PRINT ME subscribe
Unable to see images? Click here Comments/questions:
09 May 2016

Newly-elected London mayor Sadiq Khan, a former human rights lawyer and Cabinet Minister, was elected on Saturday. Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

Sadiq Khan Elected in London, Becoming its First Muslim Mayor

United Kingdom — In a Europe struggling with a rise in Islamophobia, riven by debates about the flood of Syrian migrants and on edge over religious, ethnic and cultural disputes, London has elected its first Muslim mayor, writes Stephen Castle in The New York Times.

Sadiq Khan — a Labour Party leader, a former human rights lawyer and a son of a bus driver from Pakistan — was declared the winner after a protracted count that extended into Saturday (7/5.) He will be the first Muslim to lead Britain’s capital.

The victory also makes him one of the most prominent Muslim politicians in the West.

London is hardly representative of Britain: About a quarter of its residents are foreign-born, and one-eighth are Muslim. And Mr. Khan is not the first Muslim to hold prominent office in Europe: Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, has had a Muslim mayor since 2009 and Sajid Javid is the British secretary of state for business.

Nonetheless, Mr. Khan, 45, won a striking victory after a campaign dominated by anxieties over religion and ethnicity. Britain has not sustained a large-scale terrorist attack since 2005, and its Muslim population, in contrast to France, is considered well integrated. But an estimated 800 people have left Britain to fight for or support the Islamic State. Dozens of assaults on British Muslims were reported after the Paris terrorist attacks in November.

The Conservative candidate, Zac Goldsmith, attacked Mr. Khan’s past advocacy for criminal defendants, including his opposition to the extradition of a man who was later convicted in the United States of supporting terrorism. Mr. Goldsmith said Mr. Khan had given “oxygen and cover” to extremists. When the Conservative prime minister, David Cameron, repeated those assertions in Parliament, he was accused of racism.

Read on

Marilyn with her grandchildren in Baguio City. Photo: Tess Bacalla

Reintegration: the Forgotten Side of Migration in ASEAN

Philippines - Marilyn Sakiwat, 55, looked forward to coming home to the Philippines for good after years of working overseas, making up for lost time with her now grown-up children, and becoming a productive member of her community, writes Tess Bacalla for Reporting ASEAN.

This, after 26 years of toiling away in Hong Kong, hundreds of miles away from her simple home in the northern Philippine city of Baguio City, one that she now shares with two of her five children, both married, and grandchildren.

But barely two months after returning to the Philippines in December 2015, anxiety began to grip Sakiwat. Her meagre savings were running out and there was no stable means of livelihood in sight despite her efforts to earn money from cultivating mushrooms.

Like many migrant workers, she came home with new, enhanced skills that were honed in the offshore homes where she had served as a domestic worker.

She had hoped to set up a small business using her new culinary skill — making pasta — after returning to her home country. Yet she lacks the resources to buy the needed equipment and get started on her entrepreneurial venture, she said with uncertainty in her voice.

Read on

Last week we asked you through our twitter polls to identify examples of migrant workers. Here is the definition IOM uses:

Migration in the News

  • Euronewsinsiders programme interviewed IOM EU Director Eugenio Ambrosi on the challenges of resettling refugees who have fled their home countries and arrived in the European Union (EU).

  • Sputnik reported that according to IOM over 189,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe since the beginning of 2016.

  • Huffington Post reported that thousands of South Asian asylum seekers face detention and deportation under the EU-Turkey agreement aimed at stemming the flow of migrants into Europe.

  • UN News Centre interviewed Karen AbuZayd, the UN Secretary General’s Special Advisor for the UN Summit on Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants scheduled for September 19th 2016. She said that the UN is looking for a closer relationship with IOM to create a “go-to place” with regard to migrants.

  • Forbes reported that Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris has reiterated his offer of USD100 million to any government prepared to provide an island on which to establish a community for Middle Eastern refugees.

  • Anadolu Agency reported that  the European Investment Bank is prepared to financially assist Turkey with caring for the 2.7 million Syrian refugees sheltering in the county.

  • Scotland’s The National reported claims by the NGO Global Justice Now that the catastrophe faced by people fleeing the Middle East and North Africa to reach Europe should not be described as a “migrant crisis,” but a crisis of inequality, war, and climate change.

  • Phnom Penh Post reported that Cambodian officials will visit Nauru to interview two Iranian refugees interested in resettling in Cambodia under a the deal with Australia.

Trending on the Internet

  • RT reported that a German education center is teaching migrants how to approach and get acquainted with local women.

  • Express Online reported that according to a study by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory, only one in four EU workers in Britain have the skills required of non-EU citizens seeking UK work visas.

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