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26 February 2018

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Ameena is a bus escort volunteer in Azraq camp, Jordan. © IOM

The Syrian Parents Getting Their Kids to School Safely

IOM  – Seven years of war in Syria has not deterred Ameena from being fully involved in her children’s education. The mother of four and her husband Abu Hamzeh fled their hometown of Homs for the safety of Jordan’s Azraq Refugee Camp.

While in refuge from the conflict which has ravaged her country, Ameena is one of the 66 bus escorts responsible for getting more than 9,000 Syrian children living in Azraq camp safely to school.

Located in central Jordan, the camp lies on a desert flatland where conditions are harsh year-round. Prior to the introduction of an IOM-UNICEF school bus service in 2016, children as young as six had to walk up to two kilometres each way.

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Screengrab from rap group Degg J Force 3’s latest video Falé, which is about irregular migration.

The Perils of Irregular Migration

Spreading the Message to the Youth through Music

Conakry (IOM) – Contemporary music is a powerful tool to counsel West African youth at risk of being lured into attempting the dangerous journey as undocumented migrants through North Africa and the Mediterranean, to Europe.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has partnered with artists across West Africa to educate the youth about the perils of irregular migration and rally them behind a commitment to pursue their futures closer to home.

On 10 February, more than 10,000 enthusiastic young Guineans gathered at l’Esplanade de la Maison des Jeunes in Mamou, Guinea, for the launch of local famous rap group Degg J Force 3’s latest video Falé (the ‘Bridge’ in the local Susu language): a moving, realistic account of two young men’s journeys across the desert.

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Saté: "If I didn’t move to France 10 years ago, I would be an entirely different person. Moving abroad does change a lot in one’s life."

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Migration in the News

  • Xinhua reported that IOM’s global migrant research project had recorded 6,142 migrant fatalities worldwide, in 2017.
  • Voice of America and UN News reported that IOM is appealing for nearly USD 194 million to provide essential aid to three million Syrian war victims displaced internally or as refugees in neighbouring countries.
  • Press TV reported that around 3.3 million Iraqi internally displaced persons had returned to their areas of origin by the end of January.
  • UNB reported that newly appointed Myanmar Ambassador in Dhaka, Lwin Oo has met Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali and discussed various bilateral issues, including the Rohingya crisis.
  • Iraqi News reported that displaced families across Iraq will be able to cast their ballots in the upcoming local and parliamentary elections.
  • UN News reported that a resurgence of communal violence and armed conflict in recent weeks has led to an increase in the number of internally displaced persons in northern Mali.
  • Nigeria’s Pulse reported that thousands of Africans stake their lives as they venture on a boat journey in search of what they think will be a better living standard.
  • The Colombian Post reported that as more migrants are blocked at the American border and more undocumented immigrants are deported from the United States, border communities in Mexico could be overwhelmed.
  • USA for IOM board member, Tolu Olubunmi, spoke at “March Against Slavery in Libya and Beyond” in Los Angeles, California and noted that these rallies are a testament to the global support for eradicating this worst kind of evil and restoring hope to its victims.
  • Kenya’s Hivisasa reported that Governor Ferdinard Waititu met with IOM’s Michael Pillinger and discussed partnership in addressing challenges facing Kiambu youths such as drug abuse, unemployment, alcoholism and insecurity, among others.

Trending on the Internet

  • Global Times reported that the latest abuse case in Malaysia  involving an Indonesian maid highlights another failure to protect migrant helpers despite repeated government pledges.
  • New York Times reported that a French outpost is part of a new forward defense in Europe’s struggle to hold off migration from Africa.


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