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19 April 2017

IOM evacuates Iraqi nationals from Beirut. Photo: IOM

IOM Launches Reference Checklist with Special Measures for the Evacuation of Migrant Children Caught in Crises 

By Katherine Williamson and Laura Lungarotti

Poorly organized humanitarian evacuations or population relocations that do not follow protocols and guidelines can result in children becoming separated from their family. It is critical to raise awareness on the risks of inappropriate actions regarding the evacuations of children caught in natural or man-made disaster situations. All the more, special considerations are needed when migrant children are to be evacuated, particularly if they are unaccompanied and separated children (UASC).

Special Measures for the Evacuation of Migrant Children: A Reference Checklist is a part of the toolkit developed by IOM to provide technical guidance for the operationalization of the MICIC Initiative Guidelines, including Guideline 13: Relocate and evacuate migrants when needed.

This practice-oriented reference checklist is particularly welcomed, given the lack of practical guidance available on this often unexplored – and yet recurring theme. States and Organizations alike are often confronted with challenges and protection dilemmas when evacuating from crisis-hit countries groups of endangered migrants including children and among them, UASC.  These include, for example, how to ensure that family groups are kept together throughout the evacuation, and how to ensure that UASC are identified, receive care and support during evacuation, and are received by appropriate authorities across the whole operation and in destination countries.

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Migration in the News


  • Reuters and Xinhua reported that nearly 9,000 mainly African migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean over the long weekend after smugglers in Libya put them onto unseaworthy boats heading toward Italy.

  • Associated Press reported on the spike in migrant arrivals in the Mediterranean over the weekend as a result of warmer weather and the looming start of intensified Libyan coast guard patrols designed to prevent irregular migrants from reaching Europe.

  • DW spoke with a Mexican photographer who has witnessed the horrors of migrants being sold in slave markets in Libya. International Business Times recounted the story of one survivor who returned home to Senegal with IOM’s help.

  • BBC reported that despite protests from far-right groups, refugee children in Greece continue to attend school in preparation for their eventual integration into the Greek education system.

  • Al Jazeera reported on Egypt’s Rashid tragedy in September last year which claimed the lives of more than 200 people who were trying to cross the Mediterranean.

  • Thomson Reuters Foundation reported on a fish farm project that helps Indonesian trafficking victims rebuild their lives. It also reported that village heads in rural Indonesia have been empowered to take on human traffickers in a bid to crack down on the illegal practices.

  • UN Multimedia published an interview with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing at the ongoing International Dialogue on Migration in New York.

  • The Maravi Post published an analysis of anti-trafficking responses in Malawi. 


Trending on the Internet


  • The Guardian reported that child refugees in Europe are being forced to sell their bodies to pay smugglers.

  • The Guardian published the story of Leoluca Orlando, mayor of the Italian town of Palermo who fought the mafia and won and is now trying to persuade the EU to allow freedom of movement for migrants by offering Palermo as a blueprint for other cities trying to integrate migrants.


Media Contacts
For comment / interviews on today's news, please go to the contact(s) listed at the end of each press briefing note. For other information please contact the IOM Media & Communications team here