IOM launches MigApp in the framework of the Regional Conference on Migration in Panama


Date Publish: 
11/15/2018

Panama, 14 november. Today (14/11) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Panama, in their capacity as Pro-Tempore Chair of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), present MigApp, IOM's mobile app for migrants. This launch was attended by vice-ministers of foreign affairs and government representatives of the 11 countries of Central America and North America that make up the RCM.

The IOM mobile app incorporates for the first time the functions that previously had the pilot regional app MigrantApp, already used by more than 12,000 people in the region: geolocated information on services of state institutions and non-profit organizations, health centers, consulates, embassies, among others. It also provides information on immigration requirements, visas and programs for assisted voluntary return.

With it, migrants in the region will be able to access geolocated information from more than 1700 care centers and assistance institutions for migrants, almost 400 offices for vulnerable migrants, 171 consulates and embassies and more than 600 health centers, NGO´s, among others. It also offers information on migratory services, access to training and job placement programs and specialized services for vulnerable persons such as migrant minors, LGBTI persons, victims of violence or trafficking in persons.

“We are very excited about the introduction of MigApp to Central and North America. This launch is a result of the strong collaboration and partnership between the Information and Communications Technology Division and the regional and country mission in Costa Rica for Mesoamerica. The teams worked very hard to combine the regional contextual information and services provided by the MigrantApp with the thematic information from MigApp to provide a greatly enhanced product” said Muwanga-Ssevume, IOM Chief Information Officer.

"The purpose of the app is to help migrants make informed decisions, simplifying access to information and safe and reliable services related to migration," said IOM Regional Director Marcelo Pisani. The app also contains services provided by the IOM, such as comparing the costs of send remittances, send alerts in case of emergencies, and others.

Mr. Jonathan Del Rosario, Minister of Security, stressed that "The Government of Panama is pleased to support this initiative, which is not only of vital importance to inform nationals abroad in a timely manner, but also to that we see the strategic role that a country can have when it receives migrants, or even a massive influx of visitors, like the one we expect in Panama in the framework of the World Youth Days in 2019 "

For his  Mr. Jonathan Del Rosario, Minister of Security, mentioned that "The Government of Panama is pleased to support this initiative, which is not only of vital importance to inform nationals abroad in a timely manner, but also to that we see the strategic role that a country can have when it receives migrants, or even a massive influx of visitors, like the one we expect in Panama in the framework of the World Youth Days in 2019 "

MigApp was developed thanks to financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) the U.S. Department of State and the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

 Download MigApp for Android or iOS


30,000 Irregular Migration Deaths, Disappearances Between 2014-2018: IOM Report

Date Publish: 
11 / 01 / 2019

Berlin – At least 30,510 people died during irregular migration between 2014 and 2018, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project reports. More than 19,000 deaths and disappearances were recorded due to drowning, not only in the Mediterranean Sea, but also in the Rio Grande, the Bay of Bengal, and many other overseas routes. 

Due to the lack of official sources of information on deaths during migration, and the corresponding lack of detail on most of those who die during migration, these figures are best understood as a minimum estimate.  

Nearly half of the five-year total fatalities of at least 14,795 men, women and children were recorded on the Central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy. The Missing Migrants Project estimates that there were at minimum 17,644 lives lost at sea on all three trans-Mediterranean routes in the last five years, equivalent in these five years to roughly ten times the number of people who drowned when the luxury liner Titanic sank in 1912. 

Deaths recorded during migration throughout Africa comprise the second-largest regional total of the 30,000 deaths recorded since 2014, with 6,629 fatalities recorded since 2014. Nearly 4,000 of those deaths occurred in Northern Africa, where a lack of reliable data and extensive anecdotal reports indicate that many more migrants have died than are recorded. 

In Asia, where data are similarly scarce, the deaths of more than 2,900 people were recorded during migration, including 2,191 in Southeast Asia and 531 in the Middle East. 

At least 2,959 people died migrating in the Americas in the last five years, more than 60 per cent of whom (at least 1,871) lost their lives on the border between Mexico and the United States. More than 1,000 deaths were recorded in the rest of Latin America and the Caribbean between 2014 and 2018, although the difficulty in obtaining reliable reports – particularly at sea or through remote jungle areas – means that the true number of migrant deaths is likely far higher. 

“Irregular migration poses significant risks to those who undertake such journeys, and safe legal pathways are urgently needed so that fewer people resort to this option,” said Dr. Frank Laczko, director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). “Even though many focus on the Mediterranean, the truth of the matter is that people die on migratory routes worldwide.”  

The main causes of death recorded in the Missing Migrants Project dataset speak to the hazardous transportation and natural conditions that migrants encounter when they travel irregularly. In addition to the 19,000+ deaths and disappearances recorded due to drowning, another 3,800 individuals died due to harsh natural conditions en route – including exposure, dehydration, and exhaustion – or due to sickness combined with lack of access to medicines.   

For more than 2,000 individuals, cause of death remains unknown. For many people, their remains were recovered days, weeks or months after they died en route – often rendering it impossible for authorities to determine a cause of death. The bodies of many more are neither discovered nor recovered. In the Mediterranean, reports from shipwreck survivors indicate that, conservatively, 11,500 have been lost at sea over the last five years – whose remains have never been found. 

Little is known about the identities of the 30,510 deceased recorded by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project in the past five years. Information on age and gender is available for just over one in four individuals: nearly 1,600 of the dead were children, 1,700 were women, and just over 5,000 were men. Similarly, the country of origin is available for less than half of the deceased recorded between 2014 and 2018.  

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial.  

To learn more about how data on migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here  

For more information contact IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre:  Julia Black, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int; Kate Dearden, Tel: +49 30 278 778 32, Email: kdearden@iom.int; or Marta Sanchez, Tel: + 49 30 278 778 28, Email: msanchez@iom.int