Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
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GERMANY: Bamberg refugees 15.1.2018 Press release: For immediate release: Statement: Against inhumanity! Stop the camp system! We´re refugees, not prisoners! (pdf) and Deutsch (pdf):
"The AEO camp in Bamberg is worse than a prison. Currently 1400 refugees are housed here, the total capacity is 3400. We, refugees living in the camp, will not take anymore the constant harrassment and inhuman treatment. Our demand is for a life in dignity. On Wednesday 17th January 2018 we are going out and taking our demands on the streets. We are calling for all inhabitants of the AEO Bamberg, as well as groups and individuals to join us in solidarity for this peaceful demonstration through the town of Bamberg."
Refugees and migrants face high risks in winter weather in Europe (UNHCR, link):
"We are deeply worried at the situation of refugees and migrants faced with harsh winter conditions across Europe. We have stepped up our assistance in several countries, including Greece and Serbia. Saving lives must be a priority and we urge States authorities across Europe to do more to assist and protect refugees and migrants.
In Greece, we have transferred hundreds of people to better accommodation in Lesvos, and Chios over the past few days. However we are deeply worried at the situation of some 1,000 people, including families with young children, who continue to live under unheated tents and dormitories in Samos.
Meanwhile, UNHCR is extremely concerned by reports that several refugees and migrants have lost their lives trying to enter or move across Europe, including five since the beginning of the year, due to the freezing weather."
Conditions are horrific at Greeces island prisons for refugees. Is that the point? (Washington Post, link):
"For years, the turquoise-ringed vacationers paradise known as Lesbos has been on the front lines of Europes struggle to contain its part of a global refugee crisis. But conditions at the Greek islands vastly overcapacity, razor-wired main camp have rarely if ever been as bad as they are this winter.
The deterioration has occurred even though far fewer refugees are arriving on Lesbos now than at the height of the influx to Europe in 2015 and 2016.
That seeming paradox has led aid workers, island officials and human rights activists to a disturbing conclusion: The appallingly bad conditions are no accident, but rather the result of a deliberate European strategy to keep people away."
UK-EU: Brexit doesn't mean Brexit for migration control initiatives: UK to stay on Khartoum Process steering committee
Despite the UK's foreseen departure from the EU in March 2019 it plans to remain on the steering committee of the Khartoum Process, an EU-funded migration control initiative that involves partnerships with dictatorships such as Egypt, Eritrea and Sudan.
FRANCE-UK: France will not allow another refugee camp in Calais, says Macron (The Guardian, link):
"Emmanuel Macron has vowed there would never be another large refugee camp in Calais and warned those people remaining in the area who hope to reach Britain that they were at a dead end.
He criticised unnamed humanitarian organisations for their lies and manipulations in encouraging men and women to stay here and even to cross the Channel and encouraging claims of violence by police and gendarmes.
But he also warned law enforcement officers their behaviour must be exemplary and reminded them that migrants were people who have travelled continents; these men and women are human beings.
Its a delicate mission and for it you must be exemplary and in absolute respect of professional ethics and absolute respect of the law. This means not waking people up in the middle of the night, not using teargas during mealtimes, he said. Any excessive behaviour, he warned, would be punished."
Jordan, Greece and Cyprus say more support needed to states on refugee frontline (ekathimerini.com, link):
"Greece, Jordan and Cyprus called for more effective support to countries on the frontline of the Middle East refugee crisis on Tuesday and pledged to deepen cooperation on a host of issues from water management to protection of artefacts.
As millions of people have poured out of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees, while Greece has been used as a launchpad for many seeking to reach other European countries."
More than 200 migrants storm Morocco-Spain border (Local, es, link)
Seven migrants found dead off shore of Lanzarote (BBC News, link):
"Five men were found dead in a drifting inflatable boat near a beach resort. Police said it appeared that two other men who had been able to get out of the boat died while trying to swim to shore in the Costa Teguise area.
The migrants were of North African origin, Spanish authorities said, and 18 survivors who made it to shore are being treated for hypothermia."
UK: "Hostile environment" faces criticism from parliamentary committee as new migration checks on bank accounts come into force
"The government needs to end its reliance on its error-hit hostile environment policy towards illegal migrants because it is not only deeply distressing to those involved but also undermines the credibility of immigration enforcement, MPs have said.
The Commons home affairs select committee says the longstanding lack of any official analysis of the scale and nature of illegal immigration has allowed anxiety over the issue to grow unchecked, and it calls for the publication of an annual estimate based on exit check data."
UK: Dying Migrants Too Scared To See A Doctor For Fear Of Deportation, MPs Are Warned (The Huffington Post, link):
"Seriously ill migrants are too scared to seek medical treatment in the UK for fear of being deported, MPs were warned today.
Experts told Parliaments health select committee that data sharing systems between the NHS and Home Office leave many too scared to see a doctor, leading to people dying from treatable illnesses and pregnant women missing out on vital care.
Marissa Begonia of Voice of Domestic Workers, which campaigns for recognition and representation for household workers, was reduced to tears as she explained how one woman died because she was too worried about seeking help for her persistent cough."
ITALY-LIBYA: New "Control Centre against transnational crime, human smuggling and terrorism" links Italian and Libyan agencies
"On Friday, Italy revealed that a new Control Centre against transnational crime, human smuggling and terrorism was set in motion in Rome by Italy and Libya in presence of the Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti.
This Centre will result in enhanced judicial and police cooperation, strengthened rule of law, rights and guarantees, and increased information exchange. It will consist of representatives from the coastguard, the illegal migration department, the Libyan Attorney General and the intelligence services, along with their Italian counterparts."
EU: Fundamental rights support to Italian authorities in migration hotspots (FRA, link):
"On 20 December 2017, FRA contributed to discussions on revising the standard operating procedures during steering group meeting organised by the Italian Ministry of Interior.
FRAs comments and suggestions addressed, in particular, people with vulnerability and unaccompanied children. The Ministry of Interior decided to create two sub-working groups; one to focus on children and the other on health. The meeting was attended by representatives from the Italian Government, the European Commissions hotspot team in Italy, EU agencies, the UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration."
Torture in Libya and Questions of EU Member State Complicity (EJIL: Talk!, link):
"Amnesty International has reported that tens of thousands of refugees and migrants are being subject to torture and other human rights abuses at the hands of Libyan state officials and non-state actors operating in, and out of, Libya (the full report can be accessed here). The publication of the report has led to allegations that the European Union (EU) is complicit in torture. One finding of the report is that EU member states are and have been well aware of the widespread human rights violations and abuses suffered by refugees and migrants in Libya (p. 56). Amnesty International has claimed that EU states are complicit in torture. Whether the complicity spoken of can trigger the responsibility of these states under international law is implied, but far from clear.
There are many tangents to questions of European complicity in the torture of Libyan refugees and migrants. For example, issues regarding the obligation of non-refoulement (p. 53 of report), or the extraterritorial application of human rights obligations (pp. 54-56) (for insights on these particular matters see Gauci and Jackson respectively). The following post will briefly analyse the applicable secondary rules relating to how EU states could be held responsible for complicity in torture under general international law in light of the facts contained in the Amnesty report."
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