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21 February 2018

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Source: CNN

'Tortured and Held for Ransom,' a Child Migrant's Story

CNN  – Souleiman tells a harrowing tale. He says he left Guinea when he was just 17 years old, embarking on a treacherous journey that took him through three countries. Along the way, he says he was imprisoned, tortured and held for ransom.

Souleiman says he left home in the summer of 2016, traveling thousands of miles through Mali, Algeria and Libya before reaching the Mediterranean Sea in December 2017.

Smugglers put him in a dinghy along with other migrants bound for Italy, but then left it stranded off the coast of Libya with no engine and no paddle.

He was picked up by a rescue ship operated by humanitarian organization Proactiva Open Arms, one of 695 migrants it rescued in the space of a week.

"I had no choice but leaving [Guinea]," he told CNN, onboard the ship. "Ebola exterminated all my family. My dad, my mum and my two brothers. I was left with my older sister and my little brother."

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Karen: "When I look back at the many challenges I faced as a refugee, I realize that the rough journey was worth to achieve my goal."

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Migration in the News

  • National Geographic reported that warming climates, drought, and overuse are draining crucial water sources, threatening habitats and cultures.

  • VOA reported that UN aid agencies are stepping up preparations to protect hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, from the ravages of the impending monsoon season.

  • IPS shared the stories of families that migrants have left behind in Bangladesh.

  • UN News reported that Iraqi civilians, driven from their homes in fear by ISIL, are now starting to make their way back home after the terrorist group has been uprooted from its bastions in the country.

  • KUNA and Reliefweb reported that thousands of internally displaced persons in Iraq continue to return to their hometowns since the end of the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI), held between February 12 and 14 in Kuwait.

  • Reliefweb reported that IOM reports that 8,807 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through seven weeks of 2018. This compares with 13,156 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

  • CAJ News reported that no less than 600 child migrants have drowned while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. This is half the number of children who have perished or were reported missing during the crisis since IOM began collecting data in 2014 through the Missing Migrants Project.

  • Anadolu Agency, FENA, Radio-televizija Vojvodine and STA reported that Bosnia and Herzegovina, despite the growing number of irregular migrants entering its territory, is not facing a migration crisis, according to UNHCR and IOM.

  • Fraternité Matin  reported that a study by IOM based on the voluntary declarations of migrants who participated in the programs of voluntary return to Côte d'Ivoire reveals that 85 per cent grew up in an urban environment.

  • Reliefweb reported that IOM has partnered with Americares to donate more than eight tonnes of medical supplies, for distribution across IOM project locations in Somalia.

  • APO reported that IOM in the Democratic Republic of the Congo successfully carried out the first voluntary return operation from Tanganyika Province on 17 February.

  • Reliefweb reported that IOM is supporting the Government of Dominica to improve the conditions of people living in emergency shelters around Dominica after Hurricane Maria destroyed or severely damaged housing stock on the island, five months ago.

  • JIS reported that the Planning Institute of Jamaica will be developing a national statistical migration database this fiscal year.

  • Reliefweb and Public reported that the European Commission and IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre are planning to create a Big Data for Migration Alliance to address the challenges of having and exploiting migration data and to increase investments into data innovation in the field of migration.

  • Antara News and Public reported that the Indonesian Manpower Ministry is cooperating with IOM to protect migrant workers, particularly against human trafficking crimes.

  • Detak, Kompas and Aktual reported that Indonesia continues to support humanitarian organizations in solving the problems of migrants and refugees.

Trending on the Internet

  • The Guardian featured the work of photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith, whose new exhibition records the devastating effects of life under ISIS control in northern Iraq and the bewildering aftermath of conflict.

  • BBC reported that a theme park in Mexico is offering visitors a chance to experience what it feels like to cross the border to the US irregularly.


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