Switzerland - IOM today launched its Annual Review of Migrant Assistance projects implemented in 2012. The report focuses on protection and services for vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking, unaccompanied migrant children (UMCs), and other stranded migrants who have suffered abuse or exploitation. It also addresses assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR).
The review also looks at human trafficking crime trends worldwide. While women continue to represent the majority of trafficked people in receipt of IOM assistance, accounting for over half of all cases, the review reports rising numbers of male victims of trafficking and labour exploitation, particularly in economic sectors requiring predominantly manual labour.
Children, especially UMCs, continue to represent an important beneficiary group of IOM assistance projects. Close to 30 per cent of the total number of victims of trafficking assisted were under the age of 18.
The review also stresses that while demand for cheap labour and sexual services remains a root cause of human trafficking and related abuses, other factors, notably migration push factors, such as relative poverty, under development and lack of equal opportunity, also contribute to the vulnerability of many young migrants.
AVRR data for 2012 showed a dramatic increase in the number of people assisted, but also a dramatic increase in the number of particularly vulnerable migrants, including UMCs and trafficking victims, who needed special, tailored assistance. AVRR projects, which were previously concentrated in the European Economic area, have also become increasingly global, with projects implemented worldwide.
Assisting governments in effectively addressing return migration and reintegration on a multilateral basis is another important emerging area. The review describes IOM pilot projects in Europe, South East Asia and West Africa designed to exchange information and spread best practices, while addressing root causes of migration and sharing regional AVRR resources.
“Today, responsible and effective national governance also requires the ability to manage migration issues comprehensively, internally, as well as in bilateral relations,” said IOM Director of Migration Management Gervais Appave.
“While migration can constitute a positive force for development in countries of origin, transit and destination, migrants are often exposed to vulnerabilities which require structural approaches, along with immediate assistance to reduce vulnerabilities or prevent life-threatening situations,” he added.
As the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration, IOM is increasingly called upon by its 151 Member States to examine and respond to complex migration situations, including mixed migration flows, to ensure the protection, dignity and well-being of all migrants, taking into account different needs and characteristics, as well as specific categories of migrants.
IOM’s Migrant Assistance Division, part of the Department of Migration Management, provides technical expertise in areas including migration policy, administrative and operational practices and procedures, training and direct assistance. In 2012 it assisted some 103,000 migrants.
For a copy of the review please go to: www.iom.int/files/live/sites/iom/files/What-We-Do/docs/MAD-Annual-report-2012-final.pdf.
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