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19 February 2018

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African migrants being rescued by Italian Coast Guard in 2014. ©IOM/Malavolta

African Migration to Europe, Not a Crisis but an Opportunity

Washington DC (IPS)  – An increasingly common justification for European development assistance to Africa is the notion that it will reduce migration from the South. While this sounds intuitive and makes for an appealing argument, the research shows that it is highly unlikely.
As communities become less poor, more people gain the abilities and wherewithal to undertake an expensive journey to a better life elsewhere. Development often increases migration – at least initially.
The combination of demographic and economic imbalances means that migration flows between Africa and Europe will almost certainly increase in the coming decades. By 2050, sub-Saharan Africa will have 800 million new work force participants.
This population boom will be full of young, energetic job seekers, and local markets will not be able to absorb and provide meaningful livelihood opportunities for all of them.

Read on 

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Akwasi Frimpong, Ghana’s Olympic Skeleton athlete. Photo: BBC

Migration Means Reinvention – Even to Olympian

Geneva (IOM) – Every Olympian, in their way, is a migrant—undertaking a life-changing journey towards their goal of athletic perfection. 

Yet many are more migratory than others, particularly those from the world’s least developed countries who often must leave home to access the resources necessary to transform themselves into world-beating athletes.

Migrants born abroad often become citizens of the country under whose Olympic flags they compete. Others compete for their homelands, but only after training abroad to hone their competitive skills.

Such an athlete is Sabrina Simader—Kenyan born, but mostly Austrian bred, migrating with her mother to Liezen in the Austrian Alps, where she discovered a talent for snow sports. Sabrina is skiing for Kenya this year.

Read on


Austria, 1956: These two Hungarian women have just reached safety after fleeing Hungary across the Andau border. ©IOM

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Marivic: "Helping elderly people here makes me think that my mum will be helped by others. It’s really hard to be away from her."

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Migration in the News

  • UNB and Bangladesh’s Daily Observer reported that almost every other of the 25 Rohingya refugee children who took part in a recent drawing activity session run by IOM’s psychosocial support team in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh drew a house as their greatest wish.

  • GOOD reported about the Rohingya refugee crisis and how anyone can help.

  • Their World reported that child-friendly facilities make vulnerable youngsters feel secure – and help them to develop through play and learning.

  • Sputnik reported that more than 1,200 deaths of migrant children have been recorded since 2014, while the real figure is likely to be much bigger amid an upward trend in the number of child migrants.

  • DW reported that false rumors about a safe passage to Europe have drawn a large number of migrants to Agadez – even from far-away Asian countries.

  • Xinhua reported that UNSMIL and Libyan authorities took the first steps to develop a plan to manage labour migration in Libya through a three-day workshop hosted by the Libyan Minister of Labour and Capacity Building in Tunisia.

  • Xinhua reported that IOM has rolled out a mobile app called MigApp to empower migrants in East and Horn of Africa that serves as a one-stop-shop where migrants can access updated, reliable and practical information as well as IOM services.

  • Dominica News reported that IOM is supporting the Government of Dominica to improve the conditions of people living in emergency shelters after the passage of hurricane Maria.

Trending on the Internet


  • IPS reported that Nicaragua’s “containment wall”, aimed at bolstering internal security, has been successful with regard to the fight against transnational crime. But its victims are migrants who are relentlessly blocked from passing through the country en route to their destination: the United States.

  • Al Jazeera published an op-ed which noted that Europe should tackle migration not by deploying troops, but by curbing economic abuse and destablisation.

  • Deutsche Welle research shows that although effective in some cases, aid money alone cannot stop major migration waves.


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