IOM Newsletter September 2015


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Monitoring Migrant Arrivals, Deaths in Italy, Greece and Spain

“Our message is blunt: migrants are dying who need not. It is time we use evidence to engage the world to stop this violence against desperate migrants,” says IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing.
IOM’s research indicates that Europe is the world’s most dangerous destination for “irregular” migrants. The voyage across the Mediterranean Sea cost the lives of almost 2000 people in the first six months of 2015, compared to 3200 for the whole of 2014. Around the world, over 5000 migrants lost their lives in 2014: in the first six months of 2015 alone, over 2700 migrants died during their journey. But the true number of fatalities is likely to be considerably higher. With a count surpassing 40000 victims since 2000, IOM calls on all the world’s governments to address what it describes as “an epidemic of crime and victimization.”

Migrants come from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Gambia, Central America, or Asia. Smugglers take advantage of their vulnerability and the desperation of their circumstances to extort huge amounts of money to send them, more often than not, to their death, on unseaworthy ships or in the desert.

With the Missing Migrants Project, IOM is drawing attention to the plight of migrants worldwide. The aim of the project is to strengthen advocacy and support a more informed policy response. When a shipwreck is reported in the Mediterranean Sea, IOM offices receive calls and emails from family members seeking news about their missing relatives, many of whom are feared dead. The media also gets calls and so does civil society.

Help us create a global database of the missing migrants! Help us inform their families!
Write to us at Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken. with any information you may have about migrants reported dead or missing.
This will help us sharing key information on migrants dying along migratory routes around the world.

For the latest data on arrivals and fatalities please visit:

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IOM’s Response: Europe Can Take a Bigger Share

“This is the worst refugee crisis: you have the highest number of refugees and displaced people around the world that we have seen since the end of the Second World War. Today there are some 60 million people around the world displaced by war or disaster,” says Eugenio Ambrosi, of the IOM Regional Office for the EU, Norway and Switzerland, in an interview for Pan European Networks.

“In dealing with the immediate situation, it is important to increase the number of reception centres and the resettlement programmes. The pressure in many other parts of the world is too high, and Europe can certainly take a bigger share of refugees than it has until now. In the medium to long term, the continent needs to seriously reflect on opening up legal channels, not just for asylum seekers, but also for economic migrants.”

Watch the full interview here:
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IOM Staff at the Open Day for Asylum Seekers Centres in the Netherlands

IOM staff participated in the National Open Day for Asylum Seekers Centres held throughout the Netherlands on Saturday 13 June 2015 to meet the locals living in the neighbourhood of asylum seekers centres and the many people who come from afar to learn about the refugees and the centres.
This important initiative was organized by the Dutch Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) with the purpose to contribute to a better understanding of the reality of the life of refugees who arrived in the Netherlands in the recent months.
Why do people leave their country and what are their prospects when they arrive in the Netherlands? Thousands of people all over the Netherlands took part in organized tours, listened to migrants and their personal stories, participated in workshops and met the humanitarian organizations who work with the migrants on a daily basis, such as the many staff of IOM the Netherlands..


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DG Swing on "Return as an Integral Part of Migration Management"

“We all have a common responsibility to change the current negative migration narrative to one that is more balanced, one that recognizes that, historically, migration has been overwhelmingly positive. We must work to eliminate the misleading stereotypes and dangerous mythology about migration and migrants,” said IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing at a special conference for Ambassadors accredited to The Netherlands organized by the Dutch Repatriation and Departure Service in The Hague on 4 June 2015.

The theme of the conference was ‘Return as an integral part of migration management: cooperation between countries of destination and countries of origin and transit’. The event was organized in response to the increasing migration pressures that urgently demand closer cooperation between countries affected. Different views were exchanged during the conference among diplomats of countries of destination, transit and origin on how migration can be better managed and what could be done to address the so-called root causes.
As Ambassador Swing stressed: “An honest and evidence-based dialogue should provide the basis for improving the public understanding of the benefits of migration. Demographic, socio-economic and other imbalances mean that our nations will become inexorably more multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious. If we get close to balancing these, we will know that we are on the right path to a successful, comprehensive migration policy.”