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Study Highlights Need for Free Movement of Labour in East Africa

By jcborlongan from News. Published on Mar 19, 2019.

Dodoma – A new study has urged member countries of the East African Community (EAC) to adopt labour migration policies based on international best practices, improve data management and boost the operationalization of One Stop Border Posts. The comparative study assesses migration patterns and policy issues in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania – four of the six EAC countries.  

In 2010, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that there were about 19.3 million migrants in Africa, of which 8.4 million were classified as migrant workers. In 2015, the estimated population of the EAC, which also includes South Sudan and Uganda, was over 145.5 million people, with a gross domestic product of about USD 147.5 billion. As the region intensifies efforts to achieve its integration milestones, specifically within the context of the EAC Common Market Protocol, cross-border labour movements have made labour migration a pertinent issue for the partner states.  

The East African Common Market Protocol provides for the movement of persons, travel documents and the free movement of workers in particular. It focuses on three migration issues: national policy frameworks, data management and migrant worker practices.  

“We appreciate the commitment and cooperation from the United Republic of Tanzania in conducting this study and are confident that the presentation of the results will assist the Government of Tanzania and the other three EAC Member States in improving their management of migration flows, in p   articular those related to labour,” said IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission Dr. Qasim Sufi.  

“As people throughout the world are becoming more and more mobile, labour migration is undoubtedly a key issue for all governments and populations,” said Tatiana Hadjiemmanuel, Senior Regional Thematic Specialist on Labour Migration and Human Development at the IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa. “We are very satisfied to see good willingness from EAC countries to work together in improving the protection of migrant workers.”  

Twenty different institutions in the United Republic of Tanzania and Zanzibar, including the President’s Office, the Ministries of Trade and Industry, Ministries of Labour, Immigration Departments, Trade Union Congress of Tanzania and Association of Tanzanian Employers participated in the launch event that took place in the capital city of Dodoma.  

The comparative study was commissioned within the framework of a regional project Supporting Labour Mobility in the East African Community: Operationalizing the Common Market Protocol Provisions on Free Movement of Persons and Labour, funded by the IOM Development Fund.  

Three similar events will be held in Bujumbura, Burundi on 20 March; Kigali, Rwanda on 21 March; and Nairobi, Kenya on 4 April 2019.  

For more information please contact David Hofmeijer at IOM Dar es Salaam, Tel: +255 699 674 975, Email: dhofmeijer@iom.int 

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 14:14
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Panel discussion during the launch of the EAC comparative on free movement of labour. Dodoma, United Republic of Tanzania. 

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IOM, Partners Discuss Climate Change and Migration at UN Environment Assembly

By jcborlongan from News. Published on Mar 19, 2019.

Nairobi – Climatic factors are a major driver of migration, with the World Bank estimating that some 143 million people could be internally displaced in only three regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America) by 2050, as result of climate change.  

On Friday (15/03) experts and activists gathered during the fourth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to discuss the complex nexus between climate change and migration.  

“For centuries, millions of people across the globe have migrated due to climate change and environmental drivers, but the difference now is that man-made climate change is increasing the severity, frequency and geographical range of environmental disasters,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, the IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.  

He added: “This means that vulnerable communities are at even greater risk than ever, and we have seen global evidence of that already. Through the Global Compact for Migration, Member States have recognized this existential global threat, and outlined comprehensive measures to protect migrants by minimizing climate change and environmental drivers, build resilience and also facilitate safe and orderly migration as an adaptation strategy.”  

He was speaking at a side event on environment and migration aimed at bringing to light various dimensions and solutions to environmental migration in the context of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).   

The event brought together policy makers, agencies, governments and others for a discussion on shared concerns, priorities and concrete next steps.  

“The need for stakeholders, including governments and development partners to collaborate to develop comprehensive strategies to better manage environmental migration, to address its challenges and to take advantage of the opportunities it presents, has never been more urgent,” Labovitz added.  

The event was organized by IOM, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and the United Nations Environment Programme.  

The event is happening three months after leaders from 164 countries met in Marrakech, Morocco, to adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Popularly known as the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), it was endorsed on 19 December with 152 member states voting in favour of the resolution. The GCM identifies climate change as a driver of migration.  

Moreover, the GCM articulates a comprehensive understanding of the challenges associated with the environment-migration nexus and formulates a range of potential responses to support states and migrants.   

At the event, Habibo Muse, a Somali national who migrated to Kenya in part due to the effects of drought in her country, shared her experience on how she and others incurred huge economic losses and endured severe hardships.  

“It is incumbent upon us to develop policies and measures that will cushion people against climate-related disasters while at the same time conserving the environment,” Labovitz said.   

For more information please contact Lisa Lim Ah Ken, IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa, Email: llimahken@iom.int, Tel: +254 741 540 079   

For media inquiries please contact Kenneth Odiwuor, IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa, Email: kodiwuor@iom.int, Tel: +254 722 560 363  

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 14:04
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Experts gather at a side event in Nairobi to discuss the relationship between climate change and migration jointly organized by IOM, the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco and other partners. Photo: IOM/Kennedy Njagi 

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‘Voodoo Curses’ Keep Victims of Trafficking Under Bondage

By jcborlongan from News. Published on Mar 19, 2019.

Bamako – Gold is Mali’s top export, accounting for at least 60 per cent of the country’s total exports in 2017 and making Mali the third gold exporter in Africa, just after South Africa and Ghana. Small-scale, informal and low-tech mining also known as artisanal mining, although largely unregulated, accounts for at least one third of Mali’s total gold production.  

Every year, the sector which has seen an increase in activity since the start of the crisis in 2012, attracts thousands of men and boys from across the region, creating a demand for sex workers to satisfy the needs of those who spend months, sometimes years away from their spouses who stayed back home.  

And every year, girls and women like Loveth are trafficked from neighbouring countries primarily for prostitution and sexual slavery.  

In a corner of her shack made of black canvas, wood and corrugated iron, ogbonno soup, a traditional Nigerian dish simmers in a steel pot. When she does not work, Loveth likes to cook her mother’s recipes. A native of Edo State in Nigeria, Loveth now lives more than 2,000 kilometres away, in Koflatiè, a shantytown located in a mining area, in Southwestern Mali. She left Nigeria in 2017 in search of a better opportunity.  

“In Nigeria, I was approached by a woman who offered to take me to Mali. She told me I would get a job. But I did not know this is what I was getting into,” Loveth explains.    

“When I arrived in Mali, the madam [procuress] took my passport away and asked me to pay her one million CFA [USD 2,000] to get it back and the only way to pay her back was prostitution. I refused because of my son,” she says. John* (name changed), Loveth’s one-year-old son, had joined her on the dangerous journey to Mali. 

“After some time, I couldn’t pay my rent anymore. I could not travel back home. I did not have money. I did not have a passport. That’s why I gave in to her pressure.”  

What happened next, is what happened to an estimated 20,000 Nigerian girls and women in Mali according to Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP). When she exhausted her savings, Loveth had no other option than to prostitute herself to get the ransom money. 

“I managed to pay half of the money before I escaped,” she adds. Loveth did not collect her passport when she ran away from the madam.  

Today, she works as a waitress in a bar owned by a Nigerian survivor of human trafficking who established herself in the surroundings of Koflatiè. She hopes to return home to start over but wishes to stay in Mali for the moment. 

Loveth is among thousands of Nigerian girls vulnerable to human trafficking and sexual exploitation around Mali’s artisanal gold mining areas. First-hand accounts from IOM staff who met them reveal that many of them are underage and were deceived into travelling to Mali either through false promises of a regular job, or the conviction that they were heading to Europe.  

Bondage is a common method used by traffickers to coerce their victims and exercise control over them. As in Loveth’s case it can be debt bondage, but it can also be the confiscation of travel documents or voodoo cursing or in this case, victims of trafficking are coerced into signing a moral contract with the traffickers who finance their journey. 

The contract is sealed by a spiritual priest or ‘native doctor’ to whom they promise never to denounce their traffickers to the police, to obey their ‘madam’ and to fully pay their debt. The victims thus live in constant fear of reprisals, including their death or that of their family, if they fail. For those arriving in Italy, their debt can reach EUR 50,000. 

The trend of trafficking of girls from Nigeria for sexual exploitation is captured in IOM’s latest reports on human trafficking along the Central Mediterranean Route

In 2017, out of the 119,000 migrants who arrived Italy, 18,185 were Nigerian, 5,425 of whom were women. IOM Italy estimates that 80 per cent of these women were potential victims of trafficking and that 94 per cent were from Edo State. 

This year, to fill in the lack of data on the exploitation of migrants in mines, IOM is conducting a study on Migration Towards Artisanal Mining Sites in Mali and in other West African countries, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). The findings will help IOM better understand the migratory dynamics in relation to gold mining activities in the region and provide stakeholders with evidence-based research to inform their policies, strategies and responses.   

 

For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 786 206 213, Email: fkim@iom.int    

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 14:34
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Loveth is one of the thousands Nigerian victims of trafficking living in Koflatiè, a shantytown located in a mining area, in Southwestern Mali. Photo: IOM/François-Xavier Ada-Affana 

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IOM, UNAOC Launch PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival 2019 Call for Applications

By jules from News. Published on Mar 15, 2019.

New York – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) announced the launch of the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival 2019 edition inviting young people around the world to submit original and creative videos focusing on the pressing social issues of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia. 

In a world often characterized by intolerance and cultural divisions, PLURAL+ recognizes youth as powerful agents of social change and empowers them to share their creative vision with the world and foster respect for diversity. 

PLURAL+ video entries must be between one and five minutes and can be of any genre (animation, documentary, music video, comedy, etc.) if they convey constructive messages related to the themes of migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia. The deadline to apply is Sunday, 16 June 2019 at midnight EST. 

“In today’s world, the creative work and voices of young people are more needed than ever,” said the High Representative for UNAOC Miguel Ángel Moratinos. “With PLURAL+, we provide young people with a global dissemination platform that empowers them to share important messages of tolerance, inclusion, and respect for diversity with the global community.” 

An International Jury will select one PLURAL+ Award winner in each of the three age categories (up to 12 years old; 13 to 17 years old; and 18 to 25 years old), and IOM and UNAOC will jointly select one video to receive the Special Award for the Prevention of Xenophobia. PLURAL+ partner organizations will also award a multitude of prizes and professional opportunities to several young filmmakers.  

PLURAL+ winners will be invited to New York all expenses paid to participate in the PLURAL+ Awards Ceremony in November 2019 and a series of side events providing opportunities for professional development, co-productions, and networking. 

“At a time when so many people are exposed to negative narratives about migration, it is heartening to see such display of solidarity and empathy,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino in his remarks at the PLURAL+ 10th anniversary and awards ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters in New York in November 2018. “It is the responsibility of each of us to present migration stories in ways that represent the reality and the human face of human mobility. The voices of our youth are the future and should be amplified,” he added.  

With increasing interest and participation over the years, PLURAL+ has become a premier global platform for youth media distribution. Since the launch of the festival in 2009, PLURAL+ winning videos have been selected among thousands of video entries from more than 100 countries. The winning videos have been screened and broadcast in dozens of festivals, movie theatres and television networks around the world, as well as in schools and global conferences, and they have received more than one million views online.  

To submit a video to PLURAL+, visit: https://pluralplus.unaoc.org/   

For more information please contact Rahma Gamil Soliman (IOM), Email: rsoliman@iom.int, or Thibault Chareton (UNAOC), Email: thibaultc@unops.org 

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Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:40
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The winners of PLURAL+2018 award for age group 13-17 with the International Jury Member Marcia Mayer at the PLURAL+ 2018 awards ceremony and 10th year anniversary. United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: IOM 2018/Avery white

IOM Director General Vitorino’s video message at the opening of the PLURAL+ 2018 awards ceremony. United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: IOM 2018/Avery white

The Mimesis Ensemble performing Kinan Azmeh’s “The Fence, The Rooftop and the Distant Sea, 4th movement” beautifully expressing in music stories of migration. United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: IOM 2018/Avery white

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Migration – “A Cause, Consequence and Catalyst of Development in Ukraine”

By jules from News. Published on Mar 15, 2019.

Kyiv – Ukraine is one of the most migration-affected countries in Europe, with a diaspora of up to 20 million people, 1.36 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), and a cadre of 1.3 million labour migrants contributing to remittances of USD 11 billion – ten per cent of the GDP*. 

This week, the country made an important step towards coherence with best international practices in migration management, as its Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) Country Profile validated at an IOM-organized meeting in the capital Kyiv.  

The MGI Country Profile – a global joint IOM/Economist Intelligence Unit/Government initiative – provides authorities with insights on policy levers that they can use to enhance and strengthen migration governance.  

“With our MGI profile we will be able to compare our migration management policy with the best international practices in real time. Around 90 indicators of the profile will allow Ukrainian government entities to assess their programming and foster their strategic planning,” said Head of the State Migration Service (SMS) of Ukraine, Maksym Sokoliuk. 

In Ukraine’s case this will mean everything from countering human trafficking to border management; from the State’s communication with citizens willing to return from abroad to the access of irregular migrants to healthcare; from nourishing partnerships with the private sector to mainstreaming the development potential of migration into national strategic policies. 

Sokoliuk pledged the readiness of the SMS to lead the revision of the report every three years to keep this policy instrument up-to-date and useful.  

“We appreciate the commitment and openness of the Ukrainian Government in drafting the MGI country profile,” said IOM Ukraine’s Chief of Mission, Dr. Thomas Lothar Weiss. “The active involvement of over nine ministries and other state authorities in the development of the report made it really comprehensive and contributed to promoting migration as a cause, consequence and catalyst of development.”  

Deputy Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons of Ukraine, Heorhii Tuka, highlighted the importance to keep internal migration and the needs of displaced populations in focus of migration governance initiatives. “The international community’s support is vital and we are ready to further develop our cooperation with IOM for better reintegration of IDPs,” he said.  

The final version of the MGI report on Ukraine will be published later this year. It will help Ukraine advance its migration governance in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, facilitating orderly, safe, and responsible mobility of people – be they Ukrainian labour migrants, returnees, foreigners coming to Ukraine or Ukrainian conflict-affected populations – through planned and well-managed policies.  

Watch video here of Dr. Thomas Weiss, IOM Chief of Mission in the Ukraine talking about Ukraine's Migration Governance Indicators (MGI) Country Profile. 

* State Statistic Service, National Bank of Ukraine 

Migration Governance Indicators is IOM’s global initiative implemented with the analytical support of The Economist Intelligence Unit and participation of the national migration-management authorities. To date, 50 countries have been included in the MGI. More details are available at https://migrationdataportal.org/ 

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, E-mail: vzhluktenko@iom.int 

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Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:35
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(L to R) IOM’s Laura Scorretti and Dr Thomas Lothar Weiss with officials from the State Migration Service at the Migration Governance Indicators launch in Kyiv this week. 

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Paris Airport Staff Gather to Improve Identification, Referral of Victims of Trafficking

By jules from News. Published on Mar 15, 2019.

Paris – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized an awareness-raising event on the identification and referral of victims of trafficking on 15 March at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. The event brought together frontline practitioners, including border police officers, airline staff, security agents, UK and US immigration officers, and civil society organizations working at the airport.  

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as well as French stakeholders involved in the fight against trafficking in human beings, also actively contributed to the session, along with IOM France’s counter-trafficking team.  

“The training of frontline stakeholders, including those present in the airports, is one of the key measures featured in the upcoming second National Action Plan. Working in partnership is the only way to better identify and protect victims. We hope that today’s event will pave the way for concrete actions aiming at detecting and referring victims while they are on the move,” said Elisabeth Moiron-Braud, National Anti-trafficking Coordinator. 

Data from IOM’s Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC), the world's first global data hub on human trafficking, show that nearly 80 per cent of human trafficking journeys cross through official border points such as land border controls or airports. About 20 per cent of the crossings happened by plane.  

At the meeting, concrete tools to enhance victim identification in an airport environment were presented, included the 2019 edition of IOM’s Counter-Trafficking Directory, a user-friendly guide containing human trafficking information and contact points for 82 countries. The directory aims to facilitate quick referral of potential cases to competent authorities.  

“In the context of globalization and growth in the air sector, it is expected that the number of victims trafficked by air may increase in the future, making the training of airport staff even more needed,” stressed Sara Abbas, IOM France Head of Office.   

The event was part of a series of counter-trafficking training activities put in place by IOM France in the framework of the DETECT and CARE + projects, allowing for more than 200 professionals to receive information and tools for better identifying and helping victims of trafficking in 2018 and the first quarter of 2019. 

Download IOM’s Counter-Trafficking Directory here:    

http://iomfrance.org/sites/default/files/Repertoire_IOM_EN_2019_WEB.pdf  

For further information, please contact IOM France, Chloe Taillard Yévenes, Tel: +33 (0)1 4044 0691, Email: ctyevenes@iom.int or Fanny Ruinart, Tel: +33 (0)1 4044 0684, Email: fruinart@iom.int

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Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:30
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Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.

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Korean Humanitarian Stakeholders Trained in Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction

By jules from News. Published on Mar 15, 2019.

Seoul – Typhoons, earthquakes and other disasters are occurring with increasing frequency around the world. Governments and humanitarian workers constantly need to strengthen their ability to respond when disaster hits. 

This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) mission in the Republic of Korea (ROK) hosted a two-day workshop on Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR). The event took place on March 13–14 in Seoul and was led by two trainers from the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Netherlands Red Cross Partners for Resilience (PfR). A total of 33 humanitarian practitioners and ROK government officials attended the event. 

“As Korean humanitarian workers’ engagement in crisis abroad has been strengthened in recent decades, many are deployed to disaster-prone regions every year including the Philippines during the typhoon and Indonesia after the tsunami,” noted Mihyung Park, Head of IOM ROK office. 

“That is why IOM ROK organized this training. It aims to provide an opportunity for the participants to apply CBDRR skill sets to mitigate the community’s susceptibility to crisis and ensure effective coordination between community members and aid organizations,” she added.  

CBDRR is a systematic approach that focuses on the community’s needs, geography, and social environment to increase local resilience and reduce vulnerability at times of disasters.  

The two trainers leading the event – Sanna Paulina Salmela-Eckstein, Regional DRR Coordinator and Climate Change Focal Point of IFRC’s Asia-Pacific Regional Office, and Sandra Romero, Country Lead of the PfR in the Philippines – provided a comprehensive overview of CBDRR and practical knowledge for community risk assessment, CBDRR plan formulation, and its implementation. 

The training was conducted in a participatory manner; the process of CBDRR programming was elaborated, in order to enhance participants’ understanding of the roles and responsibilities in response to disasters and recovery operations. Sharing experiences and lessons learned from field operations, the participants discussed how they can assess and act on expected risks through disaster preparedness, Early Warning System (EWS), and CBDRR measures. 

“There was a high degree of interest around understanding the key CBDRR processes, analysing case studies, and establishing a framework for monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Through the group exercises, I hope that the participants have learned the CBDRR approach to prevent, prepare for, respond to and recover from the impacts of disasters,” said IFRC’s Sanna Paulina Salmela-Eckstein.  

The workshop was organized as part of IOM ROK’s capacity-building project for Korean humanitarian actors, funded by the USAID Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Since 2015, IOM ROK has provided a wide range of humanitarian trainings including Data Analysis and Management Training and Gender-Based Violence Workshop. 

Further information on Disaster Risk Reduction visit: https://www.iom.int/disaster-risk-reduction 

For more information please contact IOM ROK, Mihyung Park, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email: mipark@iom.int or Jumi Kim, Tel: +82 (0)70 4820 0292, Email: jukim@iom.int 

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Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:25
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During the group exercise, the participants built a Community-Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) process along with the shared natural hazard case. Photo: IOM 

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Reopening of Community Market Brings Hope to Locals in North-East Nigeria

By jules from News. Published on Mar 15, 2019.

Gwoza – On 10 March, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reopened a rehabilitated community market in Gwoza, Nigeria. 142 Gwoza residents participated in the rehabilitation of the market as part of a cash for work initiative aimed at strengthening the local economy through income opportunities and providing motivation for conflict affected individuals to invest in their community. The market was badly damaged as a result of the protracted conflict with non-state armed groups in north-east Nigeria and remained unused for many years.

“The reopening of the local market is an important part of IOM’s support to the transition and recovery process in Gwoza,” said Afra Ure, IOM Nigeria Project Officer. “Apart from reinvigorating the local economy, it is also an important step towards a return to the community’s pre-conflict way of life.”

Though many people have returned to their homes in Gwoza since Nigerian forces regained control of the town in 2015, humanitarian assistance remains critical. In addition to livelihood recovery assistance, IOM distributed 550 cash grants and shelter repair kits containing the necessary materials to rebuild homes.

“I have worked in an open space without shade in the old market for over four years,” said Modu, a local vendor. “But with the construction of stalls, I can comfortably display my fabric wraps and I believe even my customers will be more at ease to buy my products.”

Alongside Modu some 350 other vendors now sell cereals, vegetables, clothing and household items such as buckets, brooms and cleaning products in the new facilities.  

As part of the efforts to improve the living conditions of people affected by the conflict, support their recovery and build their resilience, IOM has implemented livelihood projects consisting of community-level rehabilitation and vocational trainings across North-East Nigeria.

“I’m the leader of my household and I hope that working in the reopened market will help me get the necessary means to sustain my family… I’m optimistic,” said Fatima, who sells candy and other confectioneries at the market.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 815 5263 827, Email: jgalindo@iom.int 

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Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:20
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The market was refurbished by members of the local community. Photo: IOM 

The market was refurbished by members of the local community. Photo: IOM 

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Sierra Leone: First Network of Journalists to Combat Trafficking in Persons

By jules from News. Published on Mar 15, 2019.

Makeni City – Sierra Leone has been wracked by violence, civil war and Ebola in its recent history. Poverty is endemic. So is a high level of joblessness. Both feed a scourge: trafficking in forced labour. 

“More than half of the youth population is unemployed so when an exciting offer, especially to go abroad, is presented, most young people seize it, often without checking its authenticity,” explained Sanusi Savage, Head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) office in Sierra Leone.  

“Young people’s desperation in the face of hardship often blinds them to the scams that permeate the recruitment sector,” Sanusi added. 

Earlier this month, 27 journalists from community and national radio stations in Sierra Leone established a unique kind of national network against trafficking in persons (TiP) in the country. Through radio broadcasts, the network will contribute to educate Sierra Leoneans on the identification of fake job offers, and report suspected cases of trafficking to the national anti-trafficking task force.  

The establishment of the network is the result of a three-day (5-7 March) workshop on Communication for Development (C4D) during which 27 Sierra Leonean radio journalists debated on the best practices to reporting and raising awareness on trafficking in persons in Sierra Leone. 

“This is a first step towards what we hope will be a long-term strategy to help Sierra Leoneans better understand the dangers of trafficking in persons,” said Mohamed Sajuma of Radio Mojcar. 

According to the US Department of State 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report, Sierra Leone is both a source and destination country. Forced labour and sexual exploitation are the main purposes of human trafficking in and from the West African country. 

Traffickers recruit boys and girls as young as nine years old from rural provinces to urban and mining centres for exploitation in sex trafficking and forced labour in domestic service, artisanal diamond and granite mining, petty trading, rock quarrying, street crime, and begging. 

Some Sierra Leoneans, especially young women, are also coerced by sham recruitment and placement agencies, and then smuggled across international borders to be subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking primarily in Gulf countries. 

Over seven weeks, the journalists will collaborate on the development and broadcasting of a seven-episode radio series to raise awareness on the risks and dangers of both domestic and transnational trafficking in Sierra Leone, as well as the methods for identifying and reporting suspected cases of trafficking.  

“This is the first time that such a network is established in Sierra Leone. I hope that it will be a place where we can learn from each other, and that it will foster good journalistic practices with regard to trafficking in persons in Sierra Leone,” said Margaret Mansaray from Radio Bintumani, a community radio located in Kabala in Northern Sierra Leone. 

The Communication for Development Workshop was organized through the Africa Regional Migration Programme implemented in Sierra Leone with funding from the US Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration.  

Watch video here

For more information, please contact Dr. James Bagonza at IOM Sierra Leone, Email: jbagonza@iom.int or Nnamdi Iwuora at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Email: niwuora@iom.int  

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Friday, March 15, 2019 - 15:15
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Sierra Leonean journalists participating in a training on trafficking in persons. IOM/François-Xavier Ada-Affana

Over three days, radio journalists in Sierra Leone were trained in the Communication for Development (C4D) approach to awareness raising. This will enable them to develop a tailored radio campaign to educate Sierra Leoneans on identifying and reporting fake job opportunities. 

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ACP, EU, CMC, IOM Tackle Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling in the Caribbean

By jules from News. Published on Mar 15, 2019.

Georgetown – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a major Caribbean counter-trafficking network yesterday (14/03) concluded three days of exchange in Guyana on countering the scourges of trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling, which afflict a region where the number of girl victims of trafficking is among the highest globally.    

IOM, in the framework of its ACP-EU Migration Action programme, joined forces with the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) Counter-Trafficking Network this week for the regional thematic meeting which brought together over 50 participants from Caribbean countries, the European Union, high representatives of international and regional organizations and NGOs, to discuss and identify effective means of countering these phenomena in the Caribbean through coordinated, regional actions.  

“Trafficking and smuggling are highly profitable businesses involving criminal networks that are very hard to trace by the authorities. The Caribbean, being a diverse region of transit migration, is hit by these serious crimes which often result in grave human rights violations, affecting men, women and children alike,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central and North America and the Caribbean.  

“Increasingly, countries across the globe and in the Caribbean region are prioritizing the fight against trafficking in human beings and the smuggling of migrants,” added Pisani. “And they recognize that in doing so, we can contribute to achieving several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”    

At the meeting, experts shared the state of the art in counter-trafficking and counter-smuggling good practices, discussed the challenges and identified solutions requiring continuing collaboration in the future. It also provided an opportunity for fruitful exchange between law enforcement and victim protection professionals, both essential to a comprehensive approach towards countering trafficking and smuggling.  

“This meeting will be very important to generate recommendations specific to the region on trafficking and smuggling,” said Minister of Public Security of Guyana Khemraj Ramjattan in his opening remarks. The recommendations will also serve to inform the Dialogue on Migration and Development between African, Caribbean and Pacific and European Union countries.  

IOM, through the Africa Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) – European Union (EU) Migration Action, is working to build national capacities for combating trafficking and smuggling in several Caribbean countries. The Counter-Trafficking Network of the CMC is the first regional network in the Caribbean to focus on assistance and protection of victims of trafficking as well as investigation and prosecution.   

“This synergy between the Action and the CMC Counter-Trafficking Network provides an excellent opportunity to build further upon ongoing national and regional efforts to combat these crimes,” stressed Pisani.   

The ACP-EU Action, launched in June 2014, provides tailored technical support on migration to ACP countries and regional organizations. To date it has received 74 technical assistance requests from 67 ACP governments and 7 regional organizations.     

The programme is financed by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and supported by the ACP Secretariat and the EU. For more information on the ACP-EU Migration Action, go to: www.acpeumigrationaction.iom.int and follow on Twitter: @ACP_EU_Action, Facebook: facebook.com/acpeuaction   

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) renew national and global commitments to combat all forms of human trafficking and to protect victims of trafficking. 

Decent work and safe working conditions are important for addressing the scourge of human trafficking for forced labour. Target 8.7 can help States to strengthen the protection of exploited and trafficked individuals, and to bolster efforts to prosecute and redress these crimes.  

The SDGs address trafficking in women and children through targets 5.2 and 16.2, encouraging actors to use a gender- and age-sensitive lens when addressing human trafficking.  

Trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling are also addressed under target 16.4, underlining the need to tackle the organized crime linked to these phenomena. 

For further information, please contact ACP-EU Migration Action at the IOM Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2 287 78 10, Email: ACPEUmigrationaction@iom.int, or Rosilyne Borland at the IOM Regional Office in San Jose, Tel: +506 22 12 53 18, Email: rborland@iom.int 

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ACP, EU, CMC and IOM experts discuss human trafficking and migrant smuggling at a regional meeting in Guyana 2019. Photos: IOM 

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