Migrant Rights

The Never-Ending Journey

By T. Craig Murphy, IOM-Kenya and Dayib Askar, IOM-Somalia

Fathia Mubarik is a 21 year-old Somali refugee who was born in Hargeisa, Somaliland.  In 2012, she was granted prima-facie refugee status in Yemen as a Somali national.  At the end of May 2015, Fathia decided to escape from Yemen and return to the country she fled.  She was single when she left Hargeisa two years ago. She returned with a disabled daughter and having lost contact with her husband, a Yemeni national who disappeared at the start of the Yemen Crisis in late March 2015.

Number of Migrants Landing in Europe in 2015 Passes 100,000

Italy - Some 102,000 migrants have arrived by sea in Europe this year, according to IOM. The number is slightly ahead of levels reached at this time in 2014 and reflects growing sea-borne migration from the Middle East and Africa, with most of the landings taking place either in Italy or Greece.

According to statistics compiled by IOM in the Mediterranean, 54,660 migrants reached Italy, after departing almost exclusively from Libya, while 46,150 migrants reached Greece, departing mainly from Turkey.

From One Nightmare to Another


(AFP Photo / Christophe Archambault)

The migrant crisis in Southeast Asia has gripped the attention of the world’s media. The human angle of these un-named thousands, on the open sea for weeks on end, has mved even the most experienced journalists. Agence France-Presse’s Christophe Archambault sailed out for an never-to-be-forgotten encounter with a boatload of migrants off the coast of Thailand. We reprint his blog by kind permission of Agence France-Presse.
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By Christophe Archambault

KOH LIPE, Thailand, May 15, 2015 - For us this story began several weeks ago with the discovery of a mass grave in southern Thailand, thought to hold the bodies of Rohingya migrants smuggled into the country from neighbouring Myanmar.

The stateless Rohingya are one of the world’s most persecuted minorities according to the United Nations. Tens of thousands have fled Myanmar since communal violence broke out between them and the ethnic Buddhist Rakhine in 2012. Though the overall picture is murky, it is widely suspected that thousands are being trafficked out of the country on a route that runs via southern Thailand, where they are held by smugglers in squalid camps before being taken on, mainly to Malaysia. 

The Names Behind the Statistics

By Itayi Viriri

Twenty Eight! That is how many people survived what may be the worst tragedy in living memory involving migrants crossing the Mediterranean from North Africa last weekend. The 28 migrants had been traveling on a wooden fishing boat carrying over 800 people when it capsized near Libya.

#MigrantsLivesMatter: Ali’s Journey

By Itayi Viriri 

Sicily - He just turned 14 years old and yet Ali immediately comes across a natural spokesperson for his family. It seems as if it is something he has been doing for some time now and is naturally expected of him.

Migrant Deaths Soar in the Mediterranean

As landings of rescued migrants surge in Southern It

IOM Helps Migrants Start Anew in South Sudan

By Katy Snowball

Mahamed Garad is a 28 year-old Somali living in the United Nations Protection of Civilian (PoC) site, in Juba. Mahamed was forced to leave his humanitarian career in Mogadishu, Somalia in October 2013 because he felt too unsafe to continue working there. After spending time in Rwanda, he headed to South Sudan and established himself in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, as a retailer.

Migrants Must Be Saved, Not Counted

iom map

By William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General

GENEVA--Easter tells us of mankind's triumph over injustice; Passover of mankind's liberation from dictatorship.

Both holidays should remind everyone today living in peace and security of the terrible price millions elsewhere are paying to achieve the freedom to live in dignity.

Facing the Syrian Refugee Crisis, Turkey Must Not Stand Alone

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.

Time to Speak Up


By Laurentiu Ciobanica of IOM

First it was the photos that came with my job, day in day out. They showed their hands – learning to write, clinging to their offspring for dear life, counting money to send home; their feet – often bare, ill at ease in novelty shoes, itching to be on their way; their eyes - often amazed, often sad but always intense. All told a story - or several – if you had the time to notice.

A night helping trafficked Filipinas back from Syria


By: Romina D. Sta. Clara

It’s the first time I joined the field operations of IOM-Philippines on assisted voluntary return.  In this case, the Government of the Philippines through its embassy in Syria has requested IOM to assist with the voluntary return of about 60 Filipinos. For IOM, this means providing assistance in transportation (from Syria airport until they reach the Philippine airport) and ensuring that the returnees are properly endorsed to government authorities upon arrival at the Philippine airport. For this kind of work, routine coordination is made with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Bureau of Immigration (BoI), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA),  Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT).