and families featured in the film.

Lyft, a ride-sharing service, has also partnered with the Global Migration Film Festival to offer discounted rides to the event in Washington.

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at IOM Washington, Tel: +1 202 716 8820, Email: elizama@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:01Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: Multimedia: 

In 2017, IOM Washington DC partnered with New York University to host a film screening followed by a panel discussion on storytelling as a vehicle for raising awareness of migration issues. Photo: New York University 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, ITC-ILO Partner for Joint Courses on Migration Mainstreaming, Governance

IOM - News - Mar, 11/06/2018 - 08:07

Turin — The International Training Centre of the ILO (ITC-ILO) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, jointly developed two training courses entitled Mainstreaming Migration into Policy Development and Governing Migration at Local Level. For the first time since their inception, the courses were held simultaneously last week (29/10 – 02/11) at the ITC-ILO Campus in Turin, Italy.

The former course aims to enhance understanding of the links between migration and sectoral policies, and to strengthen the capacity of relevant actors to enhance policy coherence through multi-stakeholder mechanisms; the latter aims to reinforce the capacities of local stakeholders to mainstream migration into local policies in order to better harness the development potential of migration and provide adequate services and protection for migrants.

Running these two distinct yet thematically linked courses concurrently represented a one-of-a-kind learning and knowledge sharing opportunity for participants from different levels of government.

The training courses emphasized the need to adopt a whole-of-government approach to ensure policy coherence across sectors and levels of governance. They highlighted the important role of local and regional authorities as first responders to migration.

The courses also reinforced the need for enhanced coordination to ensure that local, national, sectoral, and overall migration and development policies help in the achievement of shared objectives and goals. Such an approach is crucial if the Sustainable Development Goals are to ensure that no one is left behind.

The week-long event was attended by 66 participants, representing local and national authorities from around the world. Going forward the two courses will be run in tandem on a yearly basis.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ:
Joanne Irvine, Tel: +41 22 717 9878, Email: jirvine@iom.int
Vanessa Okoth-Obbo, Tel: +41 22 717 9366, Email: vokoth@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: ItalyDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Ethiopia Improves Livelihood Opportunities to Assist Returnees and Prevent Irregular Migration

IOM - News - Ven, 11/02/2018 - 10:58

Addis Ababa — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is spearheading two initiatives in Ethiopia to assist returnees and build youth resilience to prevent irregular migration in the future.

The Organization recently entered into an agreement with Penda Manufacturing PLC, a paper recycling company in Addis Ababa. In cooperation with the Addis Ababa City Administration, the company collects paper from 7000 micro enterprise collectors working in the city.

Within the framework of the agreement with IOM Ethiopia, the company will collect and recycle the Organization’s waste paper — thereby reducing IOM’s ecological footprint — and employ 25 female Ethiopians returnees from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The returnees will run mobile paper waste deposit sites, collecting waste paper for which Penda Manufacturing PLC will compensate them.

Additionally, IOM Ethiopia has provided peer education and livelihood training to 312 students and teachers in 48 schools and 25 youth centres throughout Ethiopia in October 2018.

With financial support from the Government of Denmark, the livelihood project targeted youth in communities where high numbers of Ethiopian youth have embarked on dangerous journeys. By expanding livelihood opportunities for young people, IOM aims to increase their resilience and minimize the economic factors that often push them to migrate irregularly.

On 29 March 2017, the KSA Government decreed that all migrants irregularly residing in the kingdom should either legalize their status or voluntarily leave the country within an established amnesty period. The Government of Ethiopia estimated that 500,000 Ethiopians were likely to be affected by the decree. Since the final extension of the grace period, which ended in November 2017, monthly deportees to Ethiopia average 10,000 individuals. The majority of these returnees come back to Ethiopia empty-handed and in great need of assistance to reintegrate their communities of origin.

In addition to providing post-arrival assistance, IOM Ethiopia has helped vulnerable migrants reintegrate economically through livelihood support. Nevertheless, the reintegration needs of a significant number of vulnerable returnees remain unmet. Through partnerships like the one with Penda Manufacturing PLC, IOM has taken a new livelihood support approach, which it hopes to replicate in the future by working with other UN Organizations and partners. 

Elsewhere, IOM and the Government of Ethiopia have also strengthened their collaboration in order to give young people information on the realities of irregular migration and discourage them from undertaking risky journeys in search of “a better life.” Young people comprise one third of Ethiopia’s population, and a significant number do not have access to information on the realities of irregular migration and alternative livelihood options.

The livelihood trainings within the framework of the DKK 10 million project “Enhancing Migration Management in Ethiopia and Promoting Voluntary Return and Reintegration of Returnees”, funded by the Government of Denmark.

For more information please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Addis Ababa, Tel: +251.911.63.90.82, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 - 17:25Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigration and DevelopmentMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopian returnees employed to help paper recycling company Penda Manufacturing PLC collect and recycle IOM Ethiopia’s waste paper. Photo: IOM

IOM provides peer education and livelihood training to students and teachers throughout Ethiopia. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Monitors Caravans of Central American Migrants, Supports Voluntary Returns

IOM - News - Ven, 11/02/2018 - 10:53

San Jose – The UN Migration Agency, IOM, continues to provide support and assistance to migrants who have joined the migrant caravans crossing Central America and opted to seek asylum in Mexico or return to their countries of origin.

In the Siglo XXI Migratory Station of Tapachula, managed by the National Institute for Migration (INM) of Mexico, IOM and the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE) have been supplying food and basic hygiene kits to over 1,500 migrants from the caravans seeking asylum in Mexico.

“IOM maintains its position that the human rights and basic needs of all migrants must be respected, regardless of their migratory status,” says Christopher Gascon, IOM Chief of Mission in Mexico. “In coordination with UNHCR we will continue to monitor the situation of the caravan counting on field staff, the Mexican Office of Assistance for Migrants and Refugees (DAPMyR), and partner NGOs, providing information regarding alternatives for regular and safe migration, as well as options for voluntary returns.”

A second caravan of approximately 1,800 Central American migrants admitted on Monday (29/10) by Mexican migration authorities arrived last Wednesday (31/10) in Huixtla, Chiapas state, and plan to move today, according to local authorities. This group initially started the regularization process in Mexico but later opted to continue the trek north without seeking asylum.

A third caravan of around 500 migrants departed from El Salvador last Sunday and crossed Tuesday (30/10) into Mexico, where most of them requested asylum. A fourth group of migrants left on Wednesday (31/10) from San Salvador with some 1,700 individuals, according to an IOM monitoring team. The final group spent last night in the Guatemalan town of Tecún Umán, on the border with Mexico.

Meanwhile, the bulk of the first caravan reached the town of Matías Romero in Oaxaca state yesterday (01/11).  An SRE press release estimates that about 4,000 people spent the night there.

After walking some 850 kilometres from San Pedro Sula in Honduras, fatigue is evident in many of the migrants who spent last night in Matías Romero.

Exhaustion and the challenges ahead have caused many migrants to opt for voluntary return, offered by Mexican authorities and Honduran consular officials.  Counting on its Mesoamerica Program funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), IOM is now also able to provide voluntary return assistance to migrants.

At the Honduran border control points of Agua Caliente and Santa Rosa de Copan, between 19 and 24 October, IOM provided 2,141 hygiene kits and basic food supplies to returnees. Migrants are returning to Honduras on buses that keep arriving at a rate of four to six per day while other migrants have returned by planes provided by the Mexican government.

“The caravan phenomenon in Central America is another expression of a migration process that the region has been facing for quite some time,” explains Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. “It is a mixed migration flow, driven by economic factors, family reunification, violence and the search for international protection, among others.

“Nevertheless,” adds Pisani, “we are concerned about the stress and demands that caravans place on the humanitarian community and the asylum systems of receiving countries, which ultimately have limited resources to face this challenge or to properly care for and protect migrants.

“The effective protection of human rights for all is based on the respect of processes conveyed in international treaties and national laws, which must be the frame of reference for any action that may be implemented in this situation,” concluded the IOM Regional Director.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Watch the video here.

Language English Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 - 17:48Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

The first caravan reached the town of Matías Romero in Oaxaca state yesterday (01/11). The Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs estimates that 4,000 people spent the night there. Photo: Rafael Rodríguez/IOM

“The effective protection of human rights for all is based on the respect of processes conveyed in international treaties and national laws, which must be the frame of reference for any action that may be implemented in this situation,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. Photo: IOM / Rafael Rodríguez

(1) Around 4,000 migrants from the first caravan spent Thursday night (01/11) at Matías Romero (Oaxaca state, Mexico). (2) A second caravan with some 1,800 Central American migrants rested on Thursday (01/11) in Huixtla (Chiapas state). (3) In a temporary shelter managed by the National Institute for Migration (INM) of Mexico, some 1,500 caminantes (“walkers”) who entered Mexico as part of the caravans are waiting for the Government to define their migratory status. (4) Approximately 1,700 Salvadorans who started trekking last Wednesday following the original Caravan arrived yesterday (01/11) at Tecún Umán (Guatemala). (5) Meanwhile, the Honduran government reported over 6,000 voluntary returnees between October 15 and November 1, including regular former members of the caravans and other migrants.

IOM continues to provide support and assistance to migrants who have joined the caravan crossing Central America.

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Access to School Aids Social Inclusion of Migrants, Refugees in Greece, IOM Survey Shows

IOM - News - Ven, 11/02/2018 - 10:48

Athens – Access to regular schooling has enabled migrant and refugee children to make friends with students from other cultures, said 84 per cent of surveyed children in open accommodation centres in Greece.

The findings of the survey, conducted by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reveal the quality of community relations is directly affected by students’ personal experience with the educational institutions. Results indicate that satisfaction with the daily school experience is an essential precondition for the integration of students in the education system. 

“I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is English, but I also want to keep learning Greek. I really like the Greek language,” said 10-year-old Sidad, from Iraq.

“When I grow up, I want to be an interpreter. I don’t have any Greek friends yet. But we go to school together every day and play ball during the breaks,” he continued.

Survey data also demonstrated that most respondents (62%) had prior formal education in their home countries. The vast majority of surveyed children (84%) reported to have either made friends or regularly interacted with Greek and other students and have smoothly integrated into the school environment. 

Senior high school students were evidently more engaged in attending classes, as the drop-out rate was just over 11 per cent, compared to 30 per cent among primary and 27 per cent among high school students.

Incidence of drop-outs can be attributed to various factors, including outflows from sites and the movement of families to urban areas, or even to other European countries such as through the EU Relocation Programme, which ended in March 2018. Prioritizing the attainment of basic needs such as food and shelter was another factor affecting drop-out rates.

“It is beyond doubt that education is key to helping migrant and refugee children settle in their new home and prevent them from feeling ostracized from the world around them,” said Gianluca Rocco, IOM Greece Chief of Mission.

“IOM is proud to support the Government of Greece in this important effort to facilitate social cohesion in Greece,” he added. 

Simona Moscarelli, IOM Greece Programme Officer, explained that the will to attend school even against high odds demonstrates the high value students place on learning and adapting to a new culture. 

“In our experience, we have seen that regular attendance shows a real motivation to not only learn but also become part of the community and return to normality, especially given the fact that the school attendance is not mandatory for migrants and refugees in Greece, and a large number those who choose to send their kids to school do not consider Greece a permanent place to live,” said Moscarelli.

During the 2017-2018 school year, IOM ensured the transportation of 2,800 migrant and refugee students to schools. Seventy-three per cent attended classes in primary schools, 21 per cent in high schools and nearly 6 per cent in senior high schools.  Fifty-six per cent were boys and 44 per cent were girls, while the vast majority (91%) were of Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan origin.

Funded by the European Commission, the transportation of migrant and refugee children from accommodation sites to schools was part of the “Humanitarian and Recovery Support to the Affected Population in Greece” programme for the 2017-2018 school year.

For more information, please contact Christine Nikolaidou at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 - 17:46Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: IntegrationMigration and YouthRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM ensures access to education for migrant and refugee children in Greece. Photo: IOM

IOM ensures access to education for migrant and refugee children in Greece. Photo: IOM

Ten-year-old Sidad, from Iraq, goes to school together with Greek students. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Brings Life-saving Health Services to Previously Inaccessible Areas of Somalia

IOM - News - Ven, 11/02/2018 - 10:46

Mogadishu – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has started bringing health services to the people of Gobweyn and Bulla Gaduud – two towns in south-eastern Somalia that were recently liberated by the government. For the past 27 years, war and conflict have made healthcare access difficult or impossible in many parts of the country. Now these communities have access to vaccinations, malaria treatment, antenatal care for pregnant mothers, malnutrition screenings and referrals, among other essential health services.

In partnership with Jubaland State’s Ministry of Health (MoH), IOM supported the re-opening of Gobweyn Health Centre, and is providing mobile outreach clinics in Bulla Gaduud, Kham Kham and Yontoy villages.

Government forces have been taking back new areas like Bulla Gaduud and Gobweyn from armed non-state actors in recent months, which has in turn increased the need for health services. Aid agencies have hitherto been unable to reach these towns due to insecurity and the presence of armed groups in the surroundings. Upon re-establishing services, IOM and MoH clinical teams noted the challenges of high malnutrition rates and poor immunization coverage. With humanitarian services now available, it is expected that people from these villages, many of whom are currently residing in overcrowded settlements for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in far-away urban centres, will begin to return to their home communities.

An estimated 20,000 people live in Bulla Gaduud. Speaking during the opening of the Bulla Gaduud clinic early October, Shukri Mohamed Seyyid Ahmed, the Chair Lady of the Bulla Gaduud Women’s Association, explained: “Prior to today, we [used to seek] healthcare services in Kismayo, but we lost so many lives in trying to transport emergency cases there. Sadly, two children died [recently] of acute watery disease [cholera] due to having nothing here and no health facility to send them to. However, today health services have been brought closer to us and we thank IOM and the Jubaland Ministry of Health for enabling us to receive medical care right at our doorsteps.”

Abdirashid Omar Khalif, the deputy village leader and youth representative in Gobweyn, expressed his joy during the launch mid-October of the health facility in his town. “We are agricultural people [farmers]. We had to leave behind our farms and livestock to take our sick children all the way to Kismayo town which is 20 kilometres away, but today we can take our children to this clinic,” he said. Gobweyn town alone has four main settlements with over 480 households, according to community leaders.

This year IOM has expanded its primary healthcare programmes into hard-to-reach and largely inaccessible areas to meet dire and urgent medical care needs. In collaboration with the MoH, the Organization has just opened new health centres in Hosingo (Badhadhe district) and Bardhere (Gedo region) – towns that are isolated and surrounded by armed groups.

For more information please contact Vijay Narayan at IOM Somalia, Tel: +252 682384437, Email: vnarayan@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 - 17:43Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM delivers emergency and essential health services to Bulla Gaduud and Gobweyn, areas recently liberated by the government in Lower Juba region of south-eastern Somalia. © Abdirahman Hussein / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Police, Service Providers in Trinidad and Tobago Engage in Migrant Protection and Assistance Training

IOM - News - Ven, 11/02/2018 - 10:42

Port of Spain — Forty-two representatives from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) participated in the Migrant Protection and Assistance Training conducted this week (29-30/10) by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Port of Spain. The training was designed to strengthen the response to recent migration into Trinidad and increase the referral of vulnerable migrants for humanitarian assistance and other services.

It also aimed to improve understanding of migrant protection and assistance among key actors, by providing tools for identifying vulnerable migrants and trafficking victims using basic indicators. Service providers learned about referral systems and good practice standards associated with direct assistance, including confidentiality and data protection.

“Our goal is to enhance governmental and civil society abilities to manage migration-related issues in a sustainable and integral manner,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean. “We are also expanding the services and types of assistance provided by IOM to match the new migration challenges faced by Trinidad and Tobago.”

The number of Venezuelan nationals in Central America and the Caribbean doubled from around 50,000 in 2015 to almost 100,000 in 2017; Trinidad and Tobago has become an important destination country for Venezuelan nationals seeking refuge and better opportunities.

In response to the large-scale flows of Venezuelans to other nations in the region, IOM launched the Regional Action Plan (RAP) in April 2018 to support the efforts that governments have initiated in the Americas and the Caribbean to provide assistance to these migrants and refugees.

IOM has also activated its Global Assistance Fund for Migrants Vulnerable to Violence, Exploitation, and Abuse (GAF) to help individual Venezuelan migrants through the provision of immediate emergency protection and assistance services for victims of trafficking, and other migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation, and abuse. IOM Trinidad and Tobago has seen an increase in applications to the GAF as well as many requests from partners for support with vulnerable Venezuelan migrants, including victims of trafficking.

“IOM is not only working to provide much-needed services to the Venezuelan population in the islands, but it is also building capacity in local organizations to guarantee the protection of migrants rights,” affirmed Jewel Ali, IOM Trinidad and Tobago Head of Office. “We hope this experience will also allow us to increase collaboration between different institutions.”

For more information please contact Cherlez Philip at IOM Trinidad and Tobago, Tel: 623 2441 (Ext. 13139), Email: cphilip@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: Trinidad and TobagoThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

“IOM is not only working to provide much-needed services to Venezuelan population in the islands, but it is also building capacity in local organizations to guarantee the protection of migrants rights,” says Jewel Ali, IOM’s Head of Office in Trinidad and Tobago (right). Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Estimates 3,114 Deaths from Migration Worldwide in 2018

IOM - News - Ven, 11/02/2018 - 10:36

Berlin – IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) estimates that at least 3,114 people died or have gone missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018.  The Mediterranean region, the Middle East, North Africa and the Americas rank among the planet’s deadliest migration corridors, each zone tallying confirmed fatalities of at least 100 in 2018 (see chart below), some into the thousands.

At least 219 people have died on their journey during the month of October, most recently two migrants whose remains were discovered in South Texas along the US-Mexico border. Those remains were found on ranch lands in neighbouring Dimmit and Webb counties. These two people remain unidentified.  At least 166 migrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into Texas in 2018, almost half of the 341 fatalities recorded across the border zone, which stretches beyond Texas to include the US states of New Mexico, Arizona and California, as well as the Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora and Baja California.

MMP also noted that this week in the Western Mediterranean, there have been reports, still unconfirmed, of approximately 54 people who went missing at sea after leaving Morocco from the Port of Bouyafar on 27 October. After initiating distress calls to authorities and family members of those on board, nothing has been heard since from those migrants. Stormy weather conditions in the Alboran Sea this week have added to concern about the whereabouts of these people.

Those victims, if confirmed, would bring the total number of Western Mediterranean deaths this year to 618 through 30 October, which compares to 224 on that route during all of 2017.

Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, said newly released figures on the number of migrant deaths compiled by Associated Press (AP) journalists, which suggest that 56,800 people have died while migrating since 2014, highlight the tragedy of how little even experts in the field know about those who die far away from their homes.

Investigative efforts such as those undertaken by the Associated Press help to strengthen existing initiatives to compile information on migrant deaths and disappearances.  However, different methodologies will produce different totals. The AP numbers differ from those of IOM’s Missing Migrants project for the following reasons:

  • They include deaths and numbers of missing people within country.
  • They include more data and estimates from developing country sources such as NGOs helping families to trace family members.

Since 2014, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has joined efforts by journalists and NGOs to keep track of these deaths to fill a gap left by governments, Laczko said. “We collect data to indicate the scale of this crisis over time and to bare witness to people’s deaths, which is often not otherwise done,” he explained, adding, “On a daily basis we record those who die at the external borders of states, or in the process of migration towards international destinations, regardless of their legal status. We rely on many types of sources, depending on what is available. In the Mediterranean region, data are relayed from national authorities, such as coast guards, or from IOM staff at places of embarkation, who then share it with the Missing Migrants Project team.”

Data on the United States/Mexico border are compiled from US county sources, including: medical examiners, coroners, and sheriff’s offices, as well as from media reports for deaths occurring on the Mexican side of the border.   In Africa, data are obtained from media and NGOs, including importantly, the Mixed Migration Centre’s 4mi surveys.

In all cases, new entries are checked against existing records to ensure that no deaths are double-counted.  This is particularly important for records that come from the testimonies of other migrants, which are nearly impossible to verify.  The quality of the data source(s) for each incident in the Missing Migrants Project database is assessed through the “source quality” variable. 

It is impossible to know the true number of people who die during migration because most deaths occur in remote areas chosen to deter detection.  As a result, bodies are not always found quickly, if ever, and deaths may not be reported systematically to authorities.

Another reason Missing Migrants Project figures represent a minimum estimate of the number of migrant deaths is that they do not include missing persons reports, because people who are “missing” are not necessarily dead.  Tradition tracing programs, such as those run by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), are still adjusting to the complex context of international migration, in which a missing person could be many countries away from their family who is waiting to hear from them.

Migrants who die or go missing after they are established in a new home are also not counted by MMP. Therefore, the deaths of people who die in a country in which they do not have citizenship are not included unless individual records include evidence to show that they died shortly after they arrived.  This is particularly difficult to determine in countries’ records on the repatriations of bodies of their citizens who have died abroad.   As a global project, it is nearly impossible to follow-up with these individuals’ families (and may, in fact, be inappropriate to do so) to ask about the circumstances of their loved one’s death.

Despite daily monitoring, Missing Migrants Project necessarily records deaths retrospectively and even after several months, depending on the data management systems of local authorities, such as coroners, or NGOs who conduct surveys.  Therefore, IOM’s global figures on migrant deaths are not meant to provide precise day-to-day updates, but instead to give an indication of the scale of this crisis over time.

“Until there is political commitment to recognize and take responsibility for the deaths of these people, IOM will continue to record the deaths of ‘missing migrants’ and to provide a minimum, and strong, estimate of how many people have died during their journeys,” Laczko concluded. 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: MMOCANU@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int 
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166), Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, November 2, 2018 - 17:20Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 97,857 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,987

IOM - News - Mer, 10/31/2018 - 08:22

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 97,857 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 28 October, with 47,433 to Spain, the leading destination this year, which is 48 per cent of all arrivals through the year. In fact, since late September’s arrivals were reported, Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 147,170 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 334,914 at this point in 2016.

Mediterranean Developments

The Mediterranean remains a lethal passage for migrants, despite the sharp drop in traffic on the deadly central Mediterranean route. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented through 28 October the deaths of 1,987 irregular migrants, over two-thirds of those fatalities in the waters between North Africa and Sicily.  Last year, at this time, MMP reported a total of 2,844 deaths in the region. In 2016 it reported 4,039.

Most recently, in the Western Mediterranean, the Missing Migrants Project team documented the deaths of 17 people over the weekend. On 25 October, the remains of two Moroccan men in their 30s washed ashore on Trougout beach, Morocco. Their bodies were brought to the morgue of Hassani hospital in Nador.

One day later, on 26 October, a boat capsized off Beni Chiker, Morocco. Local fishermen rescued two survivors and brought them to shore. According to witnesses’ testimonies, there were 16 people on board. The body of a man was recovered a few hours later; therefore, an estimated 13 people remain missing. Additionally, Spanish rescue services reported that they rescued 53 people and recovered the body of a baby from a sinking boat in the Alboran Sea on 27 October.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, a 31-year-old Iraqi woman died in a district hospital in Bodrum, Turkey on 27 October. She had boarded a boat bound for Greece with her two children and ten others, which capsized near Turgutreis Cape. The Turkish Coast Guard was able to rescue them, but tragically she passed away shortly after arriving at the hospital. She was pregnant.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 47,433 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 28 October (see chart below). Arrivals by sea in October are averaging a rate of almost 360 per day. This compares with fewer than 115 per day in May and around 270 per day in September (see chart below).

It is important to note that Spain has not received 10,000 irregular sea migrants or refugees during any previous month of the current Mediterranean emergency, which now goes back more than five years. That noted, it is crucial to add that months – even days – of 10,000 or more arrivals have not been uncommon during the period.

According to IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou, the 12 months listed consecutively for the period of April 2015 to March 2016 each met that benchmark, and much more. The largest single month on record came in October 2015, when 211,663 migrants or refugees arrived by sea in Greece – which for that month came to an average of almost 7,000 daily.

Dimitrios Tsagalas of IOM Cyprus reported Monday the arrival over the weekend of 33 irregular migrants entering the Republic at the Ledra Palace location. One was reportedly a Kurd of Iraqi nationality, the rest all Syrians: 14 men, five women and 13 children. With these arrivals, Tsagalas said the total number of migrants or refugees arriving in Cyprus this year now is 729.

One more landing took place on Monday that is not included in the total above. IOM’s Mr. Tsagalas on Tuesday reported another boat was spotted off Cape Greco by the Coast Guard in the Famagusta area Monday afternoon. On board were 12 adult males, one woman and four children, all believed to be of Syrian nationality. With this boat the latest 2018 arrival total is 746.

IOM Greece reported on Monday that from Friday evening (26 October) through Monday noon (29 October), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) ecountered five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Megisti. The HCG rescued a total of 213 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Additional arrivals of some 176 to those same islands, plus Rhodes, over these past four days brings to 26,679 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 28 October (see chart below).

This morning, IOM Greece reported two more rescue operations, total of 74 migrants or refugees, near the islands of Lesvos and Kos, occurred just before midnight Monday. Those recovered are not yet added to the data total mentioned above.

The months of September and October have been among the busiest of the year for Greece in terms of irregular migrants coming by sea. Since 1 September, a total of 7,394 migrants and refugees have entered via the Aegean, an average of 127 per day. That compares to an average of just under 80 men, women or children per day during the first eight months of 2018 (see chart below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimates that at least 3,112 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below).

In addition to the devastating death toll in the Mediterranean, most recently, six Syrian nationals drowned after being swept away by floodwaters on the Syria-Turkey border on 25 October. Turkish civil protection authorities recovered the remains of six men near Turkey’s border town of Yayladagi, in Hatay province.

On the Mexico-Guatemala border, a 26-year-old Honduran man died of a head wound during clashes with Guatemalan and Mexican police on a bridge over the Suchiate river on 28 October. This tragic incident happened as a second caravan of migrants attempted to cross the border into Mexico on Sunday.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:

Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int 
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel : +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166), Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email : chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 15:43Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Helps Belarus Develop Irregular Migration Management Policy

IOM - News - Mer, 10/31/2018 - 07:46

Minsk – A new EUR 7 million project to address irregular migration was officially launched in Minsk on 23 October 2018.  The management of irregular migration is one of many priority issues for almost every country in Europe, including Belarus – which faces a 30 per cent increase in irregular migration this year compared with last year.

The project “Helping Belarus address the phenomenon of increasing numbers of irregular migrants” is a four-year EU-funded project to be implemented by IOM Belarus jointly with the Ministry of the Interior and the State Border Committee of the Republic of Belarus. Among other project partners are the UNHCR Office in Belarus and civil society organizations – the Belarus Red Cross Society and the Belarusian Movement of Medical Workers.

“The idea of the project we are launching today emerged some years ago when the EU and Belarus started to negotiate visa facilitation and readmission agreements and, later, the EU-Belarus Mobility Partnership that was agreed on in 2016,” said Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin, Head of the EU Delegation to Belarus.

The main purpose of the project is to help Belarus develop and implement a comprehensive migration policy in compliance with international standards. The project has three key components:

Amending legislation following a comprehensive “gap and needs” assessment and capacity-building activities for competent migration specialists.
Establishing a sustainable national Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) system and provision of voluntary return and reintegration assistance to those most vulnerable migrants.
Constructing and refurbishing several specialized semi-open migrant accommodation centres in line with best EU practices and international standards for such facilities.

Zeynal Hajiyev, Chief of IOM Mission in Belarus, pointed out that “the successful implementation of the project will require maximum involvement, flexibility and readiness for change from all concerned stakeholders to ensure that all project activities are always based on respect for the human rights of migrants.”

“The EU and Belarus are at the final stage of negotiations on the Readmission agreement under which Belarus will have an obligation to readmit migrants who entered the EU from the territory of Belarus in an irregular manner. This project will help Belarus fulfil its obligations under the future Readmission agreement in compliance with international standards,” explained Nickolay Melchenko, Deputy Minister of the Interior.

By 2022, Belarus – with the support of the EU, IOM and other project stakeholders – will have a comprehensive irregular migration management system, contemporary migrant accommodation infrastructure and effective AVRR system that would altogether operate with respect for gender dimension and migrants’ rights.

For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 2882742, Email: oborzenkova@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: BelarusThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Azerbaijan, International Community and Parliamentarians Join Forces against Human Trafficking and Smuggling

IOM - News - Mer, 10/31/2018 - 07:40

Baku – Today (30/10) in Baku, the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will organize an international conference with the Milli Mejlis (National Assembly) of the Republic of Azerbaijan; the Main Department for Combatting Human Trafficking of the Ministry of Internal Affairs; the State Migration Service of the Republic of Azerbaijan; and the Leader Women Public Union.

The conference titled “Multi-disciplinary Approaches to Countering Human Trafficking and Smuggling: International and National Legislative and Operational Framework” aims to enhance international and regional discussions and partnerships for investigating transnational organized crime and improve protection of trafficked persons. The event also seeks to foster inclusive and integrated multi-disciplinary approaches to counter trafficking and migrant smuggling.

It is organized under the “Enhancement of National Capacities to Combat Human Trafficking in Azerbaijan (ENCT)” project led by IOM and co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

The conference coincides with the 15th Anniversary of the Ratification of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women, Children, which supplement the United Nation’s Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. It will bring together parliamentarians from 11 countries, as well as experts and representatives from several international and national organizations.

Opening remarks will be delivered by high-level speakers including Ali Huseynli, Chair of Legal Policy and State Building Committee of Milli Mejills; Bahr Muradova, Vice Speaker of MIlli Mejils; Alexandra Nerisanu, Acting Director of Cooperation Department of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan; Ghulam Isaczai, United Nations Resident Coordinator and the United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in Azerbaijan; and Serhan Aktoprak, Chief of IOM Mission in Azerbaijan.

Conference presentations and discussions will take place in a Plenary Session and three parallel breakout sessions.

With financial support from the EU and the IDF, IOM works with the Azerbaijani government to combat human trafficking and consequently transnational organized crime by applying a comprehensive, holistic and multidisciplinary approach.

For more information please contact Marija Nikolovska at IOM Azerbaijan, Tel: +994 12 465 90 71/72, Email: mnikolovska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: AzerbaijanThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

‘Abroad Mata’ Taps Potential of Radio to Address Irregular Migration in Nigeria

IOM - News - Mer, 10/31/2018 - 07:32

Benin City – On 26 October, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Nigeria launched Abroad Mata, a radio programme on the perils of irregular migration and opportunities to migrate safely, during a press briefing at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Benin City, Edo State.

The awareness raising initiative is part of the Migrants as Messengers and Aware Migrants projects in Nigeria. The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Edo State Task Force on Human Trafficking, as well as several local radio stations, joined IOM to co-produce the series.

Abroad Mata is a 13-episode series consisting of a radio drama titled Waka Well (‘travel well’, in Pidgin English), returnee testimonies, an expert panel and live phone-in sessions. The feedback segment of the show seeks to encourage dialogue about irregular migration and human trafficking.

During the launch, IOM presented the first episode of Waka Well, which follows the story of Patricia, a young Nigerian trying to reach Europe through Libya.

Each episode will include commentary from IOM staff and government officials about corresponding migration issues in Nigeria – such as the social factors behind migration, the role of traditional and religious leaders and the role of the Migrant Resource Centers (MRCs) to inform migrants about safe migration pathways.

“The idea is to create awareness through the candid testimonies of returnees who have gone through the harrowing journey both at sea and through the Sahara. The programme will also promote social cohesion and deal with the issue of stigmatization of returned migrants,” said Abrham Tamrat, IOM Nigeria Head of Sub-Office in Lagos and Project Manager of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

The programme will air in Edo, Delta, Oyo, Ogun, Imo and Lagos states in Pidgin and Yoruba languages. Edo State accounts for 50 per cent of returns under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration while Delta State accounts for 17 per cent of the total.

“The best way to take migration to the public is through radio due to its wide coverage and following,” said Charles Anaelo, NCFRMI Assistant Director, Migration Division.

“We need to raise these issues of irregular migration and human trafficking on the radio in order to serve our compatriots, our children. And we need strong narratives to drive the message,” said Arinze Orakwue, NAPTIP Director of Public Enlightenment.

This radio programme is one of IOM’s many Communication for Development (C4D) initiatives, a people-centred and evidence-based approach that uses communication methods, media and other tools to promote social and behaviour change.

“This radio programme and other awareness raising activities are aimed at giving hope to our youth, a hope that is realistic and does not endanger them,” said Yinka Omorogbe, Chairperson of the Edo State Taskforce Against Human Trafficking. “Changing mindsets is a huge task, so we need to reach as many people as possible.”

Since April 2017, IOM has assisted in the voluntary return of over 10,283 stranded Nigerian migrants from Libya, Niger, Mali and other transit/destination countries under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Nigeria. As part of reintegration assistance, IOM has conducted business skills training for 3,695 returnees.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 803 645 2973, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 15:47Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Director General Meets with Ethiopian Prime Minister, Chairperson of African Union Commission

IOM - News - Mar, 10/30/2018 - 15:54

Addis Ababa – The Director General of the UN Migration Agency (IOM), H.E. António Vitorino, met with the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, and with H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) in Addis Ababa on 27 and 28 October 2018, respectively.

In his meeting with H.E. Dr. Abiy Ahmed at the National Palace, the IOM Director General congratulated the Prime Minister on his robust reform agenda, for making peace with Eritrea and advancing women’s leadership in politics. Ethiopia’s newly constituted cabinet comprises 50 per cent women and stands out as the only country on the continent with a female president following the recent appointment of H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde on 25 October 2018.

For his part, Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed expressed appreciation for the contribution of IOM in Ethiopia in response to the recent spate of displacements in the south-west of the country, and in enhancing capacities for effective migration governance in Ethiopia. He further expressed the need for support in the area of job creation for the youth – a pressing priority of his government.

The IOM Director General subsequently met with the African Union Commission Chairperson, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, at the African Union headquarters, along with commissioners Amira El Fadil Mohammed and Minata Cessouma Samate. The meeting covered a broad range of areas of ongoing cooperation between the AUC and IOM, discussed potential additional areas for partnership going forward, and went on to underline the importance of AU leadership on African migration challenges.

For more information, please contact IOM Addis Ababa, Alemayehu Seifeselassie, Tel: +251 911 63 90 82, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 15:51Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: The National Palace (Ethiopia) and the African Union 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Six Weeks After Typhoon Mangkhut, Northern Philippines Braces for Yutu

IOM - News - Mar, 10/30/2018 - 15:51

Manila – IOM, the United Nations Migration agency, reports Typhoon Yutu (locally called “Rosita”) made landfall in the northern Philippines earlier today bringing driving rain and high winds, according to IOM staff deployed to the area following Typhoon Mangkhut (locally called “Ompong”) – another super typhoon which followed a similar path and left a trail of destruction across Luzon island on 15 September.

Yesterday (29/10) the Philippines raised storm warning levels and began evacuating some coastal communities in the path of the typhoon, which recorded sustained wind speeds of 150 km per hour (93 mph), with gusts of 185 kph, posing the risk of storm surges, landslides and floods triggered by heavy winds and rain.

Yutu has weakened since Friday, when it recorded wind speeds of over 270 kph as it tore through the Marianas in the Western Pacific, lifting roofs, overturning vehicles and cutting off power and water.

In Itogon, Benguet, where dozens died in landslides triggered by Mangkhut, displaced families are bracing for Yutu’s arrival and new displacement. The Department of Social Welfare and Development for the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the local government have pre-emptively evacuated hundreds of families in landslide-prone areas and IOM staff reported over 400 families in the Itogon Evacuation Centre last night.

IOM and Catholic Relief Services, who are working with government partners to provide shelter for people in the area affected by Mangkhut,  are standing by to provide additional support.

“Many of these people are extremely vulnerable and are now facing a second round of displacement just six weeks after Mangkhut destroyed many of their homes and livelihoods. IOM aims to continue to support the government in areas where it needs help, whether it is in displacement tracking, shelter, camp coordination and camp management, psychosocial interventions or early recovery efforts,” said IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Kristin Dadey.     

IOM quick response teams are also prepositioned in CAR and Cagayan Valley to work with government counterparts to monitor and assess the impact of Yutu using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). DTM is a data collection system, funded by the US State Department’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), that maps displacement and assesses the needs of displaced people. 

The IOM teams in the area have been working with Mangkhut survivors as part of a EUR 1 million project funded by the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO). The project is providing transitional and emergency shelters, shelter repair kits, rental subsidies and “Build Back Better and Safer” trainings for 1,710 affected families.

Mangkhut affected an estimated 368,000 families, destroying crops and homes. But pre-emptive evacuation of thousands of people by the government saved many lives, with most of the fatalities caused by the landslide in Itogon, which left over 100 people dead or missing. 

For further information please contact Kristin Dadey at IOM Philippines, Email: kdadey@iom.int, Tel: +63 917 803 5009

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 15:49Image: Region-Country: PhilippinesDefault: Multimedia: 

An evacuee is interviewed in the school that serves as the Itogon Evacuation Centre. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM