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16 October 2018

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Rohingya refugees watch a street performance aimed at raising awareness of the risks of trafficking in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps. Photo: IOM 2018

Girls Sold into Forced Labour Largest Group of Trafficking Victims Identified by IOM in Bangladesh Refugee Camps

Cox’s Bazar – Young girls sold into forced labour are the largest group of trafficking victims identified by the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps.

IOM counter-trafficking experts warn that more than a year into a crisis that has seen the number of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar soar to almost a million, more desperate families are sending their young daughters off into dangerous work situations because most households have no other way to earn money in the camps.

“There is a very limited number of jobs in the camp and for women there is almost nothing. That’s why I went outside of the camp,” explained one young Rohingya woman, who ended up being forced to work extremely long hours for very little pay in the fish processing industry.

Latest figures show that women and girls lured into situations of forced labour account for two thirds of those who have received support from IOM in Cox’s Bazar after escaping or being rescued from exploitation.  Another 10 per cent of identified victims were women and girls who suffered sexual exploitation.

Bangladeshi security agencies have reported stopping up to 60 women and girls a day attempting to leave the camps in small groups, many of whom appeared to have been coached what to say, but who, when questioned further, appeared unclear about issues such as who they are supposed to be travelling to meet.

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On Friday 12 October, IOM began delivering humanitarian assistance to 3,000 Congolese nationals returned from Angola. Photo: IOM

IOM Appeals for USD 1 Million to Respond to 200,000 Congolese Returnees from Angola

Kinshasa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has in recent days provided humanitarian assistance to 3,000 Congolese nationals expelled from Angola.

On 1 October, Angola began a mass expulsion operation, removing Congolese nationals from its territory, mostly from bordering Lunda-Norte Province.  As of today, the Congolese city of Kamako in Kasaï Province has registered approximately 200,000 returnees through the border crossings posts of Kamako, Mayanda, Tshimbulu or Kabungu. Officials saw more than 16,000 people arrive to Kamako border post last Friday (12/10) alone.

IOM is working alongside the Kamako Local Crisis Committee in Kamako, installed by Kamonia Territory Administrator Anacletus Muswa Kapinga, to provide food and medical care to ill or injured expellees, as well as people in vulnerable circumstances.

Robberies and incidents of forced family separations are frequently reported. Due to the precarious situation, approximately 20,000 people have voluntarily returned to Kasai, Kwango and Kongo Central Provinces.

Apart from IOM’s assistance which began Oct 11, no other support has been provided to people expelled to Kamako. There is a pressing need for food, water, sanitation and hygiene, emergency shelter, medical assistance and transportation that will allow people to reach safer destinations or their places of origin.

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  • EU External Action published the remarks of High Representative/European Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini at a press conference following the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Libya. She appealed to Member States to contribute more to the EU Trust Fund for Africa and to focus on new ways to address the shifting of migration pathways away from the Central Mediterranean route.
     
  • KUNA reported that EU foreign ministers reaffirmed their commitment to help Libyans find a solution to the conflict in the country.
     
  • Xinhua reported that the Tunisian navy intercepted a boat carrying a Moroccan and 11 Tunisian irregular migrants off the country’s southeastern coast on Monday.
     
  • AFP reported that the Moroccan navy rescued 38 migrants and recovered one body from a boat that ran into trouble off the kingdom’s coast on Monday.
     
  • EU Neighbours reported that as part of ongoing efforts to build up and support local capacity, IOM and partners are providing English Language training to Libyan government officials. The training is supported by the European Union Trust Fund. 
     
  • Qatar News Agency reported that the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi, recently met a delegation from IOM to discuss ways of promoting cooperation between Qatar and the Organization.

  • UN News and IPS reported that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has called for agriculture and investment policies to be coherent in order to maximize the benefits of rural migration on social and economic development.