01 January 2016
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Statwatch Analysis: The Reform of Frontex: Saving Schengen at Refugee’s Expense? (pdf) by Steve Peers, Professor of Law, University of Essex:
"Overall, the proposals are flawed, in two contradictory ways: they simultaneously seek to do too much in the area of border controls (where the Frontex proposal exceeds EU powers and is politically unprincipled) and too little in the area of asylum (since there is no significant attempt to address humanitarian or protection needs within the EU). In short, they seek to save the Schengen system, at the expense of refugees."
Denmark Introduces Border Controls with Germany to Curb Migrant Flow (novinite.com, link): "Denmark has announced it is closing its border with Germany, daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reports. The development is a reaction to Sweden's move, hours earlier, to introduce passport control with Denmark, the newspaper quotes the country's PM Lars Lokke Rasmussen. The measures is in force "starting immediately"."
Refugee fears prompt Swedish border clampdown (euobserver, link): "Sweden on Monday (4 January) launched identity checks on its border with Denmark, in a move which unravels over 60 years of free travel between the two EU states."
New Swedish border controls: A blow to Schengen? (DW, link): "Sweden has reinstated new controls on the border with Denmark as it tries to cope with a big migrant influx. Another nail in the coffin of the Schengen zone? Malcolm Brabant reports from Copenhagen."
Norway to send up to 5,000 refugees to EU (The Local.no, link): "Norway plans to send between 4,000 and 5,000 refugees back to other EU countries, including some 860 to Hungary"
Spain-Ceuta: At least three migrants reported dead during clashes at Ceuta border (The Local.es, link): " The deaths, which have been reported by NGOs working with migrants at the border, occurred on the Moroccan side of the border as some 200 people attempted to cross into Spain. Witnesses said that they had seen at least three corpses floating in the water as Moroccan police attempted to prevent a group of around 200 people scaling the fences to reach Spain's north African enclave"
Man who walked to UK from France gets asylum (The Local.fr, link):"A Sudanese man accused of walking almost the entire length of the undersea Channel Tunnel from France to Britain has been granted asylum, his representative said on Monday. Abdul Rahman Haroun, 40, was arrested in Kent, southeast England, in August on suspicion of passing through the 31-mile (50 km) tunnel. Shortly after his arrest Haroun applied for asylum, which was granted on December 24th, though he only got the news Monday in Canterbury Crown Court.... His legal team previously argued that their client qualified for protection under Article 31 of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention, of which Britain is a signatory. This states that members "shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened... enter or are present in their territory without authorisation."
Scottish Government Announces 75,000 GBP Grant for Refugees in Greece (Greek Reporter, link): "The Scottish government has approved a 75,000 GBP grant to support the refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos every day. The funds will be allocated to the British Red Cross medical response team located on the island. The 75,000 GBP was added to a previous donation of 140,000 GBP, allocated for the same cause."
Greece: Two hundred migrants rescued off Greece so far in 2016; 1 dead (ekathimerini.com, link): "Greece's coast guard says 217 migrants have been rescued by authorities since the start of the new year in four separate incidents."
Toddler becomes first refugee to drown in 2016 (aljazeera.com, link): "Child dies and 39 people are rescued after rubber dinghy which set off from Turkey hits rocks off Greek islands.... The charity Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), which helps save people at sea, deployed its fast-rescue Responder boat to help bring the stranded passengers to safety in a joint operation with the Hellenic coastguard."
David Miliband earns £425,000-a-year as head of refugee charity International Rescue (Yahoo News, link): "Former foreign secretary David Miliband is paid a staggering $600,000 (£425,000) a year by the refugee charity International Rescue, it has been claimed. The huge sum is understood to have been declared publicly for the first time by the Charities Bureau and also reveals that Miliband's income is the reward for working 37.5 hours a week as head of the charity."
Bavarian leader Seehofer says Germany can take in maximum of 200,000 refugees (DW, link): "A leading Bavarian politician has suggested Germany can take in no more than 200,000 refugees per year. Political allies, Horst Seehofer's CSU and Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats are at odds over refugee policy"
Fear and few answers as Turkish police round up Syrian refugees (Reuters, link): "The family of seven from the northern Syrian city of Aleppo was among a group of refugees rounded up two weeks ago and sent to a detention center on the Asian side of Istanbul, where they passed several days guarded by police and surrounded by high walls topped with razor wire.""
IOM: Since January 2015, 1,000,064 migrants, including refugees are reported to have arrived to Europe by sea out of a total 1,034,745 by both land and sea routes.(link)Tragically 3,760 migrants are known to have drowned or remain missing.
UK: David Cameron must do more for refugees this year, charities say (Guardian, link): "In joint letter, Oxfam, Refugee Council, Amnesty and others call on prime minister to approach 2016 with new resolve to address refugee crisis"
Refugee crisis: Council proposals on migrant smuggling would criminalise humanitarian assistance by civil society, local people and volunteers - Greece: NGOs and volunteers have to "register" with the police and be vetted
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