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22 January 2018

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“We are firmly committed to the global fight to eliminate sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment in the humanitarian sector.” Image: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Breaking the Silence: Why We Should All Take a Zero-Tolerance Approach to Sexual Harassment and Abuse

By William Lacy Swing and Mark Lowcock

This article is part of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

Around the world, brave women have broken their silence on the sexual harassment and abuse suffered at the hands of those with power. Their courage is paving the way for others to speak out about their own experiences.

This is the case when a survivor of sexual exploitation comes forward to make a claim against a UN staff member, who was meant to be helping them or was even their fellow colleague. But it is not the survivors’ responsibility to stop harm from being carried out. It is up to all UN staff members and leaders to eradicate the sense of impunity that has existed in the international community for far too long.

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IOM Blog - Spanish version / IOM Blog - French version 



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Mayorsk checkpoint, where people are hostages to the crisis in eastern Ukraine. Photo: IOM/ Varvara Zhluktenko, 2017

Postcards from the Edge: Three Ukrainian Women on Either Side and the Middle of Conflict

Ukraine – Eastern Ukraine is shuddering through a fourth winter of armed conflict. Some 3.4 million men, women and children are locked in a dire humanitarian situation right on Europe’s doorstep. Over 30 per cent of those affected are elderly and 60 per cent are women or children. One might think that the protracted nature of this crisis means that the needs of conflict-affected population in Ukraine are not pressing. 

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Hotline staff shared their experiences on various topics ranging from outreach, to handling challenging calls. Photo: IOM/Amy Rhoades

Answering the Call: Burundi, Central African Republic Hotline Operators Exchange Ideas

First published by the CDAC Network

Geneva (IOM) — Once the conversation started, there was no stopping them. Hotline operators in Burundi and the Central African Republic (CAR) were eager to learn about each other’s experiences responding to the steady stream of daily calls. At the end of last month’s Hotline Exchange, everyone agreed to plan another in the coming months.

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Rehmat Ullah: "I strongly believe that I am now ready to go back home and restart my new life."

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Migration in the News

  • IPS reported that IOM is appealing for nearly USD 1.4 billion to address the needs of over 80 million people in 50 countries in 2018.
  • Dhaka Tribune, ANI, Daily Observer, The New Nation reported that Yanghee Lee, UN special rapporteur for human rights in Myanmar, on Saturday visited the Rohingya refugee camps in Teknaf to speak to the refugees. 
  • ANSA Med reported that a total of 2,583 migrants and refugees have reached European shores by sea so far in 2018.
  • AP reported that two migrants have died after their boat sank while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European shores, Spain's maritime rescue service said Sunday.
  • IPS spoke to families of migrants who were left behind in Bangladesh without knowing when their loved ones will be back.
  • Dhaka Tribune published an Op-Ed by IOM’s Ashfaqur Rahman Khan and writer Shazia Omar who noted that more must be done to manage the climate change effects that affects lives.
  • The Strait Times reported that fake Singapore passports were put on display by Thai police who nabbed a Pakistani national for allegedly producing fraudulent travel documents.
  • Borgen Magazine reported that during the course of the battle of Mosul in Iraq, the city suffered significant damage and its restoration is proving to be an arduous challenge for authorities, as 40,000 homes need to be rebuilt.
  • Jamaica Information Agency reported that the Government has launched the 2018 Extended Migration Profile of Jamaica, which can be used to inform policy development and planning. 

Trending on the Internet

  • Bangladesh’s New Age published an op-ed by journalist and strategic analyst Andrew Spannaus who noted that right-wing populists are exploiting the migration issue in both the United States and Europe, but dismissing their arguments would be a mistake; instead, an honest assessment of the economic and regime-change policies that fuel migration is needed.
  • UN News spoke with Lakshmi Puri, UN Women Deputy Executive Director to discuss the advancement of women and how UN Women plans to further the global agenda for gender equality; a goal to be reached by 2030.
  • Australia’s 7 News reported that an inspirational group of migrants is leading the change in keeping new arrivals safe in the water following tragic drownings by teaching others how to swim.


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