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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
3.8.18
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Analysis document: The dangerous link between migration, development and security for the externalisation of borders in Africa. Case studies on Sudan, Niger and Tunisia (ARCI, pdf):

"Within the framework of the Externalisation Policies Watch project, aimed at monitoring the externalisation of Italian and European migration policies, ARCI – in addition to its constant work of analysis of the evolution of the agreements signed with origin and transit countries, and to its field missions (in Niger in July 2018, in Tunisia in May 2018 and in Sudan in December 2016) has produced this document.

The report is a collection of the results of the work described above, to alert civil society and governments on the negative consequences of these strategies and their implications in terms of systematic violation of the fundamental rights of migrants and of people living in the African countries involved."

Are You Syrious (2.8.18, link):

Feature

"700 people have died on the Central Mediterranean route in the past 6 weeks, MSF has reported .

700 men, women, and children.

700 people who could have been saved if the EU could create an effective sea rescue mission.

700 people on Italy’s conscience, Austria’s conscience, Sweden’s conscience, Belgium’s conscience, Greece’s conscience, Croatia’s conscience, Portugal’s conscience, Switzerland’s conscience, Serbia’s conscience, Germany’s conscience, Bulgaria’s conscience, Norway’s conscience, Hungary’s conscience, the UK’s conscience, and all other 36 countries’ consciences on the European continent." (...)

Libya

"The Libyan Coast Guard (LBC) is saying that it intercepted a staggering 547 people on Monday in the Mediterranean. There were 3 separate groups with a total of 388 men, 66 women and 19 children. It has been reported that they were given aid, but handed over to the anti-immigration authorities in Tajoura and Tripoli.

While the LBC is praising this as a rescue mission, Aloys Vimard, MSF project coordinator on board the Aquarius, reiterates that Libya cannot be considered a safe third country to due gross human rights violations. As AYS has reported before, these include modern slavery and sexual violence."

Migration will shift political landscape, says Czech PM Babis (Prague Monitor, link): "Babis said the problems in the bloc's border-free Schengen zone were more urgent than those in the eurozone currency group."

Greece-Turkey: MSF alarm as Evros crossings surge (ekathimerini.com, link):

"More than 10,000 migrants and refugees entered the country over land in the first half of 2018 by traversing the Evros River separating Greece from Turkey, against an estimated 7,500 crossings the year before, an international aid group said Thursday."

Unlike Salvini, Italians Still Believe in Welcoming Strangers (Refugees Deeply, link):

"A new survey of Italian attitudes to migration and refugees finds more ideological diversity than commonly assumed. Economist and researcher Tim Dixon unpacks findings that show more nuances than the populism dominating headlines.(...)

Far more Italians believe in the principle of welcoming the stranger and showing compassion, but they also reject a vision of open borders. They believe the net effects of immigration, like globalization, have been negative. Many are deeply worried about the job prospects for young Italians."

Gimme Shelter! Mass Removals of Asylum Seekers from Europe (Part I: Afghanistan) (one smll window, link):

"The current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now both beyond their fifteen year, are the enduring conflicts of the twenty first century. The latest UN figures for civilian casualties in Afghanistan in the first half of 2018 listed 5122: 1692 deaths and 3430 injured. “More civilians were killed in the first six months of 2018 than in any year since 2009 when UNAMA started systematic monitoring”, with Kabul, Helmand and Kandahar among the most dangerous provinces." (...)

And see: Gimme Shelter! Mass Removals of Asylum Seekers from Europe (Part II: Iraq):

"Many of the problems faced by Afghans being deported are also faced by Iraqis asylum seekers in Europe. They are often sent to a country they barely know, if at all, fearful for their safety and sometimes to regions where the local language and culture is not their own. In addition, they may find themselves displaced more than once in Iraq and facing destitution in spite of the financial aid they may receive under an assisted voluntary return (AVR) or assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) scheme."

Opinion: Anchor centers are shipwrecks of EU migration policy (DW, link)

"Their names sound nice: "Anchor centers" and "disembarkation platforms." But these camps for asylum-seekers that the EU wants to set up are supposed to deter migration — though they won't work, says DW's Bernd Riegert.

Anchor, disembarkation, landing and controlled centers. The melodious names cloaking the European Union's dead-end asylum policies can do little more than mask the real problems at hand. There is certainly no lack of theoretical concepts regarding the internment, deterrence and deportation of those denied asylum or migrants with no chance of being granted residency."

France adopts controversial asylum and immigration law (euobserver, link):

"France’s parliament signed into law a controversial asylum and immigration bill on Wednesday (1 August), despite opposition on the left which decried an effort to limit arrivals while the far right saw the measure as not going far enough.

The bill is designed to accelerate asylum procedures by cutting the maximum processing time to 90 days after entering France from 120 currently."

UK: Home Office misled court about treatment of child refugees from Calais, judges find - Appeal court rules not giving reasons for refusal to join families in UK was unlawful (Guardian, link):

"The government “materially misled” the high court about its treatment of child refugees who applied for safe passage to the UK from Calais, giving incomplete evidence that was “a serious breach of the duty of candour and cooperation”, the court of appeal ruled on Tuesday.

Judges said the process used to assess about 2,000 children before and after the clearance of the makeshift refugee camp in 2016 was “unfair and unlawful”."

See: Judgment (pdf)

Germany lifts ban on reunions for refugees, rekindles integration debate (euractiv, link):

"Germany on Wednesday (1 August) resumed family reunifications for some refugees, drawing ire from leftist groups who said a cap of 1,000 people a month was too low and a far-right party opposed to immigration altogether.

In 2016, the government suspended the right to bring in immediate family members for asylum seekers granted limited protection in a bid to ease the burden on social workers handling a record influx of a million migrants.

The ban did not apply to asylum applicants granted full refugee status as they have a constitutional right to invite their families to join them."

Migrants' return to Libya by Italian boat could breach international law – UN - Vessel may have broken international law by returning 108 people rescued from Mediterranean to Tripoli (Guardian, link):

"An operation in which an Italian towboat rescued more than 100 people in the Mediterranean and returned them to Libya may have been in breach of international law, the United Nations has said.

According to the Spanish charity Proactiva Open Arms, the Asso 28, an oil rig support vessel, rescued 108 people from international waters on Monday and took them to Libya, their country of departure.

If confirmed, this would constitute a breach of international law, under which migrants rescued in international waters cannot be returned to a place where their lives are put in danger. Both the United Nations and European Union have acknowledged that Libya is not safe."

EU Commission: Libya unfit for migrant disembarkation (euobserver, link):

"The European Commission says Libya fails to meet basic international standards for disembarking rescued migrants, after an Italian ship reportedly unloaded some 100 people at a port near Tripoli.

Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud on Tuesday (31 July) said a person's life must not be threatened and that housing, food, and medical needs must be met before disembarkation can take place."

Child refugees might be missing due to Home Office failure’ – Safe Passage, represented by the MLP win at the Court of Appeal (MIrgants' Law Project, link)

"The Court of Appeal has today ruled that the government misled the High Court over its decision to refuse child refugees who had been in Calais the right to join their families in the UK, following the emergence of crucial emails showing that Home Office lawyers gave advice on how the UK government could avoid legal challenges by children stranded in France."

Translated sections of the Right to Remain Toolkit! (link):

"Right to Remain has teamed up with the brilliant Refugee Info Bus (who you can donate to here) to translate some sections of our popular toolkit into six (SIX!) languages."

Are You Syrious (30.7.18, link):

Sea

"Sea-Watch reports the first pushback to Libya by an Italian vessel. The ship “Asso Ventotto” was witnessed to disembark rescued people at the port in Tripoli. “The pushback is a clear breach of non-refoulement and a stark violation of the 2012 #Hirsi v Italy ruling”, Alarmphone adds. Additionally, the track of the ship’s route indicates, that a rescue mission could have been conducted. According to ProActiva Open Arms, 108 people were rescued. The IOM Libya stated, they assisted the disembarkation of more than 350 people today."

Spain

"Salvamento Maritimo said, it searched for more than 26,000 people from 1200 boats until 30th of July. 22,000 people were rescued, which is more than in whole 2017. Morocco rescued some 3900 people and 46 died or are still missing."

Sánchez backs Morocco’s call for support to stem migrant flows (euractiv, link):

"Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has included a Moroccan demand of resources for border management, in a letter addressed to the European Commission requesting further emergency assistance to tackle the surge in migrant arrivals. (...)

The Western Mediterranean route, from Morocco to Spain, is already the main entry point for irregular migrants to the EU. As to 30 July, 23,993 people have arrived in Europe through this course, above the 18,298 to Italy."

Three babies among six dead as boat capsizes off Turkish coast (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Six people including three babies died on Sunday when an inflatable boat carrying 16 people capsized off the coast of western Turkey, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Nine people were rescued by the coast guard overnight, it said, adding that search and rescue efforts were continuing for one missing person after the incident off the coastal province of Ayvalik.

The boat was believed to be en route to Greece’s Lesvos island which is around 20 km (12 miles) away from the Turkish coast, it said. From January to July this year at least 54 irregular migrants died trying to cross to Europe from Turkey, according to coast guard statistics."

Confinement, violence and chaos: How a European refugee camp is traumatising people on Lesbos (MSF, link):

" MSF calls for vulnerable people to be moved out of Moria into secure accommodation, and continues to call for a decongestion of the camp.

MSF insists on an end to policies of containment, and calls on the EU and state authorities to step up access to health and security for those in the camp.

The EU-Turkey deal is not an effective one; people will continue to flee war and terror in order to survive. Trapping these people in awful and unsafe conditions is simply further traumatising an already extremely vulnerable population. "

Are You Syrious (25.7.18, link)

Attack in Thessaloniki

"There was a racist attack in the early morning at Navarinou Square, in the center of Thessaloniki. Four people including three immigrants, were attacked by a group of 15 people.

The fascists was wearing helmets during the attack and one of the attackers was holding a knife. A witness said that the perpetrators were shouting “leave and go back to your country”, and continued beating anyone who was in front of them.(...)

SERBIA

"In Serbia, 3529 people were counted on 22 July. Of these, 400 people were seen outside the official centers, 150 in Belgrade city center and another 150 in the border areas with Hungary and Croatia. In Loznica, a border city close to Bosnia and Herzegovina, another 100 people were observed. The most common route to Serbia is from Macedonia."

EU/Italy/Libya: Disputes Over Rescues Put Lives at Risk - Allow European Rescues, Agree on Safe Disembarkation (HRW, link):

"The European Union’s obstruction of nongovernmental rescues and handover of responsibility to Libyan coast guard forces is a recipe for even greater loss of life in the Mediterranean and a continuing cycle of abuse for people trapped in Libya, Human Rights Watch said today."

EU offers to pay countries €6,000 per person to take in migrants rescued from Mediterranean (Independent, link):

"The European Commission has offered to pay countries €6,000 (£5,346) per person to host migrants in secure centres in their territory, as part of a plan to break the deadlock in Brussels over migration policy."

"EU state ambassadors met in Brussels on Wednesday to discuss the European Commission concept papers on setting up controlled centres in EU states and disembarkation platforms in north Africa. Without fully endorsing the plans, they said it was still a basis for further work. None volunteered to host them. It will now be discussed at a UNHCR and IOM meeting on 30 July, along with some EU states".(euobserver, link)

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