Our Sea

Mon, 02/23/2015 - 11:03


The Italian Harbourmaster Corps (Coast Guard) in Rome rescues migrants bound to the coasts of Italy. © Francesco Malavolta 2014

By Eugenio Ambrosi
IOM Regional Director, RO Brussels

First published in New Europe | 18 Feb 2015

Europe seems to have forgotten that it was only 70 years ago that Europeans were uprooted and seeking shelter from war and poverty. Then in the blink of an eye, Europe went from a continent of emigration to one of destination and yet our welcome leaves much to be desired.  We have drawn up the bridge and entered into “crisis” mode as if Europe were under siege by migrants.

Facing the Syrian Refugee Crisis, Turkey Must Not Stand Alone

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 11:25

By Isabel Santos

Last month I was part of a delegation from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to Harran, Turkey, where we came across a “city of containers” – thousands of them – surrounded by fences and housing some 14,500 refugees. Life goes on day after day in search of a normalcy that such a place can never provide. In one of the container-city’s schools, we met with children who expressed their distress in crayons, drawing planes dropping bombs and scenes of war, bleeding and destruction. The images were populated by mothers and children on trails, leaving their homeland behind.

The Saints Go Marching

Mon, 02/02/2015 - 18:24

By Joe Lowry

I’m always interested in what’s happening in the English port city of Southampton. My great-grandmother sailed in there from Ireland as a migrant at the end of the 19th century, and  I spent childhood summers near there, splashing in the bracing bays off Lymington, walking under the verdant canopy of the New Forest.  I cheer for the Saints, the local football team, who are enjoying a renaissance and have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next year.

Jasmine Lee: 'There Were Very Few of Me Around'

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 12:14

By Chris Lom

Korean lawmaker Jasmine Lee, who spoke as a “Migrant Voice” at IOM’s 2014 Council, is a “Migrant Hero” who has overcome adversity and personal tragedy to become a powerful voice for migrants in South Korea – a nation struggling to come to terms with a small, but growing immigrant population.    

Born in the Philippines, Lee married South Korean mariner, Lee Dong-ho in 1996 and in 1998 became a naturalized Korean citizen.

And the winner is… Somalia's "Saving Migrants Lives” Entry! (It almost looks like it was planned…)

Mon, 12/22/2014 - 14:37

By Amy Rhoades

What are the chances that of all the vibrant diverse #MigrationMeans photos submitted over the past six months, that the winning photo would be the very (and only) one that carries the exact same message selected by DG Swing last month as this year’s International Migrants Day theme ‘Saving Migrants Lives’?

Interview with Admiral Pettorino, Italian Coast Guard: “Saving Lives is Our Only Concern”

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:08

For the men working in the Control Centre of the Coast Guard in Rome, there is no difference between night and day. In this high-tech room there are no windows – only rows of computers and screens displaying maps of the Mediterranean Sea (and the world) and the positions of military and commercial ships. This room controls the Coast Guard’s rescue operations at sea – hour by hour, without any interruption.

IOM Director General Calls for Action to Save Migrants Lives on International Migrants Day 2014

Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:52

On International Migrants Day 2014, December 18th, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing is calling for urgent action to save the lives of migrants and stop smugglers from exploiting their desperation to extort huge sums of money.

IOM data shows that the number of migrants dying on dangerous journeys in the hope of finding better lives for themselves and their families, is rising.

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