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Website to document global migration phenomenon launched

A little girl sits outdoors with a kitten on the grounds of the Misurata Detention Centre, a facility that can house up to 600 migrants. In an interview with three detainees at the centre, Migrant Report was told by the young men from Nigeria and Mali they were desperate to call home because they feared their families believed them dead. They were not given the opportunity to call home since being detained. Migrant Report helped them get in touch with their families while the guards were distracted. Photo: Robert Young Pelton, Migrant Report

A little girl sits outdoors with a kitten on the grounds of the Misurata Detention Centre, a facility that can house up to 600 migrants. In an interview with three detainees at the centre, Migrant Report was told by the young men from Nigeria and Mali they were desperate to call home because they feared their families believed them dead. They were not given the opportunity to call home since being detained. Migrant Report helped them get in touch with their families while the guards were distracted. Photo: Robert Young Pelton, Migrant Report

Migrant Report, a new website that aims to document the global migration phenomenon through news, investigations and analysis was launched today.

MigrantReport.org is published by US-Canadian author and documentary filmmaker Robert Young Pelton and edited by journalist Mark Micallef.

The investigative venture is sponsored by the Organisation for Better Security (OBS), a non profit organisation based in Malta. The goal is to better understand the impact of migration on Europe and other regions.

Robert Young Pelton is a pioneer of ground networks in conflict areas like Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan. “I believe that dealing with the impact of social pressure and change caused by war, poverty and economic opportunity will shape the world dramatically over the next decade. In its latest global trends report yesterday, the UN Refugee Agency estimated that just under 60 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. The solutions needed to deal with this impact require solid research and impactful honest reporting,” he said.

“An adequate response to this phenomenon requires both wide spectrum and granular information. Migrant Report will provide an intelligent, deeply honest, and reliable source of ground truth.”

“The goal of Migrant Report is to go beyond the traditional narrative and structure of reporting on the movement, borders, smuggling, reaction and side effects of global migration,” Mr Micallef said.

“The launch of the website today, ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20, is an invitation to migrants, journalists, NGOs and academics interested in this phenomenon to partner with us. We are looking for voluntary contributors, research grants and primary source providers as we expand our ground network into Libya, and then East Africa, West Africa and the Sahel,” he added.

Migrant Report is supported by researchers from Middlesex University and is linked to the search and rescue charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) which conducts mass rescues at sea for migrants in distress.

The website launches with written and video material from a recent trip to Libya during which the team investigated the impacts of ISIS, smugglers, governments, militias, security and economics on migrant flow. “What we captured in interviews and on tape helps readers understand the situation first hand,” Mr Pelton said.

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