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02 July 2018

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Rescued migrants being tended to by IOM staff in Tripoli. Photo: IOM

Over 200 Migrants Drown in Three Days in Mediterranean - Death Toll for 2018 Passes 1,000

Geneva – On Sunday (1/07), a small rubber boat packed with migrants capsized off AlKhums, east of Tripoli, with an estimated 41 people surviving after rescue. Some 100 people were reported missing by the Libyan Coast Guard.  On Friday (28/06), three babies were among the 103, who died in a shipwreck similar to Sunday’s incident, also caused by smugglers taking migrants to sea in completely unsafe vessels.

So far this year, the Libyan Coast Guard has returned some 10,000 people to shore from small vessels.

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Kolbassai opened his heart to the audience at the 2017 Singing Our Lives concerts (Jolade Olusanya)

The Neglected Part of Migration is One of the Most Important

IOM London – Migration is not a new phenomenon. It is actually as old as time, but to hear it discussed today, this is an easy fact to forget. Migration has touched every society throughout history but only recently has the international community recognized a common need for a unified approach to this global issue.

When well-managed, the social and economic contributions of migration can be significant, but too frequently we have witnessed knee-jerk approaches that are reactionary. Today’s news cycles are often led with a migration-related story, but regularly overlook the important process of how a person or family becomes a part of the new community. Integration has been historically neglected, but is vital to fully realize the huge potential benefits migration can bring to their new communities.

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Paula: "I am a foreigner but I don’t feel much like one. I meet people from everywhere here."

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  • UN News, AFP, Anadolu Agency, Channel News Asia, AP, PM News Nigeria, The New York Times, Xinhua, Portuguese American Journal and other news outlets reported that Portuguese politician António Vitorino, former European Union commissioner, was elected on Friday as the next Director General for IOM.
     
  • Channel News Asia reported that unlike most European nations, who are trying to reduce the influx of migrants, Portugal is resisting the trend by looking at immigration as a way to counter its declining population. The report also noted that the Foreign Ministry said the election of Antonio Vitorino as head of IOM demonstrates the great importance that Portugal places on the dialogue about the issue.
     
  • Devex reported that through a letter sent by IOM Director General William Lacy Swing to the European Council president, IOM expressed reservations about the agreement made by European Union leaders to explore new methods to stem irregular migration and take cooperation with Africa “to a new level.”
     
  • CNN reported on the story of Mamoudou Gassama, a Malian migrant to France who recently scaled a building to save a child dangling from a balcony. Gassama recently started working for the Paris Fire Brigade.
     
  • CNN, Xinhua, AP reported that EU leaders have struck a deal on migration which could see the burden of resettling refugees shared more widely among member states.  
     
  • Washington Post reported that migrants trying to reach Europe are increasingly finding themselves stuck in the Sahara Desert, fending for their lives in extreme heat, far from the destinations they had in mind. The report, which cited IOM figures, gave a glimpse into what their journey through the desert looks like.
     
  • Xinhua reported that some 204 migrants have died at sea off Libya this weekend, pushing the total number of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean so far this year to over 1,000 people.  
     
  • The New York Times reported that The new Socialist government in Madrid has waded straight into Europe’s migration crisis, winning praise but facing pressure over a growing influx.  
     
  • CNN reported that the lifeless bodies of three babies, dressed in brightly colored clothing and looking almost as if they were sleeping, were carried carefully ashore Friday in Libya. They are among a hundred or more people who died after their rubber boat life capsized off the north Africa nation's coast.  
     
  • AP reported that Spain's Maritime Rescue Service has picked up 160 people from five boats that were crossing a narrow stretch of the Mediterranean Sea from Northern Africa.  
     
  • Bangladesh’s The Daily Observer reported that Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has shared the government plan with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to rehabilitate Rohingya refugees at Thengar Char (Bhasan char) in Hatia until they are sent back to Myanmar as per the Prime Minister's directive.  
     
  • IDN reported that The first-ever musical event of its kind co-hosted by IOM in Vienna has showcased the richness of culture and art that migration brings. 
     
  • Bangkok Post published an op-ed by IOM’s Dana Graber Ladek who noted that the recent upgrading of Thailand's status to Tier 2 of the US Trafficking in Persons Report is a positive development that will be welcome by many. She also mentioned that businesses can and should play a role in the fight against human trafficking and modern day slavery.
     
  • Bangkok Post reported that Cambodia may be free from civil war now, but it's fighting a new war of sorts as climate change aggravates poverty and already precarious environmental conditions. 

  • The New York Times reported on tough laws being introduced by the Danish government concerning migrant integration.
     
  • Stuff shared the stories of some migrants in New Zealand. Some of them have decided to stay and make it their new home, but others have decided to return back to their home countries.
     
  • The Atlantic released a documentary with migrant children at a shelter in McAllen, Texas, who describe crossing the border and spending days in a detention center like the one where recorded audio of children crying helped crystallize outrage against the separations.