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21 January 2016

Syrian refugees at Ankara’s Esenboğa International Airport prepare to leave for Toronto. © IOM 2016

First Syrian Refugees Fly from Turkey to Canada

Turkey - IOM, in collaboration with the Canadian and Turkish governments, last night (20/01) organized a charter flight to move 284 Syrian refugees from Ankara, Turkey to Toronto, Canada.

They were the first Syrian refugees to depart Turkey as part of Canada’s commitment to relocate 25,000 Syrian refugees from the region. Over 10,000 Syrians have already been moved to Canada from Jordan and Lebanon under the programme. 

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Syrian refugees and migrants cross the Serbian-Croatian border. © IOM/Francesco Malavolta 2015

EU Migrants Need Work to Continue Short-Term Boost to Economy: IMF

Switzerland - The economic fate of European countries will hinge on their ability to get newly arrived refugees and migrants to work quickly, but international financial institutions warn that current policies may be doing just the opposite, write Gabriele Steinhauser and Stephen Fidler for the Wall Street Journal from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.  

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Screenshot from Leila Alaoui's website (

Migrant Photographer Leila Alaoui Dies from Injuries

French-Moroccan photographer and video artist Leila Alaoui has died from injuries sustained during the jihadist attacks on the Splendid Hotel in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on January 15th. She was in Burkina Faso on an assignment for Amnesty International.

Her pictures explored the construction of identity and cultural diversity, often through the prism of the migration stories that intersect the contemporary Mediterranean. They expressed social realities using a visual language that combined the narrative depth of documentary storytelling and the aesthetic sensibilities of fine art.

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Migration in the News

  • USA Today reported that the European Union will see a small but positive impact on economic growth from the region's refugee influx, according to the International Monetary Fund. It quoted IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.

  • Reuters reported that German and Turkish police arrested 15 people suspected of people smuggling in a joint operation to break up a ring believed to have trafficked over 1,700 Syrian refugees to Europe. It cited IOM reports.

  • AFP reported that  a five-year-old girl and a woman died of cold on Wednesday as they tried to reach Greece by sea, as the flow of migrants heading for Europe resumed following a lull due to high winds. It cited IOM figures.

  • Pulitzer Center profiled Zoi Livaditou, a doctor and Lesbos native now working for IOM on the island, which has become the frontline of Europe’s migrant crisis. She previously worked as a doctor for aid agencies in emergencies worldwide.

  • Italy’s The Local reported that the number of migrants arriving in Italy from sub-Saharan Africa surged last year, according to IOM. Syrian arrivals fell, as Greece became their preferred destination. It quoted IOM’s Flavio Di Giacomo.

  • DPA reported that according to Human Rights Watch, Bulgarian police routinely mistreat migrants arriving from Turkey, often beating, robbing and forcibly returning them back across the border. It cited IOM estimates.

  • AFP reported that  Central American states and Mexico have agreed to maintain an IOM-supervised flight-and-bus corridor to allow thousands of Cubans stranded in Costa Rica to get to the United States.

  • Harvard Politics Review reported from the Niger town of Agadez, where a wave of migration from sub-Saharan Africa has created a thriving people smuggling industry. It interviewed IOM’s Giuseppe Loprete.

  • Press TV reported that Austria has announced a plan to reduce by half the number of people allowed to claim asylum in the country in 2016. It cited IOM estimates.

Trending on the Internet

  • Telegraph reported that the IMF expects 1.3 million migrants a year to arrive in Europe between 2015-2017, raising questions about how to integrate them into the labour market.

  • SBS series 'First Day' follows migrants and refugees in Australia who have made a difference to their communities.

Media Contacts

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