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29 November 2017

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IOM Director General William Lacy Swing speaking yesterday to the UN Security Council by videoconference alongside Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Swing Tells UN Security Council IOM is Helping African Union and European Union End Detention of Migrants in Libya

Geneva (UN Web TV) — IOM Director General William Lacy Swing yesterday told the UN Security Council that the UN Migration Agency is working with UN partners on a plan ‘to try to empty the detention centers’ in Libya of around 15,000 migrants.

DG Swing said the plan by IOM and the UNHCR to empty the government detention centers will require agreement from the Libyan government and help from the home countries of the migrants, the African Union, the European Union and third countries to take migrants who don't want to be returned home.

DG Swing told the Security Council, IOM had already taken 13,000 migrants out of Libya so far this year and flown them back to their respective countries, under its Voluntary Humanitarian Returns programme.

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IOM Director General William Lacy Swing addressing the I08th IOM Council in Geneva, Switzerland on 28 November 2017. Photo: IOM 2017

108th IOM Council Gets Underway in Geneva

Geneva (IOM) — The 108th IOM Council kicked off yesterday (27/11) at the United Nations Office in Geneva, Switzerland. Some 596 delegates representing IOM Member States and Observers, as well as new applicants for membership and observership, UN representatives, academia, private sector, migrants and civil society are attending the event.

Yesterday’s Council highlights included the IOM Director General’s report, the keynote presentation by Miroslav Lajčák, the President of the 72nd General Assembly on the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) and a statement from Louise Arbour, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for International Migration (SRSG).

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No Time for Cynicism on Migration

Huffington Post — It is remarkable that in 2017, the international community of nation states has managed to make binding legal agreements on everything from the exploration of outer space to waterfowl habitat – but not migration, writes Fiona David.

Unfortunately, the losers in this approach are generally the poorest and most vulnerable, who ironically find themselves exposed to further abuse and despair in the efforts to improve their physical security, economic prospects or even to reunite with family. This includes the many, largely unknown migrants who seek to migrate through irregular channels either to improve their economic prospects or to seek asylum – but instead fall victim to some of the most unthinkable extremes of abuse, including modern slavery.

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IOM Director General William Lacy Swing's Report to the 108th IOM Council

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Guillaume: "I'm even more aware of my privileges, especially the privilege of being able to migrate freely."
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Migration in the News


  • AFP and AP reported that the UN wants Libya’s internationally backed government to agree to shut down 30 detention centres holding 15,000 migrants, most of whom will be sent back to their countries.
     
  • Xinhua reported that IOM revealed that more than 13,000 migrants have been voluntarily repatriated from Libya this year so far.
     
  • Euro News reported that France has called for the UN to impose sanctions on human traffickers operating in Libya, following international outrage at a video appearing to show African migrants being auctioned.
     
  • ANSA Med, Huffington Post, Xinhua, DPA reported that more than 3,000 migrants and refugees have drowned in the Mediterranean this year, attempting to reach Europe, with an average of almost 10 a day.
     
  • UN Radio reported that family members are linked to nearly half of all identified cases of child trafficking, new data by IOM has revealed.
     
  • IPS journalists travelled to the border region between Bangladesh and Myanmar to speak with Rohingya refugees, humanitarian workers and officials about the still-unfolding crises facing the persecuted community.
     
  • Nam News Agency reported that while their numbers have dropped in recent weeks, hundreds of Rohingya refugees are still crossing the border into Bangladesh from Myanmar every day.
     
  • Sudan Vision reported that the Sudanese Government is committed to combatting human trafficking and preventing the use of the country as transit for irregular migration to Europe.
     
  • Times Kuwait reported that the 108th IOM Council, which got underway in Geneva yesterday, unanimously agreed to officially grant Kuwait observer status.

Trending on the Internet


  • DW reported that a pro-refugee mayor was stabbed in Germany because of his policies and three locals from immigrant backgrounds saved his life.
     
  • ABC News reported about students in Fargo, North Dakota who have started a food pantry and delivery service to help their community, and for some of the teens who came to the United States as refugees, this kind of community service is personal.

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