Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 5.9.16


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 UN to Greece: end automatic detention of migrants, improve reception standards


The UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has called on the Greek government to end the automatic detention of migrants arriving on the Aegean islands, to improve living conditions and ensure the rule of law is upheld in detention centres, and to do more to protect and provide for migrant children.

See: United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, 'Concluding observations on the twentieth to twenty-second periodic reports on Greece', 26 August 2016 (pdf)

 GREECE: Hotspots on Aegean islands still massively overcrowded

Latest Greek government figueres on hosting capacity for refugees. 5,388 "guests" are being held on Lesvos, where there is capacity for 3,500 people. On Chios, 3,316 "guests" are being held in a camp intended to hold 1,100; on Samos there are 1,351 people in a centre designed to hold 850; and on Kos 1,531 in a 1,000-person centre. Leros is the only island not suffering from overcrowding, with 719 "guests" being held in a space able to accomodate 1,000.

See: Summary statement of refugee flows at 08.00 05.09.2016 (pdf)

 GERMANY: Interview with Angela Merkel on the refugee crisis: much left unsaid on safe passage

An interview between German tabloid Bild and the country's chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been translated into English. The interview focuses almost entirely on the arrival in Europe of hundreds of thousands of refugees, and Germany and the EU's response. Although it touches on many aspects of the situation, the interview leaves much unsaid.

 UK-FRANCE: Sarkozy promises to move Calais ‘Jungle’ across the Channel (EurActiv, link): "“As most foreigners come to Calais to try and reach Great Britain, I want our British friends to start dealing with requests for asylum in the UK in a closed centre on their own territory, and to take responsibility for returning those whose requests are rejected,” he told the regional newspaper on Monday (5 September).

The former French president suggested that “teams of French and British police and customs officers” should carry out preliminary checks on migrants in France, so their asylum applications can be processed as quickly as possible."

 EU: First Vice-President Timmermans visits Italy for discussions on migration and the future of Europe

"On 1-3 September, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans will visit Italy to hold a Citizens' Dialogue meeting with members of the public in Sicily and a series of meetings. The First Vice-President will meet with staff from EU agencies at the European Regional Task Force in Catania, which was set up in June 2015 as part of the European Agenda on Migration to coordinate the work of the EU agencies involved in the management of migration crises in the most affected Member States. He will then engage with the public in the open forum format of a Citizens' Dialogue at the Teatro Greco in Siracusa, Sicily at 19:00 on Thursday 1 September. The event will be live streamed online. On 2 September the First Vice-President will be in Milan meeting business and political leaders as well as innovative entrepreneurs turning the circular economy into a reality. He will then participate in the Ambrosetti Forum on 2-3 September. First Vice-President Timmermans will deliver a speech at the Forum on Saturday morning during a session on 'The Agenda to Change Europe', and will then take part in a question and answer session with young business leaders."

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