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11 January 2018

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Democratic Republic of the Congo (IOM) – Women, separated from their husbands by the conflict, end up being the sole breadwinners for their families, while also carrying out other necessary tasks, such as, fetching water and firewood, preparing food and raising children.

Many militia fighters prefer soft civilian targets to other armed men. In order to reach safety, women are forced to cover long distances on foot – many whilst pregnant or nursing a baby.

Women and girls are far more likely to suffer sexual violence although there are also cases of male victims. Sexual violence in the region often takes extreme forms and frequently damages both the reproductive organs and the excretory system, leading to urinary and/or faecal incontinence. It is often perpetrated by armed men and many rapes involve numerous assailants with the victims sometimes dying from their injuries. Since some rapists believe that raping an old woman absorbs her wisdom or that the man who rapes a baby purifies himself or rids himself of disease, the victims can range in age from a few months to 80 years old.

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Refugees attend a pre-departure session in Mae Sot, Thailand before resettlement in Australia. Photo: Reuben Lim/IOM

Refugees Overcoming the Odds as Business Owners

Adelaide (WEF) – Refugees face monumental challenges when starting a business. Many lack formal education, capital, social capital (relationships in the community), English language skills, and knowledge of the local market and regulations.

Our research into a community of Hazara refugees provides some insight into how they overcome the odds. Over time they saved money from their jobs to raise start-up capital, often starting their business in partnership with friends and family members. Some turned their incarceration into an advantage, by partnering with other Hazara they met in camps to create businesses.

In short, through hard work, determination and risk-taking, the Hazara entrepreneurs learnt English, built up capital and social networks, and became familiar with Adelaide and its opportunities.

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A 22-year-old Ethiopian migrant in Djibouti. Photo: Muse Mohammed/IOM

Demystifying the World of Migration

New York (IOM) – An unprecedented demand of data is driven by the pressing human mobility challenges of our time. With emerging technology bringing vitality to the field of migration data, and safer, better regulated migration becoming a key global priority, the potential for an era of evidence-based policy has never been greater.

This required the United Nations to re-think its work. The General Assembly in recent years repeatedly called for reinforced effort towards reliable data and information on migration to support evidence-based policy-making and to counter widely held misconceptions.

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Take a look at this reintegration project in Guinea Bissau for migrants returning from Niger and local community members. Supporting the reintegration of migrants in their countries of origin is essential in order to ensure the sustainability of returns.

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Jessy: "What’s important is being healthy, and having a job and a place to live, be it in Portugal or elsewhere."
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Migration in the News


  • Reuters, AP, The New York Times, Xinhua, Al Jazeera, The Daily Star Lebanon and The Vanguard reported Wednesday that some 100 migrants are missing at sea and feared dead, according to the Libyan navy which also rescued at least 279 others off the coast of Libya.

  • UN News, APO, ANSA, and The Nation reported that a little more than a week into the New Year, close to 200 migrants or refugees have reportedly died or gone missing in the Mediterranean Sea – with up to 100 unaccounted for since Saturday, the United Nations migration agency said Wednesday.

  • UN Radio spoke with IOM’s Leonard Doyle who urged social media companies, in particular Facebook, to do more to “help explain the dangers” of embarking on migrant journeys in search of a better life.

  • AFP and The Guardian reported that a petition has been launched in support of a Spanish activist who has made calls to the Spanish coastguards about migrant boats, potentially saving the lives of thousands of people attempting the treacherous crossing to Europe, and is now under investigation in Morocco for human trafficking offences.

  • EFE-EPA reported that seven of the European Union's southern members on Wednesday urged countries across the 28-member bloc to share in the burden of border protection, saying that managing the flow of migrants from war-torn or economically destitute nations will continue to be a fundamental challenge in the future.

  • The New York Times reported that a space shortage in Spain’s migrant detention centers has prompted the government to send some 500 Algerian migrants to its brand-new prison.

  • The Jordan Times reported that IOM on Wednesday distributed vouchers to a total of 1,500 vulnerable Syrian female-headed households in Zarqa, with the aim of complementing the winterization assistance provided by other non-governmental organizations and UN agencies.

  • AMA reported that IOM and the Government of Zambia are supporting the construction of a protective shelter in the country’s border district of Sesheke to offer a place of safety for vulnerable migrants, particularly women and children, and ultimately ensure that they avoid unnecessary detention. 


Trending on the Internet


  • VICE News reported about the Armadillos, a small search-and-rescue group of 15 volunteers who journey to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona twice a month in the hopes of slowing the hundreds of migrant deaths that occur every year near the US-Mexico border.

  • DW reported about the “Graveyard of the Unknown” in Tunisia, where the bodies of anonymous migrants washed ashore in Zarzys on the Tunisian south coast are buried. 


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