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Many Ethiopians seeking jobs in S’Arabia unaware of Yemen’s degree of conflict

Sudanese refugees in Niger

Agadez camp destroyed by Sudanese from Darfur on 4 January 2020

A new study – ‘The Desire to Thrive Regardless of Risk’ – by the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s Regional Data Hub says only 30 per cent of Ethiopian migrants seeking to find work in Saudi Arabia are aware that Yemen – the one country they must cross —is in its sixth year of conflict, while less than 50 per cent know of the dangers of boats capsizing at sea.

The research found that many of the young Ethiopian migrants on the Eastern Route to the Middle East remained unaware of the risks of the journey. These include the high likelihood of experiencing hunger, dehydration, or contracting waterborne and gastrointestinal diseases in transit, along with the possibility of being abused.

The study is based on interviews with over 2,000 young Ethiopian youth in Obock, Djibouti, trying to reach Saudi Arabia.

Since 2017 at least 400,000 Ethiopians have crossed to the Arab Peninsula, where IOM maintains an outreach programme advising young migrants of the perils ahead. Last year over 120,000 migrants were returned from Saudi Arabia to Addis Ababa.

READ  IOM provides 40,000 surgical gloves, 4,800 surgical masks other equipment to support Coronavirus response in China

Most migrants were moving for socio-economic reasons. Many expected to earn seven times more pay in Saudi Arabia than in Ethiopia. Fifty per cent of migrants reported making about USD 61 per month back home, while the median expected monthly income in Saudi Arabia would be USD 453.

Researchers spoke to 18-year-old Bourhan, who was looking to earn a lot of money in Saudi Arabia.  It took him a week to get from his village in Ethiopia to Obock.  He still had to pay smugglers USD 150 to get him across the Gulf of Aden, and another USD 200 to reach Saudi Arabia.

“I have friends who have earned money in Saudi Arabia and now have beautiful lives in Ethiopia. We want to have what they have,” Bourhan said.

His story is typical. Ethiopian youth are egged on by a strong migration culture.  Aspiring migrants can easily identify brokers and returnees in their communities. Many migrants are aware of families within their communities who have improved their living standards with remittances from Saudi Arabia.

READ  EU turns its back on migrants in distress

The researchers found that families were more involved in the journeys of women (36% received support from their families to cover costs, compared to 21% of men), while 64 per cent of migrants have attempted the journey at least twice before.

59  percent of first-time migrants did not inform their families prior to migration. The decision to migrate is usually made quickly: 83 per of first-time migrants made this decision less than one month prior to departure.

According to IOM’s  Regional Director for East & Horn of Africa Mohammed Abdiker: “This report shows us just how misinformed many Ethiopian youth who embark on these dangerous journeys are. They are ill-prepared, ill-equipped, and often put their lives in harm’s way, opening themselves to abuse and exploitation. The report will enable IOM to better target its work with this community to dispel some of the myths of irregular migration.”

The research follows the launch in 2019 of a multi-stage research project aimed at better understanding the experiences, decision-making, perceptions and expectations of young Ethiopians (15-29) along the Eastern Route to Saudi Arabia.

READ  Internal displacement exceeds 100,000 in 2020

 

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Dominican Republic, IOM clear hurdles for 100,000 Venezuelan migrants

The Migration Normalization Plan will allow Venezuelans living irregularly in the Dominican Republic to work, move without risk of deportation, open bank accounts and join the country’s social security system.  Photo: IOM / Francesco Spotorno

 

 

Santo Domingo – The first group of almost 100,000 Venezuelan migrants without legal status in the Dominican Republic have received visas allowing them to work, open bank accounts and join the social security system under the country’s Migration Normalization Plan.

Created by the Dominican government and launched with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the plan aims to regularize the Venezuelan population in three stages: application for extension of stay, visa, and residency. Since April, when the first phase began, 43,000  Venezuelans have registered to extend their stay and, on 1 July, the first group of 21 Venezuelans received their work visa.

“Now that I have my visa, I feel that for others like me a lot of opportunities are opening. We will be able to establish more safely and formally to offer a better future to our children,” says Gabriela Rivero, who arrived in the country with her husband and daughter in 2018.  “Once we settled, we did not imagine how difficult it would be to get a job because the lack of documentation closed all doors.”

READ  IOM provides 40,000 surgical gloves, 4,800 surgical masks other equipment to support Coronavirus response in China

Since 2019 Gabriela has led a support organization for Venezuelan migrants in Santiago de los Caballeros called FEV (Fundación Emigrantes de Venezuela), which offers free orientation and helps hundreds of migrants daily to complete their normalization plan applications.

With IOM support, eight Venezuelan migrant organizations have created orientation hubs to assist the Venezuelan population who are applying to the plan. Of the 43,000  registered through the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) web page, around 9,000 have visited the hubs for help on the procedure. The promoters and coordinators of each hub – mostly Venezuelan migrants – have learned the process with the support and guidance of the DGM team and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MIREX). Besides being trained for orientation, they became the pilot group of the plan to receive their extensions and visas.

“The idea of this process is that we are the ones at the front of the hubs, a migrant helping a migrant, a Venezuelan helping a Venezuelan,” says Iván Carrera, a lawyer from Caracas and legal adviser of FUNCOVERD (Fundación Colonia de Venezolanos en RD). Carrera works as a promoter at the orientation hub in El Sambil Santo Domingo, one of the locations with the most people requesting support for their application.

READ  There's no human trafficking into Lebanon - Lebanese envoy

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

READ  There's no human trafficking into Lebanon - Lebanese envoy

Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

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“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

READ  Uganda lifts COVID-19 closure admits refugees escaping escalating violence in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

 

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