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16 November 2018

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Holding On VR exhibitions have been held in ten locations around the world since July. The Holding On digital campaign launched yesterday. Photos: IOM

IOM Launches ‘Holding On’ Campaign: A Virtual Reality Experience of Internal Displacement

Geneva – Marking the 20th anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched the ‘Holding On’ digital campaign yesterday (15/11) to raise awareness of the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and celebrate their courage and resilience.

Holding On showcases the stories of internally displaced persons by asking them to reflect on their most cherished possessions. Global audiences can now share these stories on social media via the #HoldingOn hashtag.  They can also sign a petition that calls on states to respect and advance the Guiding Principles, which Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs, will use in her work.

The Guiding Principles serve as the global standard for States regarding the protection and assistance of internally displaced persons. Displaced within the borders of their own countries, IDPs are among the world’s most neglected – often denied access to education, employment, safe accommodation and other human rights.

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Representatives of 25 European countries, as well as Australia, Asia, North- and South America, attended the first IOM Member State Forum on Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe. Photo: IOM / Vasiliki Polychronopoulou

First IOM Member State Forum on a Comprehensive Approach to Resettlement and Complementary Pathways to Europe

Brussels – The need for a comprehensive approach, a continuum of care in resettlement, and complementary protection pathways to Europe for refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations was the focus of the IOM Member State Forum, the first of its kind held by the UN Migration Agency, and co-hosted with the Government of Belgium in Brussels this week. 

“The availability of humane solutions to forced displacement pales in comparison to the scale and scope of this phenomenon, with 68.5 million forcibly displaced persons across the globe,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino, in his opening message to the three-day event on Monday.

“IOM is convinced that more can be done on resettlement and complementary protection pathways in partnership and coordination with our Member States and partners to help refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations.”

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  • The European Commission noted that as an international cooperative framework the UN Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration will underpin the EU's existing work with third countries and international organizations.
     
  • Slovenian Press Agency reported that Slovenia will take part in the adoption of the UN Global Compact for Migration, in Marrakesh in December.
     
  • Biometrics Institute reported on its joint webinar with IOM which delivered best practices for the responsible use of biometrics to over 160 IOM staffers from around the world.
     
  • Sierra Leone Telegraph reported on the work of  the Sierra Leone Diaspora Health Professionals, who are providing much needed healthcare to communities in Kailahun District.

  • The Guardian reported on former US Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks that Europe must tackle climate change or face increased migration flows.
     
  • Yale Daily News reported that for the first time, the University’s Arabic programme is facilitating conversations between students and displaced people who are native Arabic speakers.
     
  • Al Jazeera reported that Colombia has opened the first tent camp in Bogotá to host 500 Venezuelans who were living in a growing shanty town near the city's bus station.