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10 October 2018

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Image courtesy of the World Federation for Mental Health. Source: Twitter @WMHDay

World Mental Health Day: IOM Honours Migrants’ Resilience During and After Difficult Journeys

Geneva – Today, on World Mental Health Day, IOM would like to honour all the migrants who stand strong in the face of adversity and uphold human rights and values. Migration should be a positive experience, but often isn’t. As people move in search of opportunity, or in pursuit of new adventures, too often their journeys are characterized by insecurity and sometimes physical danger, especially for those who are pushed to leave their countries of origin due to abuse or human rights violations that harm their mental health.

Studies show there is persistently high mental health vulnerability impacting migrants who experience physical and psychological trauma, torture or inhumane and degrading treatment. Exploitation or other forms of abuse and violence during journeys also take their toll.

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Three generations of villagers on one of the Carteret Islands, Papua New Guinea. Due to coastal erosion, the islands have increasingly become uninhabitable. Photo: IOM/Muse Mohammed

Planned Relocation in Asia and the Pacific

By Jessie Connell and Sabira Coelho, IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific   

Bangkok (Forced Migration Review) – Promising policy developments are underway in Asia and the Pacific to address climate and disaster-related displacement, yet the deeper governance structures required to embed protection are not yet in place, especially for planned relocation. There needs to be greater emphasis on assisting governments to set up inter-ministerial structures equipped to deal with the complex cross-cutting issues that planned relocation involves. Environmental processes, including climate change and disasters, combine with other pressures to increase displacement risks for vulnerable communities in Asia and the Pacific.

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Than Zaw Oo: "In front of my father I have to appear like a man. My mother accepts me."

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  • Daily News reported that Sri Lanka’s Foreign Affairs Ministry has launched a training programme for its officers posted abroad to help combat human trafficking.

  • The Conversation reported on a map archive which visualises Europe as a space shaped by the presence of migrants.

  • AFP reported that the UN has urged Algeria to stop the collective expulsions of African migrants across its border with Niger.

  • ANSA reported that according to IOM, the port of Hudaydah remains a vital channel for the arrival of humanitarian aid in Yemen, despite the ongoing conflict.

  • ITV reported that fears are growing over the 'unbearable' and overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece as winter approaches.

  • The New York Times reported on a two-year-old migrant from Honduras who is one of a rising number of very young migrant children appearing in  immigration courts in the United States.

  • BBC reported that the Australian government has unveiled a proposal to force new migrants to live in rural or regional areas and help ease congestion in big cities like Sydney and Melbourne.