Migration & Refugees

Experience With Irregular Migration is the Best Teacher

The International Organization For Migration (IOM) has taken its campaign against irregular migration to schools in Nigeria. The school campaigns are meant to educate children who are among victims of human traffickers.

Why We Should Care about Vulnerable Coastal Communities

According to UN statistics, approximately 40 per cent of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast, and overall the world’s coastal population is increasing faster than the total global population. At the same time, global warming is causing sea levels to rise and increasing extreme weather incidents on coastlines.

Honduran Crisis Produces New Caravan

A new caravan heading towards Mexico and the United States was reportedly set to leave San Pedro Sula in Honduras on 15 January. The large number of people expected to leave Central America is a true testimony to the desperate situation for children, women and men in this poor and violence affected region.

Walking Miles In Their Shoes

In light of the millions of refugees escaping persecution in search of a safer, more prosperous future, a new campaign aims to raise awareness of the difficult journeys such populations take around the world.

The Rohingya – The Forgotten Genocide of Our Time

The Rohingya are a minority community living in Rakhine State in Myanmar. The Muslim Rohingya are considered intruders into Buddhist Myanmar - illegal immigrants from bordering Bangladesh. They have been always discriminated against, looked down upon, ostracized, and denied any civil and judicial rights.

Getting to the Heart of Irregular Migration in Nigeria’s Markets

Thousands of migrants mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa have died or ended up in slavery as they attempt to travel to Europe irregularly through the desert and across the sea. Many were recruited by traffickers who deceived them into believing that the passage to Europe would be safe and easy.

Climate Change Forces Central American Farmers to Migrate

As he milks his cow, Salvadoran Gilberto Gomez laments that poor harvests, due to excessive rain or drought, practically forced his three children to leave the country and undertake the risky journey, as undocumented migrants, to the United States.

The Dark Shadows of Christmas

Christmas is expected to be a peaceful celebration of the birth of Jesus. A time to express love and care for one another. Jesus preached love and compassion, but also told us to be suspicious of imposters: “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep´s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves”. Wolves are predators who disregard the suffering of their victims. A human wolf is an egomaniac ready to maim and murder, either to please himself or his master, often deluding himself by imagining he serves a higher purpose.

Human Trafficking – Hidden in Plain Sight

The media globally tends to have a bias to negative, sensational and headline grabbing stories and events and this certainly applies to reporting related to human trafficking in the third world. With the abundance of stories around sweat shops, massage parlours and organ trafficking networks happening ‘somewhere else’, the West is generally desensitised, lacks empathy and fails to fully appreciate the scale of the problem which sits right under their noses and in plain sight.

Nigerian Radio Drama Tells True Life Stories of Irregular Migration

The International Organization for Migration has taken its campaign against irregular migration to the airwaves in Nigeria. Working in conjunction with some Nigerian radio stations, the United Nations Migration Agency has launched a radio series on safe migration.

For Love of the Game: Using Football to Educate Nigerians About the Dangers of Irregular Migration

Hundreds of desperate young Nigerians die yearly in the Sahara Desert or at sea while making irregular journeys to Europe. The desperation to reach Europe at all cost, irrespective of the risks, is a major social problem in Africa’s most populous country.

Global Pact Gives Dignity and Rights to Latin American Migrants

A landmark global migration pact provides dignity and rights to migrants in every situation and context, stressed representatives of non-governmental organisations in Latin America and the Caribbean, where some 30 million people live outside their countries, forced by economic, social, security, political and now also climatic reasons.

Of Cockroaches and Humans

Rita Levi-Montalcini, the Italian Nobel laureate honoured for her work in neurobiology, once gave a splendid conference with the title “The imperfect brain”. There she explained that man has a brain that is not used completely, while the reverse is true for the cockroach.

The Arduous Search for Dignity Through Integration and a Pay Check

One of the most common words used by speakers during the Global Compact on Migration was “dignity”—granting migrants the dignity they deserve. As with any advocacy, there is a danger a word can lose meaning through overuse. But on the streets of Morocco the same word means a lot to migrants looking for work. And when they find it—both work and dignity—it can alter the entire migration equation. 

On International Migrants Day a Call for Dignity, Respect for Migrant Choices

Migration is the great issue of our era. Migration With Dignity (#WithDignity) is the theme of 2018’s International Migrants Day, which we observe on Tuesday (18 December).Dignity is at the core of our mission. Treating all migrants with dignity is the fundamental requirement we face before anything else we attempt on migration—a troubling issue coming at a troubling time for the world community—because our future depends on it. So, too, does our present.

Global Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition

Entire human history is one great struggle for freedom. To many, slavery is a synonym for something in the past, for transatlantic slave trade, but, unfortunately, slavery still exists in many different forms.

Global Migration Compact May Help Combat the Myth that Migrants are Liabilities

In August 2018, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May visited countries in Africa, sparking hope of increased foreign direct investments (FDI) in the continent.

From Irregular Migrant to Graduate Lawyer: One Woman’s Journey to Success

Masters of Laws student Khoudia Ndiaye will graduate from Senegal’s University Cheikh Anta Diop (UCAD) next year. The 24-year-old, who specialised in notarial law and dreams of becoming a notary, wants to bring justice closer to local communities like those in her local district of Hann Bel-Air, in Senegal’s capital Dakar, where she rarely sees female lawyers.

“No One Listened to Us!” The Ixiles of Guatemala

According to the Mexican Interior Ministry more than 7,000 Central American migrants have during the last month arrived at the US-Mexico border. Despite warnings by officials that they will face arrests, prosecution and deportation if they enter US territory, migrants state they intend to do so anyway, since they are fleeing persecution, poverty and violence. This is not new, in 1995 I visited Ixil and Ixcan, two Guatemalan areas mainly inhabited by Ixiles. My task was to analyse the impact of a regional development programme aimed at supporting post-conflict indigenous communities. United Nations has estimated that between 1960 and 1996 more than 245,000 people (mostly civilians) had been killed, or "disappeared" during Guatemalan internal conflicts, the vast majority of the killings were attributed to the army, or paramilitary groups.

Not Just the Big Guys Are Against the Compact

A few hours after the adoption of the United Nation’s Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in Marrakech, a consortium of Moroccan human rights organisations—La Vie Campesina—held a sit in protest in front of Marrakech’s Grand Post Office. In the statement issued on December 11, the leaders of the 15 organisations denounced the compact.

Why Did You Come to Marrakech?

The whole world met at Marrakech, Morocco, during the two days of the Global Compact for Migration. IPS met six people to ask what led them to come to this international event.


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