Eastern Africa, Somalia. Muse Mohammed/IOM 2017

Sexual violence against women and girls is a silent human rights violation in Somalia. A crime compounded by social taboos, which prevent survivors from seeking help, and one that largely goes unpunished. If a woman reports sexual violence, she is usually blamed and stigmatized for it. And if the woman lives under the control of the Al-Shabaab, speaking up can cost her life.

While significant advances have been made to reduce violent extremist activity and increase resilience to violent extremist influences, the presence of Al-Shabaab continues to fuel conflict and instability. …

Project Closure Meeting with Government Stakeholders and Development Partners in Ghana © Naomi Harris /IOM 2020

Global conversations on Africa and migration in the past years were often centered around curbing migration flows and addressing irregular migration. However, a closer look of the multi-dimensional reality of flows from and within Africa constitutes a different landscape: crucial, but overlooked, is the huge developmental impact gained from migration.

Ghana and Ethiopia are two countries with dynamic and complex migration patterns as well as specific historical contexts. World Bank data shows that in 2019, Ghana received 3.5 billion USD, about 5% of its GDP, in terms of remittances by its emigrants — often the most direct and well-known link…

“Give us spaces for dialogue” Ixchel Adolfo, a young leader from Guatemala said at the opening of the high-level meeting on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women continuing that “the people who know about our needs are us.”

Indeed, a powerful message delivered from a young female leader to world leaders that gathered virtually to raise attention to topics relevant to them, and to issues that they feel are important. During the UN General Assembly’s General Debate many Member States took the floor and incorporated language on youth in their statements. …

The article was written by Chris Richter, Migration Policy Officer at IOM’s Office to the United Nations

Cox Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: Abdullah Al Mashrif/IOM 2020

Migrant remittances have received extensive attention in global policy discussions because of their potential gains to human development. Besides the immediate benefit to recipients, which can range from meeting essential day-to-day needs to supporting long-term health, education and housing, their potential multiplier effects on broader economic activity and growth are substantial.[1]

Add to this the fact that the scale of remittances worldwide has exceeded that of foreign direct investment and overseas development assistance (ODA), and it is easy to see why policy makers…

The article was written by Chris Richter, Migration Policy Officer at IOM’s Office to the United Nations

Ahmed, a returnee from Libya, after opening his small business which he is hoping to grow in his country of origin, Somalia. IOM Photo: Muse Mohammed/2020

International efforts to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet from environmental degradation and ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives are at risk of failure. This is the message of successive reports and conferences at the United Nations (UN), which have warned that implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is seriously off-track, a result of both inaction and the devastating impacts of COVID-19. …

Fuad, a migrant child participating in a computer class at Keçiören Municipality Community Centre, supported by IOM. © Emrah Özesen / IOM

In May 2020, IOM and the UN Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY) hosted a consultative webinar on the topic of Voices of Youth on the Move: from ECOSOC to the HLPF. It brought together over a hundred young people from all over the world to address three topics:

1. Health-risk and opportunities for young people on the move.

2. Leveraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship to support young migrants and refugees.

3. COVID19 and Young people on the move: Impact and response.

The goal of these consultations was to share information and discuss priorities to ultimately identify some…

The article was written by Chris Richter, Migration Policy Officer at IOM’s Office to the United Nations

Something is brewing. There’s a sense in the air that the decade to 2030 will be a consequential time. Not only because of the devastating pandemic currently upending life around the globe, but because of the momentum that could be won or lost in addressing some of the most pressing public policy issues otherwise facing the international community.

The United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, António Guterres, has declared 2020 the start of a decade of action on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Officially…

The article was written by Abdirahman Olow, Migration Officer, IOM Office to the United Nations.

A raw still frame of the character Diarra shot by Cinematographer Dylan Verrechia in SEGA short film by Idil Ibrahim. Photo: Idil Ibrahim/2019

“Film breaks down barriers, it transports you to other places that you wouldn’t normally go and we do need that”

Idil Ibrahim is on a mission to change the film industry. As one of the few women of color working in the film industry as a director and producer, Ibrahim expresses her desire to drive change and tell more diverse stories. In 2018, The University of Southern California Annenberg Inclusion Initiative examined 1,100 films and 48,757 characters between 2007–2017. The report found that during these…

The article was written by Chris Richter, Migration Policy Officer at IOM’s Office to the United Nations.

World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 6–12 March 1995. UN Photo ©Milton Grant

In 1995, United Nations member states adopted the Copenhagen Declaration on social development, an international agreement about better meeting individuals’ “material and spiritual needs”. People, it said, should be at the centre of development, and economies should be directed to meet human needs more effectively. It was an international framework based on the idea that economic growth alone is insufficient to meet human needs, without also considering social and environmental concerns.

In what at the time was a forward-looking outcome, the Declaration included…

IOM, Abdirahman Olow

Chinatown, New York.

There are 272 million international migrants in the world today. As people move, so too does their culinary cultures, knowledge, and techniques for preparing and producing food. Millions of migrants are helping to change the food landscapes of cities around the world today. In New York, migrant farmers are producing new produce varieties through techniques imported from their home countries. These new varieties are being enjoyed by locals in restaurants in Midtown and Lower East Side Manhattan. With humble origins in Italy, pizza continues to be loved by many people around the world. …

IOM Office UN (NY)

International Organization for Migration UN Office | Promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all | IOM Global: IOM - UN Migration

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