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Observatory : Refugee
crisis in the Med and in the EU
3,000 migrants dead or missing in 2016
The latest figures
from the IOM show that 3,034 migrants have died or gone missing
trying to reach Europe in 2016. The organisation has recorded
251,557 arrivals by sea this year so far. May was the deadliest
month so far, with 1,138 people dying.
See: IOM: Mediterranean
Update: Migration Flows Europe: Arrivals and Fatalities (29 July 2016, pdf)
cycle on serious and organised crime: "illegal immigration"
report and other documentation
The EU's policy
cycle on serious and organised crime is supposed to coordinate
the actions of Europol and Member States' law enforcement priorities
in order to deal with a series of cross-border "threats",
identified by Europol and subsequently approved by the Council
of the EU. Amongst the current priorities is "facilitated
illegal immigration". A leaked Europol report gives an overview
of work undertaken during 2016.
And see: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (29.7.16): including Turkish coup increases
migration to Greece and analysis of EU relocation and resettlement
figures released on deaths following police contact and police
use of firearms
There were 200
deaths during or following police contact in England and Wales
between 1 April 2015 and 31 March 2016, according to the latest
figures released by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
There were 21 road traffic fatalities; three fatal police shootings;
14 deaths in or following police custody; 60 apparent suicides
following police custody; and "102 other deaths following
police contact that were independently investigated by the IPCC."
chain holds fake training day to shop immigrant workers to the
(The Canary, link):
restaurant chain Byron has come under fire after it has been
reported that in early July its London managers held a training
exercise that served as a front for immigration control to interview
and arrest a number of its migrant staff members."
And see: Protests
taking place across London over Byron Burgers treatment of migrant
(Migrants' Rights Network, link)
News Online, 28.7.16 (pdf): Collection of recent coverage. Fifty stories
and refugee crisis news (daily list).
crisis: latest news from across Europe (28.7.16)
Council of the European Union:
Discrimination, Equal treatment, Maritime Security and Banned
exports,capital punishment, torture etc: LIMITE documents.
UK: Parliament: Justice
reform inquiry (link)
status: open - accepting written submissions - Accepting written
submissions; the deadline is Friday 30 September 2016.. As details
of the reforms are still emerging, we pose high-level questions
in our inquiry's terms of reference. In doing so we wish to seek
overall views initially which will be followed up in greater
detail with a series of sub-inquiries following the publication
of the White Paper expected in October 2016."Terms
(link) and Send
a written submission (link)
Italy Illegally Returning Migrant Children to Greece - Children
Held Arbitrarily in Degrading Conditions (HRW, link):
a 17-year-old Kurdish boy from Iraq, hid under a truck on the
ferry from Greece to Italy for 18 hours without food or water.
When he arrived in Italy, the police locked him in a small room
on the ferry and sent him right back to Greece.
my passport and that Im under 18 but the Italian police
told me to go back, go back.
practice is not new. In 2013, Human Rights Watch documented the
failure of Italian border police to screen adequately for people
in need of protection, including unaccompanied children, who
stow away on ferries from Greece to Italys Adriatic ports.
Placed in the custody of the captains of commercial ferries for
the return journey to Greece, adults and children were sometimes
subjected to abusive confinement and treatment. Back in Greece,
unaccompanied children faced police abuse, degrading detention
conditions, and xenophobic violence."
crisis: latest news from across Europe (26.7.16)
EU: UK House
of Lords, European Union Committee: Children
in crisis: unaccompanied migrant children in the EU (94 pages, pdf):
current refugee crisis is the greatest humanitarian challenge
to have faced the European Union since its foundation. Although
the outcome of the referendum on 23 June 2016 was that the UK
should leave the EU, the UK remains a full member of the EU,
with all the responsibilities that entails, until the final withdrawal
agreement is ratified. It is vital, both on moral grounds and
in order to help maintain good relations with the other 27 Member
States, that the UK Government should participate fully in EU
action to resolve this humanitarian crisis.
It has become increasingly clear that children, many of them
unaccompanied by a parent, relative or guardian, are in the forefront
of the crisis. In 2015 88,245 unaccompanied children applied
for asylum in the EU, including 3,045 in the UK. In May 2016
alone, 3,133 unaccompanied migrant children arrived in Italy.
Many children do not even reach the EUs shores: at least
137 children have drowned in the Mediterranean since the start
Migrant children are being failed by UK, says Lords committee
report - Government accused of dismissing its responsibility
to care for unaccompanied minors as somebody elses
report on Greek hotspots in Lesbos and Chios after the EU/Turkey
July 2016, GISTI published a report on its fact-finding mission
to the hotspots set up on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios
and on the effects the EU/Turkey deal, entitled "Accord
UE-Turquie: la grande imposture. Rapport de mission dans les
hotspots grecs de Lesbos et Chios, juillet 2016....
speak for themselves: in order to put an end to the serious violations
of the rights of migrants detained in the Greek "hotspots"
under threat of an expulsion to Turkey, it is indispensable for
the EU and its member states to, at the very least:
Give up on the idea of implementing the 18 March 2016 Statement;
Conduct an in-depth review of the system for allocating responsibility
to an EU member state (the "Dublin III" regulation)
to evaluate an asylum application in order for the asylum application
to be examined in the applicant's country of choice."
Annual report for 2015 on the UK's counter-terrorism strategy
The annual report
of the UK government on its counter-terrorism strategy, covering
the year 2015, was published on 21 July. Amongst other things,
the report includes statistics on the "effective use of
proportionate counter-terrorism powers," noting that the
power to cancel or refuse to issue passports to British passport
holders was used 23 times; powers to seize and temporarily retain
travel documents at ports have been used 24 times; and that two
Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures (essentially
a form of internal exile) were in force "in the last quarter
crisis: latest news from across Europe (25.7.16): migrants march to Serbia-Hungary
border, Council wants EU migration budget increase, new detention
centre to open in Spain.
calls to extend undercover policing inquiry remit beyond England
One of the targets
of exposed British undercover police officer Mark Kennedy has
taken the first steps towards legal action in an attempt to have
the remit of the Pitchford Inquiry into undercover policing expanded
to cover officers' activities outside England and Wales.
Arrest Warrant: judgments recognise that "certain Greek
prisons are failing to protect prisoners' fundamental rights"
this decision the Court has recognised that certain Greek prisons
are failing to protect prisoners fundamental rights and
that the Greek Government appears to be unable to bring about
the improvements that are needed to make these institutions safe."
the European Union: New EU "returns"
document & Turkey visa "benchmarks"
relocation scheme "has clearly failed", says Italy's
Union's relocation scheme for refugees in Greece and Italy "has
clearly failed", the Italian interior ministry's head of
immigration, Mario Morcone, told a recent press conference hosted
by the Italian Council of Refugees. The most recent European
Commission report on the relocation scheme, published on 13 July,
records a total of 843 people being relocated from Italy to other
Member States since the scheme was put in place in September
2015. The Commission's aim is to relocate 6,000 people from Greece
and Italy per month.
See also: Refugee
crisis: latest news from across Europe (22.7.16)
"counter-extremism" plans denounced again
The UK government's
plans for countering "non-violent extremism" have again
been denounced, this time in a "pre-legislative scrutiny"
report by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.
Despite announcing on a number of occassions that it will introduce
a Counter-Extremism Bill, the government is yet to do so - but
given the numerous problems with defining "extremism",
and the harsh criticism that has been directed at the Prevent
programme, it may be better for any such bill not to be published
of the European Agenda on Security: Questions & Answers (European Commission,
A useful summary:
"The European Commission adopted the European Agenda
on Security on 28 April 2015, setting out the main actions envisaged
to ensure an effective EU response to security threats over the
period 2015-2020. Since its adoption, significant progress has
been made in its implementation...
highlights the actions already completed as well as the steps
that still need to be taken as a matter of urgency in view of
the current challenges, to pave the way towards a genuine and
effective Security Union as proposed by the European Commission
on 20 April 2016."
compliance: the EU's new security agenda (pdf) by Chris Jones,
for researchers: Statewatch Analyses: 1999-ongoing
Borderline: The EU's New Border Surveillance Initiatives:
Assessing the Costs and Fundamental Rights Implications of EUROSUR
and the "Smart Borders" Proposals (pdf) A study by the
Heinrich Böll Foundation. Written by Dr. Ben Hayes and Mathias
Vermeulen: "Unable to tackle the root of the problem,
the member states are upgrading the Unions external borders.
Such a highly parochial approach taken to a massive scale threatens
some of the EUs fundamental values - under the pretence
that ones own interests are at stake. Such an approach
borders on the inhumane."
How the EU works and justice and home
affairs decision-making (pdf)
20th Anniversary Conference, June 2011: Statewatch
'policy laundering' and the FATF - legalising surveillance, regulating
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
to EU decision-making and justice and home affairs after the
(pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex,
with additional material by Tony Bunyan
Neoconopticon: the EU security-industrial
(pdf) by Ben Hayes
The Shape of Things to Come (pdf) by Tony Bunyan
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