01 August 2016
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HUNGARY-SERBIA: In the long crossing to Hungary refugee families get stuck in transition (New Internationalist, link): "‘The journey has been so difficult, especially for my child,’ Noor*, a 27-year-old woman from Afghanistan tells us. ‘I have had to watch her be scared every day, dry her tears every day.’
Noor is in Horgoš on the Serbian-Hungarian border, a tented pre-transit camp beside a high barbed-wire fence. Each morning she joins hundreds of others, crowding around anxiously to look at a list, to see where their name is and how much longer they have to wait. It is a document which directs the fate of hundreds of people – some of them months into their journey, some of them years. This is the waiting list for refugees and asylum seekers trying to move on to Hungary and the European Union.
Noor asks to speak to us away from children who have, she says, already seen and heard too much."
EU: In pictures: Where have all the migrants gone? (Politico, link): "While the migration crisis that has gripped Europe is far from over, hotspots that attracted thousands of refugees (and scores of photojournalists) in the last half of 2015 look very different a year on.
On the shores of the Greek island of Lesvos, the mountains of discarded orange life vests are gone — but so are the tourists. “It’s a catastrophe,” one hotel operator told the Financial Times. “Bookings for the high season are the worst we’ve seen in two decades of operating.”"
The changes noted in the article are due to the "closure" of the route from Turkey to Greece (although arrivals in Greece are rising again) and the closure of the "Balkan Route". The article does not mention the "Central Mediterranean Route", from northern Africa to Italy, where arrivals so far this year are broadly consistent with those of 2015.
According to the UNHCR weekly report on 28 July: "Between 18 and 24 July, 8,157 refugees and migrants arrived in Italy by sea which is a significant increase to the previous week’s arrivals of 2,148. However, overall sea arrivals to Italy remain consistent with those of 2015. As of 24 July, 88,009 persons arrived by sea to Italy in 2016, compared to 93,540 persons whom disembarked at the end of July 2015."
GERMANY: German proposals could see refugees' phones searched by police (The Guardian, link):
"Refugees moving to Germany may in future have to give police permission to search their social media accounts for suspicious posts, the interior minister has announced.
Presenting a raft of anti-terror measures at a press conference on Thursday, Thomas de Maizière announced that border police would pilot a scheme whereby refugees resettled in Germany under the deal between Turkey and the EU would have to hand over their smartphones for security checks if they did not have passports.
“If you want to come to Germany, we have to make safety checks on you. And to make safety checks, we will ask you to show us your Facebook contacts from the last few months, which are public in principle anyway,” he said. However, De Maizière admitted that it remained to be seen whether the time and cost would justify the effort."
And see: German intelligence warns of ISIL ‘hit squads’ among refugees (Politico, link)
LPHR and MAP launch Palestinian refugees from Syria protection initiative (Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, link): "On the week of 65th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, LPHR and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) are today launching an initiative – outlined in a joint briefing here – that aims to ensure that the most vulnerable Palestinian refugees from Syria are given equal access to international protection by the UK government’s relevant resettlement schemes.
We have identified and received confirmation that Palestinian refugees from Syria are excluded from the UK government’s flagship Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. Furthermore, we have obtained information from the UK government which reveals that no Palestinian refugees from Syria have to date been resettled in the UK through the ‘Gateway’ resettlement programme that it operates with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)."
Mapping and Documenting Migratory Journeys and Experiences (Warwick University, link): "Migrant deaths en route to the European Union are by no means new. Yet the level and intensity of recent tragedies is unprecedented: More than 3770 deaths were recorded in 2015, demanding swift action on the part of EU Member States.
Dr Vicki Squire (PaIS, Warwick), together with an international and multidisciplinary team of Co-Investigators including Dr Dallal Stevens (Warwick Law School), Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams (PAIS, Warwick), Dr Angeliki Dimitriadi (ELIAMEP, Athens), and Dr Maria Pisani (Malta), have been awarded an ESRC Urgency Grant (150K) for the project entitled 'Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat: Mapping and documenting migratory journeys and experiences'."
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