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01 July 2016


IOM Member States Endorse Move to Join United Nations
Posted on Fri. July-01-2016

Switzerland - Member States of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), meeting at a Special Council in Geneva on 30th June, decided that IOM should join the United Nations system as a related organization.

IOM Director General William Swing will communicate the decision of IOM Member States to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It is expected to enter into force, upon signature of the agreement, on 19 September during a UN Summit on Migrants and Refugees, after being submitted to the UN General Assembly for approval.

“Today has been a watershed moment in the life of this Organization, which is celebrating its 65th year,” said IOM Director General William‎ Lacy Swing. “Member States approved the motion by which IOM will join the United Nations system.”

“We expect to soon have a seat and a voice at the UN table and the UN will soon have a dedicated migration agency,” he added.

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Distribution of non-food items in Maiduguri, Nigeria. Photo: IOM 2015

Lake Chad Basin and Central African Republic Crises: Appeal
Posted on Fri. July-01-2016

Switzerland -  IOM has appealed to donors to address the humanitarian crisis affecting the Lake Chad Basin, which has displaced nearly three million people in four countries, and the crisis in the Central African Republic, which has displaced a further 400,000.

The Lake Chad Basin crisis began in 2014 with the Boko Haram insurgency and ensuing military operations in the region. Thousands have lost their lives and millions have been displaced across Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.

According to the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) led by the government of Nigeria with the support of IOM, over 2 million people have been internally displaced in Nigeria alone. The Emergency Relief Coordinator has described it as among the most underfunded and least addressed humanitarian crises worldwide.

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IOM transit center in Niger. Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero 2016

Assisted Voluntary Returns Peaked at 70,000 in 2015: IOM
Posted on Fri. July-01-2016

Switzerland - IOM assisted 69,540 migrants from 97 host and/or transit countries and 156 countries of origin in 2015, as part of its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes, according to the newly-released AVRR 2015 Key Highlights report.

This corresponds to nearly a 60 percent increase compared to the previous year, when it helped 43,786 migrants to voluntarily return to their countries of origin in a safe and dignified manner.

AVRR is one of IOM’s core support activities to migrants and Member States. Often implemented in cooperation with NGOs and diaspora communities, it provides vital and tailored assistance to tens of thousands of migrants voluntarily returning home every year.

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"Violent extremist groups like ISIL, al-Qaida and Boko Haram also stand to benefit if we fail to respond adequately to the refugee crisis. A central part of the narrative of these groups is that the West is at war with Islam. So when we turn away the very people who are fleeing the atrocities and repression of these groups… we play into that narrative.” –  U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Read more here.



For the latest Mediterranean Update data on arrivals and fatalities please visit: #MigrationEurope

Migration in the News
  • AP reported that IOM member states unanimously agreed to IOM becoming part of the UN system. It also announced that China, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands will join IOM, bringing its total number of member states to 165.

  • AP and Wall Street Journal reported that the Italian navy has almost halved the estimated death toll of a Mediterranean shipwreck in April last year, as procedures to identify the bodies of the victims are about to start.

  • BBC reported that Haiti’s political stalemate hurts the most vulnerable, including those hit by the earthquake six years ago. It noted that IOM and the UN are providing rent subsidies to help families still living in tent camps to move out.

  • Think Progress reported that U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power chided wealthy nations for using terrorism fears to justify their reluctance to admit more refugees. Debunking a myth that the US spends a lot on refugees, she noted that resettlement agencies provide interest-free loans to pay for their US-bound flights.

  • Benar News reported that the U.S. government removed Thailand from its list of countries that fail to meet minimum standards for combating human trafficking, citing tougher laws and increased prosecution of traffickers.

Trending on the Internet

  • New York Times reported that Canadian hockey moms, poker buddies and neighbors are adopting Syrian refugees, one family at a time.

Media Contacts

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