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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
  The Top Refugee Issues to Watch in 2018 (Refugees Deeply, link)

"We take a look at the major issues for refugees in the year ahead, while policy experts from around the globe explain what they’re watching out for in the next 12 months."

And see: Somalis Who Returned Home Flee to Kenya a Second Time (Refugees Deeply, link)

"While Kenya’s massive Dadaab refugee camp is shrinking due to a U.N. program repatriating refugees to Somalia, drought and insecurity are pushing some of the returnees to come back to Kenya."

Are You Syrious (13.1.18, link):

Protests in Vienna against far-right

"Protests have taken place in the Austrian capital of Vienna over the inclusion of the far-right Freedom Party in the new coalition government.

The Freedom Party’s interior minister Herbert Kickl caused outrage earlier this week with his comments over asylum seekers, suggesting they should be kept concentrated in one place.(...) Many organisations warned against repeating history, including the federation of Austrian antifascists, resistants and victims of fascism as well as the Jewish Students Union."

Spain: Boats arrive on the Spanish coast

"The Spanish coastguard rescued two boats off the coast of Malaga, with a total of 109 refugees. The Spanish Red Cross says five had to be transferred to the hospital. Another 32 were brought to Almeria and 13 people including six minors were rescued from three inflatable boat in the Straits of Gibraltar."

UNHCR reports that so far is 2018: 1,859 refugees have arrived in the EU: 839 in Italy, 730 in Greece, 675 in Spain and that there have been 166 dead/missing.

Most Croatians Neither Hate Nor Fear Refugees (, link):

"More than half of Craotian citizens believe their country should be open to refugees seeking protection, and about two-thirds do not think Croatia should build a border wall."

Greece: Refugee boat runs aground on Cephalonia (, link):

"A boat with 29 refugees on board ran landed on the shore at Megas Lakkos beach in Lixouri on the Ionian island of Cephalonia late Friday night, after an engine failure. All the refugees – 10 children, five women and 14 men – were in good health."

What is the Spanish migration control industry, and why does it matter? (ODI, link):

""In the last decade, €896 million of public funding was channeled through 1,000 contracts to 350 companies involved in the Spanish migration control industry. These companies both run the machinery, and profit from it. How these companies use and exploit the industry will have long-term effects on any sensible, global migration policy.."

Refugees return prerequisite to deny safe havens to Afghan militants: Pak army chief (, link):

"Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa has said the return of the refugees is prerequisite in a bid to help the Pakistani forces deny safe havens to the Afghan militants."

Italy/Sudan: ASGI and ARCI appeal against mass deportation to Sudan deemed admissible by the ECtHR

At a press conference in Rome's Federation of the Italian Press (FNSI) on 11 January 2018, lawyers of the Associazione Studi Giuridici sull'Immigrazione (ASGI) and members of ARCI (vice-president Filippo Miraglia and Sara Prestianni, in charge of its observatory on externalization), spoke about the case they brought before the European Court of Human Rights, after it was admitted. Lawyer Salvatore Fachile, who submitted the case, noted that there were numerous violations of the ECHR regarding the expulsion of over forty Sudanese citizens from Italy in August 2016, and that the case was submitted following a mission the following December by ASGI lawyers alongside Sara Prestianni and some MEPs during which they met five of the deportees.

Their interviews did not focus too much on their treatment after their return to Sudan in order to protect the applicants from any possible reprisals, a decision which appeared to be justified after even the delegation were subjected to an "unpleasant" interrogation, Prestianni noted. Hence, it focused on the treatment they received in Italy, which is the key issue in the complaint.

EU: Civil Liberties Committee divided over dual status and inclusion of facial images on new database of third country nationals convicted of a crime in the EU

On Thursday 11 January the Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE)discussed its negotiating position on: On a Regulation establishing a centralised system for the identification of Member States holding conviction information on third country nationals and stateless persons (TCN) to supplement and support the European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS-TCN system) (pdf). The Committee was divided on two major issues: inclusion of those with dual status and the inclusion of facial images on the central database.

The Khartoum Process hands over Chairmanship for 2018 (link):

"On 7th December 2017, Members of the Khartoum Process met in Rome, for the last Senior Official’s meeting of the year which solidified Ethiopia’s handover of its Chairmanship of the Process to Italy.

Italy made reference to the Rome Declaration, adopted at the Ministerial Conference in Rome in 2014, whereby the members of the Process agreed to assist participating states in tackling human trafficking and smuggling between the Horn of Africa and Europe."

Belgian PM seeks EU help in row over deported Sudanese (euractiv, link):

"Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel said yesterday (11 January) he would seek EU help to settle a row over his country’s deportation of Sudanese who were allegedly tortured on their return home.

Michel’s coalition government has faced an uproar since his immigration minister Theo Francken invited officials from Khartoum in September to identify Sudanese migrants and then deported around a dozen of them."

When Memory does NOT die (IRR News, link): By Liz Fekete: The legacy of A. Sivanandan, who passed away on 3 January, is being widely noted.

Spanish activist in Moroccan court over people smuggling charge (Guardian, link)

Helena Maleno is thought to have saved hundreds of lives by alerting maritime authorities to plight of vulnerable migrants.

A Spanish journalist and human rights activist who is thought to have saved hundreds of lives by alerting maritime authorities to the plight of vulnerable migrants in the Mediterranean has appeared in court in Morocco over allegations that she has been colluding with people traffickers.

Helena Maleno and her Walking Borders NGO have, over the past few years, fielded distress calls from people crossing from north Africa, passing on their details and locations to the Spanish coastguard so they can be rescued."

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