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06 August 2018

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Migrants and refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos. File Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

The Migration ‘Crisis’ Is Not What It Seems

Geneva – With the recent debate in Europe surrounding the Aquarius, NGO rescues at sea, and the steep increase in tragic deaths of migrants at sea in the past weeks, there has been a resurgence of discussion in the media and political arena about the so-called “migration crisis” and feelings about “invasions” of migrants. It is about time to restate the facts, recall the actual numbers, and reconsider the situation.

It is perfectly understandable that people in Europe and elsewhere would react to alarming messages. Yet, looking at the actual numbers regarding migration and labour forces in Europe and other global economies reveals a much less alarming situation. One way to address public worries about migration is to present the actual numbers.

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Pascal Reyntjens, IOM Chief of Mission in Algeria (far left), meets Bintu, a young Nigerien child. Photo: IOM 2018

Ghardaïa Dispatch: Bintu at the ‘Door to the Desert’

Algiers – The buses left Algiers almost a day ago. Although the buses are comfortable, it has been a long day on the road for everyone. 

It is late June, and the convoy has arrived in Ghardaïa, northern-central Algeria – the door to the desert. As a member of an official delegation, I have come to visit and collect information about the transit facility in Ghardaïa, and the services provided to the migrants headed south.  There is media attention on this official visit. 

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Hamed: “When I left Afghanistan to work in Iran 10 years ago, I left because I had nothing in Afghanistan”

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  • Reuters reported that Spanish rescue services said almost 400 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean this weekend as they attempted to make the crossing from Morocco to Spain.
  • ABC News and Reuters reported that SOS Mediterranee and MSF have announced that their migrant rescue ship Aquarius would resume patrolling the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya.
  • Irish Times reported that health and security risks are rising for a growing number of refugees and migrants trying to reach wealthy EU countries via the Balkans.
  • MENA FN shared the story of a Venezuelan musician who faced riot police while playing his violin a year ago. Now, he is rebuilding his life in New York.
  • Uganda’s Daily Monitor reported about an IOM-supported programme which uses drama to urge young people in Kampala slums to shun criminal activities.

  • The Connexion reported that the French city of Lille has granted official refugee status to the 42 Sudanese migrants who arrived in Europe on the humanitarian migrant rescue ship MV Aquarius.