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Illegal border crossings at Europe’s external borders drop

climate refugees

In the first half of this year, the number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external borders fell by nearly a one-fifth from a year ago to 36 400, mainly because of the effects of the COVID pandemic,” a news release by Frontex revealed. The drop, according to the statement was especially pronounced on the Western and Eastern Mediterranean migratory routes.

In June, the number of illegal border crossings was roughly in line with the previous month at nearly 4 500.

Western Balkans

The Western Balkans became the most active migratory route in June with 2 050 detections of illegal border crossings, 70% more than in May and nearly three-times the figure from a year ago. The number of migrants crossing the Western Balkans has increased due to higher numbers of people who had originally landed in Greece and the easing of COVID measures by the national authorities in the region.

In the first half of this year, almost 9 300 migrants were detected at EU’s border in the region, 73% more than in the first six months of 2019.

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Two of every three migrants detected in the region so far this year were Syrian, while Afghans accounted for 17% of the border crossings.

Eastern Mediterranean

According to the most recent data, there were some 200 detections of illegal crossings reported in June on the Eastern Mediterranean route, although this number is expected to be higher as final figures are calculated. Nevertheless, the final tally is expected to be close to May’s figure and remain among the lowest totals recorded on this route since at least 2009.

In the first six months of 2020, the total number of detections fell by nearly half to around 11 900.

Nationals of Afghanistan and Syria accounted for the largest number of detected migrants.

Central Mediterranean

The number of migrants reaching Europe using the Central Mediterranean route last month fell by nearly 50% to slightly more than 900.

But in the first half of this year, the total for the region reached close to 7 200, which is double the figure from the same period of 2019. This is in large part due to the higher numbers from the start of 2020 compared to very low figures from a year ago.

READ  Eight African migrants drown,  several others injured off the Horn of Africa 

Tunisians and Bangladeshis made up the largest portion of the detections in the Central Mediterranean.

Western Mediterranean

There were around 750 detections of illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean in June, 8% more than in the previous month.

The total for the first six months of 2020 halved to 4 500, with Algerians accounting for one out of every two arrivals. Moroccans were the second most represented nationality on this route.

*The figure includes other less active migratory routes not mentioned in this press release. The final figures may differ due to delayed reporting.

Note: The preliminary data presented in this statement refer to the number of detections of irregular border-crossing at the external borders of the European Union. The same person may attempt to cross the border several times in different locations at the external border.

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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 empowers women business owners in Somalia to recover from COVID-19 Impact

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  Immigration detains 36 foreigners including UNHCR cardholders in KL

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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  IOM empowers women business owners in Somalia to recover from COVID-19 Impact

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.

READ  Experts speak on importance of accurate data on migration to implement GCM

“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  Eight African migrants drown,  several others injured off the Horn of Africa 

 

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