PRINT ME subscribe
Unable to see images? Click here Comments/questions:
31 August 2016

Migrants and refugees are rescued from a wooden boat off Libya on Monday. Photo: AP

Nearly 7,000 Migrants Rescued Off Libyan Coast

Italy - The Italian navy and a number of search and rescue boats have saved nearly 7,000 migrants and refugees off the Libyan coast since Monday, in one of the largest ever rescue operations in the Mediterranean, according to IOM, writes Giovanni Legorano in The Wall Street Journal.

Flavio di Giacomo, spokesman for the IOM in Italy, said the number of those rescued was set to grow as rescue operations were still ongoing.

Calmer waters may have prompted such a high number of migrants to attempt the crossing simultaneously, Mr. Di Giacomo said, after days in which they likely waited in Libya because of choppy seas.

Until Monday, the migrants and refugees who reached Italy—most of whom had been rescued south of the island of Sicily—in August numbered around 12,000, or slightly more than half the arrivals in the same month last year. Since the beginning of the year, 113,000 migrants reached Italy, only slightly less than in the same period of last year.

However, the closure of European borders means migrants are bottled up in Italy, which is scrambling to find places to host them. Italian reception centers now shelter 145,000 migrants and refugees, an increase of more than 50% since the beginning of the year.

Read on

Central and South American migrants travel north to the US border on the freight train known as 'La Bestia.' File photo: Keith Dannemiller / IOM.

Documenting The Dead On The Arizona Border: Lonely Remains Are Matched To Lost Loved Ones

United States – On August 8 of this year, a U.S. Border Patrol agent tracking a group of illegal immigrants from Mexico came upon the lonely remains of what was likely a person who’d crossed the border into the U.S. some time ago, writes Michel Marizco in Fronteras. The remains were scattered, incomplete and the person they once comprised, was unidentified, unknown.

It’s an old story in this quiet desert. A slow and very lonesome death. Smugglers are paid to guide people through trails that slither through green mesquite and palo verde, but too often leave clients behind in the rush to keep moving and avoid detection. Some migrants choose to bypass the enterprising criminal networks and go it alone. But in doing so, they risk the possibility of becoming overwhelmed by the magnitude of a long walk through hard country.

This desert holds bones and it guards their identity like secrets.

The bodies of nearly 900 people remain unidentified in Pima County, the result of years of illegal border crossings that funneled people through the Arizona desert. Now, a new program is underway at the Pima County Medical Examiner in Tucson to use DNA to match those remains to thousands of people who’ve been reported missing.

Read on | Visit Missing Migrants Project

Migration in the News

  • DW, DPA, Reuters, Xinhua, EFE, TeleSUR, Sputnik, Tribune News Service, ABC News, Vatican Radio, Hurriyet Daily News and others reported that the number of migrants and refugees rescued in the Mediterranean between Libya and Italy surged by over 7,000 at the end of August, bringing the total number rescued in 2016 to over 111,500, according to IOM. 
  • BBC, Daily Express, Die Welt, Spiegel-Online, Frankfurter Rundschau, El Paìs, Le Soir, Tribune de Genève and others reported on the “Mediterranean Missing” project that analyses Italy and Greece’s handling of the investigation, identification, burial and repatriation of migrants drowned at sea.
  • Sputnik reported on the challenges of assisting thousands of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece and the need to step up their relocation to other European Union member states.
  • UN, Sputnik and Press TV reported on the resettlement of over 10,000 Syrian refugees to the United States in the current fiscal year.
  • Aljazeera reported on how, after decades of emigration, the economically depressed southern Italian village of Camini is undergoing a revival, thanks to an influx of refugees.

Trending on the Internet

  • Hyperallergic featured the work of photographer Omar Imam, a former refugee, who portrays refugees in surreal, black-and-white scenes.

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