Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 31.8.16


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 UK-FRANCE: Response to Calais situation: more security measures


The UK and French governments yesterday issued a joint statement setting out what they plan to do "to strengthen the security of our shared border, to strongly diminish the migratory pressure in Calais and preserve the vital economic link supported by the juxtaposed controls in Calais."

See: Joint statement by the governments of France and the United Kingdom (pdf) - also includes joint statements on terrorism including intelligence cooperation, prioritising information sharing and "interoperability", and implementation of the EU PNR Directive.

 “Nobody is ever just a refugee”: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful speech on the global migrant crisis (Quartz, link): "The Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie called on attendees of the United Nation’s World Humanitarian day last week to rethink the refugee crisis.

“Nobody is ever just a refugee,” said the novelist and non-fiction writer, delivering the keynote address at the event in New York. “Nobody is ever just a single thing. And yet, in the public discourse today, we often speak of people as a single a thing. Refugee. Immigrant.”"

 Tens of thousands migrate through Balkans since route declared shut (The Guardian, link): "At least 24,000 people are believed to have made the journey along the Balkans migration trail since European leaders declared the route shut in early March, highlighting how migration continues despite the construction of several fences along borders in eastern and central Europe.

On 9 March the president of the European council, Donald Tusk, declared that “irregular flows of migrants along western Balkans route have come to an end”, after the closure of a humanitarian corridor that funnelled asylum seekers from Greece to Germany and the erection of fences along parts of the Macedonian, Hungarian and Austrian borders.

But although this brought migration numbers down considerably, since 9 March 24,790 people are estimated to have passed through Serbia, a key waypoint on two major migration routes across eastern Europe, according to Guardian analysis of daily records and estimates by the UN refugee agency."

 FRANCE-ITALY: When Italy deports from the French border to Sudan (Passeurs d'hospitalités, link): "Italy has just expelled forty-eight Sudanese exiles arrested in Ventimiglia on the French border, to Sudan...

The Franco-Italian border once again has border controls. On the French side, racial profiling, unlawful refoulement of asylum seekers and minors, police violence, arrests, detention and deportation to their country of European showing solidarity, legal poursuits against French citizens, solidarity offence has never been used as much as by the current government. On the Italian side, using an old law from the Mussolini regime to prohibit the stay people showing solidarity on the territory of Ventimiglia, raids and sending people to ‘reception’ centers in the south of Italy, police violence, and now roundups and deportation to Sudan, where the dictator is wanted by the International Criminal Court for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity."

 Sudan says 816 African migrants heading for Europe arrested in 2 months (EurActiv, link): "Some 800 African migrants and a group of smugglers were arrested near Sudan’s border with Libya while trying to reach Europe between June and August, security officers told reporters yesterday (30 August).

Thousands of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa try to reach Libya daily, from where they embark en masse for Europe on flimsy and overcrowded boats.

Sudan is a key transit route for these migrants, especially those arriving from Eritrea.

Between June 27 and August 16, security forces arrested 816 African migrants attempting to enter Libya, senior army and police officers said."

 EU dithering aggravated refugee crisis, Merkel says (EUobserver, link): "German chancellor Angela Merkel has said that she and other EU leaders are to blame for waiting too long to react to the migration crisis.

"There are political issues that one can see coming but don't really register with people at that certain moment - and in Germany we ignored both the problem for too long and blocked out the need to find a pan-European solution," she told German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung in an interview published on Wednesday (31 August)."

 Turkey: handling of aftermath of coup attempt is a crucial test, say MEPs (European Parliament press release, pdf):

"The respect of human rights and the rule of law in Turkey in the aftermath of the failed coup attempt will be a crucial test for the state of the country’s democracy, said Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs on Tuesday. They assessed the results of last week’s fact-finding mission to Turkey by the committee chair and rapporteur and stressed the need for constant monitoring."

 UK: LONDON: Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move (Verso, link): "Reece Jones in conversation with Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi and Daniel Trilling

All proceeds from this event will be donated to Medecins Sans Frontieres

Forty thousand people died trying to cross international borders in the past decade, with the high-profile deaths along the shores of Europe only accounting for half of the tragic total.

Join us for a conversation between Reece Jones, author of Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, who writes about British immigration policy, detention centres and women, and Daniel Trilling, currently writing a book about refugees, in which they examine how these deaths are not exceptional, but rather the result of state attempts to contain people from accessing a better future: the border itself produces the violence that surrounds it."

 GREECE: Migrant crisis: Meet the refugee camp psychologist (BBC News, link): "With refugees spending long periods of time at camps in Europe, organisations are seeking to cater for their mental as well as physical health.

Kiki Michailidou, a psychologist for the International Rescue Committee, explains what is being done at the Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesbos."

 UK-FRANCE: This couple travelled to Calais to help refugees – and never came back (The Independent, link): "When a couple from County Durham took their family caravan to the 'Calais Jungle' in September last year, they were planning to stay less than a week.

A year later, Jamal Ismail and Sofinee Harun are feeding free meals to 1,500 people in the camp every day. Working from sunset to sundown all-year-round, they say “we never close”."

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