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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
29-30.10.16
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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
EU European Commission: latest State of Play: "Relocation" statistics from Commission (27.10.16):

- 17,012 offers of places in the EU of 160,000 needed (from 25 countries)
- relocations from Italy 1,411 out of 39,600
- relocations from Greece 4,988 out of 64,000

EU: European Commission: Amends Decision regarding Greece and Italy of 22.9.15 (pdf) by Decision of 29.9.16 (pdf)

The amendment enables Member States to use the 54,000 unallocated places of the second relocation decision to legally admit Syrian nationals present in Turkey into the EU through resettlement and other pathways of admission.

Comment: A further admission of the failure of the relocation within the EU of refugees who have arrived.in the EU.

From Italy, 46 asylum-seekers were relocated to Romania (31) and Malta (15). Since the adoption of the relocation scheme, a total of 1,391 persons (3.5% of the 39,600 target) have been relocated from Italy (latest EC data, 21 October).

From Greece, there were 134 asylum-seekers relocated during the week. Thus far, a total of 4,865 (7.3%) asylum-seekers against the targeted 66,400, have been
relocated from Greece to other EU countries since the beginning of the relocation programme in November 2015. A total of 10,755 pledges since the EU relocation
scheme began in September 2015 have been made by EU Member States.

VOICES: Where Europe’s Migrants Wait (OSF, link):

"Informal encampments for transiting migrants are sprouting all over Europe, from the outposts of Calais, Idomeni, Chios, and Lesbos, to the capital cities of Rome, Athens, and Paris. Manifesting as patchworks of tent cities and makeshift shelters in repurposed buildings, these encampments throw into sharp relief the consequences of Europe’s reception- and border-management policies. ...

Again and again, this scene has played out as the camp regenerates, only to be cleared out once more. The Jungle of Calais is a startling symbol of the failed migration policies that have left countless migrants vulnerable and adrift. Clearing out the camp has only forced its inhabitants further down the coast, leading to the creation of other “jungles” like Grande-Synthe, Norrent-Fontes, and Angres."

NATO says no Aegean mission end date (ekathimerini.com, link):

"There is no fixed date for the NATO migrant mission in the Aegean Sea to end, an Alliance official said Friday, after Turkey called for the mission's completion “by the end of the year” because it had “reached its goal”.

“There is no end date for NATOs activity in the Aegean sea... (but) NATO will continue to keep this mission under regular review,” the official, who did not wish to be named, told AFP in Brussels."

UNHCR Weekly Report (28.10.16): Trends of Sea Arrivals

During the week of 17 to 23 October, 613 refugees and migrants crossed the sea to Greece from Turkey – a slight decrease from the 808 that crossed the previous
week. So far in October, 2,419 people have arrived – an average of 113 per day in comparison to the 103 per day on average that arrived in September. As previously observed during the month of October, Samos received the majority (53%) of new sea arrivals with 328 recorded arrivals during the week, followed by Lesvos with 116 and Chios with 64 arrivals. As of 23 October, 169,243 refugees and migrants have crossed the sea to Greece – main countries of origin of those who arrived in Greece remain the Syrian Arab Republic (47%), Afghanistan (25%) and Iraq (15%). Of these, 42% were men, 21% women and 37% children.

In the same week, according to UNHCR estimates, 3,992 refugees and migrants arrived by sea to Italy, including approximately 426 unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) – Libya continues to be the main point of departure. As of 23 October, 149,117 persons arrived by sea, compared to 140,987 persons disembarked at the end of October 2015. This is a recent increase compared to sea arrivals in 2015. As of 21 October, 21% of arrivals have been from Nigeria, 13% from Eritrea and 7% each from Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea. According to the latest data provided by the Ministry of Interior, 19,429 UASC have arrived to Italy by sea in 2016 compared to 12,360 in 2015.

Situation in Greece

With an average of 108 daily arrivals so far in October, Reception and Identification Centres (RICs) on the islands continue to be overcrowded On Lesvos, tensions are on the rise among residents of Moria RIC due to overcrowding, continued delays in registration, lack of information on asylum claims, and inadequate living conditions. In the early morning hours of 24 October, Asylum Service buildings at Moria RIC were set on fire as a group of people protested over the long stay and delays on the examination of asylum applications. A fire brigade and riot police arrived on the scene to extinguish the fire and restore order. Serious damage was caused to about eight mobile offices, there were no reports of any injuries. On Samos, capacity is also overstretched and authorities have resorted to hosting some 300 people in tents within a fenced off extension of the RIC.

Are You Syrious (29.10.16, link):

Feature: New routs along the Balkans

"As the winter is approaching the Balkans and more people are starting their difficult journey through the region, hoping to reach EU before snow and cold. Regional media are informing about the group of 20 people -19 from Afghanistan and one from Pakistan -arrested on Friday in a train near the border. Half of those arrested are minors. After the arrest, people were sent back to Serbia, and taken to the prison in Užice....."

Italy

"Over 27,000 people arrived in Italy in October, mostly from West Africa and the Horn of Africa. So far this year, around 159,000 people arrived in Italy, which is the increase in comparison to the last year when 153,000 new arrivals were registered.

Meanwhile, voices of those who are against hosting refugees in Italy, are rising in public. The local media are reporting about protests against refugees in some villages, while in a small city of Abano Terme (Padua province), the first anti-refugees’ list was established."

Bulgaria

"Though many refugees from Greece are being relocated to Bulgaria, atmosphere toward refugees in that country remains hostile. Today, Bulgarian News Agency reports about several hundred people who have demonstrated against government plans to accommodate refugees near the village of Boyanovo, Southern Bulgaria."

Francois Hollande Says UK Authorities Must ‘Do Their Part’ To Settle Calais ‘Jungle’ Refugee Children (Huffington Post, link):

"The French president has urged British authorities to “do their part” to settle 1,500 refugee children left in Calais.

Francois Hollande said the minors, most of whom are living in shipping containers in the remains of the so-called Jungle camp, would be transferred “very quickly” to other centres, the Press Association reported. Hollande said that his country “cannot tolerate” the camps, describing them as “not worthy” of France."

Australia moves toward lifetime entrance ban on offshore refugees (DW, link)

"Australia has announced plans to ban all migrants arriving illegally by boat from ever entering the country. The move would represent the toughening of an already harsh refugee policy."

Proud to Aid and Abet Refugees: The Criminalization of ‘Flight Helpers’ in Greece (link):

"EU Council and Commission documents, published in the beginning of the year, called for the intensification of law enforcement and the incorporation of NGOs into the governmental structures in Greece, while in the ‘war on smuggling’ there’s a failure to provide for a humanitarian exemption."

Are You Syrious (27.10.16, link)

103 new arrivals to Lesvos brings number on island back up to 6,000 for the first time since September

France-Calais Eviction update

"No good news from Calais. Treatment of unaccompanied children by the French government during the eviction is more that reason to be worried. The media and volunteers are reporting about scores of unaccompanied children who remained unaccounted for in an increasingly chaotic situation at the Calais. According to some estimates, about 100 children are left without adequate safeguards."

Fundraiser begins for LGBTQ refugees in Greece

"Reviled by their compatriots, looked upon with suspicion by Greek authorities, and afraid to leave their homes from fear of harassment (or worse), LGBTQ refugees face particularly dreadful conditions. You may help them in their plight by contributing here."

Are You Syrious (27.10.16, link)

103 new arrivals to Lesvos brings number on island back up to 6,000 for the first time since September

France-Calais Eviction update

"No good news from Calais. Treatment of unaccompanied children by the French government during the eviction is more that reason to be worried. The media and volunteers are reporting about scores of unaccompanied children who remained unaccounted for in an increasingly chaotic situation at the Calais. According to some estimates, about 100 children are left without adequate safeguards."

Fundraiser begins for LGBTQ refugees in Greece

"Reviled by their compatriots, looked upon with suspicion by Greek authorities, and afraid to leave their homes from fear of harassment (or worse), LGBTQ refugees face particularly dreadful conditions. You may help them in their plight by contributing here."

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