Mixed Migration Hub Trend Bulletin, November 2018
monthly trend report covering mixed migration to, through & from NORTH AFRICA
About: MHub is the regional knowledge hub and secretariat for the North Africa Mixed Migration Task Force, comprising of DRC, IOM, OHCHR, RMMS, Save the Children, UNHCR, UNICEF and UNODC. It promotes a human rights-based approach to ensure the protection of people moving in mixed and complex flows to, through and from North Africa.
Scope: This bulletin covers mixed migration trends in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Sudan, Tunisia, Spain, Greece and Italy.
Terminology: Throughout this bulletin the terms migrant, refugee and asylum seeker are used together to cover all those comprising mixed migration flows. If the original source specifies a particular category, the relevant term will be used.
Announcement of IOM and IDMC partnership
• On 28 November, IOM and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) announced a new partnership to enhance responses to and action on internal displacement through improved collaboration on data gathering and analysis. The partnership is expected to run for four years between 2019 and 2023 and has two main objectives; “To improve policy and operational responses through the generation of new data, analysis and research into displacement patterns, drivers and trends,” and “To support national policy development and advance global approaches on internal displacement across relevant humanitarian, development and peace-building policy agendas.” The partnership will pair IOM’s operational capacity in dealing with the mobility dimensions of crises with IDMC’s long-standing expertise on internal displacement analysis and policy development. Speaking about the partnership, IOM’s Director General, António Vitorino, said, “This partnership will take us to new levels of quality and consistency, and allow us to mobilize attention on an issue that has not been given sufficient consideration,” and added, “IDMC has been a long-standing partner of IOM’s and we are delighted to be formalizing and expanding the breadth of this collaboration.”
Amnesty International launches scathing critique of EU policies
• On 12 November, Amnesty International released a scathing review of the ramifications of EU deterrence policies on the wellbeing of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have become trapped in a cycle of abuse in Libya. Speaking about the situation in Libya, Heba Morayef, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Director said, “One year after video footage showing human beings being bought and sold like merchandise shocked the world, the situation for refugees and migrants in Libya remains bleak.” She further added, “Cruel policies by EU states to stop people arriving on European shores, coupled with their woefully insufficient support to help refugees reach safety through regular routes, means that thousands of men, women and children are trapped in Libya facing horrific abuses with no way out.”
• The findings were released in a 5-page document that details how a patchwork of EU policies, including a failure to provide sufficient resettlement spots for refugees trapped in Libya, has led to the deterioration of conditions for those on the move to and through Libya. The document sets out six specific recommendations for Libyan authorities and a further six for EU governments and institutions. The recommendations addressed to the Libyan authorities include; ending all unlawful arbitrary detention; the identification, registration and release of all foreign nationals in Libyan detention centres, launching investigations into allegations of torture and ill-treatment, taking necessary steps to dismantle and prosecute criminal networks responsible for human rights violations, ensuring the creation of an effective asylum system in Libya and recognizing and facilitating the mandate and activities of UNHCR in Libya. While recommendations to EU governments and institutions include; resetting all cooperation with Libya on migration, making continued cooperation with Libya conditional on verifiable steps towards the better protection of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Libya, opening safe and regular migration pathways to Europe, ensuring adequate number of search-and-rescue vessels are deployed along migratory routes, ensuring NGOs can continue to assist and help migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in distress, refraining from setting policies that would lead to the increased detention of people on the move.
IOM launches the Global Migration Film Festival
• IOM launched the third instalment of the annual Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF) at the Graduate Institute in Geneva on 28 November. The GMFF which will run for 21 days includes film screenings and expert panels in IOM missions in 100 countries. The screenings will be held in a variety of settings, ranging from cinemas to impromptu settings along major migratory routes. The features chosen to be screened capture the challenges and promise of migration. Speaking about the festival, Leonard Doyle, IOM’s Spokesperson and head of the Media and Communication Division, said, “With our Film Festival, we strive to use films as a tool to stimulate conversation around migration and bring attention to social issues affecting migrants through storytelling. Cinema and migration have a historical bond stretching back over a century when film makers, many of whom were immigrants themselves, began making movies that depicted a world on the move.” IOM starts voluntary humanitarian returns from Yemen
• IOM assisted 480 Ethiopian migrants to return home from Yemen between 26 and 29 November via its Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) program. This was the first IOM airlift operation to take place since the beginning of the Yemeni conflict in 2015. IOM has been assisting migrants to return home from Yemen using vessels to cross the Gulf of Aden but increasing hostilities in and around Al Hudaydah posed significant challenges and risks to operations. Speaking about the first airlift, Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies, said, “The first airlift return operation increases IOM’s ability to ensure that migrants who wish to leave Yemen can do so in a safe and dignified manner.” He further added, “The airlift, made possible through close cooperation with authorities in Yemen and Ethiopia, opens the way for improved humanitarian assistance for migrants in Yemen.” Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM)
• There have been a number of developments with regards to the GCM, which is due to be formally adopted in Marrakech between 10 and 11 December. On 12 November, the deputy chairman of the ruling GERB party in Bulgaria, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, announced that Bulgaria will most probably withdraw from the GCM. Speaking after a meeting of coalition government leaders, Mr. Tsvetanov said, “The position of the Bulgarian government will be not to join the United Nations’ global pact on migration.”