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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
21.6.16
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Greece Overhauls Appeals To Speed Up Returns To Turkey (News That Moves, link):

"The Greek Parliament voted late last week to change the composition of the Appeals Committees who are tasked with examining the claims and appeals of asylum seekers who crossed into Greece from Turkey after March 20.

The legal amendments state that Committees will now be composed of two judges appointed by the government and one member nominated by UNHCR. In the previous structure, there was one civil servant and two independent experts nominated by UNHCR and by the Greek National Commission for Human Rights (GNCHR).

The GNCHR yesterday expressed concern about the constitutionality of the Committees’ new composition and the timing of the additional reforms." [emphasis added]

See also: The government manipulates the Asylum Appeals Committees (AnalyzeGreece, link), link in Greek and: Letter by members of the Asylum Appeals Committees of Greece (Presidential Decree 114/2010), regarding the latest developments in the asylum claims review process (pdf)

Leading rights groups slam EU-Turkey refugee deal (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Leading rights groups used World Refugee Day Monday to criticize the recent EU-Turkey refugee agreement and the conditions in which refugees live in Turkey....

Instead of increasing the means by which refugees could safely and legally enter Europe, “the EU made unlawful agreements with Turkey in order to stem the tide of migration,” Amnesty said in a statement. Thousands of migrants have lost their lives on the perilous sea journey to Europe.

An EU-Turkey agreement reached in March allows Greece to return Syrian asylum seekers to Turkey without evaluation of their protection claims on the basis it is a “safe third country.”

In order to limit refugees crossing into Greece by sea in keeping with the agreement, Amnesty claimed Turkey had not only increased unlawful detentions but was also forcibly returning them to Syria or pressuring them to return “voluntarily.”"

Brexit would prevent UK from returning asylum seekers (euobserver, link):

"should it go, Britain may inadvertently become a brighter beacon for those hoping for international protection who are already near the UK borders.

EU asylum law gives governments the right to return people to the EU state they first entered. The UK is a staunch defender of the agreement, also known as the Dublin regulation, because they get to send people packing. A Thursday vote to reject the EU would annul the UK's participation and also deny the UK access to Eurodac, an asylum-seeker fingerprint database.

It means EU states would not need to accept the return of any asylum seeker who somehow made it to the UK.

"It seems obvious that we would no longer be a part of the Dublin system and therefore we have to rely on some kind of bilateral arrangement or informal arrangement to send people to EU countries," Steve Peers, a professor of EU and human rights law at the University of Essex, told this website."

UNICEF slams treatment of refugee children in Germany (DW, link):

"Germany does not extend the same rights to refugee children as it does to native-born children, UNICEF has said. This was worrying for a group in need of special care, the children's organization has warned. "

Seeking Refuge - Unaccompanied Children in Sweden (HRW,link):

", the arrival of tens of thousands of children in 2015 has put a strain on this system. This report, based on research conducted by Human Rights Watch in Sweden from January 25 to February 8, 2016 identifies key shortcomings in the system. As a result of these shortcomings some children are not rece iving the care and attention they need and to which they are entitled."

News (21.6.16)

UN Official critical of Hungary’s plan to shut refugee centres (New Europe, link): "Hungary’s plan to close its refugee reception centres will make it much more difficult for people granted asylum to integrate, forcing them to leave the country, the regional head of the United Nation’s refugee agency said June 20. Montserrat Feixas Vihe, the UNHCR representative in Central Europe, said conditions in the countries refugees are fleeing from have not improved but it is now much harder for them to seek protection in Europe. “The need for them to flee is just as bad as last year,” Feixas Vihe told The Associated Press. “They need to seek protection and they are not able to get it here. That is a major problem.”"

EU: Don’t Send Syrians Back to Turkey - Lack of Jobs, School, Health Care Spurs Poverty, Exploitation (HRW, link): "Delays in registration and limited implementation of temporary protection policies in Turkey mean that many Syrian refugees are left without effective protection or access to jobs and services that they desperately need, Human Rights Watch said today. As long as Turkey remains burdened by overwhelming numbers of refugees and unable to provide sufficient protection and security for all, the European Union should not be sending Syrian refugees back to Turkey."

Let Aid For Refugees Pass – Convoy to Calais (passeursdhospitalites, link): "The Convoy to Calais, on Saturday 18 June 2016, was refused entry into France. Over 250 vehicles carrying many tonnes of much needed aid for refugees in the ‘Jungle Camp’ were turned away at the border by the French authorities. The reasons given for refusing the convoy entry were spurious, including the ‘State of Emergency’, football hooliganism and the threat of terrorist attack. None of these had any connection with our humanitarian mission. While two lorries and a handful of cars and vans managed to get through, less than half of the aid collected was delivered."

EU: ‘Lighthouse for Lampedusa’ erected on Brussels skyline (euractiv, link): "A makeshift lighthouse – constructed out of the remnants of refugees’ dinghies – was erected on the Brussels skyline on Sunday night (19 June), to mark World Refugee Day and pose an ongoing question to EU policymakers through the summer."

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