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02 November 2018

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The first caravan reached the town of Matías Romero in Oaxaca state yesterday (01/11). The Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs estimates that 4,000 people spent the night there. Photo: Rafael Rodríguez/IOM

IOM Monitors Caravans of Central American Migrants, Supports Voluntary Returns

San Jose – The UN Migration Agency, IOM, continues to provide support and assistance to migrants who have joined the migrant caravans crossing Central America and opted to seek asylum in Mexico or return to their countries of origin.

In the Siglo XXI Migratory Station of Tapachula, managed by the National Institute for Migration (INM) of Mexico, IOM and the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs (SRE) have been supplying food and basic hygiene kits to over 1,500 migrants from the caravans seeking asylum in Mexico.

“IOM maintains its position that the human rights and basic needs of all migrants must be respected, regardless of their migratory status,” says Christopher Gascon, IOM Chief of Mission in Mexico. “In coordination with UNHCR we will continue to monitor the situation of the caravan counting on field staff, the Mexican Office of Assistance for Migrants and Refugees (DAPMyR), and partner NGOs, providing information regarding alternatives for regular and safe migration, as well as options for voluntary returns.”

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IOM ensures access to education for migrant and refugee children in Greece. Photo: IOM

Access to School Aids Social Inclusion of Migrants, Refugees in Greece, IOM Survey Shows

Athens – Access to regular schooling has enabled migrant and refugee children to make friends with students from other cultures, said 84 per cent of surveyed children in open accommodation centres in Greece.

The findings of the survey, conducted by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reveal the quality of community relations is directly affected by students’ personal experience with the educational institutions. Results indicate that satisfaction with the daily school experience is an essential precondition for the integration of students in the education system. 

“I enjoy going to school and my favourite subject is English, but I also want to keep learning Greek. I really like the Greek language,” said 10-year-old Sidad, from Iraq.

“When I grow up, I want to be an interpreter. I don’t have any Greek friends yet. But we go to school together every day and play ball during the breaks,” he continued.

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  • AP reported that millions of migrants slip through South Africa’s porous borders without documentation and fall between the cracks in the system. They live a life of anonymity, and when they die, they remain unidentified.

  • AP reported that at least 3,861 migrants have died or gone missing en route from Mexico to the United States since 2014.

  • Malay Mail reported that the Malaysian Field Hospital in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh has been renovated to provide more inclusive services to the Rohingya refugees and locals.

  • VOA reported that a new radio drama series co-produced by IOM and several Nigerian agencies working on migration and trafficking issues aims to deter people from risking their lives by migrating irregularly. 

  • Ukraine’s Unian reported that the Ukrainian Social Policy Ministry and IOM say more Ukrainians are being exploited in Russia and Poland and that labour slavery is one of the major challenges the modern world has faced.

  • The Guardian reported that the migrant caravans have overturned migrants’ normal behaviour: instead of seeking to move without being seen – by authorities or criminals – they hope that travelling in the open will keep them safe.

  • ABC reported that migrant workers in agriculture are among the worst paid in Australia and most suffer in silence, according to new research that polled 4,300 temporary migrant workers.