UN Migration Agency Supports Guatemala after Eruption of Volcán de Fuego

Date Publish: 

Guatemala City – Today (6/26) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, announces its support of Guatemalan efforts to assist people affected by the eruption of Volcán de Fuego. IOM support is focused on shelter management, the development of information systems for monitoring displaced people, the evaluation of damaged infrastructures and the assistance of migrants in transit.

"After the first eruption on 3 June, IOM and a UN inter-agency team mobilized at the site to make an account of the immediate needs in the shelters and made itself available to the government through the Social Work Secretariat of the President's Wife (SOSEP), the governing body of the shelters,” said Sebastián Berkovich, IOM Response Coordinator.

The eruption has so far left 1.7 million people affected, 12,823 evacuated, 3,613 in temporary shelters, 197 missing and 110 deceased, in the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango, and Sacatepéquez, where the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) has maintained an orange alert.

IOM is providing computer equipment to SOSEP to launch a Shelter Integrated Registration System (SIRA in Spanish) which allows the institution to generate a shelter census quickly and systematically. A shelter management methodology will also be delivered to provide minimum standards in the assistance of the affected population, following national legislation and with resources from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

IOM is also contributing to improving the living conditions of the people displaced by the eruption in the collective centers, by creating safe spaces, mainly for the populations in situations of vulnerability. The organization will also evaluate the damaged infrastructure in the regions.

Finally, IOM will implement its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) to identify sectoral needs and will provide inputs for the government, international organizations, social organizations and other stakeholders to be able to make informed decisions for the care of those who need it.

For more information, please contact IOM Guatemala, Melissa Vega, Tel: +502 2414 7401, Email: mevega@iom.int, or Alba Miriam Amaya, Tel: +503 2521 0511, Email: aamaya@iom.int


World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 2020

Date Publish: 
30 / 07 / 2020

António Vitorino

Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM) 

World Day Against Trafficking in Persons 

 30 July 2020 


This year is the twentieth anniversary of the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, and its historic Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. 

We are half-way through a very difficult year for everyone, and our contemporary challenges have had a severe impact on people’s vulnerability to trafficking and exploitation. 

IOM was implementing counter-trafficking interventions in accordance with human rights principles long before the Palermo Protocol gave us the clearly defined parameters that we know today. And likewise, our interventions have evolved over time as new forms of trafficking have emerged. 

We have learned, as have governments, that it is imperative to partner with the private sector, trade unions, supply chain auditors, and recruitment agencies to put in place practices to reduce the risks of trafficking and exploitation. 

As we embark upon a new decade, the world is now confronted with perhaps our biggest challenge to counter-trafficking – that of a pandemic, that has in addition brought severe restrictions to mobility, impacted livelihoods, and limited access to vulnerable people. COVID-19 has brought a devastating impact upon the household security and health of billions of people all over the world, which inevitably heightens vulnerability and risk of exploitation, whether it is job-seekers taking hazardous journeys, families relying on child labour for survival, or the marriage of young daughters in a desperate attempt to relieve economic strain. 

Now, as we have always done, the anti-trafficking community must evolve and adapt to this new crisis, finding innovative ways to identify trends, to screen for vulnerabilities, to support States while advocating for human rights and the prevention of abuse, and to seek safe and viable options for those who will remain on the move.  Let's move into this direction together, as united we are stronger!