Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 6.7.16

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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents

 Why are Hungarian border guards practicing shooting to kill? (Migszol update from Hungary, 20 June - 4 July) (Migszol, link)


A detailed update on the current situation in Hungary as it relates to refugees, asylum policy and border controls:

"There main issues from the last two weeks which we would like to highlight include the political trials in Szeged in which people are accused of either terrorism or then of illegal crossing of the Hungarian border during a mass riot, the violent pushbacks on the Hungarian-Serbian border and the violence of informal gangs, the opening of a new open refugee camp has been opened in Kiskunhalas in Southern Hungary, and the border guard competition was held in eastern Hungary. Before we examine all these in detail, there are some other political and general updates we would like to share.

1. Political developments
2. Austrian-Hungarian cooperation
3. Movement and smugglers
4. Political show trials in Szeged
5. Violent pushbacks at the Serbian border
6. Border guards’ shooting practice
7. New open camp in Kiskunhalas"

 FRANCE: Number of children in detention doubles

The number of families with children locked up in detention in France doubled in 2015 compared to the previous year, finds a new report entitled 'Centres and Sites of Administrative Detention' by La Cimade and four other organisations

 Last boat from Lesvos - Asylum seeker stowaways try to reach the Greek mainland (IRIN, link): "Until recently, only Syrians were being processed. As weeks have turned to months, increasing numbers of non-Syrians have turned to smuggling themselves on board the ferry to Athens. According to conversations with dozens of asylum seekers on Lesvos, they can choose from two options: pay smugglers hundreds of euros for boarding papers or hide in one of the shipping containers loaded onto the ferry."

 IRELAND: Irish Refugee Council questions the real impact of the McMahon Report 12 months on (Irish Refugee Council, link): "Today [30 June 2016] marks one year since the publication of the Working Group to Report to Government on Improvements to the Protection Process, including Direct Provision and Supports to Asylum Seekers, known as the McMahon Report. The Government reported on the 16 June 2016 that 91 recommendations have been fully implemented, 49 partially implemented or in progress, while the remaining 33 require further consideration. On paper this sounds like there is movement on the McMahon report, but the IRC questions whether this translates into practical changes and improvements for those who bear the brunt of failures within our asylum system. Despite claims about implementation, a haze of vagueness prevails over this entire document."

 Refugees are an opportunity for our society, not just a challenge say S&Ds (Socialists & Democrats, link): "The European Parliament has today called on the EU to take action and ensure refugees are swiftly and fully integrated into the labour market and society.

In a resolution drafted by S&D Euro MP Brando Benifei, the Parliament set out recommendations for action at EU level, including an increase in resources for social policy in Europe via the European Social Fund (ESF) to facilitate the integration of refugees in European countries."

The resoluton: European Parliament resolution of 5 July 2016 on refugees: social inclusion and integration into the labour market (2015/2321(INI)) (pdf)

 News (6.7.16)

Obama Recruits Goldman, Google to Resettle Refugees (Bloomberg, link): "At least 15 U.S. companies led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Alphabet Inc. have pledged money to help the Obama administration resettle refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war and other international conflicts.

The White House is leaning on companies to commit money and other assistance to resettlement programs ahead of a Sept. 20 summit President Barack Obama will host at the United Nations. Other companies participating in the effort include MasterCard Inc., United Parcel Service Inc., HP Inc., and IBM, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News."

Refugees who cannot pay people smugglers 'being sold for organs' (The Independent, link): "Migrants who are unable to pay people smugglers for their journey from Africa to Europe are killed for their organs, a former smuggler has said.

Nuredein Wehabrebi Atta, who has been sentenced to five years in prison for his involvement in moving migrants, told Italian police that migrants who couldn't pay for journeys across the Meditteranean “were sold for €15,000 to groups, particularly Egyptians, who are equipped for harvesting organs".

His testimony has helped break open a transnational network dedicated to migrant trafficking with Italian police confirming they have detained 38 people suspected of being involved - 25 Eritreans, 12 Ethiopians and one Italian."

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