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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
22.7.16.16
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Sharp increase in violence against migrants since border closures in the Balkans - MSF consultations for violent trauma doubled since March

On 9th March 2016, European leaders announced that the so-called "Balkan route" was closed after Croatia, FYROM and Slovenia completely shut their borders to people trying to pass through to seek asylum in northern Europe. For thousands of people fleeing, this route represented one of the few ways to reach safety and protection in Europe. Through their medical and mental health work, MSF teams in the region have seen an increase in the level of violence against migrants since the route was "closed".

EU-ITALY: Refugee relocation scheme "has clearly failed", says Italy's immigration chief

The European 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.

GREECE: Detention condition in the Malakasa camp: fit for children?

The camp described below by Shala Gafry is where the Greek government intended to hold the unaccompanied minors involved in the forthcoming Sh. D. v Greece case, which was communicated to the European Court of Human Rights on 24 March 2016.

"I wish I could tell you today was a better day. It wasn't. We, a group of 15 Greeks, Afghan-Greeks and Americans, visited Malakasa camp today, 50 km north of Athens. We spent some time speaking with people individually and collectively to learn about their experiences on the camp. Although I had visited the camp while I was there in April and it was terrible then, what we heard was shocking."

IRELAND: Negative Legacy of Direct Provision (Trinity College Dublin, link):

"A report which was co-authored by the School of Social Work and Social Policy, looking at the difficulties faced by former asylum seekers in attempting to transition from Direct Provision to life in the wider community, has just been launched.

Having endured years of living in the Direct Provision system, known to negatively affect mental health, the research highlights the multiple challenges faced by former asylum seekers. Once they receive their status, people must then navigate a complex array of systems as they attempt to move out of institutions that have systematically disempowered them for many years."

See: Irish Refugee Council: Transition: from Direct Provision to life in the community (pdf)

News (22.7.16)

Germany expects Turkish brain drain following Erdogan crackdown (Deutsche Welle, link): "Germany is expecting a new influx of refugees from Turkey following President Erdogan's authoritarian crackdown. Even conservative politicians have suggested politically persecuted Turks should be offered asylum. "

MEDITERRANEAN: Recuperan 22 cadáveres en una patera cargada de inmigrantes en medio del Mediterráneo [22 bodies recovered from a migrant dinghy in the middle of the Mediterranean] (El Mundo, link): The dead are 21 women and two men; between the 209 survivors there are 50 minors, 45 of them travelling alone.

Serbia Braces For Rise in Refugee Numbers (Balkan Insight, link): "The number of refugees in Serbia has been increasing steadily since Hungary tightened security on its border with Serbia early in July. A group of refugees in a park near the bus station in Belgrade started a hunger strike on Friday morning over their worsening situation, which they claim is a result of the developments on the Hungarian border, growing fear of deportation, and that there is a lack of food for them.

“We are trying to increase the number of beds for refugees. We are now planning to open a couple of new centres for accepting refugees," Ivan Miskovic, from the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, told BIRN on Thursday. He did not specify exactly how many centres will now open, or their capacity."

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