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11 October 2017

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Opening of the High-level Meeting on Combatting Trafficking in Persons on 27 September 2017. Photo: Kieran Gorman-Best /IOM 2017

IOM @ UN: Renewed Focus on Fighting Human Trafficking

New York – The 72nd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) opened on 19 September in New York. It marked the first General Assembly presided by Antonio Guterres, the new UN Secretary General (SG), and it was also a step forward in the global fight against human trafficking.

The adopted first draft resolution of the UNGA was a Political Declaration reaffirming countries’ commitment to the implementation of the United Nations Global Plan of Action (GPA) to Combat Trafficking in Persons. At the High-level Meeting held from 27 September to 2 October, 98 Member States, including 10 Ministers and seven Vice Ministers, recommitted to address human trafficking. New funding commitments to the Voluntary Trust fund were made and new partnerships announced. IOM was mentioned 17 times, and we were also given a chance to make a statement on the issue (webcast).

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‘I can definitely state I am quite happy with what I achieved for myself and others,’ says Edmond Stepanyan – working tirelessly in his small bakery in Gyumri, northern Armenia.

The Miracle of the Tyres and Fishes

Vienna – Who doesn’t admire a go-getter with an enterprising spirit? It’s easy to think that entrepreneurship is simply the result of hard work and a can-do attitude, but there are some far more important ingredients: funding and expertise.

For many around the world, however, the resources necessary to turn positive personal attributes into small businesses, employment, and self-sufficiency are very difficult or impossible to obtain.

Sargis Nazaryan is from the city of Abovian in central Armenia, founded as a centre for industry within the Soviet Union and mainly populated by ethnic Armenian migrants who came from Syria, Iran and Lebanon during the 1960s. After setting up a tyre-changing shop, he realized that he had a lot of unused space and therefore unused potential on the premises. He considered his options  –  the easiest of which would have been to simply rent out the extra space. But in the end, his decision was to expand his business to include a fish sale and delivery service. A seemingly odd decision. However, it was made after seeking outside advice, and would ultimately prove its worth.

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Dilberto: "I left my country because my human rights were violated. Trust me, when you have no rights in your own country, you're not a real citizen."
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Migration in the News

  • IPS spoke with several agencies working on the ground to provide emergency services for Rohingya refugees and found out that literally every woman, except the very old and young, has had experiences of either being molested or experienced extreme levels of abuse.
  • UN News Centre and Bangladesh’s Green Watch reported that UN agencies launched on Tuesday a massive immunization campaign to prevent a cholera outbreak among the more than half a million Rohingya refugee arrivals in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh.
  • Global Citizen reported that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have been flooding into Bangladesh since August 25 with 10,000 more refugees arriving in just one day.
  • Devex reported that aid workers and organizations in Myanmar are facing both access and safety concerns, Androulla Kaminara, director at the European Commission’s humanitarian arm, ECHO said Monday, warning the Rohingya refugee crisis had passed a “tipping point.”
  • AFP reported that at least 14 Rohingya refugees, most of them children, drowned and scores more were missing Monday after their overloaded boat capsized, the latest tragedy to strike those fleeing violence in Myanmar.
  • Xinhua and Just Earth News reported that three weeks since category 5 Hurricane Maria ripped through Dominica, the scope of the damage remains daunting, with islanders in dire need of water, electricity, food and supplies.
  • Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported that rural communities in Zimbabwe continue to be affected by climate change related challenges like flooding and drought resulting in communities being adversely affected in accessing basic needs.

Trending on the Internet

  • Quartz published a report suggesting that a better way to encourage citizens to accept migration may be to allow migrants, or their employers, to contribute to existing welfare systems.
  • Bangkok Post reported that Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore have become the region’s migration hubs and are now home to 6.5 million migrants from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, according to the World Bank.



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