01 October 2016
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EU: Europe Wishes to Inform You that the Refugee Crisis Is Over (Foreign Policy, link):
An extensive overview of the evolution and development of the European response to the refugee crisis over the last two years. Amongst the author's interviewees is European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who considers Member States' disregard for their commitments to "relocating" refugees from Italy and Greece to be "morally wrong". Meanwhile the Dutch permanent representative to the Council of the EU is keen to note that there is "a grip on the flow" but the "worry now is slippage" - that is, people leaving the squalid camps of Greece and travelling elsewhere in the continent.
The author concludes:
"Europe is bound to become less white, less Christian, and less homogeneous. Americans know that a pluralistic society can send fresh blood coursing through a nation’s veins; but even many Americans are turning against immigrants and refugees. It’s all too easy to cater to those fears, as political leaders in the United Kingdom discovered during the Brexit debate. It’s so much harder to say, as Merkel did, that honoring the obligation to accept refugees will “occupy and change” a country in the years to come. Political leaders must find a language that will acknowledge citizens’ legitimate fears without exploiting them. If they fail, Europe could fall into the hands of leaders who stir up primeval passions once thought extinct. We may be a few generations removed, but the carnage of that hatred and fear still smolders. It’s not just the EU’s arcane rules that are at stake, or even the EU’s capacity for collective action. It is the very idea of Europe."
IRELAND: Discovery of five people in shipping container highlights the dire need for safe and legal avenues to safety (Irish Refugee Council, link):
"News broke yesterday about the discovery of four adults and a three year old child who were found in a shipping container in a haulage yard in Wexford on Sunday evening. It is believed that they reached Ireland on a ferry and as of yet it is unclear where their journey to Ireland began.
Caroline Reid, Communications Officer for the Irish Refugee Council said: “We have heard about and borne witness to the perilous journeys that people are making as a course of last resort. As routes shut down and fences and walls go up, people are finding new ways and methods to reach places of safety.”
“Until we see more proactive responses and solutions which open up safe and legal ways for people to escape persecution we will continue to see people making these types of journeys. No person should find themselves in a situation where they feel that their only choice is to pay smugglers to transport them on dangerous and arduous journeys with no guarantees for their safety or how or where their journey might end.”"
See: Wexford: Girl, three, and four others found in shipping container (BBC News, link)
UK: Home Office rules out 'unethical' dental checks for Calais refugees (The Guardian, link):
"The Home Office has ruled out calls for dental X-ray checks to verify the age of Calais refugees arriving in Britain criticising them as “inaccurate, inappropriate and unethical”.
The official rejection of the demand from Conservative backbenchers was welcomed by the British Dental Association, which had earlier condemned the proposal as inappropriate and inaccurate.
“We do not use dental X-rays to confirm the ages of those seeking asylum in the UK,” said a Home Office spokesperson."
And: Calais camp: Charity pressures government over migrant children (BBC News, link)
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