31 October 2016
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Greece: Refugee flows increased in late October, data shows (ekathimerini.com, link):
"Refugee flows to Greece increased 54 percent between October 24 and 30, compared to the previous week, according to data released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
More specifically, 661 people arrived in the week of October 24-30, as opposed to 430 between October 17 and 23.
Forty-two percent of the new arrivals are men while 21 percent are women. Children comprise 37 percent of the October 24-30 arrivals."
Greek Ministry refugees statistics 1.11.16 (pdf)
Are You Syrious (31.10.15, link):
Greece: A month of more arrivals than departures
"As the end of the month is here, we bring the comparative data for Greek camps between the end of September and the end of October. In the frame of this month there have been 2895 new arrivals on Greek islands, with majority of people landing on Samos. Hotspots on 5 Greek islands are unbelievably overcrowded with overpassing capacity in some places for more than three times. In totality, there are currently 15844 refugees stranded on the islands and official capacity is only 8085. For more graphic data here is a link to interactive graph of comparison of arrival numbers in September and October."
MSF issued a report on encampment system in Greece and what it those to those most vulnerable
"Behind this dry numbers there is a certain increase of human suffering and despair that is detailed in recently published MSF 2016 report on Greece: “Vulnerable People Get Left Behind”. By the MSF research, many of those coming to Greek shores are not initially properly processed as to determine whether they suffer from mental or physical problems due to the fact that the interviews are short and are done by the personnel that is not sufficiently trained to recognize those signs. Therefore, vulnerable people are placed in the camps where their state deteriorates rapidly stemming possible prospects of future integration and healing."
Jungle or the surface of the moon - only unaccompanied minors left standing
"Moving further more to the west, as the Jungle has been made into the surface of the moon, around 1500 unaccompanied minors are still left without resettlement plan and sleeping in shipping containers on the site where the jungle has been. Calais Kitchen, Refugee community kitchen and Little Ashram Kitchen are trying to provide food and water to the stranded minors who are fenced off in the area which, by the reports, proves to be difficult since the area is guarded and not many passes are issued for entrance."
Italy: Record migrant arrivals in Italy as tensions rise (The Local.it, link):
"October marked a record monthly high in the number of migrants arriving in Italy in recent years, with over 27,000 people reaching its shores.
Italy's interior ministry released figures Thursday showing that 26,161 people -- almost all from West Africa and the Horn of Africa -- arrived here this month. Almost another 1,000 were pulled from their dinghies later that day."
Syrian refugees: we were tricked into returning to Turkey (Guardian, link):
"Allegations that young family was deported despite lodging asylum claims in Greece weaken basis for EU-Turkey deal
A group of Syrian refugees including a couple with four young children detained in Turkey say they were tricked into being deported from Greece last month without having their asylum claims processed.
In the first case of its kind since the start of the EU-Turkey migration pact, at least eight Syrians were allegedly sent back to Turkey in October despite lodging asylum claims in Greece.
The allegations weaken the legal basis for the EU-Turkey deal, which was reached in March on the assumption that all refugees arriving in Greece would have access to a fair asylum procedure.
According to documents shared by the applicants with the Guardian, the refugees were initially given the chance to apply for asylum after landing in Greece on 9 October. But 11 days later, before their applications were fully processed, they say they were tricked by EU and Greek officials into returning to Turkey."
Greece & Italy joint front: Cut EU Funds for members refusing to help in Refugee Crisis (Keep Talking Greece, link):
"Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Italian Mateo Rezi could be an effective nice front against those xenophobic EU member-states that refuse to accept asylum seekers. I have the feeling that the first steps in this direction are already under way – nevertheless, the South Europe Solidarity Summit in September.
Four days ago, in an interview to German daily Stuttgarter Zeitung, Alexis Tsipras asked for sanctions and cuts in EU Funds for those member-states refusing to actively participate in dealing with the Refugee Crisis."
Refugees, Tourism and Islamophobia on Samos (Samos Chronicles, link):
"Without exception every report on the refugee situation on Greek frontier islands such as Samos agree that the refugees stuck in the hotspots are suffering and that it is getting worse, week by week. In the 10 days leading up to 25th October 2016 there were 758 new arrivals on Samos with just 139 departures according to the local authority. All of them have been pushed into the Camp. Virtually every space has been taken up by tents. There are now close to 3,000 refugees in a fenced enclosure which is intended for 800. There is absolutely nothing positive to say about the Camp. This week we met a journalist from New York who had recently visited refugee camps in Turkey and Lebanon who told us that the Samos camp was the worst she had seen.
Despite the mountains of reports and statements condemning the treatment of refugees arriving on the Greek islands, nothing improves. This starkly contrasts with the speed in which security and border hardening measures are implemented and expanded."
UK: Invisible fathers of immigration detention in the UK (Open Democracy, link) by Melanie Griffiths:
"The British state has regulated relationships between its citizens and certain foreigners since at least the Colonial era. Today’s border controls continue to police people’s intimate lives and retain sexist and racist assumptions."
Human & humanitarian smugglers: Europe’s scapegoat in the ‘refugee crisis’ (EU Law Analysis, link):
"These five observations offer entry points into the moral complexities of human smuggling and the legal imperative of decriminalising humanitarian acts of the facilitation of irregular entry. Ultimately, if the EC intends to provide recommendations to amend the Facilitation Directive that reflect the need to avoid criminalising humanitarian assistance to irregular migrants, it will first need to more narrowly and clearly define acts of the facilitation of irregular entry worthy of criminalisation. The EC’s challenge lies with the fact that the primary purpose of the Facilitation Directive is to deter irregular migration and a narrower directive would ultimately undermine this objective.
In the current crisis, human smugglers – and all individuals deemed as such – have become Europe’s scapegoat. Targeting human smugglers worthy of criminalisation and those ‘humanitarian smugglers’ worthy of praise is Europe’s Band-Aid solution to a problem that can only be solved through safe and legal pathways for refugees to reach Europe. "
See also: Council proposals on migrant smuggling would criminalise humanitarian assistance by civil society, local people and volunteers (Statewatch)
UK: QPR gives fleet of coaches to bring child refugees from Calais (Guardian, link): "London football club plays crucial role in plan to bring more than 1,000 children in a kindertransport-style mercy mission."
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