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Rohingya Crisis: One Year On

IOM - News - Ven, 08/24/2018 - 08:56

Cox’s Bazar – One year into a crisis that has seen over 700,000 refugees escape violence in Myanmar by fleeing into Bangladesh, the Rohingya once more stand on the verge of another disaster if more funding for the humanitarian response cannot be secured.

The immense efforts of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and its partners to support the Government of Bangladesh in the humanitarian response since the influx began a year ago are evident across what has become the largest refugee settlement in the world.

Almost a million Rohingya now live in Cox’s Bazar. From the early days of the crisis when thousands were crossing the border daily, sleeping under open skies, many injured and on the brink of starvation, conditions on the ground have improved immeasurably. All the refugees now have access to basic shelter, food and healthcare.

Intensive cooperative efforts to avert landslides – including work to prevent soil erosion, preparing ground to make it flatter and safer, emergency response planning, awareness raising and the relocation of more than 24,000 people most at risk – mean major tragedies have so far been avoided in the camps, despite the dangerous topography and extreme weather conditions.

But that does not mean danger has passed. Another cyclone season looms at the end of September and severe funding shortages threaten the delivery of vital services.

“The achievements of the past year have been remarkable,” said Giorgi Gigauri, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Bangladesh. “This was the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world and the challenges have been immense. Countless lives have been saved thanks to the generosity of the Government of Bangladesh, the local community and donors, and the hard work of all those involved in the humanitarian response. But we now face the very real threat that if more funding is not urgently secured, lives will once again be at risk.”

Over 212,000 families – almost the entire refugee population – have now received shelter upgrade materials, with IOM providing shelter assistance to over 120,000 households.  Work is also ongoing to increase access to clean water and improve sanitation. IOM Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) teams have completed over 330 deep tube wells in the camps, with dozens more currently being installed.

Protection services are integral part of IOM’s response and over 23,000 extremely vulnerable people with protection needs have been identified since the crisis began. As lead agency in the fight against human trafficking in the camps, IOM is working with authorities and communities to tackle this growing threat to the refugee population.

Meeting the needs of the host community, which has also been impacted by the crisis, has also been central to the response. IOM is working with partner agencies on a range of longer-term initiatives to address environmental damage through alternative fuel provision, as well as reforestation projects that can provide work opportunities. Local farmers are being supported with machinery and seeds to help boost food production.

But as of now, the overall humanitarian response has just one third of the funding that it needs to see it through the end of the year.

“IOM medical staff this month logged half a million consultations since this crisis began. That shows you the level of need we are facing. But the stark reality is that without more support, such services are under threat,” said Gigauri.

“That will not just impact on those who need immediate medical treatment, but also on public health measures such as vaccination and outreach, without which the risk of large scale disease outbreaks will increase dramatically. Meanwhile, maintaining drainage and emptying latrines costs money. Without this we will see overflows leading to water contamination and the spread of disease.”

Gigauri stressed that in a humanitarian response of this scale, restrictions or cut backs to any one service would have a knock-on impact on the wider response.

“We must not underestimate the dangers the Rohingya refugees still face. One year on from the start of the crisis, they must not be forgotten,” he said. “These people have survived almost unimaginable suffering. The international community must not now turn its back and allow the Rohingya to be plunged into yet another tragedy.”

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel. 88 0 1733 335221, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:55Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Aid agencies have only received a third of the USD 951 million needed to support nearly a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh through year end. Photo: Muse Mohammed / IOM 2018   

An elderly Rohingya women looks out over new shelters in the Kutupalong megacamp - the biggest refugee settlement in the world. Photo: Muse Mohammed / IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 65,185 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,546

IOM - News - Ven, 08/24/2018 - 08:54

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 65,576 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 22 August, with 27,577 to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 120,624 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 271,951 at this point in 2016.

Spain, with 42 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in August at a volume more than twice that of Greece and more than six times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late August are the lowest recorded at this point of a normally busy summer season in almost five years (see chart below).


IOM Rome on Thursday joined UNHCR in an appeal to the Government of Italy to allow rescued refugees and migrants on board the Italian coast guard vessel Diciotti to disembark.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said several vulnerable people – including 17 persons in need of medical care and 27 unaccompanied children – already have been allowed to leave the vessel on humanitarian grounds. Some 150 passengers – all adults – currently remain on board the Diciotti, which has been docked in the Sicilian port of Catania since 20 August. 

While welcoming the decision by Italy to allow some of the most vulnerable passengers to disembark, IOM notes it remains crucial to allow everyone remaining on the vessel to come ashore as their humanitarian needs cannot be fully met on board.

“Migrants arriving from Libya are often victims of violence, abuses and torture, their vulnerabilities should be timely and properly identified and addressed,” added Federico Soda, Director of IOM’s Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean, and Chief of Mission for Italy and Malta.

In recent months, UNHCR and IOM have called for a regional arrangement for rescue and disembarkation of passengers in distress on the Mediterranean Sea.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,546 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, an estimated 11 people lost their lives in the Central Mediterranean in two separate incidents. On 20 August, a boat carrying 10 Tunisian migrants capsized off the coast of Djerba, in the Médenine Governorate. Only one survivor was found alive by the Tunisian National Guard, while the remains of six others were retrieved over the next few days. Three people remain missing. On 22 August, the Armed Forces of Malta rescued 100 people and recovered two bodies from a boat found 68 nautical miles south of Malta.

IOM’s Christine Petré reported that late Wednesday night (22 August), 25 migrants (21 men, three women and one child) received food and water, as well as medical and protection assistance as they were disembarked by the Libyan Coast Guard. The migrants had embarked in Azzawiyah on a rubber boat with the majority coming from Bangladesh, as well as from Sudan, Ghana, Niger, Cameroon, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire.

Migrants suffered from headaches and muscle pain and eight migrants received basic onsite medical treatment. Following humanitarian assistance, everyone was transferred to Tripoli-based detention centres.

The previous night (21 August), another 138 migrants (111 men, 14 women and 13 children), a majority from Sudan, who had embarked on a rubber boat in Garaboli were returned by the Libyan Coast Guard. Because of the Eid holiday, all migrants were immediately transferred to a detention centre. IOM is following up with assistance in the centre. 

So far this year, 12,998 migrants have been returned to Libya.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 27,577 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 22 August. She cited media reports that 200 migrants crossed the fence into Spain’s Ceuta enclave Wednesday, bringing to 4,382 the total number of arrivals by land by irregular migrants in 2018 (see charts below).

 

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 83 days since 31 May, a total of 24,858 have arrived – or just under 300 migrants per day. The months of May-August this year have seen a total of 28,380 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics, with just over one week left in August.

On Thursday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported that over three days (20-22 August) this week, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos and Kos. The HCG rescued a total 69 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Additional arrivals to Samos, Kos and Lesvos of some 246 men, women and children brings to 17,955 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 22 August (see chart below).

IOM’s Marta Sanchez reported Thursday IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented the deaths worldwide of 2,466 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below).

In addition to the recent Mediterranean drownings, MMP reported that on the US-Mexico border, the remains of five people were retrieved between 17 and 21 August. US Border Patrol agents recovered the remains of a deceased individual from a water basin near Mercedes, Texas on 17 August. Two days later, on 19 August, two people drowned in a canal near La Joya, Texas. On the same day, the body of a 50-year-old Mexican man was found in a ranch in Dimmit County, Texas. On 21 August, US Border Patrol agents found the remains of another individual in a ranch in Kenedy County, Texas.

The Missing Migrants Project team also recorded two deaths in South America. On 10 August, a 5-year-old girl, believed to be Nigerian, died of hypothermia near the Rumichaca International Bridge, on the Colombia-Ecuador border. In July, a Venezuelan woman died of hypothermia while crossing the Andes into Colombia, on the road between Cúcuta and Bucaramanga near Berlín, in the province of Santander.

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
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@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
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@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, August 24, 2018 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Chad Calls for Urgent Funding to Assist Thousands of Migrant Gold Miners

IOM - News - Ven, 08/24/2018 - 08:54

N’Djamena – The attack on a border post on 11 August near Chad’s largest gold mining areas in the Tibesti Region has prompted the Government of Chad to stop all gold mining activities in Miski and Kouri Bougri, two of the country’s major gold mining areas. Both are near Chad’s border with Libya; both have attracted migrant workers from West and Central Africa, as well as Chadians, since 2013.

The sudden decision has prompted thousands of migrant gold miners to relocate to the cities of Zouarke and Zouar in the Tibesti region, while at least 3,800 people have moved to Faya in the Borkou region in Northern Chad. These recent population movements have exhausted the resources available to local populations and local authorities lack the means to provide immediate assistance to these migrants.

“The situation for these migrants is dire, as neither IOM nor local authorities are able to assist them for lack of funding. The communities of Zouarke and Faya are doing their best to help these people, but their resources are limited,” explained Anne Kathrin Schaefer, IOM Chief of Mission in Chad. “These stranded migrants have little to no access to food, water, and shelter. Many of them are likely victims of trafficking and urgently need to be assisted.”

IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, has been working in Chad since 2009 and is currently implementing the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration exclusively for migration flow monitoring.

IOM Chad supports the government in developing informed and responsive policies and programmatic responses to migration challenges, border management and counter-trafficking. For years, IOM Chad’s core activities have been focused on community stabilization and emergency support for displaced and returning Chadians.

Many of the stranded migrants are from neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Cameroon. Many fled the border region without collecting their final salaries and today find themselves without means to return to their countries of origin.

“We call on humanitarian actors in Chad, especially IOM, to provide assistance to vulnerable migrants,” said Daoud Bashir, the Governor of the Borkou region in a press interview on 20 August, adding: “But this assistance cannot be provided without the support of donors.”

At least USD 500,000 is urgently needed to provide immediate assistance as well as voluntary return assistance to the thousands of stranded migrants in Chad.

A High-Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region is to be convened in Berlin, Germany, next month (3-4 September) to mobilize resources for millions of vulnerable people affected by protracted conflicts in the region. It is essential that these new migration dynamics in Chad – which is rapidly becoming a transit country for hundreds of thousand Sub-Saharan migrants traveling to Libya – receives international attention and funding.

The Tibesti Region continues to attract sub-Saharan workers, particularly due to the presence of gold mines considered by some migrants as providing opportunity to raise money before continuing their journey up into Libya towards Europe.

Gold mining areas in Chad also are well-known transit points along the migratory routes for West and Central African migrants. Many of the stranded migrants reported to IOM staff of having been trapped into forced labour for months, hoping to gain enough money to continue their journeys. Some workers had been transported by traffickers and were forced to work in mines without payment as they were forced to fully reimburse transportation and “placement” fees.

Since January 2018, over 200 victims of trafficking have been referred to IOM by the local authorities. Funding will also help raise awareness on the risks of human trafficking in the Tibesti region.

For more information, please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer at IOM Chad, Email: aschaefer@iom.int, Tel: +235 60 28 17 78

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the migrant gold miners needing assistance after Chad halted activities in two of the country’s major gold mining areas. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Restores 500 Homes in Dominica After Devastating Hurricane

IOM - News - Ven, 08/24/2018 - 08:53

Roseau – Over 500 families who lost their roofs and nearly everything else after Hurricane Maria have received assistance from the UN Migration Agency (IOM) to rebuild stronger, more resilient roofs.

An IOM contingent arrived in Dominica less than two weeks after the Category Five hurricane decimated Dominica on 18 September 2017, damaging or destroying 90 per cent of the housing stock.

Almost a year after on, Dominica is still struggling to return to normality. Most of the country has been reconnected to the national water and power grids, schools have reopened, and the government is working to become the world’s first climate resilient country. Notwithstanding, there is still a great deal of work to be done: homes with tarps for roofs, piles of distorted galvanized sheets, abandoned houses and businesses are the most common view in Roseau, Dominica’s capital.  

Wyzelle Philogene, a mother of three, admitted that she didn’t take proper precaution and was still at home cooking and doing domestic chores when the hurricane hit the island. That disregard was quickly replaced by fear as she scrambled to keep herself and children safe as Maria’s strong winds and heavy rain wreaked havoc. Looking at her house the day after, she said she felt “heartbroken”.

“The house looked like a total disaster. There was no roof, no door, part of the house at the front gone, most of the stuff inside gone. There was stuff that I bought just before the storm, and I lost all of it. My television, I bought it on the Friday before the storm, and I lost it. It was a package. The fridge, the stove, and television, I lost all of them,” she disclosed.

Before the hurricane, Wyzelle paid for her children’s education on her small salary and did everything a single, independent mother could. “But after Maria, I couldn’t do that. I lost my job; at a certain time, there was no school. I had to find a way to fend for them because there is no work – even if you have some little savings you have to know how to use it – and how not to use it. Food was not (available) like before where you could just rush to the supermarket because everywhere was damaged. It was hard, to be honest, it was hard – no water, no electricity, but we managed.”

For almost a month, she and her children lived at a friend’s house with about 10 to 15 other people.  Though homesickness crept in, gratitude for the kind hospitality overrode those feelings, and the mother and children did their best to manage under the circumstances. When it was time to return home, she found herself under tarps and shortly after, under patched, damaged, discarded galvanized sheets.

“Whenever rain fell you had to get buckets and containers to collect water. It wasn’t the same, but we had to cope, we had no choice,” Wyzelle said ruefully.

With the guidance of vulnerability criteria provided by the Ministry of Social Services, and the help of her village council and a special beneficiary selection committee, Wyzelle qualified to receive humanitarian assistance from IOM.  In less than a week her leaky sheets were replaced with a brand-new roof.

“A repaired house for the safety and security to all my family, especially in this hurricane season. I love it, to be honest,” she affirmed.

“Getting to this stage has not been easy,” says Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM Dominica Team Leader.  “We have had to be creative to solve procurement issues, obtaining scarce building materials, recruiting skilled carpenters from the wider Caribbean because, we simply did not have enough available workforce locally to implement the work. We have been working with many international and local organizations: Habitat for Humanity, ADRA, All Hands & Hearts, volunteer builders from the Mennonite community and, of course, our migrant carpenters.”

Emergency shelters still house families who have not been able to return to a normal life in what remains of their homes. Many houses simply disappeared. Emergency shelters across the island were damaged, and most have not yet been repaired. 

IOM has been able to assist with housing needs in 11 communities so far, repairing or re-building roofs and wooden core houses with funding from UK Aid, the European Commission’s humanitarian agency (ECHO), the Government of Australia, and contributions from ChinaAID via the UNDP. Even though the milestone of over 500 families assisted is celebrated, there is still room to do more. 

IOM currently employs over 150 people across Dominica; only three are expats.  The economic impact of this is significant through wages and salaries, casual pay, rental of vehicles and accommodation, and procurement of goods and services. 

With Dominica being one of its newest member states, IOM is building capacity for a long-term presence on the island, positioning to be an active partner to the government and people of Dominica in a quest to build better homes, communities, and improve lives across the island. 

For further information please Contact Maxine Alleyne-Esprit at IOM Dominica, Email: malleyne@iom.int  Tel: + (767) 275-3225.

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:40Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

With funds provided by the EU, UK, Australia and China, IOM has rebuilt over 500 houses obliterated by Hurricane Maria. Photo: Sheldon Casimir / IOM

IOM recruited migrant carpenters from nearby Caribbean islands, due to scarce local workforce available in Dominica after the hurricane. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Students in Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, to Discuss Global Migration Issues

IOM - News - Ven, 08/24/2018 - 08:52

Washington, DC – USA for IOM, the non-profit partner of the International Organization for Migration, has developed a partnership with the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNA-NCA) to strengthen youth engagement on migration issues for the 2018-19 academic year. With more people on the move today than ever before, the collaboration encourages dialogue and understanding through a curriculum set to reach more than 1,000 middle and high school students in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

As part of UNA-NCA’s Global Classrooms DC (GCDC) education program, USA for IOM collaborated to develop a curriculum unit on the topic of migration. The curriculum includes a mini Model UN simulation on resolution writing, designed to strengthen students’ writing skills and teach about the many ways the UN works to address international migration issues.

The curriculum incorporates creative films submitted to the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival, a joint initiative between IOM and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations that encourages young people to explore issues of migration, diversity and social inclusion.

“Flowers to the Sea,” one of four videos included in the curriculum, features a young Brazilian girl who volunteered to assist refugees and migrants in Lesbos, Greece. After she returned home, she launched a project with her mother to raise funds for refugees in Greece and other countries. Produced by Bruno Tarpani, the video is available at https://pluralplus.unaoc.org/18-25-age-category/flowers-to-the-sea/.

“This remarkable film is a testament to how our youth can act as change makers,” said Maria Moreno, Head of Operations for USA for IOM. “We hope that the selection of videos inspires students participating in the Global Classrooms DC program to make a difference in their own communities.”

As part of this partnership, IOM staff will also be available to serve as guest speakers in classrooms. The year-long GCDC program will culminate with the 2019 Model UN Conference to be held at the US Department of State, during which students will be exposed to the migration-related issue of modern-day slavery, and how countries can work to confront this major problem.

For more information, please contact Liz Lizama at USA for IOM, Tel.+1 202 716 8820, Email: liz.lizama@usaforiom.org.

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:35Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and YouthOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Flowers to the Sea, one of four videos included in the curriculum, features a young Brazilian girl who volunteered to assist refugees and migrants in Lesbos, Greece. Watch here

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Finland: Learning How to Treat Victims of Trafficking

IOM - News - Ven, 08/24/2018 - 08:52

Helsinki – Treating victims of human trafficking can be a challenge for health care personnel. On Thursday, 23 August, IOM Finland organized a workshop on this subject together with the US Embassy in Finland and the National Institute for Health and Welfare.

The guest lecturer was Hanni Stoklosa, an American expert on human trafficking who works as an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and has collaborated with IOM globally for several years.

Stoklosa said she realized that there were victims of trafficking amongst her patients only after working there for some time. “I was a Harvard-trained doctor and I knew nothing about this – it was appalling!”

She said that spreading the knowledge and doing research on the health care of victims of human trafficking has become her calling in life. On Thursday, she shared her knowledge with an audience of health and social workers, and representatives from organizations and institutions at the workshop held at THL, the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki.

The workshop was part of the on-going HOIKU-project at IOM Finland, focused on bettering the knowledge of identifying and treating victims of human trafficking among the health care professionals and social workers in Finland. The project is funded by the Funding Centre for Social Welfare and Health organizations (STEA).

According to Stoklosa, medical professionals have both an excellent opportunity and a responsibility to identify victims of trafficking and helping them get the care they need. She points out that the physical trauma is easier to treat – the mental scars can last for a life time.

“They are also invisible, and few people admit to them, so you have to be aware of the signs of depression, for instance.”

She quoted a survey that showed that an astounding 71 per cent of victims of trafficking said that they are still afraid of their traffickers even after they had gotten out of the trafficking situation. To use trauma-informed care in the treatment of these patients is very important.

One thing Stoklosa wanted to underline was that doctors and nurses must change the point of view when it comes to victims of trafficking, or of abuse in general.

“The goal is not disclosure, to do a diagnosis. We need to plant seed that keeps the door open for them to return – we have to build trust for that to happen.”

In the afternoon, the workshop continued with case studies in smaller groups and discussions on how professionals working with victims of trafficking can support their recovery and alleviate the consequences of trauma.

During the first six months of 2018, 115 cases were referred to the Assistance System for Victims of Trafficking in Finland and 76 cases were accepted into the system. In 2017, the assistance system handled 127 cases (14 were minors) of which 38 per cent had been trafficked to Finland.

The HOIKU project has trained over 300 health care professionals and social workers during this year and more trainings are lined up. With the support of STEA, the Interior Ministry of Finland and the Social and Welfare Ministry of Finland the project has produced a booklet in Finnish and Swedish on the initial identification of victims of human trafficking and is producing a more comprehensive guide on treating these victims.

The guides can be found here: https://iom.fi/en/hoiku-ohje

For more information, please contact: Jaana Sipilä, IOM Helsinki, Tel: +358 9 684 11522, Email: jsipila@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 24, 2018 - 14:30Image: Region-Country: FinlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Booklets in Finnish and Swedish on the initial identification of victims of human trafficking and is producing a more comprehensive guide on treating these victims.

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UNHCR and IOM Chiefs Call for More Support as the Outflow of Venezuelans Rises Across the Region

IOM - News - Gio, 08/23/2018 - 12:27

Geneva - The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and the Director General of the United Nations Migration Agency, IOM, William Lacy Swing appealed for greater support from the international community to the countries and communities in the region receiving a growing number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela. With an estimated 2.3 million Venezuelans living abroad, more than 1.6 million have left the country since 2015, 90 per cent of them to countries within South America.

Grandi and Swing commended States in the region for generously hosting Venezuelan nationals arriving at their borders. They nonetheless expressed concern over several recent developments affecting refugees and migrants from Venezuela. These include new passport and border entry requirements in Ecuador and Peru, as well as changes to the temporary stay permits for Venezuelans in Peru. 

“We recognise the growing challenges associated with the large scale arrival of Venezuelans. It remains critical that any new measures continue to allow those in need of international protection to access safety and seek asylum,” stressed Grandi.

“We commend the efforts already made by receiving countries to provide Venezuelans with security, support and assistance. We trust that these demonstrations of solidarity will continue in the future,” said IOM´s Director General, Ambassador Swing, in Geneva Thursday.

Of particular concern are the most vulnerable—such as adolescent boys and girls, women, people trying to reunite with their families and unaccompanied and separated children who are unlikely to be able to meet documentation requirements and will therefore be placed at further risk of exploitation, trafficking and violence.

UNHCR, IOM, UN agencies and other partners are working in support of national responses by governments in the region to this complex human mobility and protection situation. This current situation underlines the urgent need to increase international engagement and solidarity in support of the governments’ response plans and addressing the most pressing humanitarian needs, in order to assure that those are met, safe transit is guaranteed and social and economic integration can be provided in line with larger development strategies. 

Following the commitments of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, timely and predictable support by the international community is needed for fairer sharing of responsibilities and to complement the efforts of host countries.

Media contact details:

For IOM:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Juliana Quintero, IOM South America, Tel.  +54 11 48133330
Mobile. +54 11 32488134 QUINTERO Juliana juquintero@iom.int

For UNHCR:
In Geneva: Cécile Pouilly, pouilly@unhcr.org, +41 79 108 26 25
In Bogota Olga Sarrado Mur, sarrado@unhcr.org, +57 310 202 6029

 

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2018 - 18:16Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is supporting the relocation of Venezuelans from Boa Vista to Sao Paulo and Manaus, Brazil. Photo: IOM

Venezuelan families sheltering in Simon Bolivar public square in Boa Vista’s city centre. Photo: UNHCR/Reynesson Damasceno

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Yemen: Hudaydah Displaced Population Now an Estimated 336,846

IOM - News - Ven, 08/17/2018 - 10:36

Yemen – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, estimates Hudaydah’s displaced population has now reached an estimated 336,846 men, women and children due to a flare up in violence that began two months ago.

The world’s worst humanitarian crisis deteriorated further in June 2018 when a frontal assault on Hudaydah, Yemen’s main port city, led to the displacement of more than half of the city’s 600,000 population, according to IOM’s latest surveys of the population.

Between 29 July and 7 August, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) identified an increase of 1,393 displaced households (estimated 6,636 individuals) forced to leave their places of usual residence in Hudaydah. This brings the total number of households to 57,534 forced to leave their homes since the escalation of conflict in early June.

The largest increases were identified within Amanat Al Asimah, Taizz and Ibb Governorates.  Some 763 households (estimated 4,578 individuals) in Amanat Al Asimah were displaced to Ma’ain, Old City, Shu’aub, Bani Al Harith, Az’zal, Ath’thaorah, At Tahrir and Assafiyah districts. Families reported reaching Amant Al Asimah, using an access road through Manakhah.

Some 232 households (estimated 1,392 individuals) in Taizz were displaced to Al Mudhaffar, Dimnat Khadir, Al Qahirah, Salh and Hayfan district. An additional 111 households (estimated 666 individuals) in Ibb were displaced to Far Al Udayn, As Sabrah, Al Dhihar, Al Mashannah, Jiblah, Hazm Al Udayn and As Sayyani district.

More recent reports from the past week, which were not included in IOM’s latest report, indicate over 1,000 households having been displaced in Zabid between 8 July and 15 July, the majority within Zabid district and some households moving to Bayt Al Faqiah. Most of the displaced population has been living on savings, selling property, gold, cars, and other assets they had for almost two years now, since the collapse of the government and infrastructure in Yemen.

Partners estimate that across Yemen more than 20 million people need humanitarian assistance.

Since 13 June, IOM has provided 4,680 medical consultations, antenatal care to 337 pregnant women, reproductive health consultations to 531 individuals and psychosocial support to 500 people, as well as conducting health promotion activities that have reached over 1,600 people. IOM distributed food rations, basic hygiene items and other essentials to over 3,300 displaced people. Shelter materials and other essential aid were provided to 1,400 families, as well as 20,850 hot meals in various areas of displacement. To ensure their safety and access to humanitarian services, IOM has helped transport over 1,000 displaced people to various locations. 

IOM DTM uses the Emergency Tracking Tool to compile daily information from various partners including local and international NGOs, and local and national authorities. While IOM field teams verify information provided by partners where it has direct access, in other locations, IOM relies on checks completed by field partners to confirm or provide alternative figures.
 
For more information, please contact:
Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329; Email: smalme@iom.int
 Ali Eren Güven at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 217 9891; Email: aguven@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 - 14:55Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM establishes kitchens in four schools in Hudaydah where displaced people are currently residing. Through these kitchens and other facilities, over 20,400 hot meals have been served since the current crisis began. Photo: IOM 2018

IOM distributes non-food items including shelter kits to internally displaced persons from Hudaydah who are currently in Bait Al Fageeh. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Agencies, Government Distribute LPG Stoves to Rohingya Refugees, Bangladeshi Villagers to Save Remaining Forests

IOM - News - Ven, 08/17/2018 - 09:08

Cox’s Bazar – A major environmental project to provide around 250,000 families with liquid petroleum gas (LPG) stoves and gas cylinders has been launched by UN agencies and the government in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, to help prevent further deforestation linked to the Rohingya refugee crisis. 

At the official launch of phase one of the project yesterday (16/08), over 300 local villagers identified by local officials as extremely vulnerable and in need of support were the first to receive stove and gas sets. Thousands more will be distributed to Rohingya refugees and other host community families over the coming months. 

The alternative fuel initiative is being organized by the UN Migration Agency (IOM), UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Programme (WFP) and UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), working closely with Bangladesh’s Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MODMR) and Commissioner for Refugee Repatriation and Relief (RRRC). 

The launch was attended by senior Bangladeshi officials including Commissioner for Refugee Repatriation and Relief Mohammad Abul Kalam, Divisional Commissioner for Chittagong Mohammad Abdul Mannan, and Deputy Commissioner for Cox’s Bazar Mohammad Kamal Hossain.  

Cox’s Bazar was home to significant areas of protected forest and an important wildlife habitat. But the arrival of over 700,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar over the past year led to massive deforestation as desperate families cut down trees and cleared land to make space for makeshift shelters. 

With refugees and many local villagers almost entirely reliant on firewood for cooking, that damage has continued, and forest is being cleared at a rate of 700 metric tonnes - the equivalent of around four football fields of trees – each day. If cutting continues at the current rate, the area’s forest will be completely destroyed by the end of 2019, according to UN estimates. 

“This is a vitally important project which will not only help mitigate and redress deforestation and environmental damage but will also play an important role in improving health and safety in the local and refugee communities,” said Sanjukta Sahany, head of IOM’s transition and recovery team in Cox’s Bazar. 

Smoke from firewood being burned in homes and shelters without proper ventilation is a significant cause of health problems, particularly among women and young children, who spend much of their time indoors. 

The reliance on firewood has also raised protection concerns, with most wood collection being carried out by children, who have had to venture further from homes to find wood, as the forest has been cut back. Competition for this increasingly rare resource is also a growing source of conflict between the refugees and local communities.  

“By curbing the extraction of firewood from the remaining forests, it allows us to protect, re-enter and replant,” explained Peter Agnew, FAO’s emergency response coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. He noted that the alternative fuel project is part of the wider SAFE Plus project, which is designed to improve economic livelihoods for host communities, and in turn overall food security, as well as the resilience of the refugees, by empowering them through skills development.  

“Over the next three years, several thousand people from the local and refugee communities will have livelihood opportunities working on forest rehabilitation with the SAFE Plus project, in coordination with the forestry department,” he said. 

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox's Bazar, Tel. +8801733335221, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, August 17, 2018 - 15:05Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

UN agencies and Bangladesh government launch alternative fuel project in Cox’s Bazar to help reduce deforestation linked to Rohingya crisis. Photos: Patrick Shepherd FAO/IOM

UN agencies and the Bangladesh government have launched an alternative fuel project to supply LPG stoves and gas to villagers and refugees in Cox’s Bazar to help reduce deforestation linked to the Rohingya crisis. Photos: Patrick Shepherd FAO/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 63,142 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,527

IOM - News - Ven, 08/17/2018 - 09:08

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 63,142 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 16 August, with 26,350 to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 119,137 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 266,423 at this point in 2016. 

Spain, with 42 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in July at a volume more than three times that of Greece and almost five times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through mid-July are the lowest recorded at this point of a normally busy summer sailing season in almost five years (see chart below). 

IOM Rome reported this week that Italy’s Ministry of the Interior released data on nationalities of migrants coming irregularly from Africa in 2018. Tunisians continue to comprise this year’s largest group – although just over 300 arrived in July, after more than 3,000 entered Italy between January and June. Eritrea, in second place, also added about 300 new arrivals in July, after some 2,500 arrived during 2018’s first six months. Sudan added fewer than 100 arrivals in July, after 1,488 through June.  

Sender countries with larger increases in July include Iraq – whose totals jumped from 605 through June to 964 at the end of July – and Pakistan, which recorded 720 arrivals through June this year, and an additional 258 in July. Mali recorded 875 arrivals in June, and the same total in July – for a net increase of zero. Côte d’Ivoire, with 1,026 arrivals through June, added just 14 new arrivals in July. Guinea, with 808 arrivals through June, added just one additional arrival in July. Nigeria, with 1,248 arrivals through July added just 19 to its January-June totals (see charts below).  

“We have noted for several months now the steep decline in departures from Libya by Sub-Saharan Africans, particularly from sender nations like Guinea, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire,” said Joel Millman, an IOM spokesman in Geneva. “These latest figures indicate the trend is becoming more pronounced. Even Nigerians seem to be cutting back their migration through Libya.”  

IOM’s Christine Petré reported that on 9 August, IOM assisted 167 stranded migrants to return home on one chartered flight to the Côte d’Ivoire and three commercial flights to Cameroon, Djibouti and Burkina Faso. A few days later, on 13 August, 16 stranded migrants were able to go home to Egypt, six to Ethiopia and one to Sudan, via three commercial flights.  

As of 13 August, IOM Libya has assisted 17,542 returnees since the scale-up phase started 28 November 2017. A total of 30,674 migrants have returned home from Libya with IOM’s assistance since 1 January 2017.   

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported Thursday reported 1,527 migrants have lost their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea in 2018, or almost seven per day. Over two thirds of those deaths have occurred on the Central Mediterranean route between Libya and Italy, even though fewer than a third of all migrant departures have been along that route. 

On the Western Mediterranean route, Missing Migrants Project recorded the deaths of three people in August. On 7 August, the remains of a woman from Sub-Saharan Africa were retrieved floating near Cape Trafalgar in Cádiz, Spain. On 10 August, the Spanish rescue services saved 66 people and recovered one body from a sinking boat off the coast of Cabo de Gata, Almería. Survivors reported that one more person went missing.   

It is worth noting that 2018 deaths of migrants on this Western Mediterranean route – 311 through 15 August – have barely increased despite this summer’s arrivals surge.  

Through the end of May, with 8,150 migrants arriving via this route, 238 migrants perished in the Western Mediterranean – or more than all recorded fatalities in 2017, where there were 224 drownings. Yet since 1 June, just 73 migrants have been reported lost, despite a total of 18,200 arriving during those two and a half months (see chart below).  

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 26,350 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 15 August. She said 1,249 were rescued over the past 72 hours. 

Over the year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 76 days since May 31, a total of 18,200 have arrived – or just under 240 migrants per day. The months of May-August this year have seen a total of 21,723 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics.  

And there are still two weeks remaining in the month of August (see chart below). 

On Thursday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported no arrivals on Monday this week but that over 48 hours on 14-15 August, Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units handled at least five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Lesvos. The HCG rescued a total 208 migrants and transferred them to safety. Additional arrivals to Megisti and Lesvos bring the total number of arrivals between Sunday and Wednesday to 305 men, women and children. 

Total arrivals by sea to Greece through 15 August are 17,139 (see chart below). 

IOM’s Marta Sanchez reported Thursday IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths worldwide of 2,390 people during migration to international destinations in 2018.  

Most recently, in Morocco, two men from Senegal and Guinea died when they fell from the bus in which they were being transported to the south of the country on 12 August.  On 10 August, in West Africa, seven migrants lost their lives off the coast of Bakau, Gambia. The remains of three Senegalese men and one Gambian man were recovered during the rescue operation, while the remains of two more Senegalese migrants were found on 12 August. One person remains missing. 

According to survivors’ testimonies, the deceased jumped off the boat in which they were attempting to reach Spain after the vessel caught fire. Although 79 others were saved in a rescue effort by the Gambia Immigration Department, these deaths come as a reminder of how deadly many routes have become.  

MMP reports also that on the US-Mexico border, a 22-year-old Honduran man lost his life when attempting to cross the Río Bravo near Piedras Negras, Mexico, on 15 August. This is the 53rd drowning victim recorded on the US-Mexico border in 2018. 

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 

Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int 

Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int 

Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int  

Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@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, August 17, 2018 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 61,517 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,524

IOM - News - Mar, 08/14/2018 - 10:57

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 61,517 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 12 August. This compares with 118,436 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 265,640 in 2016.

Arrivals to Spain in 2018 continue to outpace all other destinations along the littoral – with 2,170 through less than two weeks of August, or nearly the entire volume (2,476) to Spain through this date in all of 2016. By contrast, arrivals to Italy – 19,231 through 12 August of this year – are lower than arrivals recorded during certain individual months in the years 2015-2017 (see chart below).

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday said Italy arrivals for 2018 presently are running at under 20 per cent of 2017’s volumes and a slightly smaller proportion of arrivals in 2016, when some 101,587 irregular migrants entered Italy by sea.

Di Giacomo said that on Friday, the ship “Aquarius” (SOS Mediterranée-MSF) rescued 141 migrants. That ship on Monday was still waiting to enter a safe port, without indications it had arrived in any country after several days at sea.  He added that the Aquarius had rescued migrants who had been on two small wooden boats: one carrying 25 people and a second, much bigger, carrying 116 migrants (among them 73 minors, a baby and a five-year-old child). Rescuers reported that most on board were from the Horn of Africa region, adding there also were migrants from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana and other countries.

All the rescue operations have been carried out in coordination with the Libyan Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC). Aquarius teams reported that rescued migrants affirmed that during their crossing they had met five different ships which appeared to see them but did not offer any assistance. According to media reports, Italian authorities were not available to provide authorization for access to any Italian port. Di Giacomo cited media reports saying an MSF doctor on board witnessed many migrants malnourished and weak from their time in Libya.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 25,101 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 12 August. Over the year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 73 days since May 31, a total of 16,484 have arrived – or just over 230 migrants per day (see chart below).

IOM’s migration data center in Berlin on Monday reported that over the last two decades sea arrivals of some 95,000 irregular migrants have entered Spain via the Western Mediterranean, nearly half that total arriving just since the start of 2017. Over 44,000 additional migrants have entered Spain irregularly during that period via land routes to Spain’s enclaves in northern Africa (see chart below).

On Monday IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported that over four days (9-12 August) IOM learned from the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) of at least six incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Kos, Samos and Lesvos. The HCG rescued a total 192 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Another 208 arrivals scattered among those islands brings to 400 the total number of arrivals during those days, and to a total of 16,834 for the year so far (see charts below).

  
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,373 individuals during migration to international destinations in 2018, through 12 August.  No new deaths on the Mediterranean routes were recorded since last week (see chart below).

Nonetheless, the MMP project did record migrant deaths along the Balkan route, a land passage often used by irregular Middle Eastern migrants who enter Greece from Turkey. Most recently, two men holding Syrian passports died in a rockslide early Sunday morning while transiting though Croatia. The two bodies, as well as 10 survivors, were found by Croatian police in the forest near Drežnica. The survivors expressed their intent to file applications for international protection and were transferred to the Croatian Reception Center for Asylum Seekers in Zagreb.

In Central America, MMP reported that a man presumed to be a Central American migrant was killed after falling from a northbound train in Tlaxcala, Mexico on 5 August. Freight trains, nicknamed La Bestia (‘the Beast’), are frequently used by irregular migrants in Mexico, but are notoriously dangerous: 147 deaths have been recorded on La Bestia since 2014, though the true number is likely higher.

MMP 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 missing migrants 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
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
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166), Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@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
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@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, August 14, 2018 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Global Migration Film Festival Project Helps Afghans to Record Their Migration Stories

IOM - News - Mar, 08/14/2018 - 10:57

Herat – A group of 13 young Afghan women and men from different backgrounds and ethnicities have spent a week together in the western Afghan city of Herat to exchange experiences, direct and produce a film about migration.

The initiative is part of IOM’s Global Migration Film Festival Participatory Video Project to engage migrants and host communities in participatory filmmaking that strengthens social cohesion. Participants learn how to use a camera, frame images, tell a story using a microphone and make editorial decisions through consensus.

“In Afghanistan, women often don’t have a voice and we are here also to represent these voices,” said Shokya, who with her friend Masoma, was one of five women in the group. Recently returned from Iran, both were handling a video camera and working with male colleagues for the first time.

Millions of Afghans have experienced migration, both forced and voluntary, in the past four decades. In 2017 alone, 460,000 undocumented Afghans returned or were deported from Iran, 100,000 from Pakistan and 7,000 from various European countries.

In 2018, due to various push and pull factors including a deteriorating economic situation in Iran, tightening border controls in Turkey and an ongoing drought in Afghanistan, over 500,000 undocumented people returned between January–July.

“Afghanistan is currently facing the worst drought in decades, which threatens to destroy the livelihoods of 1.4 million Afghans. In a country where large parts of the population rely on agriculture as the sole source of income, the current situation puts an additional burden on breadwinners already struggling to feed their families,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission and Special Envoy Laurence Hart. “Due to chronic under development in rural areas, many Afghans depend on economic opportunities in neighboring Iran.”

But with an increasingly fragile Iranian economy, Afghans are returning home in large numbers. Without remittance payments from abroad, and no jobs at home, many families have no option but to migrate to urban centers like Herat. Over 52,000 people have moved to the city since the beginning of the drought and live in camp like situations in 179 sites throughout the city.

“This participatory video project generates dialogue between groups affected by migration in different ways – internally displaced people (IDPs), returnees or part of the Herati host community,” said IOM Afghanistan Public Information Officer Eva Schwoerer.
 
The video was partly filmed in a desolate IDP camp on the outskirts of the city, which is home to more over 50,000 people driven from their homes by drought and conflict. Other sections were filmed in the gardens of the Manzar-e Jahad museum, which offers a panoramic view of the city, and in a community, where facilitators led a participatory video editing session followed by a community screening.

At the end of the year, at the 3rd Global Migration Film Festival, an international version of the video “Welcome to Our Life” will be screened around the world. You can watch “Behind the Scenes” here.
 
IOM’s GMFF Participatory Video Project, funded by the IOM Development Fund and supported by NORCAP, was launched in Amman, Jordan, in October 2017. In November it travelled to Malakal, South Sudan, and in December to Geneva, Switzerland. In 2018 moved to a shelter for Venezuelan migrants in the North of Brazil and in July focused on a group of Malagasy women victims of human trafficking. Afghanistan was its final destination.

For further information please contact Eva Schwoerer at IOM Afghanistan. Email: eschwoerer@iom.int, Tel. +93 729 229 129.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 17:05Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanDefault: Multimedia: 

“Welcome to My Life” – a film about migration in western Afghanistan – will screen at the 3rd Global Migration Film Festival. Photo: Amanda Nero / IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Releases Detailed Assessments of Displacement Sites in Ethiopia’s Gedeo, West Guji

IOM - News - Mar, 08/14/2018 - 10:56

Dilla – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has released its latest displacement reports from the crisis in Ethiopia’s Gedeo and West Guji zones, where some 958,175 people have been displaced by inter-communal conflict. In July, IOM conducted assessments of displacement sites in both zones where it found nearly 359,113 people sheltering in collective sites. The remainder of the displaced population is living with local communities, for example, in rented accommodation or with relatives, while still visiting the collective sites to access humanitarian assistance.

In March 2018, historically recurring clashes between communities along the border of two Ethiopian regions – Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR) and Oromia Region – began again. As the fighting intensified in June, hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes with little more than the clothes they were wearing. IOM assessments, carried out in close coordination with the Ethiopian Government, found that in both zones, West Guji was the zone of origin of the largest group of displaced people while, more specifically, Kerca was the predominant woreda (district) of origin.

In Gedeo, the zone where the majority of the 970,000 displaced people are living, there are at least 276,939 people in 134 collective sites. The collective sites range from schools to government buildings and disused or unfinished buildings. In seven of the sites, more than half of the residents are living outside or in open spaces. As Ethiopia is experiencing its cold and rainy season, providing adequate shelter to these displaced communities is a priority for IOM.

In 59 of the Gedeo sites more than half the people did not have enough drinking water and in 64 of the sites, half did not have appropriate access to latrines.

Many of the sites in Gedeo are in remote areas and 19 of the 134 are inaccessible by car, making humanitarian aid delivery extremely difficult. Four sites are completely inaccessible whatsoever, which means assisting these communities is near impossible.

In West Guji, some 82,174 displaced people are sheltering in 43 collective sites of which five are inaccessible and as with those in Gedeo, the main area of origin of the displaced population is Kerca, West Guji. In 12 sites in West Guji, over a quarter of the population are living outside or in open spaces.

In sites in both zones, people began arriving in March and were still arriving in July as the assessments were being carried out. Health facilities are mostly not available in the displacement sites but are no more than 30 minutes away. The most common means of accessing food for families is through food distributions.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Rapid Response Site Assessment tool is designed to provide detailed information at site level for emergencies occurring outside the DTM Mobility Tracking data collection periods. Community leaders from the internally displaced population collaborated closely with IOM as key informants during the assessment. The aim of this assessment is to provide the humanitarian community with up to-date information on the locations, needs and demographics of displaced populations. Visit IOM’s data portal for displacement in Ethiopia here.

For more information, please contact Dan Salmon at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 902 411 861, +251 966 368 174, Email: dsalmon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced Ethiopians receive aid to help them through the cold and rainy season. Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM 2018

Displaced Ethiopians receive aid to help them through the cold and rainy season. Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Helps More Than 30,000 Migrants Return Safely to Over 30 Countries of Origin

IOM - News - Mar, 08/14/2018 - 10:56
Language English

Tripoli - “I miss my family more than you can imagine. I know they will be waiting for me at the airport when I arrive to Nigeria. I am going home to get my masters, find a good job, and have a family of my own,” said ”Ken,” moments before he boarded the flight returning home via IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance and Reintegration programme (VHR).

Since the beginning of 2017, IOM’s VHR programme has been able to bring home more than 30,000 migrants from various nationalities stranded in different regions in Libya. They are returned safely to homes and families, coming back to 31 countries of origin in collaboration with embassies and the Libyan authorities.

Launched in Libya in 2005, the VHR programme provides emergency assistance to stranded migrants who wish to return to their countries of origin, both from detention centres and urban areas. Migrants wishing to return home receive consular support from their relevant embassies to ensure they have valid travel documents. IOM provides medical check-ups, protection screenings as well as non-food items (NFIs) including clothes, footwear and hygiene kits prior to the departure. Vulnerable migrants, such as unaccompanied minors, as well as migrants in need of close medical attention are provided with escorts from IOM doctors and protection teams. Ensuring their safety and good health conditions remains the organization’s top priority.

As part of its regular visits to detention centres outside of Tripoli, an IOM team continues to conduct field visits to various detention centres (DCs) such as ones in Misrata, Zwara, Al Khoms, Zawyah, Zliten, and Benghazi. So far this year, more than 1,000 migrants outside of Tripoli received online consular assistance to ensure and facilitate the completion of their registration process, documentation and issuance of exit visas.

On the 5th of June, IOM organized its first charter flight from the city of Zintan (136 Km southwest of Tripoli), which was the first International flight departing from the Zintan airport, and provided safe humanitarian return assistance to 171 stranded migrants going home to Nigeria.

“With the increasing numbers of migrants wishing to return home, we are also planning to have more commercial and chartered flights depart from airports in various cities, in addition to regular ones departing from Tripoli,” says Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission.  “We believe it is of utmost priority to provide migrants with the option to return home and rebuild their lives.”

The 23rd of July 2018 marks the launch of the VHR hotline, which was established as a response to the growing number of requests for voluntary return from migrants in detention centres and urban areas. The aim of the hotline is to facilitate their access to quick information and assistance, and respond to their queries regarding the programme. 

Upon arrival, an IOM team meets the returnees at the airport to discuss their reintegration needs and provide post-arrival assistance, including food, water, medical support and an onward transportation to their homes.

IOM extends its utmost appreciation to the European Union, the governments of Italy, Germany, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, for their generous and continuous support to its VHR programme.

For more information please contact Maya Abu Ata in IOM Libya, Tel: +216 53 382 385, Email: mabuata@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: LibyaDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Voluntary Humanitarian Returns Continue in Libya as Number of Detained Migrants Soars

IOM - News - Ven, 08/10/2018 - 09:19

Geneva Between January and July 2018, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, safely returned 10,950 stranded migrants from Libya through its Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) Programme. Majority of the migrants returned home to countries in Central and West Africa on IOM charter flights accounting for 9,636, while a group of 325 returned to East and the Horn of Africa, and a few more to Asia and North Africa. Upon arrival, all the migrants were eligible for reintegration support.

IOM charter flights are coordinated in cooperation with the Libyan authorities, embassies and consulates in countries of return along with IOM country offices and other international organizations. In addition, IOM has assisted a total of 1,314 migrants to return home from Libya on commercial flights in 2018 so far.

Many migrants from Libya often opt to return home after arriving in Niger by land, from where IOM organizes their onward transportation to their countries of origin. In 2018 (January–July), IOM returned 2,175 migrants from Niger to their homes (1,443 by charters and 732 by commercial airlines).

The VHR programme was launched in 2016 as part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration with funding from the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) in Libya and other countries in Africa. With a high demand among migrants to return home, IOM scaled up its efforts to assist migrants including the expansion of reception centres, reintegration activities and community-based support to returnees and victims of trafficking.

In October 2017, the number of migrants in official detention centres dropped five-fold largely due to IOM’s efforts to accelerate the repatriation of migrants and the closure of detention centres. However, in recent months there has been an alarming rise in the number of refugees and migrants intercepted at sea and returned to Libya, with the figure nearly doubling from 5,500 to 9,300 between 2017 and 2018. There are no figures available for the number of migrants detained in informal detention centres run by militias or smugglers.

In April 2018, IOM identified 179,400 internally displaced persons (IDPs) along with 690,351 migrants within the country. Despite the current circumstances, Libya continues to be the main transit and destination point for migrants looking to a better life in Europe. Access the latest IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) figures for Libya here.

IOM reports that the total number of migrants and refugees that entered Europe by the Mediterranean Sea is 60,309 since the start of 2018 through (8 August). This figure is about half of the 117,988 arrivals in 2017 at this time last year. The cause of the number of arrivals decreasing is largely due to a series of measures that have been adopted by EU Member States since late 2016, including the closure of the migratory route across the Mediterranean.

In 2018, the coordination of rescue operations was handed over to the Libyan Coast Guard from the Italian Coast Guard.

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

For more information please contact IOM Libya:
Maya Abu Ata, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: mabuata@iom.int
Christine Petre, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

A migrant mother and child get ready to board IOM's first VHR charter from Zintan, Libya. File photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Responds to Ebola in DR Congo; Continues to Support Communities Affected by Previous Outbreaks

IOM - News - Ven, 08/10/2018 - 09:18

North Kivu – On 31 July, new cases of Ebola were reported in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), just days after the country’s ninth epidemic was declared over in the Equateur Province. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is carrying out mobility mapping of the affected area, while beginning measures to help contain and end the new Ebola epidemic.

The outbreak in North Kivu is currently centred in the Mangani health area of the Mabalako health zone, which is situated in the Beni territory, adjacent to the Ituri Province in the north and Uganda in the east. The affected area is linked to the surrounding localities by road, an airstrip and a lake port. Through its airstrip, Beni territory is directly connected to two international airports, Goma and Kisangani, which also connects the territory to the rest of the DRC, including the country’s capital, Kinshasa. There are numerous communities living along the border with Uganda, which suggests strong cross-border ties and movement. All these factors indicate a potential risk for spread of the outbreak.

The North Kivu Province is densely populated with 8 million inhabitants. The Beni territory has a population of 1.5 million people, of whom 800,000 live in the town of Beni. The Mangani health area itself has 30,000 inhabitants, further increasing the risk of the outbreak spreading.

Between 11 May until 07 August, 36 deaths were recorded out of a total of 43 cases. Out of the 36 deaths, nine are confirmed as Ebola and 27 are labelled “probable” as these happened a possible outbreak was raised and need further investigation.

Beni town is a centre of commerce where people from Mangani, an agricultural community, bring their produce to sell. Travellers and traders from Beni pass through Mangani to reach Mambasa and then Kisangani. Others pass through Mangani and then Beni to reach Butembo and Goma (south), Komanda and Bunia (north), as well as Uganda (east). IOM has deployed an epidemiologist to Beni as part of the coordinated response to this latest outbreak.

North Kivu is also affected by insecurity and decades of conflict, hosting approximately one million internally displaced persons (IDPs). Although there are no displacement camps in Beni Territory, more than 12,000 IDPs are living with host communities in Kasindi town in Beni Territory near the Ugandan border. In June and July of 2018, nearly 2,400 IDPs returned to Kokala, a health area north of Beni town. The majority of the over 270,000 DR Congolese refugees living in Uganda are from North Kivu. The influx of Congolese refugees into Uganda has been continuous since 2012.

IOM has started a mobility mapping exercise to track population movements in the area, which borders with Uganda. It also intends to carry out health screening and promote hygiene at key points of entry. IOM has identified 28 points of entry to the affected area that need immediate implementation of prevention, surveillance and communication activities. IOM will support Health Ministry to strengthen coordination with neighbouring countries at national and community level. In relation to this, IOM hosted a training for 40 Government health staff on health screening, hand washing and risk communication to enhance the effectiveness and the quality of health screening in Goma Airport, Petite Porte and Grande Porte at the border with Rwanda.

In addition to responding to this most recent outbreak, IOM is supporting communities affected by a previous epidemic in Equateur Province. To ensure the outbreak does not recur, IOM is continuing its prevention, surveillance and communication activities in that Province.

For more information, please contact Jean-Philippe Chauzy at IOM DRC, Tel: +243 827339827, Email: jpchauzy@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM supported health screenings at points of entry such as river ports to stop ebola. File Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Medical Consultations Hit 500,000 as Demand for Healthcare Spikes in Waterlogged Rohingya Refugee Camps

IOM - News - Ven, 08/10/2018 - 09:18

Cox’s Bazar – UN Migration Agency medical staff in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, have now carried out over half a million consultations since the Rohingya refugee crisis began nearly a year ago, as monsoon conditions sparked the busiest week of the year for doctors and nurses working in the camps.

Over 16,850 people have sought treatment from IOM in the past week. Among those who battled torrential rain and mud to reach IOM medical facilities were emergency cases suffering from fevers, flu, injuries caused by accidents in the camp, acute abdominal disorders, kidney problems, and pregnancy-related health issues.

With one clinic temporarily closed due to flooding, IOM mobile medical teams have also been in action over the past week, operating from a school and treating 440 patients over five days.

Almost a million Rohingya refugees now live in Cox’s Bazar in what has become the world’s biggest refugee settlement. Violence in Myanmar has caused over 700,000 people to flee across the border to Bangladesh’s southernmost district since August 2017.

As the number of consultations continues to rise, patients explained how they had come to rely on health services provided by IOM over the past year.

Among those attending an IOM clinic this week was Noor Haba, who brought her two-year-old son to see doctors because he was suffering from a fever and a severe cough. She lives ten minutes from the facility in Balukhali camp and said it was her fifth visit to the clinic for herself or her children in the past year.

“It’s a relief to know this clinic is here, because the consultation is free and the staff are kind. I’ve told my friends and neighbors this is the best place to come,” she said.

IOM is one of the biggest medical providers in the Rohingya refugee camps and offers specialized services, including ultrasound, which are helping to save lives.

 “In the past month, we have carried out over 200 ultrasonography tests at our clinic in Kutupalong at the heart of the mega-camp. Patients have been referred from all over the camps as well as from the local Bangladeshi community,” said Dr Raisul Islam, lead doctor at the facility.

“These services can and do save lives. Just last week we carried out an ultrasound examination of a pregnant women and identified that her baby was lying in a transverse – that is sideways – position. If this had gone undiagnosed and unaddressed, both the mother and baby’s life would have been in danger. That same morning, we also used the ultrasound to diagnose a man with kidney stones, a woman with acute abdominal pain, and another woman who was pregnant and needed to be transferred for a caesarian section,” he added.

But with major funding shortages continuing to impact on humanitarian support across the camps, the future of health care for hundreds of thousands of refugees, as well as people living in local villages served by IOM, remains precarious.

“While we are delighted that so many people are aware of IOM medical services and choosing to come here, the sheer scale of the demand is inevitably putting pressure on staff and resources, including our ability to refer patients for specialist and emergency treatment,” said Dr. Andrew Mbala, IOM’s emergency health programme coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

IOM currently supports 23 medical facilities across Cox’s Bazar. It is the main provider of ambulance services across the camps and plays a key role in ensuring people can access urgent medical treatment 24 hours a day.

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox's Bazar, Tel. +8801733335221, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Families wait for treatment at an IOM medical clinic in the Kutupalong Rohingya refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: Lydia Moore / IOM 2018

A Rohingya refugee mother and baby attend a consultation at an IOM health clinic in Cox’s Bazar. Photo: Lydia Moore / IOM 2018

Ultrasound services provided by an IOM clinic in Cox’s Bazar are saving lives. Photo: Lydia Moore/IOM 2018

A Rohingya refugee mother and baby attend a consultation at an IOM health clinic in Cox’s Bazar. Photo: Lydia Moore / IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 60,309 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,524

IOM - News - Ven, 08/10/2018 - 09:17

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 60,309 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 8 August. Arrivals to Spain during the month’s first eight days are at least five times those to either Italy or Greece, until this year both much more popular destinations for irregular migrants than Spain traditionally has been. This year’s totals through the first week of August are compared with 117,988 at this time last year and 263,436 at this time in 2016

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,524 people on the Mediterranean Sea during 2018, ten during the past week.  In the early hours of Thursday (9 August), two women and seven children lost their lives off the coast of Kuşadası, Aydın Province, Turkey, which faces Greece’s Samos island.  Three men and one child were saved in the rescue effort by the Turkish Coast Guard. 

On Tuesday (7 August), the Turkish Coast Guard recovered the remains of one migrant who had drowned off the coast of Demre, in Turkey’s Antalya Province. Those drownings bring to 105 the number of deaths this year in eastern Mediterranean waters, compared with 45 at this time last year and 62 for all of 2017. Previous years were much deadlier, with 434 drownings on this route through all of 2016 and over 806 in 2015. In 2014, 59 irregular migrants drowned or went missing on this route.

With this week’s deaths, the total number of migrants on this route reported lost by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project since the start of 2014 comes to 1,466.

On Thursday, IOM Athens’ Antigoni Avgeropolou reported on three incidents between the dates of 6-8 August that required search and rescue operations off the island of Kos, Samos and Lesvos. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued a total of 71 migrants and transferred them to those islands. At least 56 other migrants made landings on several Aegean islands during the three-day span bringing to 16,434 the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory in 2018 (see chart below).

Arrivals to Greece are running close to 35 per cent ahead of last year’s totals at this time, and around 56 per cent of the total number – 29,501 men, women and children – arriving via Greek waters in all of 2017. 

Through June, migrant arrivals to Italy surpassed those to Greece by some 3,000 men, women and children. But in the last 40 days Greece has received more migrants, by about 400 arrivals, and could well surpass all arrivals to Italy in 2018 by the end of the year. It would be the first time since 2015 when more migrant arrivals were recorded in Greece than in Italy.

IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday 1,703 irregular migrants have entered Spain through the first eight days of this month, most rescued by the patrol boats of Salvamento Maritimo and the Spanish Guardia Civil.
With those rescues total 2018 arrivals now have reached 24,646 men, women and children – irregular migrants who have entered Europe through Western Mediterranean waters. Additionally, according to Spanish authorities, some 3,959 migrants also have attempted to enter Spain irregularly via its African enclaves at Melilla and Ceuta (see chart below).

Over the year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – and average of 54 per day. In the 69 days since May 31, a total of 16,484 have arrived – or just under 240 migrants per day.

Dodevska added that on Wednesday (8 August), Spanish rescuers intercepted a kayak with four migrants on board. Those individuals were transported to Algeciras.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,370 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below).

In addition to this week’s deaths on the Mediterranean, Missing Migrants Project recorded the deaths of five Afghan migrants on 2 August in a vehicle accident that took place as they travelled with 15 others from Khash to Saravan in Iran. 
On 28 July, six migrants, likely from the Horn of Africa, were killed by lightning after they crossed the border clandestinely from Yemen into Jazan Province in Saudi Arabia. 
In Europe, two people were hit and killed by a train at night on 20 July outside Antheia, Alexandropoulis, Greece.  In Mexico, MMP recorded the death of a migrant man hit and killed by a train outside Caborca, Sonora, Mexico. That accident occurred on 16 May.
MMP 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 missing migrants 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
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
AtigoniAvgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166), Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email : chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@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, August 10, 2018 - 15:15Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency, Indonesian Government Plan Mentoring Programme to Prosecute, Convict More Human Traffickers

IOM - News - Ven, 08/10/2018 - 09:17

Jakarta IOM and the Indonesian Attorney General’s Office are planning a mentoring scheme to pair prosecutors throughout Indonesia with senior officials who have experience in conducting successful investigations and pursuing criminal proceedings against human traffickers. 

The design of the programme was discussed last week at a two-day meeting in Yogyakarta, Central Java, which brought together experts from law enforcement agencies, social protection bodies and the judiciary.

“According to data from the Anti-Trafficking Task Force and the Attorney General’s Office, only 160 of 214 trafficking cases in 2016 led to convictions,” said Rudi Prabowo Aji, head of the Attorney General’s Training Centre. 

“The response to trafficking is not optimal due to a lack of common understanding about what constitutes ‘trafficking in persons’ among law enforcement officials, as well as a lack of knowledge about gender sensitivity and how to apply a victim-centred approach. This prosecution gap indicates the importance of this mentoring programme.”   

During the meeting, which was sponsored by the Australian Department of Home Affairs, the Attorney General’s Office announced that it would launch a pilot programme later this year.

“Moving beyond conventional classroom methods, the mentoring programme will combine online platforms and face-to-face coaching to allow the sharing of knowledge between law enforcement officers,” said Among Resi, head of IOM Indonesia’s Counter Trafficking and Labour Migration Unit.

“This innovative effort shows the government’s commitment to improve the successful prosecution of human trafficking cases in Indonesia.”

Indonesia remains a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking.  Since 2007 it has been rated Tier 2 by the US State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report. Tier 2 is applied to countries that do not fully comply with the US Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.

IOM programmes in Indonesia support the effective prosecution of individuals and transnational networks engaged in human trafficking. Since 2017, IOM has trained 125 prosecutors from provincial and district attorney offices on handling trafficking cases under Indonesian law, with a particular focus on the protection of victims and witnesses. The trainings use recently completed guidelines for law enforcement and prosecutors that were also developed with the support of the Australian Department of Home Affairs. 

“Working alongside law enforcement is just one way IOM improves protection for victims of trafficking and facilitates their access to justice.  We also collaborate with local partners throughout Indonesia to provide legal support to victims, to connect them with lawyers, and to support their rehabilitation,” said Resi.

Since 2005, IOM Indonesia has identified and assisted over 9,000 victims of trafficking.  The majority were Indonesian nationals exploited in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Middle East and other migrant destination countries. Many were also foreigners, including hundreds of Cambodian and Myanmar nationals enslaved aboard Thai fishing boats operating in Indonesian waters.

For more information please contact Among Resi at IOM Indonesia, Tel. +62 215 7951275, Email:aresi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 - 15:10Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Indonesian law enforcement officials meeting in Yogyakarta plan to use a mentoring scheme to successfully prosecute more human trafficking cases. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

More than 13,000 Internally Displaced Persons Benefit from Environmental Clean-up Campaign in Somalia

IOM - News - Ven, 08/10/2018 - 09:16

Baidoa On Saturday (04/08) more than 13,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) participated in an environmental clean-up campaign organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in coordination with the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) outreach team in Baidoa, Somalia.

As part of efforts to bridge divisions and unite the diverse community groups to work toward the common goals of peace, development and reconciliation, the clean-up exercise focused on voluntarism among the IDPs and the host community.  

“Heaps of garbage covered the few available roads in the IDP sites. The lack of accessible roads greatly undermined social development and recovery efforts; however, with today’s clean up, accessibility to our sites will be easier,” said Adan Ahmed, an IDP leader in Baidoa.

IOM provided sanitation materials to 270 IDP sites for the clean-up exercise. The volunteers began their clean-up activities in the IDP sites, swarming over the narrow dirt lanes to remove large volumes of refuse that lay in front of residents’ shelters.

“I never had such a proud moment as when we cleaned our own houses and street,” said Habibo, one of the participants. “Today the streets are clean, our environment welcoming and our morale high.”

The environmental clean-up campaign in Baidoa is funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO). To date, over 19,600 IDPs have benefited from the programme which IOM hopes to expand across the different sites in Baidoa.

For more information, please contact Hannah Curweh at IOM Somalia, Tel: 254 796 163 358 (Kenya), +252 612 470 027 (Somalia), Email: hcurweh@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 10, 2018 - 15:08Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Beneficiaries of IOM’s environmental clean-up exercise in Baidoa, Somalia. Photo: IOM 2018/Ahmed Mohamed Ali

Beneficiaries of IOM’s environmental clean-up exercise in Baidoa, Somalia. Photo: IOM 2018/Ahmed Mohamed Ali

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM