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01 February 2016

Leveraging Information Technology to Combat Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is one of the largest and most profitable criminal activities globally, ranking only behind the illegal weapon and drug trades. It violates numerous national and international laws, and has ensnared more than 20 million people around the world.

It is key to understand both how technology is being used by traffickers, as well as how it can be used to stop this exploitation. IOM is working with partners Microsoft, AvePoint and USAID to identify innovative means to use technology to stop human trafficking.

Watch the video.

Go to to help a victim of trafficking now.

IOC President Thomas Bach walks through the Eleonas refugee camp in Athens. Photo: Reuters/ Alkis Konstantinidis.

A Refugee Will Be a Torch Bearer in 2016: International Olympic Committee

Greece - The flame for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will pass through a refugee camp in Athens and one refugee will be among the torch bearers, according to the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), writes  Karolina Tagaris for Reuters.

The torch will be lit in Greece's ancient Olympia – the birthplace of the games – on April 21 before leaving for the South American country 12 days later. It will arrive in Brazil on May 3 to start its 100-day relay across the country.

Greece became the main gateway for more than a million refugees who began arriving in Europe last year, most fleeing war and persecution in countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

"The Olympic flame will pass through this camp here and will be shown to the refugees," IOC head Thomas Bach said during a visit to the Eleonas camp for refugees and migrants in Athens, which houses mostly Afghans and Iranians. "One of the refugees will be invited to carry the torch."

Read on

Migration in the News

  • BBC reported an Observer story that, according to Europol, the EU’s police intelligence unit, over 10,000 migrant children may have disappeared after arriving in Europe over the past two years.

  • AP, CNN and Voice of America reported that a boat smuggling migrants to Greece slammed sank off the Turkish coast Saturday killing at least 39 people, including five children.

  • Ireland’s Breaking News, Reuters and USA Today reported that according to IOM, migrant drowning deaths are now running at four times the rate of 2015, as thousands daily try to reach Europe from Turkey to Greece.

  • AFP reported that over half a million people have signed an online petition calling for Greek islanders on the frontline of Europe's migrant crisis to be awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Xinhua reported that Europe is seeing an increasing number of refugee arrivals, despite harsh winter weather conditions, which is triggering growing anti-migrant sentiment and exerting pressure on politicians over immigration policies.

  • Human Rights Watch said that calls to quarantine Greece and prevent the onward movement of asylum seekers would put their rights at risk.

  • Independent News Service reported that a Greek football match was delayed as players staged a 2-minute sit-down protest against the rising death toll of migrants making the journey to the Aegean islands from Turkey.

  • Mail Online reported that completely open borders allowing unfettered migration around the world are 'inevitable', according to UK shadow chancellor John McDonnell.

  • Devex reported that this month the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee will meet in Paris and will discuss how the Syrian refugee crisis is changing official development assistance flows.

Trending on the Internet

  • Huffington Post featured a video of migrants in Singapore reading out local residents' hostile comments about them.

  • Independent UK reported that  a 13-year-old Afghan migrant living alone in the 'Calais Jungle' wrote a letter to UK PM David Cameron after his “bunch of migrants” remark.

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