Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 6.9.16


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 'Prisoners of Europe': the everyday humiliation of refugees stuck in Greece (Guardian, link)


"Europe’s migration policies are turning the country into a giant holding pen, with the people trapped in it close to breaking point.

But most observers acknowledge the general situation is dire – and has the potential to turn into a long-term tragedy.

The EU relocation scheme and the EU-Turkey deal are collectively meant to see most asylum seekers moved out of Greece. But with both schemes faltering, one of the early architects of the EU-Turkey deal believes many refugees may end up never leaving.

According to Gerald Knaus, the thinktank chief who first envisaged the deal last September, Greece could end up becoming a giant holding pen for refugees, performing the same controversial role for Europe that Nauru and Manus Island perform for Australia in the Pacific."

 Help to vulnerable on Lesvos wins Efi Latsoudi 2016 Nansen Award - Efi Latsoudi named as one of two winners of the 2016 Nansen Refugee Award for her tireless work helping refugees on the Greek island of Lesvos (UNHCR, link):

"Efi Latsoudi doesn’t keep fresh milk at home. With so much time spent helping refugees, there’s never chance to use it. “It’s dried, I hope that’s okay,” she says, apologetically, stirring powder into coffee.

Today is a rare morning off from her work at "PIKPA village", on the Greek island of Lesvos, where Latsoudi has been helping vulnerable new arrivals – including children, pregnant women and people with disabilities – find sanctuary since 2012. At the height of the influx in 2015, when more than 10,000 people per day were reaching the shores of Lesvos, her volunteer-run initiative became a lifeline for thousands. Now, having been named one of two winners of the 2016 Nansen Refugee Award, her extraordinary efforts are finally receiving the recognition they deserve."

 Are You Syrious (5.9.16)

Greece: 110 new arrivals to Greek islands

"As of 8 o’clock this morning, 110 new arrivals had reached the Greek islands. Most of them arrived to Leros, where 72 people landed, and the rest to Lesvos. In total, 59,569 people are now stranded throughout Greek territory."

Deaths in the Mediterranean. Again

"Reuters reports that “fifteen bodies were recovered and more than 2,700 boat migrants rescued off the coast of Libya on Monday, the Italian coastguard said, in another day of mass departures from north Africa. Italy’s navy and coastguard, ships patrolling on a European Union anti-smuggling mission, vessels run by humanitarian groups, and a commercial tug boat aided in the rescues.”

Call for donations to Samos

"Samos volunteers report that they have seen an increase in arrivals in the last two days and are low on donations. “The long process of applying for asylum means many asylum seekers are spending a very long period of time at the camp,” the says. “This is an alarming prospect and due to the low stock on items of clothing and an increasing number of arrivals we are in need of donations.” If you are able to help, please follow this link."

Croatia approves international protections for Syrians and Iraqis

"Initiative Welcome from Croatia has recently received statistics from Croatian Ministry of Interior that say that in a period between 15 July and 01 August 2016, 831 people applied for protection. Out of that number, 81 were denied and 34 approved. 486 of the total left Croatia “willingly,” according to the Ministry. In the same period, Croatia received 162 people that previously been in other EU countries. These returns were carried out under the provisions of Dublin agreement."

 European Parliament: Study: Reception of female refugees and asylum seekers in the EU Case study Belgium and Germany (pdf):

"Commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, this study provides an overview of the implementation of Directive 2013/33/EU laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection. It outlines the legal framework and examines how gender related aspects and the reception needs of vulnerable groups are considered in practice in Munich (Germany) and Brussels (Belgium)."

 Greece: IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC): Missing Migrants: Management of Dead Bodies in Lesbos (pdf):

"In this report we seek to survey how the bodies of migrants who die or go missing in their effort to cross the Aegean Sea are managed in Greece, and what laws, policies and practices are in place to ensure that the dead are identified and families informed. Our research focuses on the Greek island of Lesbos, one of the key entry points to Europe for migrants and refugees during the recent crisis, and close to of which a number of deadly shipwrecks have occurred. 

Our aim is to both identify apparent deficiencies in current approaches to migrant fatalities in Greece, as well as noting where good practice exists that should be duplicated. We identify a policy vacuum around the problem, marked by a lack of cooperation among different state agencies and the absence of standard operating procedures."

 Small Percentage Of People Relocated (News That Moves, link):

"The pace of relocations of asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other European countries remains slow, with only 4.2% of the 106,000 target, European Union data show.

As of September 2, only 4,513 people have been relocated from Greece and Italy to another European country:

3,493 people have been relocated from Greece, out of a target of 66,400 (5.2%of target);
1,020 people have been relocated from Italy, out of a target of 39,600 (2.5% of target).

The plan for relocating people stranded in Greece and Italy was the cornerstone of the EU strategy to deal with the refugee crisis, helping the countries on the frontline of the crisis coping with the flow of migrants and refugees."

 One year after launch, EU fails on relocation (euobserver, link):

"EU-led efforts to relocate people seeking international protection from Italy and Greece to other EU states remain dismal.

The two-year plan, broadly hatched last September, aims to dispatch some 160,000 people arriving on Italian and Greek shores to other EU states.

But one year in and less than 3 percent of that total have found a new home outside either country. Some ended up in non-EU states like Norway and Switzerland, which are also part of the scheme. As of earlier this month, just over 1,000 people left Italy and 3,493 people left Greece."

 EU: Relocation statistics: As at 5 September (pdf): 13,288 places offered by 25 EU Member States out of 160,000 needed.

 Europe’s Last Chance (New Europe, link):

"Instead of sustained peace and “ever-closer union,” Europeans are experiencing episodes of disorder and violence almost on a daily basis. These include the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the EU; a spate of terrorist attacks in Paris, Nice, Normandy, and elsewhere; renewed aggression by Russia; and a bloody failed coup in Turkey, followed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on Turkish civil society, which has raised concerns about Turkey’s reliability as a partner to the West.

Moreover, Europe’s refugee crisis, with asylum-seekers pouring in from the Middle East and North Africa, has yet to be resolved."

 Greece: Overnight Clashes at Lesvos Hotspot among Child Refugees (Guardian, link)

"Five minors were hospitalized and many more were injures late on Sunday night after major clashes broke out at the Moria hotspot in the Aegean island of Lesvos. About 40 children refugees are believed to have fled the venue."

 Cities for Migrants (New Europe, link):

"the news is not all bad. Even as corrosive political discourse impedes effective action at the national and international levels, at the municipal level, progressive and effective immigrant-integration initiatives are flourishing.

Mayors and local administrators are building social and physical infrastructure that supports the reception of migrants and refugees into local communities. For them, the newcomers are not just statistics; they are real people – and potentially productive members of the local community. The key to tapping their potential, city officials recognize, is a well-managed integration process."

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