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25 October 2017

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Once a classroom, now a grim and untouched reminder of the Zamboanga siege of 2013. Photo: IOM/Julie Christine Batula 2017

When a School is Turned into a War Zone

Philippines (IOM) – It was 32 degrees Celsius outside, a sunny day in the last week of August. Yet, I vividly remember getting the chills.

After setting off with colleagues from IOM Zamboanga sub-office to meet some of the conflict-displaced families in Zamboanga City on the island of Mindanao, Philippines, we made a detour to Barangay Santa Barbara, one of the communities directly caught up in the middle of the Zamboanga siege in 2013.

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Two Migrant-produced Movies Revive Yemen’s Filmmaking Hopes

Yemen - Sana’a’s silver screen got lit again with Bint and Zafan, two films produced by teams of creative young displaced Yemenis who have defied extreme conditions in order to learn filmmaking and document different angles of their war-torn country.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has partnered with Youth of Peace (YoP), a local Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Yemen empowering and mobilizing young people around peace-building initiatives, to provide capacity building training to a group of youth.

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Talawa's Story – A Reggae Revival on the Migrant Trail

Chapter 5 – The Moral of the Story

Central America (IOM) – The reggae band Talawa was formed in 2006, and it released  three records in ten years. This is the fifth part of a documentary that follows the band and their sound engineer during a journey across Central America and the United States motivated by the false expectations of a tour contract.

Watch Chapter 5 here |  Watch Chapter 4 here | Watch Chapter 3 here | Watch Chapter 2 here | Watch Chapter 1 here




Kleio: "The biggest challenge I had to overcome as an immigrant was, and still is, the fact that I have to prove myself again."
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Migration in the News

  • IPS reported that after centuries of coexistence, tensions between Muslims and Buddhists are building in Mandalay, the second-largest city in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar.
  • Bangkok Post published an op-ed which noted that the upheaval in western Myanmar has caused problems elsewhere that also require and deserve international aid.
  • Dhaka Tribune reported that Myanmar has agreed to the repatriation of the forcibly displaced Rohingyas to their homeland from Bangladesh, boost border security and implementation of other recommendations made in the final report of the Kofi Annan-led Advisory Commission on Rakhine State.
  • Asia News Network reported that disease is now the biggest enemy of more than 600,000 Rohingya who have fled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state over the past two months.
  • New York Times reported that the United States threatened, on Monday, to take punitive actions against Myanmar unless it pulls back from its violent military campaign against Rohingya refugees.
  • RTS, Tagesanzeiger/Der Bun, Le Temps reported on Switzerland’s anti human trafficking campaign, 18th October,  in coordination with IOM Bern. Another RTS report shared the story of a victim who is being assisted by one of the main partners for the campaign, Coeur des Grottes.
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation reported more and better data is needed to track progress in the global drive to eradicate modern slavery and human trafficking, as many victims are going uncounted.
  • Zimbabwe Daily reported that Zimbabwe has recorded positive strides in tackling human trafficking and is now ranked at Tier-2 on the watch list on human trafficking.
  • The Independent reported that social media skills are key to networking – and in an illicit trade with little hierarchy, smugglers have learned this quickly, using platforms like Facebook to make connections.
  • Uganda’s The Observer reported that staff working with the various United Nations agencies in Uganda have marked UN Day and the 72nd anniversary of the international body by cleaning markets and holding a health camp.

Trending on the Internet

  • The Guardian reported about Amineh Abou Kerech, a 13-year-old Syrian refugee who won this year’s Betjeman poetry prize.
  • News Deeply reported that Indonesia has banned its citizens from migrating to 21 Middle Eastern countries for work. But the women of Lombok are still heading to the Gulf in search of jobs, and may be even more vulnerable than before.


Media Contacts

For interviews and other media requests, please contact the

IOM Media and Communications team here.