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22 September 2017

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IOM staff providing emergency and primary healthcare services to the Rohingya and host populations. Photo: IOM 2017

IOM Director General, Bangladesh PM Discuss Humanitarian Aid for People Fleeing Myanmar at UN General Assembly

Posted on Fri. September 22, 2017

New York – On Wednesday (20/09), the UN Migration Agency’s Director General William Lacy Swing and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met during the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss humanitarian aid for the thousands fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Bangladesh, already host to approximately 300,000, had welcomed 74,000 after an incident in October 2016 and a further 429,000 people, who are seeking safety from an outbreak of violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, on 25 August.

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IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson addresses the high level event hosted by the Austrian Foreign Ministry in Vienna yesterday (21/09). Photo: Joe Lowry/IOM 2017

IOM Deputy Director General Outlines Benefits of Global Compact for Migration at High-Level Event in Vienna

Posted on Fri. September 22, 2017

Vienna - IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson was in Vienna yesterday (21/09), speaking at an event organized by the Austrian Foreign Ministry on the Global Compact for Migration.

The high-level meeting brought together representatives from the Western Balkans as well as several neighbouring EU countries.

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IOM staff assisting Burundian refugee families onto buses in Nduta for their return to Burundi. Photo: IOM 2017

UN Migration Agency Appeals for Over USD 3 Million to Assist Burundian Refugees Return Home from Tanzania

Posted on Fri. September 22, 2017

Kigoma – Approximately 12,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania have asked the Government of Tanzania and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency for assistance to get home. Close to 280,000 refugees fled into Tanzania from Burundi following an upsurge in violence in 2015, of whom nearly 80 per cent are women and children. Now, some see the areas from where they originated as safe and want to return.

On 31 August, the Governments of Tanzania and Burundi and UNHCR signed an agreement on the Voluntary Repatriation of Burundian Refugees in Tanzania, which initiated the return process. Only refugees who have been fully briefed on the situation within their country in order to make an informed decision and then voluntarily sign up will return to Burundi through the programme. 

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Migration in the News

  • AFP reported that an attack on an aid shipment in Myanmar’s Rakhine state and a deadly Red Cross truck crash in Bangladesh on Thursday hampered desperately needed relief efforts for Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution.
  • CNN reported that Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has delivered a sharp judgment on neighbouring Myanmar's treatment of Rohingya Muslims.
  • Council on Foreign Relations reported that while struggling with its own development needs, Bangladesh is providing the last place of refuge for Rohingya Muslims fleeing Myanmar.
  • Bangladesh’s Daily Observer reported that Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged IOM Director General William Lacy Swing to pressure Myanmar’s government to take back Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh.
  • The Daily Star reported that the government is working out a process to sell mobile SIM cards to Rohingya refugees who entered Bangladesh to escape Myanmar.
  • Bangkok Post ran an Op-Ed which noted Thailand's military junta policy designed to push back desperate Rohingya seeking to escape the atrocities in Myanmar's Rakhine state, and deny them access to refugee protection. It suggested that Thai authorities should work closely with aid agencies to provide temporary shelters for Rohingya before they are resettled in third countries.
  • News Deeply reported about families who are among the more than one million Afghans returning from Pakistan, Iran and Europe.
  • AP and DPA reported that at least five migrants died and more than 90 were missing after their boat capsized off Libya's western coast.
  • UN Global Pulse worked with UNHCR on a project to define whether vessel location data – specifically Automatic Identification System (AIS) data and broadcast warnings – can provide additional insights into the movement of displaced populations from Libya to Italy and Malta.
  • Sputnik reported that more than 40 million people fell victim to modern-day slavery in 2016 with one in four being a child. It referenced the report by ILO, Walk Free and IOM, Global Estimates of Modern Slavery.

Trending on the Internet

  • Reuters reported that  Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, a powerful armed group known for smuggling people from Libya, is seeking legitimacy and state security jobs from the Tripoli government in exchange for stopping migrant boats from leaving the coast of Sabratha for Italy.
  • Montreal Gazette reported about the worsening labour shortage in Quebec that some say migrants to Montreal could alleviate – if only they would be let in.


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