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Dying to help: A drift towards humanitarian martyrdom

By Fabrice Weissman from TNH English. Published on Nov 26, 2020.

When do we say enough is enough?

The future of aid

By from TNH English. Published on Nov 26, 2020.

From Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad to UN refugee agency chief Filippo Grandi, more than 20 visions of the humanitarianism of tomorrow.

Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast: The future of aid

By from TNH English. Published on Nov 25, 2020.

Three disruptors present their visions for alternative humanitarian action.

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: One Billion Climate Migrants? Not So Fast

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 25, 2020.

There are a lot of predictions about how many people will migrate in response to climate change. Depending on where you look, the next few decades could see hundreds of millions – or even more than a billion – people pick up and move. We asked Julia Blocher, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, to explain why the predictions vary so much. We also discussed how this movement can lead to conflict.

17th Annual Immigration Law and Policy Conference

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 25, 2020.

This year’s Immigration Law and Policy Conference examines the immigration policy agenda under the Trump administration, including changes in the asylum system; the vast societal upheaval brought on by COVID-19 and the rising racial justice movement; what the future of U.S. immigration may look like; and many other topics related to U.S. immigration policy.

Even if famine isn’t declared, Yemen has a massive hunger problem

By Annie Slemrod from TNH English. Published on Nov 25, 2020.

What happens in a war zone when savings are gone, money is worth less, and food costs more?

Dual Roles as Workers and Parents May Account for Steeper Decline in Employment during Pandemic for Immigrant Women with School-Age Children

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 24, 2020.

WASHINGTON — Fewer than half of all working-age immigrant women in the United States were employed in September, a 7 percentage point swing from their 53 percent employment rate in January before COVID-19-induced job dislocation began, a new Migration Policy Institute (MPI) analysis shows.

An Early Readout on the Economic Effects of the COVID-19 Crisis: Immigrant Women Have the Highest Unemployment

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 24, 2020.

Working-age immigrant women in the United States entered the COVID-19-induced recession with unemployment rates similar to those of other groups. Yet they have been among the most affected by pandemic-related job losses. This fact sheet seeks to explain why they have been hit so hard by the coronavirus-induced recession.

 

Grassroots aid grows in middle-income Chile, as COVID-19 drives new needs

By Sandra Cuffe from TNH English. Published on Nov 24, 2020.

The pandemic has increased poverty and hunger in Chile. Unlike poorer countries in the region, there is little to no aid infrastructure.

IOM Scales Up Response as Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras Face Consequences of Two Consecutive Hurricanes

By jojusayan from News. Published on Nov 24, 2020.

San José, Costa Rica – With the support of its partners and donors, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has allocated USD 750,000 for humanitarian and early recovery actions in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. These funds will provide food, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, and personal protective equipment for people affected by the hurricanes. IOM will continue to increase its support in coming days.

"Today, our attention is directed towards Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and other affected countries, but our attention cannot be fleeting. As reconstruction and recovery will take years, assistance needs to be sustainable and enduring," said Michele Klein-Solomon, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America, and the Caribbean.

"Storms Eta and Iota have suddenly transformed the lives of millions of people in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. This natural disaster will have long-term consequences, which will probably be reflected in the migration situation in the region," warned IOM’s Klein-Solomon.

According to a report by IOM Guatemala, more than 17,300 people are housed in 132 shelters that were prepared for the emergency in the departments of Alta Verapaz, Huehuetenango, Quiché, Jalapa, Petén, Izabal, Zacapa and Chiquimula.

"The post-hurricane scenario in the region presents us with the need to articulate comprehensive responses that allow, first, to save and protect the lives of people, and then, to offer sustainable development alternatives," explained Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.

"We know that climate conditions and the effects of situations such as those that occurred in Northern Central America and Nicaragua during these previous weeks are compounding drivers of forced displacement. Attention aimed at recovering people's livelihoods and reducing existing vulnerabilities is imperative," IOM’s Peraza added. 

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, sanitary conditions of shelters are concerns as overcrowding may compromise personal protection against the disease. In Guatemala, IOM has coordinated the implementation of the Integrated Shelter Registration System (SIRA), together with authorities of Puerto Barrios, Guatemala’s main Caribbean port, to collect information on those of the affected population currently in shelters in the surrounding department of Izabal.

In Honduras, UNOCHA reports indicate that the total number of people sheltered in that country exceeds 75,000. There, IOM is developing individual reports on the results of Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) surveys conducted across 31 shelter sites in San Pedro Sula. IOM Honduras analyzes data collected in these surveys to prioritize and provide support.

In Bilwi, Nicaragua, also on the Caribbean coast, IOM is coordinating with the Nidia White Women's Movement Organization to reach mainly women and children who are sheltered due to evacuations. Using funds from the Regional Conference for Migration, IOM has sent humanitarian assistance kits to Bilwi. Those kits include food, medicine, and supplies for the protection and prevention of COVID-19. 

Through the United Nations Interagency Group UNETE, and in coordination with Nicaragua's Government, IOM is likewise coordinating assistance actions focused on protecting displaced populations across the country.

In southern Mexico, where Civil Protection reported almost 297,000 people affected and some 30 deaths, IOM has provided support to two shelters for migrants in Chiapas state by distributing drinking water and repairing roofs. IOM is also coordinating with the private sector representatives, OCHA, and other UN agencies to determine ways to further support areas affected by the heavy rains.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM’s Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Email: jgallo@iom.int, Tel: +506 72036536.

 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 13:45
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‘People have lost their heritage, their personal belongings; this means practically starting from scratch. It's like a shock', that's how Emiliano Tux Chub, a resident of San Pedro Carchá in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, one of the areas affected by the storms, reports the current situation. Photo: Emiliano Tux.

With the support of its partners and donors, IOM has allocated USD 750,000 for humanitarian and early recovery actions in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, providing food, hygiene kits, cleaning supplies, and personal protective equipment for people affected by the hurricanes and will continue to increase its support in the coming days. Photo: IOM / Ismael Cruceta.

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IOM Publishes Report on Reintegration Outcomes

By jojusayan from News. Published on Nov 24, 2020.

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) published today (24/11) a new report: “Mentoring Returnees: Study on Reintegration Outcomes Through a Comparative Lens”. The study, conducted in collaboration with the Samuel Hall think tank and the University of Sussex, analyses the outcomes of reintegration in three fieldwork countries—Guinea, Morocco, and Senegal—combined with data analyses from 14 additional countries.  

The work is based on standardized indicators developed during a 2017 Samuel Hall/IOM study conducted as part of the DFID-funded Mediterranean Sustainable Reintegration Project, complemented by qualitative primary data collected in the three fieldwork states.  

“It is one of the first, if not the first, systematic large-scale use of data from IOM’s reintegration sustainability survey combined with the “Operationalising an Integrated Approach to Reintegration” (ORION) Mentoring project,” said Professor Michael Collyer of the University of Sussex. “This is a very interesting approach to working in Guinea, Senegal and Morocco focusing to develop mentorships of people who have returned to further enhance the sustainability of reintegration.” 

The results of this research highlight the interconnectedness of reintegration dimensions with the economic dimension being foundational, while social and psychosocial support are needed to consolidate and sustain reintegration gains. Psychosocial support cannot be considered an ‘optional extra,’ rather it is a crucial component to a healthy and sustainable reintegration process.    

“Another key result is the small, but statistically significant, positive impact of the ORION mentoring approach on reintegration,” explained Nassim Majidi, Co-Director of Samuel Hall. “Having mentors working with returnees ensures better reintegration outcomes. These early successes and trust built by ORION mentors need to be built further upon,” noted Majidi.  

“We see this study as the beginning of more investigation and evaluation that we can conduct on the critical issue of sustainable reintegration” added Nicola Graviano, Head of IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Unit. 

“We have a huge potential to do more and know more about our interventions, so that we can improve in the future in better designing and implementing our reintegration interventions, and be more impactful for the migrants, for the communities of origin and for the countries of origin that we support.”   

The research presented in the report was conducted under the “Operationalising an Integrated Approach to Reintegration” (ORION) Project, funded by the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The ORION project aims at, among other objectives, reinforcing evidence-based reintegration programming with robust monitoring processes and data collection.   

To read a summary of the report, please click here. The full report is available here.   

For more information, please contact IOM HQ in Geneva: Safa Msehli, Tel: +41 79 403 5526, Email:  smsehli@iom.int  

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 13:58
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Urgent Support Required to Avert Worsening Situation in Chad’s Lac Province

By jojusayan from News. Published on Nov 24, 2020.

N’Djamena – This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing for USD 2 million to ensure continued access and delivery of lifesaving humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people and their host communities through, among other things, emergency and preparedness support, and strengthening disaster risk reduction programming.  

Earlier this month local authorities alerted IOM to the flooding of entire quarters in the departments of Fouli and Kaya caused by the rise in water levels of Lake Chad. The two departments currently host thousands of persons displaced by conflict and climate change in Chad’s Lac Province.  

Chad’s Lac Province is reeling from the impact of a double security and environmental crisis which has forcibly displaced more than half of the Province’s population. The recent flooding of displacement sites and host communities in Lac Province risks worsening an already complex humanitarian situation, as some key areas where critical assistance is needed might become inaccessible.  

 That would leave thousands of people without access to key basic services.  

 “This sudden flooding, which is not isolated, is likely to force villagers to leave their homes and seek refuge in neighbouring villages where resources and amenities are already very limited,” explained Anne Schaefer, IOM Chad Chief of Mission. “As waters continue to rise, some areas where we intervene are at risk of becoming inaccessible, effectively cutting thousands of people from access to lifesaving assistance,” she added.   

 Since 2015, the Government of Chad and regional security forces have been combatting security threats from armed non-state actors around the Lake Chad Basin. The impact of the security situation has been amplified by an environmental crisis caused by the shrinking of Lake Chad.  

The fallout of this double crisis has been the mass displacement of more than 360, 000 people – a majority of the province’s population. Data from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix shows that, since the beginning of the crisis, most displaced people fled from lakeside villages towards safer communities inland.   

Now this momentary respite and stability required for displaced persons and their host communities is being threatened by flooding caused in part by the rising waters of Lake Chad.   

“Our people are faced with multiple crises, but the rise in water levels which we have witnessed in recent days threatens more than 18,000 households, including displaced persons and host communities,” said Yacoub Mahamat, Prefect of the Department of Fouli in Chad’s Lac Province.  

The rise in water levels is also heightening the risks of water-borne diseases such as cholera and seasonal malaria which are endemic in the country.   

In the Lac Province, IOM is one of the leading humanitarian actors providing shelter (durable and semi-durable), food and non-food items, including dignity kits for women and insecticide-treated mosquito nets, to displaced persons and host communities affected by the double security and environmental crisis. IOM also leads on data collection in displacement sites to provide a better understanding of the vulnerabilities of displaced persons, which is vital to accurately target humanitarian assistance.  

IOM Lake Chad Emergency, Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction Appeal for Lac Province – USD 2 million – to work on the following areas:  

  • Emergency and Preparedness   
  • Site mapping in key displacement sites   
  • Shelter construction – including durable and semi-durable shelters  
  • Food and non-food items distribution  
  • Preposition of stocks   
  • Support in the development of a flood early warning system  
  • Contingency planning   
  • Disaster Risk Reduction  
  • Mapping of meteorologically exposed areas  
  • Support in drainage of areas and construction   
  • Support in community training on flood warning and small-scale mitigation works  
  • Research on the impact of climate change in Lake Chad  

For more information, please contact Daniele Febei, Head of Transition and Emergency Unit at IOM Chad. Email: dfebei@iom.int   

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 14:01
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A view of the displacement site of Taal in the Lac Province. Photo : IOM/François-Xavier Ada

The lakeside community of Bol Nguini in Chad’s Lac Province which saw its population nearly double from the influx of displaced persons. Photo: IOM/François-Xavier Ada 

A view of the displacement site of Taal in the Lac Province. Photo: IOM/François-Xavier Ada

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IOM Strengthens Gender-Based Violence Response in Cox’s Bazar amidst COVID-19

By jojusayan from News. Published on Nov 24, 2020.

Cox’s Bazar – Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the risk of Gender-based Violence (GBV) for Rohingya and Bangladeshi women and girls already was alarmingly high in Cox´s Bazar, Bangladesh. Since the onset of COVID-19, evidence suggests there has been a surge in rates of intimate partner and domestic violence in both Rohingya and host communities.

Due to mobility restrictions and protection risks, women and girls have struggled to access lifesaving GBV and sexual and reproductive health services. Furthermore, the lack of socio-economic opportunities has strained those already at-risk, such as single female-headed households.

Despite these challenges, several innovative tools and strategic partnerships have enabled IOM to adapt its GBV programming to the unique and ever-evolving context of the pandemic.

Building on IOM’s Institutional Framework for Addressing GBV in Crises (GBViC) — rolled out in Cox’s Bazar in 2019 — and its accompanying Action Plan, IOM’s GBV team has managed to successfully ensure the continuity of face-to-face individual case management services. IOM has also maintained its operation of 10 Women and Girls Safe Spaces across nine camps and the emergency safe shelter for GBV survivors, in accordance with COVID-19 health guidelines.

As part of commitments set out in the GBViC Action Plan to equip frontline staff and volunteers with the appropriate knowledge and skills to support survivors of GBV, IOM conducted this month a four-day training on Clinical Management of Rape and Intimate Partner Violence for 50 health care providers. 

Another training on GBV core concepts, safe referrals, counter-trafficking, Psychological First Aid and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse was organized from June to October for 345 clinical and non-clinical staff.

During the pandemic, the Women’s Participation Project –implemented in Cox's Bazar since 2018– has continued to provide a space for consultations with women and girls despite the camps’ numerous protection challenges. Through this project, the Women’s Committee has been empowered and supported women to participate in decision-making structures, ensuring their needs and capacities are met. The initiative is currently being replicated in four camps, with the goal of better understanding how women’s participation in governance camp structures could contribute to mitigating and reducing the risks of GBV.

IOM recently launched the “Self-Care and Coping Skills in Stressful Situations” booklet, developed for Rohingya and Bangladeshi communities, accompanied by audio recordings. The booklet covers topics, such as coping strategies for reducing stress, key information on protection and GBV services, self-care exercises and COVID-19 prevention measures.

Regular sessions on using the booklet are conducted in the Women and Girls Safe Spaces and at the community level. Meaningful engagement enables participants to voice their safety concerns and supports humanitarian actors in their risk-mitigation efforts. Through a participatory approach, women can define their own risks, capacities, and community outreach strategies.

Rehena is one of the twelve female community leaders who recently attended a training of trainers on the topic, and who is now sensitizing other women on healthy coping mechanisms. “I feel fortunate to have been selected for this training and consider it my duty to pass on this valuable information to other women so they can too be relieved of their daily stress,” Rehena said.

“While important efforts have been made to eliminate violence against women and girls, the implementation of GBV activities remains a significant challenge. It is critical that women and girls remain active participants in the process of identifying protection and GBV risks and solutions,” explained Chissey Mueller, IOM’s Protection Coordinator in Cox’s Bazar.

“During the pandemic, the rights and dignity of survivors continue to be at the heart of our response.”

As part of UN System’s 16 Days of Activism against GBV, celebrated from 25 November to 10 December under the theme “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!”, IOM is co-organizing several interagency events focused on GBV prevention and response in emergencies.

Together with its implementing partner PULSE, IOM is also organizing several field activities focused on GBV risk mitigation, prevention and response, as well as events celebrating women’s skills and accomplishments, all in line with COVID-19 prevention measures.

 Watch the video of IOM’s GBV response in Cox’s Bazar amidst COVID-19. 

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac, Tel: +880 1880 084 048, Email: mchiriac@iom.int, or Tarek Mahmud, Tel: + 880 1752 380 240, Email: tmahmud@iom.int, at IOM Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar. 

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 14:00
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Sessions on how to use the newly launched booklet are regularly conducted at the community level and in the Women and Girls Safe Spaces. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al 

Sessions on how to use the newly launched booklet are regularly conducted at the community level and in the Women and Girls Safe Spaces. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al 

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Gavi and IOM Join Forces to Improve Immunization Coverage for Migrants

By jojusayan from News. Published on Nov 24, 2020.

Geneva – Today, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen their collaboration on vaccination efforts and related health services for migrants and forcibly displaced persons across the world, both regarding routine immunizations as well as in response to outbreaks. This milestone will be particularly critical in ensuring that migrants and other people on the move are considered and included, as the world continues its efforts to find a safe COVID-19 vaccine and is developing mechanisms, such as the COVAX Facility, to ensure a fair distribution so that as many lives as possible can be saved.

“Despite enormous progress over the past two decades ensuring children everywhere have access to lifesaving vaccines, 14 million children every year still miss out on basic vaccines,” said Gavi CEO Dr Seth Berkley. “We know a disproportionate amount of these unprotected children come from migrant, refugee and displaced populations, who are too often overlooked when it comes to basic health care. This obviously becomes all the more important as we plan to rollout COVID-19 vaccines worldwide; we cannot allow these populations to miss out on what could be one of our best routes out of this pandemic. That’s why we’re delighted to partner with IOM, to help provide a healthier future to some of the most vulnerable people on earth.”

“Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools we have to keep people on the move, the communities they leave behind and the communities they join as safe and healthy as possible,” stressed IOM Director General António Vitorino. “This reinforced partnership will be critical in helping IOM achieve just that and contribute tangibly to the realization of true universal health coverage.”

The agreement signed by the two organizations focuses on reaching missed communities in humanitarian and emergency settings with vaccination and support routine immunization through engagement in primary health care systems. The partnership also aims to boost advocacy for the prioritization of vulnerable populations, support operational and policy assistance and facilitate technical collaboration. Specifically, the memorandum of understanding seeks to facilitate collaboration on ensuring the inclusion of migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees in governments’ COVID-19 responses, in particular vaccination efforts.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is a public-private partnership that helps vaccinate half the world’s children against some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Since its inception in 2000, Gavi has helped to immunise a whole generation – over 822 million children – and prevented more than 14 million deaths, helping to halve child mortality in 73 developing countries. Gavi also plays a key role in improving global health security by supporting health systems as well as funding global stockpiles for Ebola, cholera, meningitis and yellow fever vaccines. Gavi has already been working with IOM in South Sudan since 2019 to ensure vaccinations reached hard-to-reach populations throughout the country.

For decades, hand in hand with its partners, IOM has been a key player in global efforts to ensure that migrants and other people on the move have proper access to vaccines across 80 countries. In 2019, more than 380,000 children under the age of five were vaccinated against polio and/or measles in emergency settings and, as part of IOM’s pre-migration health services, over 445,800 vaccination doses were administered to close to 181,350 migrants and refugees in the process of migration. In all of its migration health assessment centres, the Organization manages a robust vaccine distribution and storage system, with staff continuously trained and up-to-date with international standards.

“For the distribution of any potential COVID-19 vaccine to be as fair and equitable as possible, IOM will be contributing its health expertise, data and other technical capacities based on its vast experience working with migrants and forcibly displaced persons,” said Director General Vitorino. “It is critical for everyone’s well-being not to leave the most at-risk behind.”

For more information, please contact James Fulker at Gavi, jfulker@gavi.org or Yasmina Guerda at IOM, yguerda@iom.int

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Tuesday, November 24, 2020 - 13:00
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A child vaccinated with support of IOM. Archival photo from March 2019. Photo: IOM / Andrea Empamano.

Nyabel, six month old, is one of IOM’s vaccine beneficiaries in Bentiu, South Sudan, thanks to Gavi funds, 2020. Photo: IOM/ Liatile Putsoa

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Final MPI Europe report for EU-FRANK project assesses future goals for refugee resettlement in Europe, as EU member states have become major players

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 23, 2020.

BRUSSELS — In recent years, European countries have emerged as primary players in the refugee resettlement landscape, welcoming nearly half of all refugees resettled worldwide since 2017—up from just 8 percent in 2007. Beyond the numbers, Europe has become a source of innovation in refugee resettlement, accounting for more than half of the refugee sponsorship programmes launched worldwide and being at the forefront of efforts to improve the monitoring and evaluation of resettlement systems and test new approaches to welcoming refugees.

Ethiopia’s other conflicts

By Philip Kleinfeld, Ben Parker from TNH English. Published on Nov 23, 2020.

The conflict in Tigray could prompt renewed violence elsewhere.

Afghanistan donor summit: Aid shortfalls loom as emergency needs rise

By Irwin Loy from TNH English. Published on Nov 23, 2020.

Funding pitfalls, growing emergencies, peace talks, and a future role for women: Key issues at a pivotal donor conference.

New Projects to Tackle Human Trafficking and Promote Ethical Recruitment in the Philippines

By jojusayan from News. Published on Nov 23, 2020.

Manila – IOM Philippines recently launched two projects aimed at increasing access to ethical recruitment and reducing the prevalence of human trafficking among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), through funding from the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMS) and the US Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).

Aligning Lenses Toward Ethical Recruitment (ALTER) aims to increase access to ethical recruitment channels for OFWs by supporting wider adoption of ethical recruitment principles in the Philippines, and creating an enabling environment for employers and recruiters to commit to and practice those principles.

Multiple complementary workstreams will bring together the Government of the Philippines, Philippine recruitment agencies (PRAs), the hospitality industry, and civil society organizations (CSOs) dedicated to migrant worker protection.

Led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), ALTER will be implemented by a consortium that includes the Blas F. Ople Policy Center, Diginex, and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. The consortium will improve recruitment industry practices by supporting and incentivizing the effective, sustainable adoption of ethical recruitment in the Philippines, with particular emphasis on hospitality workers.

The Improving Migrant and Community Preparation and Awareness to Counter Trafficking (IMPACT) project takes a community-driven, grassroots approach towards prevention and mitigation of risks of Trafficking in Persons (TiP) and labour exploitation. The project focuses on the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), recognizing that the region is a major sending location of OFWs with a higher prevalence of human trafficking.

IMPACT will build awareness of risks and drivers of human trafficking through community-driven initiatives and information campaigns on TiP issues, targeting at-risk communities across BARMM. It will also work on the localization of the existing pre-departure orientation (PDO) modules and materials for BARMM-origin prospective labour migrants, along with capacity building of the PDO service providers, so that the migrants have access to contextualized information and that enables better-informed, safer migration practices.

Both projects officially commenced in August 2020 with a series of government launches, with the first phases of IMPACT and ALTER focusing on the evidence building through desk research and baseline assessments, as well as development of various knowledge products.

The projects will run for an 18-month period until January 2022.

“ALTER is looking to sustainably reduce the prevalence of TIP among OFWs by empowering the Government of the Philippines and civil society to create an environment for more employers and private recruitment agencies (PRAs) to practice ethical recruitment and provide safer employment alternatives overseas,” said Kristin Dadey, Chief of Mission IOM Philippines.

She added, “IMPACT is really about a multifaceted approach to build awareness of trafficking among the most at-risk communities of BARMM. This will be achieved through capacity building and awareness raising in a localized context based on evidence and behavioral change.”

In particular, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing wide-scale job loss with little prospect of immediate employment opportunities, ALTER and IMPACT will play a critical role in the recovery effort by ensuring the redeployment of OFWs will be compliant with relevant regulations and consistent with international standards of ethical recruitment while also increasing resilience of vulnerable BARMM communities against risks and drivers of human trafficking, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic.

The projects will contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – particularly Goal 8: decent work and economic growth; and Goal 10: reduced inequalities.

For more information, please contact Natsuko Kobiyama Yoshino at IOM Philippines at Email: nkobiyama@iom.int.

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Monday, November 23, 2020 - 11:01
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U.S. Faces Key Opportunity to Reset Cooperation with Mexico and Central America & Build a Workable Regional Migration System

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 21, 2020.

WASHINGTON — Migration from Central America and Mexico to the United States is an enduring, often shifting phenomenon that demands intelligent management. While the Trump administration focused heavily on a unilateral, enforcement-only approach to managing migration from the region, the strategy is unlikely to be sustainable.

Yemen aid worries, Ethiopia war appeal, and a viral victory in Congo: The Cheat Sheet

By from TNH English. Published on Nov 20, 2020.

A weekly read to keep you in the loop on humanitarian issues.

Returnees, Health Workers Join Hands to Improve Psychosocial Well-being in Nigeria

By jcborlongan from News. Published on Nov 20, 2020.

Benin City – COVID-19 continues to put a strain on public health systems, as well as on the livelihoods and purchasing power of people around the world. But as the pandemic shows no signs of abating, the impact on the mental health of the most vulnerable –including migrants returned to their communities– becomes more visible. As part of the response to address this challenge, from 16 to 19 November, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) hosted in Benin City, Edo State, a series of modules to train 20 returnees in a community-based approach to psychosocial reintegration. 

Under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, IOM conducted in May a COVID-19 assessment to measure the impact of the pandemic on returnees in various countries in West and Central Africa. Among 518 people surveyed, 63 per cent reported that their emotional wellbeing had deteriorated since the outbreak of COVID-19, including 90 per cent of respondents from Edo and Delta States. 

The impact of the pandemic adds a layer of vulnerability to returnees, some of whom had already started rebuilding their lives, and who were experiencing high levels of psychosocial distress or severe disorders, both pre-existing or due to potentially traumatic life events along their journey. 
Yet, many areas with high numbers of returnees may lack specialized mental health care and psychosocial services and have a limited number of professional staff such as psychiatrists and psychologists.

The training conducted in Benin City aims to build a mentorship network and create supportive relationships between two peers with similar experiences, such as a newly arrived returnee and a mentor from the same location or a group of peers within a community.
 
Returnees with experience in community engagement, or those with specific backgrounds such as social workers or teachers, have been selected as mentors. They can help new arrivals navigate the difficulties of the return and reduce the social barriers to reintegration by providing emotional support, helping solve practical problems and sharing information about services that provide mental health and psychosocial support in the country.
 
“This training will help me use my own story to be able to support Nigerians who have just returned because they need someone to confide in. As a mentor, I should be able to listen to them and advise them, and tell them that they should not give up on life,” said Kenan Osagie, a returnee and one of the female participants. 
 
The initiative followed a four-day training (10-13/11) for primary healthcare professionals on the management and treatment of mental disorders. The training was conducted in coordination with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health.
 
This instruction was based on the Mental Health Gap Action Programme (MHGAP), a protocol developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as on additional IOM tools and international guidelines to identify and respond to mental disorders, which were adapted to the Nigerian context. The training sessions delved into migration and mental health with a focus on the return journey, as well as an overview of MHGAP’s principles of care, depression, suicide and self-harm, psychoses, epilepsy, alcohol, and substance abuse.
 
The event gathered 20  participants from primary healthcare centers from the localities in Edo State, the main place of origin of Nigerian returnees. 

“This marks a key step in strengthening the national mental health care system in Nigeria,” said the lead trainer, Dr. Funke Ogunderu, IOM Nigeria MHPSS Senior Project Assistant. “As a pilot project, this training will help reduce the gap for migrants and their communities gaining access to mental healthcare and psychosocial support,” she added. 
 
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is a fundamental part of sustainable reintegration. It aims at protecting and enhancing migrants’ psychosocial wellbeing, as well as at supporting people with pre-existing and emerging mental disorders.   
 
Strengthening the mental healthcare system and enhancing the skills of returnees to provide community-based psychosocial support signal IOM’s holistic approach to MHPSS in Nigeria. The mentoring project and training for primary healthcare workers are funded by the European Union under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.
 
For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

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Friday, November 20, 2020 - 15:09
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Returnees during the mentoring activity in Benin City, Edo State, the main place of origin of Nigerians returning from Libya. Photo: IOM/Elijah Elaigwu 

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2020 Death Toll in West Africa Sea Route Tops 500 Amid Uptick in Departures

By jcborlongan from News. Published on Nov 20, 2020.

Dakar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is extremely concerned about the increase in deaths recorded on the West Africa route to the Canary Islands.  

So far this year, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded more than 500 deaths, most of them during the months of October and November--—amid increased departures from the coasts of West African countries, including Senegal. The loss of life this year is already more than double compared to 2019, when IOM recorded 210 deaths. 
  
The recorded data, however, represent a minimum estimate. The Organization fears the actual total of lives lost is higher. 
  
“IOM faces numerous challenges in collecting data on the West Africa route, especially when we receive reports about boats disappearing without a trace,” says Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).  
  
The latest shipwreck was recorded this week (15/11), off the coast of Cabo Verde, where 66 migrants, including three children, arrived on a damaged boat. According to government sources and survivors, more than 130 people initially boarded the vessel before its engine exploded. Some 60 people are reported to have perished during this tragedy. Those onboard were, except for two migrants from The Gambia, all Senegalese. 
  
IOM works closely with local partners in the communities and verifies reports and data about such tragedies with survivors, family members and community members. IOM, as an Intergovernmental Organization, also coordinates its efforts and responses with Governments, and confirmed the account of the shipwreck involving about 200 people shared in its press release dated 29 October. Such data are pivotal in contributing to an informed migration-related policy and enable a more human-centred and needs-based approach to migration management. 
  
To date in 2020, over 18,000 migrants have arrived in the Canary Islands after long and dangerous journeys across the Atlantic. At least 12,000 of them arrived in the months of October and November. Most migrants are arriving from West African countries. COVID-19 impacts, including food insecurity, are among the factors believed to be driving these departures. 
 
While these figures depict a seven-fold increase compared to the 1,550 arrivals during the same period of 2019 (January-November), IOM believes that the situation remains manageable through solidarity and a human rights-centred policy and approach.  
 
IOM is saddened by the continuous loss of life at sea and expresses its condolences to the bereaved families of the those who perished during perilous migration journeys. Prosecuting smuggling groups and traffickers who prey on desperate people and put them on dangerous crossings in unseaworthy vessels, must be a priority together with awareness raising among communities of the risks of irregular migration.    

For more information, please contact
At IOM's Regional Office for West and Central Africa: Aïssatou Sy, Tel: +221 77 479 21 41. Email: aisy@iom.int
In Geneva: Safa Msehli, Tel: +41793045526. Email: smsehli@iom.int

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Decongestion Efforts Begin in Displacement Camps in North-East Nigeria Amid Growing Humanitarian Needs

By jcborlongan from News. Published on Nov 20, 2020.

Maiduguri –  Unrelenting violence in north-east Nigeria has prompted new waves of displacement to congested camps in 2020. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has begun rolling out a new decongestion strategy in collaboration with humanitarian partners that aims to reduce overcrowding in over 55 per cent of the camps in Borno State – where four out of five internally displaced persons (IDPs) currently live in overcrowded sites.

Overcrowded conditions in camps with makeshift and temporary shelters built near each other make physical distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 impossible, in addition to increasing risks of fire outbreaks and reduced accessibility. 

“Displaced populations in the north-east are facing severe hardship due to increased insecurity, disrupted livelihoods and ongoing risks of transmission of COVID-19,” said Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies, during a visit to camps in Borno this week.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance has grown by 3.5 million – from 7.1 to 10.6 million – the largest number since the joint humanitarian response began five years ago. 

The number of IDPs in Nigeria’s worst-affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe rose from 1.8 to 1.9 million in 2020, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix. The majority live in precarious, makeshift shelters which expose inhabitants to harsh weather conditions as well as gender-based violence and other security threats. 

Decongestion efforts in overcrowded sites are a temporary yet timely measure to better the living conditions of displaced families. 
In the town of Dikwa, IOM has relocated 899 individuals from a projected total of 1,235 to improved shelters at the recently established Umarti camp following the approval of local and State authorities.

The relocation efforts in Dikwa, where 17 camps host 60,848 individuals, will provide better living conditions for the population and lessen protection, disaster and health risks while bringing them closer to key services and facilities such as health and food distribution.

The precarious security situation has also created obstacles for humanitarians providing assistance in remote locations. Since 2019, three out of nine IOM-managed humanitarian hubs – sites where humanitarians work and live – in Banki, Ngala and Monguno towns have been targeted during attacks by non-state armed groups. 
“Greater financial support is needed to strengthen the security measures for these hubs and ensure the safety of aid workers. Without these facilities, essential services in conflict-affected areas would come to a halt,” added Labovitz. 

The eleven-year conflict in the north-east has spread to areas surrounding Lake Chad, prompting one of the world’s most severe and complex humanitarian crises.
Less than two months before the end of the year, aid actors have received less than half the funding needed to assist the 7.8 million people targeted.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: jgalindo@iom.int, or Angela Wells at IOM’s Department of Operations and Emergencies, Tel: +41 7940 35365, Email: awells@iom.int  

 

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Gubio camp hosts more than 30,000 internally displaced persons in north-east Nigeria, where humanitarian needs have significantly grown in 2020. Photo: Jorge Galindo/IOM

IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies, Jeffrey Labovitz, meets with community members in Dikwa IDP camp.  Photo: Kazi Made/IOM

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The Next Generation of Refugee Resettlement in Europe: Ambitions for the Future and How to Realize Them

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 19, 2020.

In recent years, the European Union and some of its Member States have taken on a greater role in global refugee resettlement, expanding or launching new programs and experimenting with creative approaches to providing protection to those in need. This report looks ahead to how these efforts, investments, and lessons learned can be built upon, even in the face of the uncertainty brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Building a New Regional Migration System: Redefining U.S. Cooperation with Mexico and Central America

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 19, 2020.

Addressing regional cooperation around migration will be among the immigration challenges and opportunities facing the incoming Biden administration. This report examines how movement between the United States, Mexico, and Central America has evolved in recent decades, and lays out a four-part strategy to expand opportunities for legal migration, address humanitarian protection needs, improve enforcement, and mitigate some of the forces driving people to emigrate.

The “Trump Effect” on Legal Immigration Levels: More Perception than Reality?

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 19, 2020.

Despite a widespread perception that the Trump administration has drastically slashed legal immigration to the United States, a review of the data shows that temporary and permanent admissions during the period mostly followed previous trends—at least until the COVID-19 pandemic hit. This article examines trends in temporary, permanent, and humanitarian admissions during the administration, and the related policies that could take a more significant bite ahead if left unchanged.

Welfare States and Migration: How Will the Pandemic Reshape a Complex Relationship?

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 19, 2020.

This MPI Europe webinar reflects on the implications of this current moment for European economies and societies and the role of immigration and immigrant integration policy, and highlight research from the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre on the fiscal and demographic impacts of migration.

Tigray refugees recount the horrors of Ethiopia's new conflict

By Mohammed Amin from TNH English. Published on Nov 19, 2020.

Almost 40,000 people have sought safety in Sudan over the past two weeks. Many more are expected as the civil war escalates.

Joint Statement on Data Protection and Privacy in the COVID-19 Response

By nacho from News. Published on Nov 19, 2020.

Geneva– A Joint Statement on Data Protection and Privacy in the COVID-19 response was issued today after endorsement by the undersigned UN System Organizations. Developed by the UN Privacy Policy Group, an inter-agency group on data privacy and data protection, the statement supports the privacy protective use of data and technology by the UN in fighting the current pandemic.

The joint statement is based on the UN Personal Data Protection and Privacy Principles as well as the recommendations in the Secretary-General’s Data Strategy on data protection, privacy, and human rights.

“We can only defeat Covid-19 with trust, science and solidarity. With the Joint Statement, the UN reinforces its commitment to using data and new technologies in ways that respect the right to privacy and other human rights and promote sustainable economic and social development. As we continue our work to implement the Secretary-General’s Data Strategy, this statement clarifies how the UN Principles on Data Protection and Privacy can be applied in the context of Covid-19.” said Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of UN Global Pulse and a co-chair of the UN Privacy Policy Group.

“During public health emergencies, data collection, processing, and use must protect the rights of all people. WHO has issued guidance on the use of digital tools for contact tracing and ethical considerations to inform digital proximity tracking and continues to update its work on data governance and sharing. This Joint Statement should serve as a reference for data protection and privacy in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. WHO is proud to join with other UN System Organizations and looks forward to continue creating a data governance ecosystem that protects the rights to privacy” said Dr. Samira Asma, Assistant Director -General, Division of Data Analytics and Delivery, World Health Organization.

“This statement raises awareness regarding both the benefits and the challenges that data and technology practices may entail during an emergency response. It is meant as guidance to ensure that fundamental human rights and freedoms are preserved, both during and once this pandemic has passed.” noted Mr. Patrick Carey, Acting Assistant Secretary-General, Office of Information and Communications Technology and a co-chair of the UN Privacy Policy Group and the UN System’s Digital and Technology Network.

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In storm-hit Honduras, a climate crisis drives needs and fuels migration

By Jared Olson from TNH English. Published on Nov 18, 2020.

Two hurricanes in two weeks is devastating, but decades of drought and corrupt land use is the longer-term problem for many Hondurans.

MPI Europe report explores the promise of resettling refugees in small and rural communities, drawing on experiences in four countries to highlight opportunities and challenges

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 18, 2020.

BRUSSELS — The COVID-19 pandemic has brought ambitious plans for refugee resettlement in Europe to a near halt. When resettlement resumes, small and rural communities could play an important role in ensuring its sustainability. Although most refugee and migrant populations are concentrated in urban centres, policymakers seeking to alleviate housing bottlenecks and public service strains in major cities increasingly are looking to the potential of ‘rural welcoming’ efforts.

Building Welcome from the Ground up: European Small and Rural Communities Engaging in Refugee Resettlement

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 18, 2020.

Small towns and rural areas within Europe have become more active in receiving resettled refugees in recent years. How is resettlement to these communities different compared to urban areas? And what can be done to make good on the promise of “rural welcoming”? This report explores these questions, drawing on interviews with resettled refugees and receiving-community members in Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, and Sweden.

Mission Critical: The Evolution of U.S. Homeland Security in the 21st Century

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 18, 2020.

What does it mean to “secure the homeland” in the 21st century? And how do the Department of Homeland Security's immigration and border security missions figure into the equation? Top security experts assess DHS’s evolution and how it organizes its operations and migration management. They also offer recommendations on how to improve U.S. homeland security.
 

Changing Climate, Changing Migration: Does Climate Change Cause Migration? It’s Complicated

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 17, 2020.

The relationship between climate change and migration is long and complex. Human civilizations have been affected by environmental conditions for centuries, but we should be wary of arguments that huge numbers of people are inevitably destined to migrate in response to specific climate threats. In this episode of Changing Climate, Changing Migration, we chat with Alex de Sherbinin of Columbia University’s Center for International Earth Science Information Network about what the research shows—and does not show.

Transatlantic Council on Migration Report Examines Effects of COVID-19 on Societies, Economies and Migration & Offers Reflections for a Post-Pandemic World

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 13, 2020.

WASHINGTON — The COVID-19 pandemic and the responses to it have left an indelible mark on families, communities and societies around the world. As infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to mount, governments are trying to come to terms with the massive consequences of the health crisis on their economies, labor markets and, unavoidably, global mobility and migration systems.

In Relatively Peaceful Tanzania, Climate Change and Migration Can Spur Conflict

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 13, 2020.

Climate-induced migration can lead to tensions and violence between host communities and new arrivals. This conflict can flare up at various levels, including among rural farmers and herders in relatively peaceful countries such as Tanzania.

Mission Critical: The Evolution of U.S. Homeland Security in the 21st Century

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 10, 2020.

The Post-Pandemic Ascent: The Role of Migration in Emerging from the Economic and Labor Market Turmoil

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 10, 2020.

MPI and OECD experts discuss the impact of the coronavirus on migration and mobility systems, findings from OECD’s International Migration Outlook 2020, opportunities for innovation, what labor demands may emerge, and the role of migration in North America and Europe at this challenging point in history.

Managing the Pandemic and Its Aftermath: Economies, Jobs, and International Migration in the Age of COVID-19

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 10, 2020.

Around the world, governments are grappling with how to combat the COVID-19 pandemic while also managing the economic fallout of policies put in place to stop the virus’ spread. Global migration has dropped sharply amid border closures and travel restrictions. This reflection takes stock of policy responses to the pandemic thus far, and of the challenges (and some opportunities) on the horizon for migration systems, labor markets, and integration of newcomers.

Welfare States and Migration: How Will the Pandemic Reshape a Complex Relationship?

By Migration Policy Institute from Migration Policy Institute. Published on Nov 09, 2020.

Welcome

Welcome to the Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement

The Centre for the Study of Global Human Movement aims to build on strong institutional engagement by the University with one of the greatest societal challenges of the 21st Century, that of human movement, dispersal, mobility, and migration to create a transdisciplinary centre of research excellence.

 We do hope you will get involved