Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 9..8.16


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 Out of sight, out of mind: Externalisation of migration and refugee policies (Pro Asyl, link):


"Position paper by PRO ASYL, medico international and “Brot für die Welt” about european policy of externalisation of border controls that lead to massive violations of human rights."

 UNHCR weekly Update (5.8.16): Update on Relocation

"Last week, Netherlands pledged an additional 100 places for relocation candidates from Greece in addition to the previous 450. A total of 6,961 places have been pledged by 22 countries for those in Greece. As of 28 July, a fast decreasing number of only 211 places, were left open for relocation candidates, in relation to those who have been referred for relocation. The number of actual relocations and scheduled departures remains low at 3,018 - only 4.5% of the 66,400 people who are supposed to be relocated from Greece by September 2017.." [emphasis added]

 Germany's Steinmeier says no visa talks until Turkey meets criteria (DW, link):

"German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier says visa-free travel for Turkish citizens in the EU isn't currently on the agenda. European leaders have balked at such concessions after Turkey's post-coup crackdown.

Lifting travel restrictions for Turks in the EU bloc would only be considered "when the associated conditions are met," Foreign Minister Steinmeier told Germany's mass circulation "Bild" newspaper on Tuesday. "This is currently not the case," he added."

 Italy: ASGI: Unaccompanied foreign minors: the new temporary reception measures are discriminatory and unconstitutional (pdf):

"In a letter sent on 28 July 2016, ASGI’s president Lorenzo Trucco intervened in the ongoing debate on the approval of “Extraordinary reception measures for unaccompanied foreign minors” envisaged by article 1-ter of the bill to convert law decree no. 113 of 24 June 2016 into law which details urgent financial measures for the territorial bodies and the territory, approved by the Chamber of Representatives [the lower house of parliament] on 21 July 2016, which is currently being discussed in the Senate."

Greece: Arrivals rise as Lesvos officials monitor activists (, link):

"There was a notable rise Monday in the number of refugees reaching the Greek islands over the previous 24 hours, as local officials on the island of Lesvos attempted to convince a small group of “No Borders” activists to leave.

According to data provided by the Greek government, a total of 126 migrants and refugees crossed the Aegean between Sunday and Monday morning, which was higher than the average of around 80 on previous days. The majority of new arrivals landed 99 on Chios, while 27 reached Samos....

On Lesvos, local officials continued efforts to convince a group of 30 to 40 pro-immigration activists to abandon a self-administered camp they had set up in the island’s Epano Skala area. The activists moved to the open-air camp after being forced out of an abandoned building owned by Alpha Bank. They are making food for refugees at the new site but local officials argue that they have taken over public land without permission...."

 EU-Turkey: Turkey won't reform terrorism law to conform with EU deal (euobserver, link)

"Turkey won't amend its anti-terrorism law, a blow which could upend the EU-Turkey migrant-swap deal signed off with Ankara in March. In an interview with the Financial Times on Monday (8 August), Turkey's EU minister Omer Celik said it would be "impossible" to overhaul the law in the immediate future.

EU imposed conditions require Turkey to narrow its definition of terrorism in the law, as part of a broader deal to free-up short term visas for Turkish nationals to travel in the European Union. But the initial plan to ease visa waivers following the migrant deal over the summer failed, Ankara unable to meet all 72 visa liberalisation benchmarks."

Note: The granting of a visa waiver scheme for Turkey requires the agreement of the European Parliament.

 Are You Syrious (8.8.16, link)


"29 arrivals were registered in Greece since this morning, for a total of 57,047 refugees currently officially registered in the country."

ITALY: Instead of safety, women arriving into the hands of smugglers

"There has been an increase in the numbers of unaccompanied Nigerian women arriving in Italy on migrant boats from Libya. These women are regularly going missing from the reception centers as the traffickers are using migrant reception centers to collect and force women into prostitution across Europe. According to the Guardian, IOM’s anti-trafficking expert said that instead of being processed in reception centers, these women should be placed in specialist shelters where they can be given the advice and support needed to break the chain of sexual exploitation."

 Greece: HELLENIC ACTION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS - Pleiades: Report on Vasilka refugee camp (link):

"The official NGOs allowed in the camp are: UNHCR, InterVolve, WAHA, MDM, Save The Children. All organizations report to UNHCR. Independent volunteers and journalists are not allowed. A number of organizations willing to provide additional medical assistance and services for the camp’s residents failed to obtain authorization and were unable to operate."

 News (9.8.16)

Germany: migrant arrivals steady in July at around 16,000 (AP, link): "German authorities say the number of asylum-seekers arriving in the country remained steady in July, with some 16,000 new arrivals registered. The Interior Ministry said Monday that 16,160 people were registered as asylum-seekers in July. That's around the same as each of the previous three months and far below last autumn's levels."

Ethical Journalism Network: Worth a thousand words – how photos shape attitudes to refugees (link)

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