Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe 8-9.9.16


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10,000 MISSING CHILDREN: Petition: To The Justice and Home Affairs Council of the European Union (, link):


"10,000 of these children are currently missing in Europe - many trafficked into sex slavery and other forms of exploitation. Tens of thousands more are at risk of a similar fate.

We demand that the EU takes immediate action to protect this most vulnerable group of people."

 GREECE: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: Greece: Migrant Children Held in Deplorable Conditions - End Unjustified Detention of Vulnerable Unaccompanied Kids (link):

"Greek police routinely lock up unaccompanied children in small, overcrowded, and unhygienic cells for weeks and months, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. 

The 27-page report, “‘Why Are You Keeping Me Here?’: Unaccompanied Children Detained in Greece,” documents arbitrary and prolonged detention of children in violation of international and Greek law. Children are held in unsanitary conditions, sometimes with unrelated adults, in police stations and detention centers where they have little access to basic care and services. The report is based on interviews with 42 children who were or had been detained, as well as visits to two police stations and two detention centers in mainland Greece."

Also: Conditions for Greece's migrant children shocking, says Human Rights Watch - They are being made to live in filthy, bug-and-vermin-infested cells, sometimes without mattresses or access to showers, claims report (link)

 Afghan refugees in PakistanHomecoming spleen - One of the world’s largest refugee populations is being driven out of Pakistan (The Economist, link):

"FOR weeks the voluntary repatriation centre run by the United Nations on the outskirts of Peshawar has been besieged by trucks laden with Afghan refugees and their worldly possessions. Inside the compound hundreds of men, children and burqa-clad women wait bad-temperedly in the sun to complete the achingly slow formalities of leaving Pakistan, a country that has hosted legions of displaced Afghans since the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979, but now wants to be rid of them."

 Germany: CSU comes under fire for 'catalogue of inhumanity' over refugee policy - A list of the CSU's demands regarding Germany's refugee policy has been leaked to the media, prompting a backlash of criticism. Included are a proposed burqa ban and an upper limit on refugees. (DW, link)

EU wants Greece, Bulgaria to jointly patrol borders, while member-states are 90% behind the relocation target (Keep Talking Greece, link):

"Greek and Bulgarian police are to start joint patrols along the Greek-Bulgarian and Bulgarian-Turkish borders in a bid to prevent undocumented migrants from continuing their journeys via the so-called Balkan Route."

 GREECE: Unknown rightwing group claims attack on refugee squat (, link):

"An unknown group calling itself the Lone Wolves of Radical, Autonomous, Militant National Socialism has claimed responsibility for an arson attack last week on an abandoned building being used a squat for refugees on Notara Street in Exarchia, downtown Athens."

 Are You Syrious (8.9.16, link):


"164 refugees landed to Greek islands today. Volunteers from Chios have reported three boats with 16, 42 and 45 persons this morning, but the government has only registered the boat with 45 people. According to official numbers, additional 61 people have arrived to Lesvos."

Support groups for LGBT refugees in Greece

"LGBT refugees are one of the most vulnerable groups, but often not recognised as such. News That Moves has bundled a list of groups working with LGBT individuals, including umbrella organisation OLKE, Geeek Transgender Association and Colour Youth for young refugees."

FRANCE: Serious food shortage in overpopulated Calais

"Our colleague Rando Wagner has published a report from Calais camp, warning that both Belgian and Malaysian kitchen desperately need rice, tinned tomatoes, chick peas, cooking oil and milk in order to feed up to 10,000 refugees. As result, many are left without their daily meal."

 People Leaving Camps In North Of Greece (News That Moves, link):

"as of September 6, 1,975 were hosted in Polykastro (Nea Kavala), down from 2,378 on August 16 and 3,682 on August 5. The capacity of Nea Kavala is 4,200.

This is not part of an organized transfer by the government. Rather, people are leaving the sites on their own, the Coordinating Body for the Refugee Crisis Management confirmed to News That Moves. The Coordinating Body estimates that as many as 8,000 migrants and refugees ‘self-settled’ on mainland Greece and are living outside organized sites and camps. That number is up from 2,200 on August 5."

 Refugee Boat Capsized Amidst Rescue Operation (The Libyan Gazette, link):

"Over 1,000 refugees were rescued from sinking boats just under 20 kilometers off the coast of Libya in a rescue mission that lasted more than three hours. Refugees were found on dinghies, and some were carrying as much as 160 people.

A Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) rescue boat was radioed by the Italian Coast Guard early Monday morning.

Of the 1,000 refugees were three babies. Marco Cauchi, the MOAS Onboard Operations Officer, said “Today it was intense for the fact the rubber boats were jam-packed… they put as many people as they can… they put in 160 people it was incredible.”

“These boats are built to only take 100 people. It was dangerously loaded,” he said. “People were jumping out, fumes were coming up, people were fainting, so it was horrible.”"

 More refugees, migrants arrive on Greek islands (, link):

"Over one hundred refugees and migrants have entered Greece by sea over the past 24 hours, the Athens-Macedonian news agency said on Thursday. According to the agency, 106 people reached islands in the northern Aegean."

 No New Sites On Greek Islands (News That Moves, link):

"Greek authorities have no plans for opening or building new sites on the islands to decongest the camps because many people gradually leave to the mainland for their asylum procedures, the governmental Coordinating Body for the Refugee Crisis Management told News That Moves.

There will be no massive and organized transfer of people from the islands to the mainland, a Coordinating Body spokesperson said, noting that authorities are still building smaller long-term camps on the mainland.

More than 12,500 people who crossed to Greece after March 20 are now hosted in sites on the Greek islands, according to official data. The capacity of organized sites on the islands is 7,450.

Yesterday, the mayor of Lesvos asked for the transfer of a large number of people from the island to mainland Greece, describing the situation on the islands as “particularly worrying and dangerous.” More than 5,800 are hosted in Lesvos, where the capacity of organized sites is 3,500." [emphasis added]

 Greece, Bulgaria to jointly patrol borders (, link):

"Greek and Bulgarian police are to start joint patrols along the Greek-Bulgarian and Bulgarian-Turkish borders in a bid to prevent undocumented migrants from continuing their journeys via the so-called Balkan Route....

A Greek Police official involved in the planning for the joint patrols told Kathimerini that both Greece and Bulgaria have come under European pressure to thwart migrants and refugees who entered Greece from Turkey and aim to continue on to Central and Western Europe."

 European Commission: DG Home: Study on smuggling of migrants: Characteristics, responses and cooperation with third countries - Case Study 3: Pakistan – Turkey – Greece (pdf):

"In this case study, Pakistan was selected as the country of departure, with Turkey chosen as a transit country and Greece as the country of first entry to the EU. This case study covers the land border from Pakistan to Turkey, as well as the sea border from Turkey to Greece. It focuses on the Eastern Mediterranean land and sea routes....

Smuggling along this route is not organised by mafia type organisations, but rather more horizontal networks, which enables flexibility and poses particular challenges for apprehending migrant smugglers...."

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