Migrants Hit By Crises Need Comprehensive, Long Term Help, Says IOM

18 December 2012

Over 150 Ukrainian citizens were evacuated from Syria by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) this year, in close coordination with the Ukrainian Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Ukrainians are ranking fourth in the list of third-country nationals relocated from this conflict-turn Middle East country with the help of IOM.

Marking International Migrants Day on 18 December, IOM states that migrants are more likely to be subject to hardship, human rights violations and discrimination in crisis situations like conflicts, man-maid or natural disasters.

According to IOM?s Director General William Lacy Swing, crises can result in complex and often unpredictable short and long term population flows. ?These bring with them a raft of challenges that the international community needs to address comprehensively,? Mr. Swing notes. ?They include the protection of vulnerable migrants from crisis-related violence and exploitation in their host country, and in transit, and their safe and sustainable reintegration once they get home.?

?After the successful evacuation of a number of Ukrainians from Libya in 2011, IOM continues its cooperation with the Ukrainian Government and other respective counterparts in order to save the lives of Ukrainian migrants in hot spots,? says IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.

In order to address some of the gaps that currently exist with regard to migration in international humanitarian systems, IOM has recently endorsed the Migration Crisis Operational Framework. It lists 15 sectors of possible intervention including camp management and displacement tracking; shelter and non-food relief items; transport assistance for affected populations; health support; psycho-social support; reintegration assistance; activities to support community stabilization and transition; disaster risk reduction and resilience building; land and property support; counter trafficking and protection of vulnerable migrants; technical assistance for humanitarian border management; emergency consular assistance; diaspora and human resource mobilization; migration policy and legislation support; and humanitarian communications.

?Finding humane and effective solutions to the complex and multi-faceted challenges of crisis-related migration flows requires strong partnerships between international organizations, States and a variety of non-state actors,? says IOM Director General Swing. ?We all share a responsibility to protect the human rights of all people on the move.?

IOM has unique expertise in evacuation, resettlement and return of migrants in emergency and post-crisis situations supported by a robust partnership with a large network of airlines and transport companies. Most recently, IOM provided evacuation assistance by air, sea and land to thousands fleeing the Libyan crisis, assisting over 200,000 migrants from various parts of the world, including a number of Ukrainians. IOM has also provided onward transportation assistance to final destinations for over 63,000 vulnerable returnees since South Sudan became independent in July 2011. IOM currently assists with emergency transportation to bring people out of danger zones into secured locations, including between the Somali?Kenyan border, from the Malian border to camps in Niger and from the Syrian border to camps in Jordan.

Established in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and nongovernmental partners to promote humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. With 146 member states and 13 states holding observer status IOM has its offices in over 100 countries of the world.

For further information please contact IOM Ukraine Communications Officer Ms. Varvara Zhluktenko (568 50 15, 067 447 97 92, vzhluktenko@iom.int)