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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
17.11.17
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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
Commission: Migration "progress" reports

The European Commission has published the latest reports: European Agenda on Migration: Consolidating progress made (Press release, pdf): Includes:

"Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "We are exiting crisis mode gradually""

Are You Syrious (16.11.17):

EU defending “an outrage to the conscience of humanity” - FEATURE - Germany and Italy defending criminal practice of Libya

“Handing human traffickers the keys to European democracies” is presented by the Italian Minister as the alternative to the Italian and EU’s supporting of the unlawful and horrendous activities of their Libyan ‘partners in crime’.

The practice of support (political and financial) given to the Libyan coast guard and other forces working on preventing people to flee their countries and the continent in a search for safety and decent life constantly exposes returned migrants to Libya’s lawless detention centers, with no legal recourse. (...)

However, now Italy’s foreign ministry simply said that Rome had been calling “for months” for those involved “to multiply actions and efforts in Libya to ensure acceptable and dignified conditions” in detention centres. This implies the states involved?—?are not involved? (...)

“The increasing interventions of the EU and its member states have done nothing so far to reduce the level of abuses suffered by migrants. On the contrary, conditions have only worsened.” - Human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein."

New arrivals

"Three boats to Lesvos this morning, a total of 146 people (39, then 64 and the last boat had 42 people on board), all on the north coast of the island. They will be welcomed to a camp which has absolutely no space or capacity!

Two boats arrived to Chios. The first boat with 55 people arrived to Chios in the morning, carrying 14 men, 12 women and 29 children. The second one had 22 men, 7 women and 26 children on board."

Calais refugees face the winter

The situation on the streets of Calais continues to worsen.

Over a year later, with the arrival of another winter, there are still hundreds of refugees and migrants bracing for the cold, desperate to cross the Channel and to make a fresh start in Britain.

The refugees living in Calais continue to depend upon the volunteer organizations that have been present in the area all the while: Help Refugees, Utopia 56 and Care4Calais."

UN human rights chief: Suffering of migrants in Libya outrage to conscience of humanity (link):

"GENEVA (14 November) – The UN Human Rights chief today expressed dismay at the sharp increase in the number of migrants held in horrific conditions at detention facilities in Libya, saying the European Union’s policy of assisting the Libyan Coast Guard to intercept and return migrants in the Mediterranean was inhuman.

“The suffering of migrants detained in Libya is an outrage to the conscience of humanity,” Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said. “What was an already dire situation has now turned catastrophic.

“The detention system for migrants in Libya is broken beyond repair,” said Zeid. “Only alternatives to detention can save migrants’ lives and physical security, preserve their dignity and protect them from further atrocities.

“The international community cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the unimaginable horrors endured by migrants in Libya, and pretend that the situation can be remedied only by improving conditions in detention,” he said,"

UPD Dutch journalist Sakir Khader arrested in Greece along with German cameraman, photographers (Keep Talking Greece, link):

"A Dutch journalist has been arrested in Greece while reporting on refugees who crossed into the country via Turkey. Along with Dutch journalist Sakir Khader, arrested have been also a German cameraman and two Iraqi photographers with German passports.

Sakir Khader, a reporter with current affairs show Brandpunt in the Netherlands, was detained on Monday morning in the border area between Greece and Turkey (...)

Along with the refugees, he was detained by Greek police, reportedly on charges that he had trespassed into a military zone."

MEP on EU-Turkey deal: Processing of asylum applications is being delayed (euractiv, link):

"More than a year since the EU-Turkey agreement, a European immigration law is still distant but badly needed. The European distribution mechanism does not work due to the lack of receptiveness of many EU member states, "

The Italian Council of State confirms Bulgaria not safe country for the transfer of asylum seekers under the Dublin Regulation

In this decision the Council of State affirmed that “*there are no reliable elements that led us to believe that the condition of asylum seekers in Bulgaria can be considered respectful of fundamental human rights and can lead to a concrete risk of suffering inhuman and degrading treatments as foreseen in Art. 3 par. 2 Reg. n. 604/2013.

See: Council of State Decision (pdf)

Greek nationalist anger turns to violence against refugees (DW, link)

"Years into a refugee crisis, many Greeks continue to resist the integration of asylum seekers stranded in the country. New, far-right extremist groups are taking advantage of the frustration. Anthee Carassava reports."

EU: Council of the European Union: Proposal for a Directive laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection (LIMITE doc no: 13347-17, 126 pages, pdf): The Council working on its negotiating position. There are 225 Footnotes:

"Comments made by delegations on the Commission proposal text, orally and in writing, appear in the footnotes of the Annex."

GREECE: Hundreds of migrants living in tents on Aegean islands amid fears of worsening weather (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Around 2,000 migrants on Lesvos, including hundreds of small children, are living in tents that were set up during the summer amid concerns that the onset of winter may bring a new humanitarian crisis on the island.

In total, there are 8,293 people on the island, a favored destination of people traffickers bringing migrants over from neighboring Turkey. Conditions are similarly overcrowded on Samos where 2,397 people are cramped in and around a facility built to hold 700. Meanwhile arrivals from Turkey continue, dozens every day."

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