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Biometric Registration of Displaced Population in Juba Enhances Accountability in Humanitarian Aid

By jules from News. Published on Oct 23, 2018.

Juba – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team in South Sudan and partners recently concluded a biometric registration exercise which resulted in a total of 32,113 displaced people living in Juba’s two protection of civilian (PoC) sites being registered.

Biometric registration is a widespread practice in South Sudan, which allows for a more accurate picture of the population living in a displacement site and enables agencies to plan assistance in a more targeted and accountable way.

IOM’s biometric registration database in South Sudan includes over 700,000 people. The Organization is working jointly with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) to further expand the use of biometric data to avoid duplication of assistance and to ensure that those receiving aid are indeed the intended beneficiaries.

The new Juba PoC registration numbers show a significant drop (18%) from earlier figures dating back to a previous registration exercise, conducted in October 2016. Almost half of the decrease is due to a recent relocation of 3,379 people conducted from Juba PoC 3 site to a temporary site called Mangateen following intercommunal tensions. The registration data indicated that more than 3,600 individuals left the PoC sites for unknown destinations.

Hundreds of thousands of people sought safety in UN bases after the breakout of conflict and widespread violence in South Sudan in 2013. These areas became known as protection of civilian sites. Established in early 2014, the Juba PoC sites host mainly people displaced from Juba town and locations in Unity.

PoC 1 site remains the smaller of the two PoC sites in Juba, with a total of 7,515 people currently living there, while the PoC 3 site hosts 24,598 individuals. Fifty-five per cent of the overall population are children and youth under the age of 18. Fifty-two per cent of the population are men and boys, whereas 48 per cent are women and girls. The average household size is 3.6 people (excluding 6,105 people, who registered independently rather than as a household unit). Average household sizes may be even higher, as families sometimes split and register as multiple separate households for a variety of reasons.

“The success of this exercise depended greatly on close collaboration between different humanitarian partners and the United Nations Missions in South Sudan (UNMISS),” said Tya Maskun, IOM South Sudan Head of Operations. “This will go a long way to ensure that vulnerable displaced populations get the assistance that they need,” added Maskun.

IOM began the exercise in early September with a two-day temporary registration (T-REG), which enabled the Organization to quickly account for the people residing in the sites. Through fingerprint registration, IOM created a database of those who could take part in the full registration exercise conducted between 14 September and 16 October 2018. The use of T-REG for the initial stage of biometric registration is a new methodology and a marked improvement over previous uses of ink and tokens.

IOM is working with partners to prepare a detailed report analysing trends in displacement at the Juba PoC sites in comparison to findings from the 2016 and 2018 registration exercises. The report will also draw on the findings of a complementary protection assessment undertaken by protection partners during the biometric registration exercise and is expected to be available before the end of the year.  

IOM’s biometric activities in South Sudan are supported by Department for International Development (DFID), the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and WFP.

As of July 2018, OCHA reported that there were approximately 1.8 million people displaced in South Sudan. IOM continues to coordinate with relief partners to provide multi-sector humanitarian assistance to displaced and conflict-affected people across the country.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon in Juba, Tel: +211912379843, Email: oheadon@iom.int 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 16:30
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IOM and partners conduct biometric registration in Juba’s protection of civilians (PoC) sites. Photo: Karki/IOM

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IOM Remains Committed to Resettlement Despite Decline in 2018

By jules from News. Published on Oct 23, 2018.

Geneva – In the first six months of 2018, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, supported the resettlement of 47,197 refugees departing from 106 different countries. The Organization plays a key role in the resettlement process by providing services that prepare refugees to integrate in their new countries.

Lebanon, Turkey and Afghanistan were the top three departure countries for refugees resettled globally. In addition, Syrian, Afghan and Congolese (from the Democratic Republic of the Congo) refugees were among the top three nationalities selected for resettlement. These refugees began new lives in a total of 26 different countries, with the United States, Canada and Sweden as the top three receiving countries.

In cooperation with European governments, IOM also supports the relocation of refugees and migrants who arrived at ports-of-entry in countries like Greece to other receiving European countries. From January to June of this year, IOM relocated 1,595 people to destination countries within Europe.

In comparison with resettlement rates from January to June 2017, the number of refugees resettled in the first half of 2018 has reduced by 40 per cent (from 79,299 to 47,197). Similarly, the relocation of refugees and migrants in Europe has decreased by 88 per cent (from 13,260 to 1,546) in the same reporting period.

While the United States remains the leading recipient of resettled refugees in 2018, it has fallen from admitting 31,808 humanitarian entrants in 2017 to 14,379 persons in the first six months of 2018.

According to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, as of mid-2018, 68.5 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced, of which 25.4 million have crossed international borders and are recognised as refugees by UNHCR.

“Resettlement remains a vital international protection tool for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations. It is important for practitioners to support and advocate for resettlement, so these valuable opportunities remain, and policy makers are reminded of this important humanitarian solution,” said Craig Murphy, IOM’s Programme Manager for the Emerging Resettlement Countries Mechanism (ERCM).

Despite its reduction, resettlement offers a crucial multilateral humanitarian solution for refugees. In addition to integration and return, resettlement is one of the three durable solutions available to refugees – and one of the only options for those living in situations of long-term displacement.

However, resettlement as a durable solution is accessible to less than one per cent of the refugee population. IOM, therefore, supports the expansion and improvement of traditional resettlement programmes as well as diversifying complementary pathways of migration for refugees – including family reunification, student visas and scholarships, and labour migration.

“IOM continues to support governments engaged in resettlement as a durable solution for refugees by providing comprehensive care to prepare refugees for their journey, support them during travel and assist with post-arrival integration. This is done through well-developed protocols for health assessments and the development of curriculum and pre-departure orientation courses,” explained Murphy.

Partnerships and close coordination are central to effective resettlement. IOM plans and coordinates with governments to ensure safe, dignified and ultimately successful resettlement. UNHCR undertakes the primary role in identifying refugees considered for resettlement.

This short animated video showcases the resettlement process, from selection to reception, for one refugee family. It highlights the plight of refugees and IOM’s role in essential aspects of resettlement from health and integration, to ensuring safe and dignified movement.

For more information, please contact Craig Murphy at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41 22 717 9183, Email: cmurphy@iom.int

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 16:29
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As part of the pre-departure orientation process, IOM staff members assist a refugee family to try on new shoes in Mae Sot, Thailand. IOM/ 2017

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Somali Mother and Daughter Reunited in Cyprus After Three-Year Separation

By jules from News. Published on Oct 23, 2018.

Larnaca – A 29-year-old Somali mother and her 6-year-old daughter were recently reunited after a three-year separation, finally meeting again at Larnaca International Airport on 22 October through the efforts of the IOM missions in Cyprus and Somalia.

The journey of Samia, the mother, began in Somalia, continued through Turkey, and ended in the northern part of Cyprus. Samia's journey was fraught with difficulties, but she has now managed to secure a better future for herself and her daughter.

Upon her arrival in Cyprus, Samia applied for asylum. When this was granted, she applied for family reunification, in order to bring Manar – her only daughter – to Cyprus. Until then, Manar was staying with her grandparents in Mogadishu.

From the moment that Samia requested to bring her daughter to Cyprus, the IOM offices in Somalia and in Cyprus joined forces to assist the anxious mother.  

Prior to Manar’s departure from Somalia, the IOM office in Somalia assisted with the young girl’s flight arrangements and provided her with airport assistance until she reached Cyprus.

Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus and the Civil Registry and Migration Department, Samia was finally able to embrace her daughter after three years of being apart.

“This reunification is the outcome of great coordination between IOM and the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Cyprus. Samia was separated from her daughter for three years. She missed her daughter very much and was thrilled upon her arrival. IOM, in addition to resettlement support, also offers additional safe and legal pathways for migrants, including the most vulnerable family members of refugees,” said Natasa Xenophontos Koudouna, Head of the IOM office in Cyprus.

This is the first time that IOM Cyprus has assisted a Somali family in this manner, and only the second time in the mission's history that a family reunification has taken place.  

Family reunification accounts for a large share of regular migration in many countries and is a positive means of upholding the right to family life and promoting social integration. The right to family unity is a fundamental human right. 

IOM encourages all EU Member States to consider a programmatic and comprehensive approach to family reunification – first and foremost, of refugees and those holding subsidiary protection status – such as that taken in IOM’s Family Assistance Programme

In addition to IOM’s Family Assistance Programme, IOM offices in the EU, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland during the first half of 2018 have facilitated the family reunification of over 4,800 persons through various activities including, but not limited to, visa application support, consular support and travel assistance.  During this period at least 2,800 persons travelled to be reunited with their relatives in the EU and associated states, through IOM support.  

For more information contact Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel. +357 22 77 22 56, Email: dtsagalas@iom.int

 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 16:26
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‘Light on the Move’: IOM Co-Hosts Migration Photography Exhibition in Greece

By jules from News. Published on Oct 23, 2018.

Athens — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is organizing a photo exhibition titled “Light on the move” at Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, featuring the work of world-renowned photographer Muhammed Muheisen — a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.

Inspired by Muheisen’s photography on the themes of migration and displacement and drawing from a catalogue that spans over a decade, the pictures in the exhibition depict the everyday life of refugees, migrants and internally displaced people, as well as the challenges they face.

Men, women and children from Syria, Greece, Pakistan, Afghanistan the Netherlands and many other countries, remind visitors that human nature acknowledges no borders and that mankind is present everywhere, regardless of nationality, religion, age or gender; people on the move, carry and share their own light.

“Nobody leaves their home unless they’re forced to leave their home, and that’s what I try to show in my images. For me, it’s a story of the people. We always use the word refugee, but behind the word, [there] are people with dreams, people with stories, people with history and backgrounds,” said Muheisen. “It is not only a picture of a child, it is a message from a child from [one] part of the world to another child from another part of the world. I personally believe that through photography we can make a real difference, big or small, at least we can start somewhere. By portraying them my goal is to carry their voice to the world.”

Muhammed Muheisen is a Jordanian photojournalist, a National Geographic Photographer, founder of the Everyday Refugees Foundation and a Canon brand ambassador. In 2013 he was named Best Photographer of the Year by TIME Magazine.

He has covered major events around the world, in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and the United States of America and has been documenting the refugee crisis across the Middle East, Asia and Europe for over a decade. This is the first time Muheisen is exhibiting his photographs in Greece, as a generous donation to IOM Greece, one of the basic actors in the field of migration.

The photo exhibition is mainly sponsored by DELTA Company, under its framework of activities which support Greek society and underline its challenges.

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

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 16:23
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21-month-old Afghan refugee Anna Rahmoni sleeps under a mosquito net outside her family's tent to escape the heat trapped inside the tent, in Malakasa camp north of the Greek capital. Photo: Muhammed Muheisen

Manar Abdulrazaq, a 12-year-old Syrian refugee from Deir ez-Zor, poses for a picture inside her family's shelter in Elefsina camp Northwest of the Greek capital. "I wish to go back to school, we had to leave our home in Syria after it was destroyed in an airstrike, I still can remember the sound of the fighter jets in the sky, it was so scary." Photo: Muhammed Muheisen

A Syrian refugee woman tends to her daughter while cooking inside her tent in an informal tented settlement on the outskirts of Mafraq, Jordan. Photo by Muhammed Muheisen

19-year-old Syrian refugee Narmeen Zaytoun from Idlib, holds her 23-day-old son Mohammed while walking to her cousin's tent at the informal extension of Moria camp in the Greek Island of Lesbos. "I want what every mother wants, to raise her children in a safe place and wish them to grow up and become something”. Photo: Muhammed Muheisen

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Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 94,676 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,857

By jules from News. Published on Oct 23, 2018.

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 94,676 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 21 October, with 45,145 to Spain, the leading destination this year. In fact, since late September’s arrivals were reported, Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 146,898 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 324,267 at this point in 2016.

Spain, with 46 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in October at a volume – about 370 daily – that amounts to eight and a half times that of arrivals to Italy and almost three times that of Greece (see chart below).

Italy’s arrivals through late October remain extremely low, at fewer than 1,000 for each of the past two months, although with 10 days remaining to be counted in October, totals this month may again cross the 1,000-person threshold.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday that Ministry of Interior figures released by Italian authorities through October 19 indicate barely half of all sea arrivals this year to Italy by irregular migrants originated in Libya. Di Giacomo said Ministry of Interior numbers through last Monday were 12,465, out just under 22,000 total sea arrivals thus far in 2018. That amounts to 57 per cent of migrant voyages, while around 43 per cent are voyages originating in Tunisia, Algeria and other countries on the Mediterranean coast, including Turkey and Greece.

The Libya-to-Italy volume – averaging roughly 43 men, women and children daily through the year – marks a stunning drop in irregular migrant traffic into Italy since mid-summer 2017, when arrival numbers began dropping sharply (see chart below).  Volume in 2014 came to almost 450 per day; in 2015 around 410 per day; in 2016 485/day and last year 320/day.

Significantly, IOM Libya on Sunday reported that the total number of vulnerable migrants going home in 2018 on Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) flights from Tripoli and other Libyan cities has now surpassed 13,000 – to 32 separate countries of origin – marking the first time on record, IOM has sent back from Libya more men, women and children than the total number of irregular migrants sailing to Italy from that country.

IOM Libya said the similarity in numbers does not indicate that every migrant traveling under the VHR programme is a migrant who would otherwise have sailed to Italy. IOM Libya noted increased patrolling by Libyan Coast Guard units who intercept migrants offshore and return them to Libya has had an impact on the number of irregular voyages completed to Italy this year.

The Mediterranean remains a lethal passage for migrants, despite the sharp drop in traffic on the deadly central Mediterranean route. IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented through 21 October the deaths of 1,857 irregular migrants, over two-thirds of those fatalities in the waters between North Africa and Sicily.

Most recently, in the Western Mediterranean, the body of a woman was recovered on a beach 40km west of Nador, Morocco, on 20 October.  On Monday (22 October) a tragic shipwreck in the Aegean Sea claimed the lives of two children, when a boat carrying 34 people capsized just 50 meters off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey. Seventeen people were rescued from the water by the Turkish Coast Guard, while another 17 made it to shore. Tragically, two of those survivors – both children – died at the hospital, one a seven-year-old girl. Since the beginning of the year, the Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 42 children on the Eastern Mediterranean route, which represent 27 per cent of the total number of deaths recorded on this route.

Missing Migrants also reported two people died over the weekend when trying to jump over a border fence between Morocco’s province of Nador and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. Razor wire topping the six-meter border fence caused injuries to several people who were attempting to jump over the fence on Sunday, 21 October. The body of a young man from Sub-Saharan Africa was found on the Spanish side of the border, while local NGOs reported that another man died from his injuries at the hospital in Nador.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 45,145 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 21 October. With 10 days left for counting, October is likely to see as many as 10,000 irregular arrivals for the month, which would be the busiest in over four years (see chart below).

Dimitrios Tsagalas of IOM Cyprus reported Monday that at least seven migrants and refugees, all Syrians, entered the Republic through the Ledra Palace checkpoint on Friday 19 October, in addition to the arrival of 51 Syrians a few hours earlier at Cape Greco in the Famagusta area. Among these 58 recent arrivals were 27 children.

He said these arrivals bring to 669 men, women and children arriving in Cyprus this year, or more than five times the total counted through this date in 2017.

IOM Greece’s Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported on Monday (22 October) that from Thursday through Sunday (18-21 October), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) informed the United Nations Migration Agency it was involved in at least 11 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Symi and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 349 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Additional arrivals of some 270 to those same islands over these past four days brings to 25,938 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 21 October[GF1]  (see chart below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimates that at least 2,962 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below).

In addition to the devastating death toll in the Mediterranean, two Venezuelans were reported drowned in the Caribbean, in a shipwreck off the coast of Aruba on 19 October. They were travelling with 17 others in a boat that departed Friday night from the town of El Supí, on Venezuela’s the Paraguaná Peninsula. The remains of the two men were recovered by Aruban authorities, who detained five people. Several others managed to swim to the island. It is not yet known if there are any other passengers missing or known to have survived.

Hundreds of people have joined a caravan of migrants travelling through Central America attempting to escape poverty and the threat of violence. As they crossed Guatemala towards the Mexican border, a young Honduran man died in a vehicle accident in the highway Ruta del Pacífico-Amatitlán on 20 October.

In a separate incident, six Guatemalan nationals (five men and a woman) died in a car crash in the Mexican state of Chiapas on 21 October. Information on migrant deaths and disappearances in Central America and Mexico is scattered and imprecise, and the deaths documented by the Missing Migrants Project likely only capture a fraction of the true number of deaths.

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

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

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

 

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 16:17
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UN Migration Agency Trains Korean Aid Workers in Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments

By jules from News. Published on Oct 23, 2018.

Incheon – Last year, a total of 313 humanitarian workers were attacked in the field, according to the UN Aid Workers Security Report.

To enhance aid workers’ awareness of their personal security and safety, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, offers a training programme on how to respond to various security challenges for people deployed to hostile environments.

Safe and Secure Approaches in the Field Environments (SSAFE) has become a UN-certified flagship security training for aid workers from government agencies, international organizations, NGOs and private sector organizations.

IOM in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the ROK International Peace Supporting Standby Force (IPSSF), a Korean armed forces unit which provides training for peace keeping missions, jointly organized a SSAFE training in Incheon, ROK last week (16-19/10).

The training, which was funded by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), was attended by 23 participants from UN agencies including the World Food Programme and Special Tribunal for Lebanon; NGOs World Vision and ChildFund; and private sector companies IBM Korea and the Hankyoreh Media Group.

“As field operations have become more complex and unpredictable, demand for capacity building workshops (of this kind) has been growing among humanitarians. This four-day training was an excellent opportunity to understand threats to my security and (counter) measures that I can apply in the field. I hope more Korean aid workers can learn these essential skills to stay safe,” said a participant employed by a Korean NGO.

Facilitated by IOM’s Staff Security Unit, the training included lectures and field exercises designed to equip participants with personal security awareness, first aid and radio communication skills. It also provided two days of scenario-based exercises, including hostage survival and checkpoint simulations.

IOM Senior Security Operations Officer Steve Mayall, who led the programme, noted the enthusiasm of participants to learn about how to protect themselves from unexpected dangers. “Everyone fully grasps the notion that a better understanding of the potential hazards will mitigate the risks that they will encounter during their deployments in the field,” he said.

IOM ROK has been hosting safety and security trainings to Korean humanitarian workers since 2015. 

For more information please contact IOM ROK: Miah Park, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email: mipark@iom.int

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 16:16
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Safe and Secure Approaches in Field Environments (SSAFE) training includes lifesaving skills such as CPR. Photo: IOM

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Mongolia Internal Migration Drives Urbanization, De-population of Rural Areas: IOM

By jules from News. Published on Oct 23, 2018.

Ulaanbataar  –  The first nationwide study of migration in Mongolia reveals that most of the country’s internal migrants over the past 30 years have moved from rural areas to the capital, Ulaanbaatar, causing intensive urbanization and de-population of the countryside.

According to Mongolia: Internal Migration Study conducted by the National University of Mongolia, nearly half of the country’s population (47 percent) are now living in the capital, up from a little over a quarter (26.8 percent) in 1989. Between 20110 and 2016 some 126,143 people arrived at Ulaanbaatar, bringing the total population to 1.4 million, according to the National Statistics Office.

The study, which surveyed 1,000 migrant and non-migrant households, showed that most people did not migrate in response to a specific event. Most moved in search of jobs, better living conditions, educational opportunities, better health services, or to reunite with family members.

The majority settled in Ger districts on the outskirts of Ulaanbaatar, which now account for over 60 percent of the city’s population but have never been adequately integrated into municipal planning. New migrants form almost one third of the population living in these areas and an estimated 40 percent of them are believed to need support.

Some of the challenges and hardships they face are outlined in a second report: Urban Migrant Vulnerability Assessment compiled by the NGO Ger Community Mapping Center(https://www.germapcenter.org/.)

Both studies, conducted over a year, are part of an IOM project: “Understanding and Managing Internal Migration in Mongolia,” supported by the Ulaanbaatar City Municipality (UCM) and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC.)

“SDC’s support for conducting these assessments reflects a new direction in the Swiss Cooperation Strategy with Mongolia 2018-21 that aims at enhancing our engagement in addressing the challenges of rapid urbanization,” said Gabriella Spirli, SDC’s Director for Cooperation.

“Although the studies showed that the majority of migrants feel better off in Ulaanbaatar, they also revealed much information about the types of hardships the migrants face in the capital,” said Ulaanbaatar City Mayor S. Batbold. “These studies have presented us with invaluable evidence on which to base a new city population policy to meet the needs of residents.”

“These studies go further than providing important baseline data. They represent a breakthrough, because they are evidence-based and propose short- and longer-term solutions at national and local levels to improve current policies and procedures,” said IOM Mongolia Officer in Charge Richard Fairbrother. “IOM will continue supporting the government, the UCM, and the people of Mongolia, to uphold the human dignity and well-being of Mongolia’s internal migrants,” he added.

Following the launch of the reports, IOM will provide training to Mongolian policy makers on the principles, dynamics and challenges that characterize strategic management of internal migration. The training will aim to help the government to eventually draft a policy framework for managing internal migration.

Separately, IOM is today (22-23/10) organizing a two-day training in the use of its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) for 43 trainers from Mongolia’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA.) NEMA is responsible for emergency preparedness, planning and early warning systems nationwide.

Rural populations in Mongolia are particularly vulnerable to the impact of climate change and natural disasters. The rising incidence of severe droughts and dzuds (harsh winters) in the country often forces herders to either travel longer distances to find pastures or, in the event of losing their livestock, to move to urban centres.

The NEMA trainers will share their knowledge with district (soum) level colleagues to improve data collection, processing and assessment to inform emergency responses and enhance NEMA’s understanding of population movements and the needs of displaced populations on the move. A series of further trainings for soum DTM focal points is scheduled for December.

For more information on IOM’s “Understanding and Managing Internal Migration in Mongolia” project please go to: https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/country/docs/mongolia/iom-mongolia-sdc-project-factsheet-2017-2018.pdf

For more information please contact Zuzana Jankechova at IOM Mongolia, Email: zjankechova@iom.int, Tel: +976 70143100.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 16:08
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Mass migration from the countryside to urban areas is transforming Mongolia. Photo: IOM

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500 People Participate in IOM’s Fourth Cross-Border Crisis Simulation Exercise in Niger

By jules from News. Published on Oct 19, 2018.

Tillabéri – More than 500 members from communities, local authorities, civil society and security forces participated in IOM’s fourth crisis simulation exercise this week (17/10) in Tillabéri, Niger.

The exercise took place in close partnership with the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and Natural Disaster Management, and the Ministry of Health in Niger.

The exercise was organized under the project Engaging Communities in Border Management in Niger – Phase II, funded by the US Department of State. This was the fourth simulation exercise organized by IOM in Niger, having previously held similar exercises in 2017 and 2018 – two in Zinder region and one in Agadez region.

Tillabéri, site of this latest exercise, lies in a region covering southwest Niger which is regularly affected by population displacement flows. After the internal armed conflict in neighbouring Mali in 2012, over 50,000 Malians sought refuge in Niger. More recently, intercommunity clashes and the presence of terrorist armed groups in Niger triggered the internal displacement of more than 32,000 Nigeriens.

As with previous exercises, the simulation this week used a scenario conducted under real-life circumstances to test local and regional authorities’ ability to respond to a mass migration movement into Niger, precipitated by a crisis at the border.

This was the first time IOM Niger organized a simulation exercise on the Niger river, which entailed new logistical and coordination challenges. The new setting allowed for new actors to be involved in the exercise, such as the Gendarmerie’s River Brigade and the Environmental Services.

In addition to building the capacities of the authorities in responding to cross-border crises, the simulation exercise also enhanced community involvement in crisis management, as communities from the surrounding area played the roles of both displaced populations and of welcoming community.

“Such exercises provide a unique opportunity for local authorities and communities to be trained in crisis management, in real conditions, through a strong degree of realism,” said Arthur Langouet, IBM Project Manager with IOM Niger. “This is also a means to assess the needs in terms of equipment, training, and technical support for the development of crisis management tools,” Langouet added.

The exercise incorporates a strong community engagement component to foster communication between local communities and authorities. As communities are the first to directly encounter the signs of a crisis, communication with local authorities is crucial in both ensuring a quick and effective crisis response as well as preventing future crises.

The Governor of Tillabéri, Ibrahim Tidjani Katiella, expressed his gratitude towards IOM and stated that the exercise was extremely useful in building the capacity of the Regional Crisis Cell: “I look forward to our future cooperation with IOM for the development of a regional contingency plan.”

At the end of the exercise, IOM distributed 250 hygiene kits to participating community members, and handed over six tents to the Governorate of Tillabéri.

Throughout the next phase of the project, IOM will continue to support capacity building and community engagement activities in Tillabéri, building on the lessons learned through this simulation exercise. Additionally, a second simulation exercise will take place in the region of Tillabéri in 2019.

See the cross-border crisis simulation exercise in action here.

For more information, please contact Arthur Langouet at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8006 6561, E-mail: alangouet@iom.int.

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Friday, October 19, 2018 - 16:38
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An exercise along the Niger river challenges the response of government and local communities to the sudden mass movement of people. Photo: Monica Chiriac / IOM

IOM Organizes 4th Crisis Simulation Exercise Tillabéri, Niger | More than 500 individuals from communities, local authorities, civil society and security forces, participated in IOM’s fourth crisis simulation exercise on October 17 in Tillabéri, Niger.

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IOM Supports Development of Zimbabwe’s National Migration Policy

By jules from News. Published on Oct 19, 2018.

Harare – A three-day IOM-supported Government of Zimbabwe workshop this week brought together multiple stakeholders tasked with conducting an in-depth situational analysis of migration in the country to aid the design of a robust National Migration Policy (NMP).

“Migration is cross cutting as a number of sector ministries have migration mandates,” said Alois Matongo, Director for Policy and Research in Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage.

“It therefore calls for collective effort among state and non-state actors to come up with an overall migration policy that speaks to all aspects of migration. This workshop is evidence that we have started the development process of the NMP on a strong footing.”

Matongo rallied stakeholders to remain steadfast to the NMP development process as a true whole-of-government approach to migration governance.

Guided by the Africa Union Migration Policy Framework for Africa (2018-2030), the NMP will be an overarching migration management framework for monitoring and regulating internal and international migration as well as proper data collection and dissemination on migration trends. The policy will also address issues relating to diaspora cooperation, border governance, dignified treatment of migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs), asylum seekers and the role of civil society in migration management.

“Through this National Migration Policy development initiative, Zimbabwe is making a statement about its whole-of-government vision for managing migration at a time when the migration and development nexus is becoming louder,” said IOM Zimbabwe Project Manager Daniel Sam in his remarks, further highlighting the importance of stakeholder involvement in migration policy development.

Eight thematic areas, including migration governance, diaspora cooperation, border management, irregular migration, labour migration and education, became the focus of the workshop’s participants. Stakeholders concurred that the revised migration policy will not only strengthen current migration management efforts, but also adequately address identified gaps.

As a way forward, stakeholders came up with a road map for the development of the draft policy, set for release in February 2019.

The NMP will usher in coordinated and coherent migration management system in Zimbabwe – one that complements other sector-specific polices on migration established in the past three years, including the Diaspora Policy (2016) and the draft National Labour Migration Policy.

The formulation of the NMP is in conjunction with the Government of Zimbabwe, within the framework of the Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe and the Comprehensive Border Assessment and Immigration Policy for Enhancing Capacity on Integrated Border Management in Zimbabwe projects, with funding resources from the European Union and the IOM Development Fund, respectively.

For further information, please contact Gideon Madera at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 242 704285, Email: gmadera@iom.int

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Friday, October 19, 2018 - 16:36
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Participants in one of the thematic break-out groups during the National Migration Policy consultative workshop in Harare. Photo: IOM 

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Chinese, European Experts Share Techniques for Detection of Fraudulent Travel Documents

By jules from News. Published on Oct 19, 2018.

Kunming – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and the Chinese National Immigration Administration (NIA) this week organized a two-day technical workshop in Kunming on the detection of fraudulent travel documents.

Speakers, at the event, which ends today, included experts from FRONTEX, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Portugal and China. Participants included some 60 Chinese officials from central and provincial authorities and representatives of European Union (EU) Embassies and Consulates based in China.

Delegates highlighted the need to continuously develop innovative methods to curb document and identity fraud, including the use of big data analytics, to keep up with increasingly sophisticated efforts by criminals to evade border controls.

Speaking at the workshop, IOM Officer in Charge in China Richard Fairbrother said: “This discussion is hugely valuable because this challenge cannot be effectively addressed in isolation and requires concerted efforts with international partners.”

The Head of FRONTEX’s Centre of Excellence for Combatting Document Fraud Claudio Kavrecic said: “Equipping frontline officers with training on examination techniques and sharing of latest trends on fraudulent practices is crucial.  It is the first and often the only opportunity for the authorities at the border to detect any possible forgery.”

The workshop is one of a series of trainings on document fraud organized under the framework of IOM’s EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project, which is funded by the Partnership Instrument of the European Union. IOM supports Chinese government efforts to enhance the country’s capacity to combat irregular migration.      

For further information please contact Paddy Siyanga Knudsen at IOM China. Tel. +8618514668590, Email: pknudsen@iom.int

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Friday, October 19, 2018 - 16:34
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Chinese and European officials meet in Kunming to share best practices in combating travel document fraud. Photo: IOM

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After Revolution, Tunisian Migration Governance Has Changed. Has EU Policy?

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 17, 2018.

In the face of an uptick in unauthorized arrivals in Italy from Tunisia in 2017, the European Union dusted off earlier policy proposals such as funding to increase Tunisia’s border-control capabilities and the creation of disembarkation platforms. This article explores why contemporary developments, including a fragile Tunisian political system, suggest the need for a different approach.

Surviving vs. Thriving: The Need for a Paradigm Shift in Adult Education for Immigrants and Refugees

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 17, 2018.

The Next Frontier in Immigrant Integration Policy? Using Behavioral Insights to Foster Social Cohesion

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 16, 2018.

Can people be 'nudged' into support for immigrant integration? On this webinar, speakers explored what untapped potential behavioral insights may hold for integration policy and how policymakers can start fitting this approach, which has been used in areas from tax compliance to organ donation, into their work. The webinar marked the release of the report, Applying Behavioral Insights to Support Immigrant Integration and Social Cohesion

‘Nudge’ approach could offer a quick and cost-effective way to promote social mixing in multi-ethnic societies, MPI Europe research suggests

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 15, 2018.

BRUSSELS — Virtual reality, simple writing exercises and football games between mixed teams could all help migrants to settle into new societies and foster connections among diverse groups, according to research by the Migration Policy Institute Europe and the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT).

Applying Behavioral Insights to Support Immigrant Integration and Social Cohesion

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 15, 2018.

Governments are increasingly drawing on research into human behavior when developing policies that aim to encourage people to make better decisions, be it accessing preventative health care or paying taxes. This report explores how a similar approach of 'nudges' could be applied to immigrant integration policy to encourage social mixing, narrow socioeconomic gaps, and more.

Preparing Newcomers for the Jobs of Today and the Labor Markets of Tomorrow

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 05, 2018.

This Migration Policy Institute Europe webinar examines possible scenarios for how social, economic, and technological trends could affect jobs, labor market policy, education and social policies, and migrant integration. Speakers also explored the potential of coding schools for refugees to help alleviate skills shortages and provide a pathway to work.

Mexican Immigrants in the United States

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 05, 2018.

For decades, Mexicans have been the largest immigrant group in the United States. While this is still the case, the Mexican immigrant population is no longer growing at the rate it once was. In fact, between 2010 and 2017, the number of Mexicans in the country first leveled off and then began to decline. This article explores the latest data on Mexican immigrants in the United States.

The Next Frontier in Immigrant Integration Policy? Using Behavioral Insights to Foster Social Cohesion

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 04, 2018.

It Takes a Village: Despite Challenges, Migrant Groups Lead Development in Senegal

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 04, 2018.

For generations, migrants have emigrated from Senegal, particularly from in and around the Senegal River Valley. With France a key destination, French policy changes have had significant impact on Senegalese migrants and the hometown associations through which they support development in Senegal. This article explores how these policy shifts influence development and quality of life in the Senegal River Valley.

The U.S. Asylum System in Crisis: First Steps for Rescue

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 03, 2018.

Speakers, including report authors, discuss the findings from an MPI report that analyzes the factors that have brought the U.S. asylum system to a crisis point. During the discussion, the authors propose common-sense steps that can be implemented now to jump-start the system's rescue.

Teaching refugees IT skills could be a win-win for integration and the job market, MPI Europe research suggests

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Oct 02, 2018.

BRUSSELS — Germany has an IT skills shortage which leaves possibly tens of thousands of jobs unfilled every year, but a potential solution has emerged—teaching refugees how to code. A handful of initiatives are already showing promising signs, according to Tech Jobs for Refugees: Assessing the Potential of Coding Schools for Refugee Integration in Germany, a report commissioned by MPI Europe.

Reducing pain of job market revolution requires joint action by migration and employment officials, says MPI Europe report

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 29, 2018.

BRUSSELS — Millions of workers, including many migrants, will need help to cope with rapid shifts in the job market brought by automation and other transformations. Efforts to integrate immigrants should go hand in hand with employment reforms to assist all vulnerable groups, Migration Policy Institute Europe argues in Jobs in 2028: How will changing labour markets affect immigrant integration in Europe?  

Tech Jobs for Refugees: Assessing the Potential of Coding Schools for Refugee Integration in Germany

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 28, 2018.

Faced with an aging workforce and growing skill shortages in the IT sector, some German policymakers and industry experts have seized on the idea that recently arrived refugees could be a natural fit for careers in tech. This report examines the case for training refugees for IT jobs and explores the variety of coding schools that have cropped up in Germany to help newcomers succeed in the field.

Jobs in 2028: How Will Changing Labor Markets Affect Immigrant Integration in Europe?

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 27, 2018.

European labor markets are poised to change significantly in the coming years as technological advancements and other forces reshape the world of work. While these developments will affect all workers, they have particular implications for immigrant integration. This report breaks down the factors driving change and explores promising policy innovations to help societies better prepare for it.  

Amid Rising Asylum Claims, Growing Backlogs & Harsh Policy Responses, MPI Report Offers First Steps to Repairing a U.S. Asylum System in Crisis

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 27, 2018.

WASHINGTON – Faced with a surge in asylum claims, huge backlogs and the resulting likelihood of misuse of the asylum system, the Trump administration has acted to deter new arrivals and narrow access to humanitarian protection. Among its tactics: Largely eliminating gang and domestic violence as grounds for protection and advancing zero-tolerance prosecution policies that resulted in the separation of more than 2,500 children from their parents.

The U.S. Asylum System in Crisis: Charting a Way Forward

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 26, 2018.

The United States has a long tradition of providing asylum to those in need. But in recent years, case backlogs have grown and many asylum seekers now wait years for a decision. This report examines the factors that have brought the U.S. asylum system to this crisis point and proposes common-sense steps that can be taken to restore timeliness and fairness, while deterring abuses.

Trump Administration’s New Indefinite Family Detention Policy: Deterrence Not Guaranteed

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 26, 2018.

As the Trump administration moves to be able to indefinitely detain parents and children intercepted at the U.S.-Mexico border, whether illegal border crossers or asylum seekers, recent apprehension trends and history suggest hardline policies might not be a slam-dunk deterrent with a Central American population often driven by the desire to escape gang or other violence, as this Policy Beat explores.

Addressing the Intergenerational Mental Health Needs of Refugee Families with Young Children

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 24, 2018.

Experts on this webinar discuss efforts being undertaken in Maryland to serve refugee families with young children through tailored, trauma-informed approaches that address their specific mental health needs.

Preparing Newcomers for the Jobs of Today and the Labor Markets of Tomorrow

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 21, 2018.

MPI: Millions More Unauthorized Immigrants Cannot Be ‘Hidden’ in Data Estimates; People Leave Footprints

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Sep 21, 2018.

WASHINGTON – Migration Policy Institute and Penn State researchers today took issue with a newly published academic exercise that suggests the U.S. unauthorized immigrant population is at least several million larger than demographers in and out of government have independently estimated.

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