Defining Climate Migrants – Beyond Semantics

Who are climate migrants? What is climate migration? No legal, universally accepted definition of climate migrants and climate migration exists.

Eyewitness to Unspeakable Abuse

By Leonard Doyle

The fate of eighty thousand Ethiopians who risk their lives every year trying to get to Saudi Arabia and the promise of a better life has been put in vivid focus by a report on Newsnight, BBC television’s flagship news programme. The disturbing report highlights the remarkable humanitarian work of IOM staff caring for the traumatised migrants.   

The Disaster Risk Reduction Agenda

By Daniel Salmon 

The Fourth Session of the Global Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (GPDRR) took place between the 21st and 23rd of May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland. Recognising the GPDRR as the world's foremost gathering of stakeholders committed to Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) IOM participated in the platform highlighting its global Disaster Risk Reduction and migration strategy.

In line with Platform's objectives of information exchange and knowledge and partnership building, IOM underlined how human mobility plays a dual role in determining vulnerability and resilience to disasters. IOM brought to floor the specific protection needs of internal and international migrants caught in disasters, highlighting the importance of preventing forced migration and providing adequate assistance and protection for affected people. 

Now read on

The Climate Change Agenda

By Daria Mokhnacheva 

Migration was first formally introduced into the negotiations on climate change under the Cancun Adaptation Framework in 2010, as paragraph 14(f) of the Cancun Agreements explicitly called for more research and coordinated efforts to address "climate change induced displacement, migration and planned relocation".

Another result of the Cancun talks was the establishment of a new Work Programme on Loss and Damage, opening doors to new areas of research and action, including in relation to climate-induced migration. Loss and damage is a relatively recent topic, and initially a controversial one, as it derives from the recognition that mitigation and adaptation efforts are likely to fail in many situations, inducing economic, social and cultural loss and damage from the negative impacts of climate change. Developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to climate change are expected to be affected most

Now read on

Briefings from the Field

By Mark Koski with Peter Kern, Elham Pourazar and Bradley Mellicker

Indonesia:  West Java province is disaster prone and heavily populated. IOM Indonesia has developed a programme to strengthen Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) capacity and to enhance community resilience in seven districts. 

Namibia: With IOM's help, Namibia is enhancing its national disaster risk management capacity. Namibia suffers from floods, drought and fires but has shown strong commitment to increased disaster resilience. Activities are expanding to other countries in southern Africa.

Haiti: Before Tropical Storms Isaac and Sandy hit Haiti in August and October 2012, IOM helped carry out the first and second ever preventative evacuations of exposed communities in support of the government. 

Now read on

Focus on Mongolia: When Dzuds Force Migration

By Daria Mokhnacheva, Mark Koski, with Joshua Hart

Mongolia, the 2013 Global Host of World Environment Day, suffers from severe environmental effects from repeated 'dzuds' (complex natural disasters involving summer drought followed by harsh winters with extreme temperatures and heavy snowfall). IOM invited photographer Alessandro Grassani to showcase his work on environmental migration titled 'Environmental Migrants: The Last Illusion'. Alessandro has worked in Mongolia documenting the environmental stresses on the rural Mongolians and the impact on their livelihoods.

Now read on

When Dreams Turn Out Differently

by Joe Lowry
Some migrants make a huge success of their lives. Most don’t. Most are happy to quietly blend in to their host communities, keeping their heads down and doing the work the citizens don’t want to do. It’s their kids who adapt, fit in, do well. Some migrants never make it. They get stuck in transit, in a limbo between home and destination, at the mercy of criminal gangs.

Crossing Continents

By Leonard Doyle

TRAVELING by foot, National Geographic writer Paul Salopek is recreating the epic journey of humankind starting at its birthplace in Ethiopia and ending at the southern tip of South America. He walked in the scorching heat of the deserts of Ethiopia’s Rift Valley across the broiling barren landscape of Djibouti to the Red Sea coast. Stranded for weeks. There he encountered IOM's Chief of Mission Bakary Doumbia and a fascinating conversation ensued, much of it on Twitter after Paul moved on to Saudi Arabia.

Thinking of Gender Every Calendar Day

Women often cultivate land for food and income while men frequently hold the land title, giving them greater access to consultation and compensation. So writes Katherine Heller in her intriguing World bank blog.

"Schools Out for Summer"

By Leonard Doyle

Do you know that education for internally displaced people is an inherent human right? I'm not sure Alice Cooper, the outrageous American rocker behind "Schools Out" did. In fact international law dictates that it should be available to all IDPs without exception.