IOM Yemen: Migrant situation in Aden | Flash report (10 June 2019)
As the situation enters its second month, irregular migrants continue to be impacted by strict immigration policies in Aden. At the peak of the detention campaign (27 April-03 May 2019), IOM estimates that approximately 5,000 people were held across three sites (migrants were released in May from the sites in Abyan and Lahj).
On 28 May, IOM began assisting migrants detained in Aden to return to Ethiopia under its Voluntary Humanitarian Returns (VHR) programme. So far, 896 people, of the 2,315 migrants registered for return support, have safely returned. The remaining 1,419 migrants will return in the coming days and weeks.
Migrants continue to arrive at the 22nd of May Stadium. IOM estimates that nearly 3,000 migrants are present at the site - movements in and out of the Stadium are no longer heavily restricted. To avoid encouraging a permanent emergency response in the 22nd of May Stadium, IOM is considering options for phasing out of the site. VHR continues to be a humanitarian service offered to all migrants throughout the country, however, IOM sees this as a last resort for detained migrants and continues to refer stranded migrants in need of return assistance to IOM Migrant Response Points.
IOM has conducted eight VHR flights to date. Despite sustained advocacy for permits to operate two flights a day, which would have allowed for all registered migrants to return over an eight day period, flight permissions have only been received for one flight per day with some requests rescinded or delayed. For all flights, approvals are required from the Coalition, including the Governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with the Government of Yemen. The flight planned for 10 June was been cancelled. Cancellation, delays and limitations on flights are prolonging the VHR process, forcing vulnerable migrants to remain under harsh conditions in a conflict zone.