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African Youth and Irregular Migration, Theme of IOM Côte d’Ivoire Partnership with Major Urban Music Festival

IOM - News - 11 ore 17 min fa

Abidjan — IOM, the UN Migration Agency is this week (17-22/04) participating in the 2018 Anoumabo Urban Music Festival (FEMUA) under the theme: African Youth and Irregular Migration.

One of the biggest festivals in Sub-Saharan Africa with over 200,000 participants expected each day, the 11th Edition of FEMUA takes place in Abidjan and Korhogo, Côte d’Ivoire.

A series of activities have been organized around to raise awareness among young Ivorians and Africans on the risks of irregular migration specifically and migration in general.

Prime Minister Daniel Kablan Duncanattended the opening ceremony on 17 April along with the Minister for the Promotion of Youth, Youth Employment and Civic Service Sidi Tiémoko Touré as well as the Ivorian world-famous group, Magic System, through its Fondation Magic System. Marina Schramm, IOM Côte D’Ivoire Chief of Mission was also present at the launch.

“The theme of this edition offers an important opportunity for IOM and Fondation Magic System to work together to raise awareness among young Africans in general and Ivorians in particular on the risks of irregular migration as well as on available alternatives,” explained Schramm.

On 17 and 18 April, the Carrefour Jeunesse side event gathered young Ivorians and Africans who exchanged on issues of irregular migration. During these two days, IOM conducted and facilitated eight brainstorming workshops to which 50 young people participated.

Throughout the festival, IOM is hosting an information booth to raise awareness and share information about the Organization and its activities and continue raising awareness among festival goers on the risks of irregular migration.

The partnership with Fondation Magic System was established under the EU-OIM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Côte d’Ivoire, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and implemented by IOM in partnership with the Ivorian government.

For more information please contact Marina Schramm, IOM Côte d’Ivoire, Tel: +225 22528200, Email: mschramm@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: Côte d'IvoireThemes: Community StabilizationOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Marina Schramm, IOM Chief of Mission, Côte d’Ivoire during the opening ceremony of FEMUA 11. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 18,575 in 2018; Deaths Reach 559

IOM - News - 11 ore 19 min fa

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 18,575 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 108 days of 2018, with about 40 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (38 per cent) and Spain, at roughly 20 per cent. This compares with 43,645 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 205,613 at this time in 2016.

In comparative terms, then, current arrivals are running at 42 per cent of last year’s pace, and at just over 9 per cent of 2016’s.

Much of this drop can be explained by changes in the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy, where IOM – citing Italian Ministry of Interior figures – reports 7,541 migrants have arrived through 18 April, which is approximately 20 per cent of last year’s total during the same period.

The 1,245 arrivals to Italy so far this month are fewer than those arriving in Greece (which had 2,207 through 17 April) although considerably ahead of Spain (with 409). This decline reflects the sharp drop in departures from Libya, which this month are at under a fourth of levels from last April,  and about a third of those of 2016 (see chart below).

In the Central Mediterranean IOM Libya’s Christine Petré shared an update on rescue/interception activity along Libya’s coastline for the month of March. IOM Libya reported 1,058 men, women and children were brought in from thwarted smuggling vessels during the month of March, bringing to 3,479 the total for the first three months of 2018.  IOM reported the discovery of just one body at sea – on 20 March 20, off Tripoli – during the month of January, an increase of more than three times over January 2017 activity (see chart below).

IOM Libya this week also reported IOM has assisted 5,775 migrants to return to their countries from Libya since 1 January 2018, and over 12,000 since the scaler up of returns started after 28 November 2017. On Tuesday IOM assisted 155 migrants to return home to Gambia on one chartered flight.  With this latest flight on Tuesday IOM now has returned a total of 25,145 men, women and children from 30 different countries, since 1 January 2017.

IOM Greece’s Kelly Namia reported Thursday that over three days (15-17 April) the Hellenic Coast Guard reported at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos and Chios. The Coast Guard rescued 95 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Namia reported that another 222 migrants landed during these same days on Farmakonisi and Kos – as well as others landing at Chios and Lesvos who did not require rescue – bringing to 7,209 the total number of men, women and children arriving in Greece by sea since 1 January. That’s an average of just over 66 persons per day.  April 2018 is shaping up to be Greece’s busiest month since last September (2017), when 4,604 irregular migrants came to Greece by sea, one of only four months migrant arrivals have topped 3,000 on any given month since January 2017. 

Last September, daily arrivals of these migrants averaged 153, which is slightly above the 119 daily arrivals’ average this month. Nonetheless, April surely will be the busiest month of this year so far, having already surpassed arrival numbers for January and February and coming very close to those of the full month of March (see chart below).


IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 3,778 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 18 April, including 409 reaching Spain during this month.  This figure compares with 3,226 through the first full months of 2017.

An additional 1,822 have also arrived by land, chiefly at Spain’s two enclaves in northern Africa (see chart below).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 942 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018. There were three additions to the MMP database since last Monday’s update (see chart below).

On the Pakistan-Iran border, two young Pakistani men died when attempting to cross into Iran near Gwadar, Balochistan on 12 April. On the US-Mexico border, where 67 migrants are estimated to have died this year, on 17 April the remains of a male migrants were recovered from the Rodhe canal, near the International Bridge Reynosa-Mission in Tamaulipas, Mexico.

Also on 17 April, in Nuevo León, Mexico, the remains of a 45-year-old man were found near train tracks in Montemorelos. Of the 23 deaths recorded by the Missing Migrants Project in Central America and Southern Mexico in 2018, 10 were due to train accidents.

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.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic 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:
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, 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, Tel: +216 71 860 312 Ext. 109, Mobile +216 28 78 78 05, Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

As First Rains Hit Rohingya Refugee Camps, Scale of Monsoon Challenges, Need for Heavy Equipment Triggers Funding Concerns

IOM - News - 11 ore 20 min fa

Cox’s Bazar – Humanitarian agencies welcomed the arrival yesterday (19/4) of vital road clearing equipment as early rains struck Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps causing flooding and highlighting the severe challenges ahead when the monsoon proper arrives.

The first instalment of machinery, which included three excavators, is part of a stable of key equipment -  which will also include bulldozers, compactor rollers, track loaders and all-terrain vehicles - being provided under a multi-agency response. The initiative involving IOM, WFP and UNHCR, will allow rapid clearing of key access roads and waterways during the serious flooding and landslides expected to occur during heavy rain.

The machinery will be prepositioned in ten key forward operating bases along key access roads in the megacamp and southern parts of Cox’s Bazar, which will act at hubs to ensure the flow of aid can continue as much as possible even when ground conditions are at their worst.

But the damage caused by this week’s early rains also highlighted the desperate need for more funding. The cost of work to help protect almost a million refugees from the life-threatening dangers of cyclones, severe flooding, and landslides far exceeds current financial resources and pledges. To date just 7 percent of IOM’s USD 182 million funding appeal for the rest of the year has been secured.

John McCue, IOM's Senior Operations Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar said: "The arrival of the rains first marks the start of what is going to be an incredibly challenging period for the refugees and those working to support them, with the worst yet to come when cyclone and monsoon seasons hit in the coming weeks.”

"IOM and our partners are working flat out to do as much as possible to mitigate risks and prepare people for the dangers to come. But the grim reality is that most people are living under tarpaulins on highly unstable ground and are going to have to survive months of rain, floods, landslides and possible cyclones. They are in desperate need of support and protection and we simply do not have the funding we need to deliver a fraction of what is required,” he added.

The arrival of around 700,000 refugees in just a few months had a major impact on the topography of the area. Trees and vegetation were cleared by people who urgently needed land to put up their shelters. Because of that, it is impossible to identify for certain where the most severe weather-related damage will occur. But IOM studies show that when the monsoon proper hits, an estimated 120,000 people will be at grave risk from flooding and landslides.

IOM and other agencies working to support the Government of Bangladesh have to be ready to respond to a wide range of potential emergency situations. As the agency responsible for the Balukhali extension area of the megacamp, which has been recognized as one of the most at risk areas of all because of the topography, IOM faces particular acute challenges.

Keeping access open will be crucial and IOM and its partners have responded by working with the Bangladesh authorities over the past months to create roads, pathways, bridges and drains, and to stabilize land. 

IOM is also establishing sites across the camps with emergency supplies to ensure that even if areas are temporarily cut off, people will still have access to aid. Portering teams have also been readied to bring in supplies on foot, if road access is impossible.

IOM and its partners are also supporting the relocation of thousands of families from areas deemed most at risk and ensuring that the refugees themselves are enabled to be as resilient as possible before the severe weather hits. While overseeing the distribution of shelter upgrade kits to 120,000 households, IOM is also showing families how to strengthen and stabilize their shelters ahead of rainy season.

But the ground conditions and the extreme weather in the area mean that it is impossible to mitigate against all disasters. In recognition of this, IOM and its partners are also training refugees in first aid, search and rescue, and warning systems as part of a cyclone preparedness programme.

In addition to the risks from flooding and landslides, the rains and poor sanitation will also make people highly vulnerable to life-threatening waterborne diseases, including dysentery and cholera. Rehydration points are being established at medical facilities across the camps.

IOM’s monsoon preparedness efforts in the camps to date focus on the shelter and safety of the refugees. They include:

  • 26,000 families have received upgrade shelter kits.
  • 37,032 households have received community training on shelter upgrades and disaster risk reduction.
  • 9,600 refugees have provided feedback to prepare key messaging on personal safety during the monsoon.
  • 1,400 community mobilizers are conducting a door-to-door awareness campaign on preparedness measures.
  • 30 field staff have been trained on cyclone season message delivery.
  • 650 refugees and local community members are being trained in first aid, as well as search and rescue in emergency situations.
  • 5 mobile medical teams are being trained to provide primary lifesaving health care services to displaced people during the monsoon

For more information, please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar:
Fiona MacGregor, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel. +880 173 333 5221
Shirin Akhter, Email: sakhter@iom.int, Tel: +880 341 52195 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Early rains struck Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps causing flooding. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Training Manual Helps Vietnamese Authorities Plan Relocation of Communities Displaced by Environmental and Climate Change

IOM - News - 11 ore 21 min fa

Ho Chi Minh City —Viet Nam experiences frequent natural hazards including typhoons, flooding and landslides. These are expected to increase with environmental and climate change. Planned relocation – an adaptive strategy to respond to physical and economic impacts of environmental changes – is the permanent, voluntary migration of people to a new location with the support of government policy or projects, which includes the reconstruction of communities’ infrastructure, services, housing and livelihoods at their destination.

Where in situ adaptation is not possible, well-planned relocation can help to increase resilience and reduce disaster risk, and can support improved quality of life in rural areas, according to a new training manual  for provincial and local authorities, published in English and Vietnamese by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Viet Nam.

Planned Relocation for Communities in the Context of Environmental Change and Climate Change provides guidance for provincial and local-level leaders on the planning and implementation of relocation projects in the context of environmental change.

The manual identifies key concepts surrounding the complex issues of migration, environment and climate change, as well as practical tools and guidelines for application in a local context. It provides a community empowerment approach to planning and implementing relocation programmes at provincial and local levels. 

The manual draws on the Hoa Binh Relocation Project, which began in 2010 and aims to relocate 1,200 households from two remote communes in Viet Nam’s Northwest region that face high risks of landslides, flooding and storm damage. To date, over 246 households have moved to relocation sites.

IOM and the Institute of Sociology, Viet Nam Academy of Social Sciences, recently released a study report that assesses project implementation, household decision-making processes and relocation outcomes for 406 households within the scope of the project, including those who have relocated, those who wish to move, and those who have chosen to remain or are undecided.

Findings from the study demonstrate the potential for relocation to contribute to improved quality of life and new opportunities for relocated communities, with existing policy providing important support that can help relocated households transition successfully to new, safer locations.

But the implementation of the current project demonstrates the complex nature of household decisions on relocation and the practical challenges encountered in supporting households to address the multiple factors which impact relocation outcomes.

“Planned relocation, and migration in general, are possible responses to environmental change, which can increase households’ resilience to slow onset and rapid onset disasters,” said Paul Priest, IOM Viet Nam Head of Programme.

“But they can be complex and are probably best when safe in situ adaptation or other options are not feasible. They also need to be planned, designed, implemented and monitored with full community participation. We hope that this training manual will help building the capacity of provincial and local authorities who are directly involved in this complex undertaking, and contribute to achieving that aim,” Priest added.

For more information please contact David Knight at IOM Viet Nam, Tel: +8424 3850 1810, Email: dknight@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: Viet NamThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

A researcher interviews a re-located family. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Highly Skilled Moldovan Migrants Present Public Policy Proposals to Moldovan Government

IOM - News - 11 ore 26 min fa

Chisinau – Ten Moldovan emigrants who left the country 10 to 20 years ago returned on 17 April 2018 to present to the Moldovan Government five public policy proposals. The policy proposals aim to advance Moldova’s development agenda in justice, public health, economy, environment protection and diaspora relations.

The policy proposals were developed under the Diaspora Excellence Groups programme – implemented by IOM and the so-called Diaspora Relations Bureau. The mechanism of consulting highly skilled Moldovan emigrants was tested and is ready to be taken over and continued by the Moldovan Government.

“Moldovan scientists and scholars who left the country in the 1990s and built great careers abroad are an unexplored resource of development. They acquired an insight that can be used to respond multiple challenges that Moldova faces,”said Ghenadie Cretu, Migration and Development Programme Coordinator, IOM Moldova.

After 23 years of working in the US, Dr. Ian Toma, Assistant Director for Genomic Clinical Research, George Washington University, proposed to create the Centre of Excellence in Biomedical Research in Moldova. The Centre will enable Moldovan medical workers, computer sciences specialists and students to digitalize medical data so it can be used for medical research to study such diseases as TB, HIV, and third- and fourth-stage cancer.

“We reckon that by establishing the Biomedical Centre we will create job opportunities in a new field for Moldova such as bio-informatics and bio-medical research, which will also prevent young medical workers from emigrating,” added Dr. Toma. For more information about the highly skilled experts involved in the Diaspora Excellence Groups, click here.

The Governmental programme Diaspora Excellence Groups is part of the Diaspora Engagement Hub which is implemented by the Diaspora Relations Bureau and IOM Moldova within the “Enhancing the development of Moldova through engagement with diaspora-homeland partnerships” project, which is funded by the IOM Development Fund.

For more pictures from the event, please click here.

For more information, please contact Iulia Tvigun, IOM Moldova, Email: itvigun@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:19Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central Asia/Republic of MoldovaThemes: Capacity BuildingLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Highly skilled Moldovan diaspora representatives presents public policy proposals to the Moldovan Government. Photo: State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova

Highly skilled Moldovan diaspora representatives presents public policy proposals to the Moldovan Government. Photo: State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova

Highly skilled Moldovan diaspora representatives presents public policy proposals to the Moldovan Government. Photo: State Chancellery of the Republic of Moldova

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Facilitates Return of Internally Displaced Persons in Central African Republic

IOM - News - 11 ore 28 min fa

Bangui – On Wednesday (18/04) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in coordination with the Government of the Central African Republic (CAR), facilitated the return of five displaced families (13 individuals) to their areas of origin. The families had been living in an internal displacement site since May 2017 when violence broke out in Bangassou.

This return support took place as part of ongoing emergency assistance under funding from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Bangassou is a town in south eastern CAR on the border of the Oubangui River, which separates the country from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The area had been relatively peaceful prior to May 2017 when violent clashes broke out between the largely Christian anti-Balaka armed group and the Muslim community of Bangassou. The result of this conflict was that all Muslims living in the Tokoyo neighborhood of Bangassou were forced to seek refuge on the land surrounding the town’s Cathedral, where they found relative security.

Given their now protracted displacement, this land has become an internal displacement site known colloquially as ‘petit seminaire’ [small seminary].

IOM has been working with partners in Bangassou for years and is currently the only UN agency to have a permanent presence through its office, which opened last October in this South Eastern town engulfed by violent conflict for nearly a year. In an effort to provide solutions to the increasingly difficult displacement situation in Bangassou, IOM conducted a return intention survey in line with its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) operations in and around Bangassou in August 2017.

The results of this survey showed that several families living on the site were not from Bangassou or its surroundings but rather from other, distant areas in CAR, and had only been passing through at the time of the clashes and separated from their families and homes since. 

IOM facilitated the return of the 13 individuals from Bangassou to their area of origin in Bangui. The UN Peacekeeping Mission (MINUSCA) and IOM escorted them from the displacement site to the airstrip where a plane chartered by IOM transported them to Bangui.

On arrival at Bangui airport, the individuals were greeted by representatives from IOM, the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Reconciliation and PARET (a government-humanitarian liaison organization). 

The passengers – five women, two men and six children – were first brought to the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Reconciliation where IOM provided them with basic return kits. The kits included basic hygiene materials including toothbrushes, soap, detergent, toothpaste, first aid kits and diapers for families with children. From there, the passengers were taken by bus to the 3rd district courthouse before they left for their respective homes.

“I have been separated from my wife and children for nearly a year and am overjoyed at their safe return home,” said Oumar Abakar, the head of one of the returning families’ households, who came to the airport to welcome his family of four. They had been separated for nearly a year.

IOM continues to support social cohesion activities in Bangassou and plans to expand its operations to support both displaced and host communities in the area with future funding.

For more information, please contact Cecilia Mann at IOM CAR, Tel: +236 72 34 80 37, Email: cmann@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:17Image: Region-Country: Central African RepublicThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM facilitates the return of displaced families to their areas of origin from Central African Republic. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Supports National Response to Human Trafficking in Zimbabwe

IOM - News - 11 ore 28 min fa

Harare – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with funding support from the European Union under the project Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe (PMGZ), handed over yesterday (19/04) a state-of-the-art public address system to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage in Zimbabwe.   

The provision of the sound equipment is part of IOM’s technical support to the Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Secretariat to enhance its capacity to effectively implement the Zimbabwe TiP National Plan of Action (NAPLAC). NAPLAC is premised on the four Ps – Prevention, Protection, Prosecution and Partnership.

Human trafficking awareness raising through outreach programmes and public events such as the Zimbabwe International Trade Fare and the Harare Agricultural Show are some of the key deliverables of NAPLAC. The PA system is therefore crucial in raising awareness about anti-trafficking activities.

The initiative is part of the framework of the Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe project that is being implemented by IOM with funding from the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund. The aim of the project is to contribute to the establishment of a migration governance framework in Zimbabwe that supports governments to manage migration in collaboration with non-state actors and in a migrant-centred, gender-sensitive, rights-based and development-oriented approach.

Under the same project, the TIP Secretariat received equipment including office furniture and stationery to be able to carry out its mandate in coordinating anti-trafficking activities. Technical support was also provided to establish five Provincial Trafficking in Persons Task Forces in the provinces of Manicaland, Masvingo, Bulawayo, Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central.

In his remarks, Melusi Matshiya, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage re-affirmed the Government of Zimbabwe's commitment in combating trafficking in the country. “The TiP Secretariat’s work plan for 2018 prioritizes public awareness campaigns on human trafficking targeting the entire country including the rural areas,” said Matshiya. “The public address system we have received will enable us to effectively implement the work plan,” he added. 

Recognizing the Government of Zimbabwe's current achievements in the fight against human trafficking, Daniel Sam, Project Manager, IOM Zimbabwe re-iterated IOM's commitment to working closely with the Government of Zimbabwe, civil society organizations and partners. "We look forward to our continuing efforts in the fight against the heinous crime of Human Trafficking," said Sam.

For more information, please contact Gideon Madera, IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email: gmadera@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM hands over yesterday a state-of-the-art public address system to the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage in Zimbabwe. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Launches Opens Migration Information Centre, Launches MigrantApp in Belize

IOM - News - 11 ore 31 min fa

Belmopan IOM, the UN Migration Agency this week (18/04) in Belize, launched a Migration Information Centre and the MigrantApp, a mobile app which provides migrants with free and reliable information on regular migration options in Mesoamerica.

The Migration Information Centre – a collaboration with the Child Development Foundation (CDF) – will provide information and referral services to migrants on a variety of migratory procedures and raise awareness in key communities about the risks of irregular migration and trafficking in persons. The information hub is located at the CDF offices at 13th Garbutt Creek Street, Belmopan, Belize.

This is the 27th information centre opened by IOM in the Mesoamerica region.

The latest data on migration indicates that emigrants as a percentage of the Belizean population stands at 15 per cent, with the United States as the main destination, while immigrants represent 15.3 per cent of the total population in country, mainly coming from Central America.

However, lack of accurate and updated information about the demographics of the population and reasons for migration remains a challenge. One solution will be the Migration Survey supported by IOM that will take place as a preamble to the development of a National Migration Policy. 

“Having an information centre in Belmopan where migrants can readily access information will promote smoother and more effective procedures. The information centre will also raise awareness in key migration communities through mobile hubs, for example, the first one in Benque Viejo Town, in May,” said Rene Chuc, Head of Office of IOM Belize.

IOM has provided extensive training to CDF staff in areas such as interview techniques, profiling migrants with special needs, identification and referral mechanism, trafficking in persons, migrants smuggling, among others.

This ongoing training is complemented with courses hosted at IOM’s Virtual Learning Platform on Migration (http://plataformadeaprendizaje.iom.int/) and meetings with Belizean institutions including the Labour Department, the Immigration Department, the Refugees Department and UNHCR.

“The sessions have been informative and well delivered. The information shared gave the staff a better understanding of the specific terminologies and basic concepts underpinning migration and role play exercises have allowed staff to understand how to interview migrants in situations of risk to best determine where to refer them to and what information they will need to address their migration concern,” said Diana Shaw, Director the Child Development Foundation.

Shaw added, “CDF is pleased to be a part of this initiative and is grateful for the capacity building by IOM which will go a long way to complement the services we currently provide.”
The event also served as a launch pad for the MigrantApp in Belize. The application is free of charge and provides information on services for migrants such as health centres, embassies and consulates, entry requirements for more than 40 nationalities, and has allowed IOM to send emergency alerts regarding natural or epidemic hazards.

"Together, both initiatives contribute to the promotion of regular and safe migration by making reliable information accessible to migrants. Through the establishment of a coordination mechanism between the Information Centre and key institutions, as well as by mapping key service providers in the MigrantApp, IOM seeks to contribute to the ongoing efforts to improve migration management in Belize," said Justin Scharf, IOM Project Assistant for the Mesoamerica Program.

These activities are part of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly, and safe migration. The Mesoamerica Program is funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

For further information please contact Justin Scharf at IOM Belize, Email: jscharf@iom.int, Tel: +501 223 9500

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: BelizeThemes: Immigration and IntegrationIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

The Migration Information Centre in Belize is the 27th opened by IOM in the Mesoamerica region. Photo: IOM

The Migration Information Centre in Belize is the 27th opened by IOM in the Mesoamerica region. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, ACP-EU Migration Action Help Tackle Trafficking in Persons, Migrant Smuggling in DR Congo

IOM - News - 11 ore 31 min fa

Kinshasa – Beginning on Monday (16/04) and at the request of the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), IOM and ACP-EU Migration Action hosted a five-day training on countering trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling for Congolese Government officials.

Experiencing numerous cases of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, the DRC is a country of origin, transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination for trafficked and smuggler migrants.

Concluding today (20/04), this training of trainers brought together senior officials from different key ministerial entities involved in the fight against human trafficking and smuggling. Participants will be provided with the necessary information and knowledge on important aspects of human trafficking and smuggling of migrant in order to conduct trainings for other relevant Government actors. They will be better equipped to prevent, protect and assist victims of human trafficking and smuggling.

Attending the opening ceremony on behalf the Minister of the Interior and Security, the Secretary-General emphasized that: “the necessity to think about the possibility of establishing quickly a national committee to fight against trafficking and smuggling of migrants.”

This training demonstrated a commitment from Government authorities to move forward to raise awareness of the Congolese populations on dangers of trafficking and smuggling and to protect victims and punish the perpetrators.

ACP-EU Migration Action and IOM will continue to support the government of DRC in order to help them find tools and appropriate solutions to face and deal with this scourge.

The ACP-EU is a development cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

For more information, please contact Emery Kianga at IOM Kinshasa, Tel: +243 81 686 76 13, Email: ekianga@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 16:11Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and ACP-EU Migration Action hosted a five-day training on countering trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling for Congolese Government officials.  IOM

IOM and ACP-EU Migration Action hosted a five-day training on countering trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling for Congolese Government officials.  IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

New IOM Project Boosts Integration of Syrian Refugees in Europe

IOM - News - Gio, 04/19/2018 - 04:47

Bucharest – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is today (19/04) kicking off an innovative multi-country project to provide resettled refugees with the building blocks to start their new life in Europe. 

Initially targeting 500 Syrian refugees, the LINK IT project aims to link pre-departure and post-arrival support to facilitate the social and economic integration of resettled refugees in four European countries: the United Kingdom, Germany, Portugal and Romania.

“Ensuring migrants and refugees can contribute economically and socially to their host communities is key to the future well-being, prosperity and cohesion of European societies,” said Mircea Mocanu, IOM Chief of Mission in Romania. “But too often, Europe has seen underemployment of migrants and refugees, negatively affecting the economic potential of the communities.”

“Integration means overcoming language barriers, administrative hurdles, cultural differences, and discrimination. It also means better recognition of existing skills and qualifications of migrants and refugees,” added Mocanu. 

The EU-funded project, which will run for 18 months, will pilot a skills profiling tool in the pre-departure orientation course for Syrian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey who will be resettled to the four EU countries. The tool will help authorities in the receiving countries get advance information about the refugees’ background, education and skills to support their integration into the labour market at the earliest stage.

“The LINK IT project, and in particular, the skills profiling pilot, is a powerful tool to inform policy makers across the EU how to best design innovative integration and support for refugees,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM Chief of Mission in the UK.

The project will also provide post-arrival orientation and training activities once the refugees have arrived and help prepare local governments and employers to receive resettled refugees, dispel myths and provide a channel to share best practices in the larger European context. 

Pardeshi explained that under the project, the integration process will involve both refugees and host communities to share information and strengthen cohesion among the community.

“To be successful, integration must be a holistic and two-way process, when both refugees and the local community understand one another’s expectations, practices and cultural differences,” she said.

In September 2017, the European Commission announced a new scheme to resettle at least 50,000 of the most vulnerable refugees throughout the EU over the next two years.  A March 2016 European Commission report noted substantial divergences among integration programmes in different EU countries. 

IOM is holding a kick-off meeting today for project partners to discuss LINK IT implementation. Tomorrow (20-04), IOM is facilitating EU Exchange on Integration Practices for Resettled Refugees, a one-day conference to promote integration practices with regional, national, and local governments, as wells as international organizations, and civil society.

Please click here for more information on IOM’s LINK IT project.

For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM UK, Tel: +44 (0)7873301193, Email: adwommoh@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 10:35Image: Region-Country: RomaniaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM's LINK IT project is piloting a skills profiling tool for refugees resettled to the UK, Germany, Portugal or Romania.

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Refugees and Locals Work Together to Prepare for Monsoon in Cox's Bazar Camps

IOM - News - Mar, 04/17/2018 - 10:26

Bangladesh - Rohingya refugees and local people in Teknaf, a southern sub-district of Cox’s Bazar, are racing to prepare for monsoon rains forecast to start as early as this week. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has been supporting efforts to prepare the camps, which although smaller than the giant Ukhiya sub-district settlements of Kutupalong and Balukali, still house thousands of people, who face similar threats of flooding and landslides.

To date IOM has supported 24 quick impact projects in Teknaf under the umbrella of 20 Para Development Committees (PDCs) – community platforms, each comprised of six refugees and five locals. The projects include building bridges, access roads, steps, drains, and slope protection work that will enable communities to better weather the monsoon.

The projects are mainly located in the densely populated Unchiprang, Leda Makeshift Settlement, Nayapara and Shamlapur camps. Over 21,310 people live in Unchiprang, 9,320 in Leda, 24,790 in Nayapara and 22,700 in Shamlapur. In all, some 250,000 Rohingya refugees live outside the main Ukhiya camps.

“At present, the most critical issue for both the Rohingya refugees and local people is to be safe from the rains,” said Maulavi Shaker, 35, a Rohingya member of a Teknaf PDC. “We’ve been working towards that, building roads and bridges so that our area won’t get cut off if there is flooding,” he added.

“Most refugees in Teknaf are living in shelters built only with plastic sheets and thin bamboos, which are highly vulnerable in the monsoon,” said Mohammad Helal Uddin, 35, another Teknaf member.

IOM and partner agencies recognize the risks posed by the flimsy structures in high winds and rain and have been racing to upgrade the shelters. In Teknaf over 15,000 shelters – covering over 78,000 people – have been identified as in need of upgrades, including plastic sheets, poles and guy ropes. IOM itself is targeting 13,204 shelters housing 66,020 refugees.

“The PDCs are helping our teams to identify workers and organizing cash for work in order to ensure that households living in flood-prone and landslide-prone areas get back-filling to elevate their shelter plots. We’re also constructing drainage to protect the shelters from run-off water, building embankments to prevent tidal surges and doing a number of slope protection works,” said Rafael Abis, IOM’s site management area coordinator. “The PDCs will also help IOM in the event of an evacuation - particularly if it involves those who are unable to evacuate themselves,” he added.

IOM has also helped the PDCs to establish Youth Safety and Security sub-committees within each of PDC to cope with possible emergencies such as flash floods, landslides, fires or conflicts. The sub-committee members have been trained to build the response capacity of their respective communities.

“Despite all the challenges that the Rohingya influx has created in Cox’s Bazar, the refugee and local communities have maintained a harmonious relationship throughout the crisis,” said John McCue, IOM Senior Operations Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar. “Representatives of both communities have come together to identify shared needs and solutions. The roads and bridges that they have constructed to provide access, particularly during the rainy season, is a significant example of communal harmony in this disaster-prone area,” he added.
For more information please contact IOM Cox’s Bazar:
Fiona MacGregor, Email: fmacgregor@iom.int, Tel. +880 173 333 5221
Shirin Akhter, Email: sakhter@iom.int, Tel: +880 341 52195

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:24Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Refugees and locals work on a bamboo access bridge in a Teknaf camp as part of an IOM cash-for-work initiative. © IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

USD 38 Million Sought to Aid Conflict-Affected People in Ukraine throughout 2018

IOM - News - Mar, 04/17/2018 - 09:39

Kyiv – Four years into the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, acute humanitarian needs persist. These include the basics – access to health care, food, water and employment. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is appealing for USD 38 million to assist 340,000 people in critical need this year, an increase from the 215,000 people the Organization has assisted over the four years since start of the conflict.

Since April 2014, over 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine and a further 24,000 have been injured. In total, 3.4 million people require humanitarian assistance. According to Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy, about 1.5 million people are registered as internally displaced persons.

“Due to the protracted nature of the conflict, slow economic growth and increased social tensions, 2018 is a critical year for the crisis response efforts,” said Thomas Lothar Weiss, IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission. “We are working intensively with our partners in the Humanitarian Country Team and the Government of Ukraine to bridge the gap between humanitarian and development interventions. This is critical if we are to address the urgent and longer-term needs.”

The number of conflict-affected people in Ukraine who do not have enough food has almost doubled to 1.2 million people since 2016. Additionally, over three million people in the Eastern Conflict Area do not have sufficient water to drink, cook and wash with, as infrastructure has been damaged by the ongoing hostilities.

IOM’s humanitarian relief efforts will include water, health and sanitation, and rehabilitation of infrastructure in the non-government controlled area (NGCA), and winterization and hygiene assistance on both sides of the contact line. IOM will also provide cash transfers for the most vulnerable residents of the Government-controlled parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

In addition to that, as a part of its recovery programme, IOM plans to further support internally displaced persons and their host communities through business training and grants. IOM’s economic empowerment programme will be expanded to include other vulnerable population categories, such as veterans of the current conflict. 

IOM will also rehabilitate important critical and social infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, geriatric centres, and schools; host community events; and provide psychosocial assistance where needed.

The ongoing unrest has provoked an increase in human trafficking.

“Last year, we assisted over 1,200 victims of trafficking, nearly all of whom were trafficked and exploited during the years of conflict,” said Weiss. “The true numbers may be even higher. To alleviate risks and protect people from exploitation and abuse, we are focusing our anti-trafficking efforts on people living near the contact line.”

IOM’s National Monitoring System will conduct regular surveys among internally displaced populations and returnees on their situation, intentions and movements. This will inform strategic planning by Government counterparts, NGOs and the international community.

View the Appeal here.

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel. +38 044 568 50 15 or +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:26Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Maria, a victim of shelling attacks in 2014, receives humanitarian assistance from IOM. © IOM/V. Shuvayev

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Signs Landmark Agreement with Slovenia to Resettle 60 Syrian Refugees from Turkey

IOM - News - Mar, 04/17/2018 - 09:39

Ljubljana – Slovenia will implement its first ever refugee resettlement programme with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, by resettling 60 Syrian refugees from Turkey to Slovenia in 2018.  The new programme officially came into effect after the signing of a Framework Agreement between IOM and the Slovenian government on Thursday (12/04).

“The resettlement agreement marks a new milestone in the cooperation between Slovenia and IOM,” said Iva Perhavec, IOM Slovenia Head of Office.

“Through the programme, we will support the Slovenian Government in meeting its commitments to providing a safe and legal pathway for vulnerable Syrian refugees in Turkey, and sharing responsibility with Turkey as a host country for refugee protection,” Perhavec continued.

In 2017, Turkey was the top departure country for resettlement globally, with 10,162 vulnerable refugees resettled to European countries alone. 

Resettlement from Turkey is implemented through a close partnership between EU Member States, the Turkish Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), UNHCR and IOM.

The resettlement process from Turkey begins with the DGMM and UNHCR, which identify, assess and submit refugee files to countries for resettlement consideration. Following the selection missions undertaken by EU Member States in Turkey, selected refugees are assisted by IOM with case processing, including assistance with obtaining visas and travel documents, pre-departure health assessments, pre-departure orientation sessions and movement management.

When the refugees are travel-ready, IOM facilitates their transfer from Turkey, including by providing operational and/or medical escorts to particularly vulnerable persons with special needs to resettlement states in the EU, where representatives of the local IOM office meet and greet them at arrival.

Following the arrival of refugees in Slovenia, local non-governmental organizations and other service providers will provide them with integration assistance to support their smooth and successful start to integration in their new home.

Resettlement of refugees has continued to be one of the fundamental purposes and priorities of IOM. Founded in 1951 to assist in the resettlement of Europeans displaced in the aftermath of World War II, IOM has been working closely with governments, UNHCR, non-governmental organizations and other partners to provide a durable solution for vulnerable refugees through resettlement for over 65 years.

In 2017, some 93,216 refugees were resettled worldwide by IOM, of which 26,673 beneficiaries were assisted with resettlement to and humanitarian admission in European countries, an increase of 49 per cent compared to the previous year. A total of 23 European countries implemented resettlement or humanitarian admission programmes in 2017, two more than in 2016.

For more information please contact Iva Perhavec at IOM Slovenia, Tel: +386 1 434 73 51, Email: iperhavec@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:24Image: Region-Country: SloveniaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

A woman gazes out the window on a resettlement flight. © IOM/M. Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM DG Swing Calls for Greater Assistance, Protection for the Internally Displaced

IOM - News - Mar, 04/17/2018 - 09:37

Geneva – More than 40 million people are displaced by conflict within the borders of their own country. Disaster displaces another 25 million people on average each year. Facing losses, hardship and deprivation, generations of internally displaced persons are often the most neglected in many of the world’s crises. Children make up more than half of these populations.

“In 1998, internal displacement was recognized as one of the world’s greatest tragedies and 20 years later, it still is,” said Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Director General of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, remarking on the 20th Anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement. On 17 April 1998, the Commission for Human Rights took note of the Guiding Principles, effectively launching them as a global standard for States and humanitarian actors.

“Today, on the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles, their footprint is clear. They are widely accepted as the standard for protecting and assisting internally displaced people, many states have incorporated them into national legislation, they have inspired regional agreements, and they underscore all major work in this area.

“Twenty years on, the number of internally displaced people has nearly doubled due to ongoing new displacements, a lack of solutions for those being left behind in protracted crises and a chronic shortfall of almost 50 per cent of funding needed to meet basic humanitarian needs. The daily tragedy of internal displacement continues for millions."

Ambassador Swing said as the international community embarks on a year of reflection and action to mark the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles, everyone can and must do more. “Anyone can be vulnerable to disasters, violence and violations of human rights. More than a humanitarian imperative, it makes good economic sense and is socially advantageous to empower states and populations in their own preparedness, in strengthening their resilience, and in helping to resolve internal displacement,” he said.

He said that “in the spirit of ‘leaving no one behind’, the momentum behind the Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, greater attention must be focused on addressing the root causes of displacement and reducing risk.”  Ambassador Swing added that when displacement is a life-saving necessity, concerted efforts must minimize its impact and resolve the displacement as soon as possible with safety and dignity and in ways that build back better and prevent it from happening again.

“IOM helps States and the public prevent and resolve internal displacement. Throughout this year, with partners, we will use the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles as an opportunity to do three vital things: raise awareness on the centrality of the Guiding Principles to the assistance and protection of internally displaced people; call on Governments to incorporate the Guiding Principles into their national Legislation; and strengthen partnerships that contribute to effective and accountable programming to help realize the untapped positive potential and agency of internally displaced people in their communities, including empowering them in their own responses and giving a platform to their voices,” said Director General Swing.

In 2016, IOM’s operations reached more than 19 million internally displaced persons and provided over 6 million host community members with support across 31 countries. This makes IOM one of the largest actors on internal displacement issues globally. The Framework lays out IOM’s strategic role in the current global humanitarian and development landscape.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) tracks internal displacement flows, as well as the needs of displaced people in multiple countries experiencing crisis around the world. For example, as of March 2018, IOM DTM tracked 575,340 displaced people in South Sudan. You can view latest DTM reports here.

In 2017, IOM launched an enhanced framework for addressing internal displacement in response to changes in and the expansion of IOM’s policies and operations over the years. View IOM’s framework here.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41794035365, Tel: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:22Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

People displaced from Marawi, Philippines. © IOM/J. Batula

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 17,461 in 2018; Deaths Reach 559

IOM - News - Mar, 04/17/2018 - 09:37

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 17,461 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 105 days of 2018, with about 43 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece (36%) Spain (20%) and Cyprus (less than 1%).

This compares with 37,046 at this point in 2017 and over 175,000 at this point in 2016.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Monday the Spanish Military Ship “Santa Maria” brought 483 migrants to Augusta, Italy. The migrants were rescued on Friday from three dinghies during three separate operations carried out by the Santa Maria, the NGO SeaWatch and the Italian Coast Guard.

According to Di Giacomo, the migrants left from the Libyan city of Al Khoms on Thursday night. He said that according to official figures from Italy’s Ministry of the Interior, the 7,495 migrants arriving in Italy by sea this year represents a 75 per cent drop from this time last year, when over 30,000 migrants had arrived during the same period.

Halfway through the month of April – traditionally early in the busiest season on the Mediterranean’s Central route – traffic is down to just under 1,200 men, women and children, or less than 100 per day. That’s about twice the rate as arrivals in March yet still the lowest level at least since 2016.

Last year, during the first 15 days of April, 5,837 men, women and children arrived in Italy on this route; in 2016 the total for the first 15 days of April was 3,023. This year’s April total this far comes to less than one-fifth of 2017’s volume and just over one third of the 2016 total (see chart below).

The 559 deaths on the three Mediterranean Sea routes so far this year compare with 918 at this time in 2017, a decline of about 40 per cent year-on-year.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 938 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018. On the US/Mexico border, 66 migrants are estimated to have died this year. Most recently, the remains of two men were recovered by Mexican civil protection authorities from the Río Bravo in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico: they drowned on 12 April when attempting to cross to the US.

In Mexico’s southern state of Tabasco, a young pregnant woman from Honduras was gravely injured after falling from the freight train known as La Bestia on 12 April. She died of her injuries a few hours later, leaving behind a young son and daughter in the community of La Ceiba in Honduras.

In Ceuta, Spain’s enclave in North Africa, the bodies of two young men from Sub-Saharan Africa were retrieved in less than 24 hours near the border fence with Morocco on Friday, 13 April and Saturday, 14 April. The results from the autopsy have confirmed that both men died of a cardiac arrest. A third migrant who crossed the border fence with them alerted authorities upon his arrival to the migrant temporary stay centre in Ceuta.

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, 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, Tel: +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 EXT. 109 Email: mchabbi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM to Support Migrant Entrepreneurs Returned to El Salvador

IOM - News - Mar, 04/17/2018 - 09:35

San Salvador – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador and the UN Peace for the Post-Conflict Generation Programme today (17/04) launched a project that supports the productive reintegration and meets the psychosocial needs of returnees. The project is expected to directly benefit 70 economic initiatives in Guazapa and Mejicanos, in San Salvador department, as well as Quezaltepeque, in La Libertad.

The Peace for Post-Conflict Generation Programme is an initiative of the United Nations El Salvador, implemented by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, UNHCR and UNDP, and financed by the United Nation’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF).

The component implemented by IOM will provide psychosocial support, specialized training and resources for migrants to develop their own entrepreneurial ventures.

According to official data, in 2017, the department of San Salvador received 3,988 returnees and La Libertad, 2,361. In the first two months of this year, San Salvador accounted for 559 and La Libertad, 308.

The official launch was attended by Liduvina Magarin, Deputy Minister for Salvadorans Abroad; Christian Salazar, United Nations Resident Coordinator in El Salvador; Jorge Peraza Breedy, IOM’s Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras; and Esmeralda Cruz, one of the project’s beneficiaries. Representatives from the diplomatic corps, cooperation agencies and government representatives also attended.

“Timely return migration management represents a social, economic and political challenge for the country. In this sense, this project is very important to ensure successful reintegration,” said Christian Salazar.

“The selected municipalities are part of cities with high rates of returns and, also, are prioritized by the El Salvador Seguro Plan in terms of violence prevention. Thus, we execute actions to offer opportunities to the Salvadoran returnees, which are vital to strengthen social cohesion and promote the country's development,” said Jorge Peraza.                  

The project contributes to the fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically those that address the promotion of resilience of people in vulnerable situations; the elimination of all forms of violence; the full and effective participation of women and equality of leadership opportunities; the promotion of policies aimed at the development of productive activities, creation of decent jobs, and entrepreneurship; and facilitation of orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility.

For further information, please contact:
IOM El Salvador – José Miguel Gómez, Email: miggomez@iom.int
IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras – Alba Miriam Amaya, Email: aamaya@iom.int
UN Resident Coordinator's Office, El Salvador – Carlos León, Email: carlos.leon@one.un.org

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2018 - 15:18Image: Region-Country: El SalvadorThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the returned migrants receiving support from IOM.  © IOM/JM Gómez

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

USAID, IOM Hand Over New Homes to Sri Lanka Flood, Landslide Victims

IOM - News - Ven, 04/13/2018 - 08:25

Colombo – USAID and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week handed over new transitional homes to 120 families affected by the May 2017 floods and landslides in the Rathnapura district of Sri Lanka.

The homes, which were built by IOM in Dombagammana village over the past three months, will house some 445 people, including 194 children. The families either lost their homes to floods and landslides or were unable to return home due to the ongoing risk of landslides.

The new temporary homes were built by IOM on land permanently allocated by the government. Families will eventually be able to upgrade them to permanent housing on the same land, with government support.

IOM also built a community hall and clean water supply infrastructure in the village as part of its USAID-funded Sri Lanka Adverse Southwest Monsoon Response Project. 

At the handover, Sri Lankan Minister of Justice Thalatha Athukorala thanked USAID and IOM for “working hand in hand to give hope, courage, and happiness for those who lost everything to the landslides and floods that occurred on 26th May 2017.” 

“I am delighted to have met these resilient families. The US Government is proud to contribute to their recovery process through our work with IOM and the Government of Sri Lanka,” said Reed Aeschliman, USAID Mission Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives.

IOM’s USAID-funded monsoon response project was launched in June 2017 in response to heavy flooding, landslides and flash floods caused by the southwest monsoon, which affected some 684,000 people in southern and central Sri Lanka and left 224 people dead.

Through the project, IOM built a total of 187 transitional shelters, and procured and distributed, in partnership with NGOs World Vision and Save the Children, 3,700 non-food item and 3,300 shelter kits (in kind and in cash) for nearly 21,500 people in the badly affected districts of Rathnapura, Galle, Matara, and Kalutara.

The work was coordinated with the Shelter Sector group of aid agencies, which IOM co-led with IFRC, under the Emergency Response Plan launched by the UN in June 2017.
Overall, more than 61,000 people from 13,000 families were provided with assistance through IOM’s emergency response to the flooding and landslides in the shelter, non-food items and health sectors, with funds from USAID, Canada and UN CERF.

IOM also helped government and other humanitarian partners keep track of displacement and return rates through the deployment of its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). 

IOM has also been supporting partners to better prepare for future disasters through providing Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) trainings and the identification of evacuation routes.

“The government and communities urgently need to prepare for and build resilience to natural disasters and climate change due to the increased frequency of severe and unpredictable weather patterns in Sri Lanka,” said IOM Chief of Mission for Sri Lanka and the Maldives Giuseppe Crocetti.

For more information please contact Giuseppe Crocetti at IOM Sri Lanka, Email: gcrocetti@iom.int, Tel: +94 115325300.

Language English Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: Sri LankaDefault: Multimedia: 

The new homes will house 120 displaced families. Photo: IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Calls for Funding to Match Needs, at DR Congo Humanitarian Conference

IOM - News - Ven, 04/13/2018 - 08:25

Geneva – Deadly violence has forced millions of people from their homes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), bringing the total number of internally displaced persons in the country to 4.5 million.

The funding levels required to address the enormous needs have not been met. Only 11 per cent of IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s appeal for 2018 (USD 75 million) has been funded. The DRC is in urgent need of humanitarian funding to respond to the deteriorating situation and save lives.

Today (13/04), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the European Union are hosting a Humanitarian Conference on the DRC at the UN Office in Geneva. IOM’s appeal launched last December is a part of the overall humanitarian response plan, which calls for USD 1.68 billion to implement.

“Confronted with rising intercommunal tensions, political instability and an increasingly insecure environment, the international humanitarian community needs to strengthen its support and commitment to the Congolese people,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM DRC Chief of Mission and representative at the conference. 

IOM provides humanitarian assistance in 26 displacement sites in North Kivu and Tanganyika provinces, which host some 97,000 internally displaced persons. In 2017, IOM assisted 6,182 displaced households with shelter assistance, some 199 survivors of gender-based violence with medical and/or psychosocial support, as well as income-generating activities, and reunified 256 unaccompanied and separated children with their families. Some 1,950 displaced children and youth have been provided with educational support from IOM, since the start of 2017.

Through co-chairing the province’s working group on displacement sites, IOM builds capacity on camp coordination and camp management among internally displaced persons, local partners and Congolese authorities.

IOM provides life-saving services to some 200,000 crisis-affected people in the Kasai province, by providing them with access to health care, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as implementing preventive measure against gender-based violence.

In the last year, IOM’s displacement tracking team has collected information on some 586,580 internally displaced persons and 1,328,754 returnees in the three provinces of North Kivu, Tanganyika and Central Kasai.

“We simply cannot ignore the speed, and magnitude of the crisis in the DRC. The international community needs to step up its support and strengthen its commitment to the people of DRC. Equally important, is to strengthen the efforts to stabilize the country – helping the DRC Government to find a way out of the spiralling crisis,” said Chauzy.

The IOM Humanitarian Appeal for the Democratic Republic of the Congo is here.

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

Language English Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 15:22Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoDefault: Multimedia: 

Women displaced by brutal violence in North Kivu, DRC. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 16,847 in 2018; Deaths Reach 557

IOM - News - Ven, 04/13/2018 - 08:24

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency reports that 16,847 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 11 April, with the vast majority arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain, Greece, and Cyprus. This compares with 33,602 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo said Thursday (12/04) that, according to Italy’s Ministry of Interior, 6,894 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year as of 11 April: 74.53 per cent less than the same period last year (27,069).

 

 

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia on Thursday (12/04) said that the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory in 2018 through 11 April was 6,407 with the main landing points being the islands of Lesvos, Kos, Samos, Rhodes, Kalymnos, Megisti, Leros and Chios.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday (12/04) that total arrivals by sea to Spain in 2018 have reached 3,499 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 11 April. This compares with 3,326 arriving last year through all of April.

Dodevska also reported that no land arrivals have been recorded so far in April, which compares with 417 land arrivals registered through March this year.

*2018 data last updated 11 April

 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 933 deaths and disappearances during migration in 2018. In the Mediterranean alone, 557 migrants are estimated to have died this year. Most recently, 36 migrants died in the Western Mediterranean.

On Monday, 9 April, a boat capsized off the coast of Tangiers, Morocco. The bodies of six migrants, including four Moroccan nationals, and 10 injured survivors were found by Moroccan authorities. According to survivors’ testimonies collected by Spanish NGO Caminando Fronteras, there were 46 people on the boat when it capsized, therefore 30 remain missing.

In Europe, two migrants drowned when crossing the Kolpa river, which marks Slovenia's southern border with Croatia: on 9 April, the body of a 19-year-old Moroccan man was found in the municipality of Črnomelj, Slovenia, while the following day, authorities retrieved the body of an Algerian national who drowned when crossing the river through the same area. This year, four deaths have been recorded on this border.

There were three other additions to the Missing Migrants Project database since last Friday’s update. In Southeast Asia, MMP recorded the deaths of ten Rohingya in the Andaman Sea. Survivors had been stranded for weeks in their boat and were rescued by Indonesian fishermen on 6 April and brought to Aceh.

The five survivors, interviewed by IOM field staff, confirmed that the journey started with 15 people on board: three of them died of starvation and seven tried to swim to shore and are presumed dead. On 9 April, seven migrant workers from Myanmar died in a vehicle accident on Highway 12, outside Mae Sot, Thailand. On the Pakistan-Iran border, two young Pakistani men died when attempting to cross into Iran on 9 April.

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 migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

 

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, 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, April 13, 2018 - 15:16Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, UNHCR, ICMC Present Innovative European Models for Protection of Refugees

IOM - News - Ven, 04/13/2018 - 08:24

Brussels – On Thursday (12/04), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) presented the outcomes of a project that developed innovative models to provide more opportunities for the protection of refugees in the European Union (EU). 

The event focused on the main activities and results of the European Resettlement Network (ERN)+ project, Developing Innovative European Models for the Protection of Refugees and Providing Support to New Resettlement Countries. The EU co-funded project centred its research on the development of three complementary pathways of admission of refugees to the EU: private community-based sponsorship, higher education scholarships and humanitarian admission programmes.

Eugenio Ambrosi, Director of IOM’s Regional Office for the EU, remarked that the scarcity of safe and regular pathways to the EU compels vulnerable migrants and refugees to risk their lives on perilous journeys. “This project is not only about developing new ways to protect people, the ultimate goal is to protect more people, more effectively,” said Ambrosi.

The event brought together a wide range of stakeholders from national, regional and local government, international organizations, civil society, think tanks, academia and refugee diaspora in the spirit of multi-stakeholder cooperation in the European Resettlement Network.

“Complementary pathways, such as private sponsorship, allow for innovative partnerships with civil society to admit refugees,” said Stephane Jacquemet, Director of Policy at ICMC.

The unprecedented scope and complex nature of current global displacement has added renewed urgency to the debate surrounding access to safety for those fleeing persecution, war and conflict that is safe, regular and sustainable.

The participants discussed recent developments at global and European levels including the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, a landmark political declaration directed at improving the way the international community responds to large movements of refugees and migrants and which contains a set of commitments by States to strengthen and enhance mechanisms to protect people on the move.

“The project comes at a crucial moment as it sets out the ways European States can implement their commitments to protection and solidarity in the Global Compact on Refugees to be adopted later this year,” said Sophie Magennis, Officer in Charge, UNHCR Regional Representation for EU Affairs.

In September 2017, the European Commission called for EU Member States to pledge 50,000 (up from the original call for 40,000) places for resettlement and humanitarian admission to Europe for 2018-2019. As the negotiations on the Union Resettlement Network currently take shape, the recommendations and discussions of the conference are expected to feed into those discussions.

The studies presented at the conference are available on the resettlement.eu website and hold recommendations for the development of future private sponsorship/community-based models; student scholarship programmes for refugees; and humanitarian admission programmes.

For more information, please contact:

Jo De Backer, IOM Regional Office, Brussels, Tel: +32 2 287 71 15, +32 470 13 10 28, Email: jdebacker@iom.int 
Petra Hueck, ICMC Europe, Brussels, Tel: +32 2 227 97 29, +32 486 511 212, Email: hueck@icmc.net
David Watt, UNHCR Bureau for Europe, Brussels, Tel: 0032 2 627 59 58, Email: wattd@unhcr.org  

Language English Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 - 15:14Image: Region-Country: BelgiumDefault: Multimedia: 

ERN+ focuses on developing complementary pathways of refugee admissions to the EU. Photo: IOM

ERN+ focuses on developing complementary pathways of refugee admissions to the EU. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM