01 November 2017
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
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Forthcoming international initiatives on refugees and safe and orderly migration offer an opportunity to ensure that there is an end to the widespread impunity over migrant deaths worldwide, and to ensure that refugees' and migrants' right to life is recognised and upheld.
An analysis of the EU's Trust Fund for Africa undertaken by Oxfam has found that of the 400 million allocated to migration management, "most projects are designed to restrict and discourage irregular migration through migration containment and control," while "a meagre 3% of the budget is allocated to developing safe and regular routes."
A new report offers an "x-ray" of the public funding and the companies that make up Spain's "migration control industry", with technology and construction firms such as Indra, Dragados and Ferrovial amongst the chief beneficiaries of national and EU funding directed towards border control, surveillance and the detention and expulsion of irregular migrants.
"The Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries were not affected by the increased irregular migration flows and smuggling activities of criminal networks at the same dramatic level as the EU Member States (EU MS) during the Mediterranean migration crisis of 2015-2016. However, the recent alerts on the activation of a Black Sea migrant route which, according to the opinion of experts, could be even more dangerous for migrants lives than the Mediterranean one, will definitely require more attention and adequate response of the EaP states.
The importance of effective countering and preventive measures should be recognized by the governments of EaP states as well as the importance of cross border cooperation to ensure the fulfillment of the commitments regarding the operations to counter migrant smuggling according to the international criminal law and the commitments on protection of migrants and refugees, especially migrants in vulnerable situation."
Turkish family of five drowned in Aegean Sea as trying to flee from Erdogan regimes persecution(Stockolm Center for Freedom, link):
"A Turkish family of five allegedly drowned in Aegean Sea as they were trying to flee from the persecution of the despotic regime of Turkeys autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Greek island Lesvos.
Sources told to the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) that the bodies recently found by Greek authorities on Lesvos island may belong to Turkish man Hüseyin Maden, who was affiliated with the Gülen movement, and his family members.
The sources told SCF that the relatives of Maden Family in Turkeys Samsun province have not heard from them for several days. So, it was speculated that the bodies found by Greek authorities may belong to the 5 members of Maden Family."
European Commission: TEMPLATE FOR HOTSPOT STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (H-SOPS) (pdf):
"Border control/Search and rescue / interception of migrants
2. AT DISEMBARKATION SITE (note: might be extremely close to hotspot premises, having the effect that some actions listed under 4 are carried out here (i.e. 4.2., 4.8.)
3. TRANSFER TO HOTSPOTS*
4. ENTERING THE HOTSPOT PREMISES AND INITIAL PROCESSING
4.1 Initial reception of arriving migrants
4.2 Personal security checks and checks of personal belongings
4.3 First identification/screening
4.4 Check against national and European databases, including travel document checks
4.5 Photographs and fingerprinting
4.6 Debriefing procedures
4.7 Information provision on current legislation on migration and international protection procedures as well as on assisted voluntary return and reintegration
4.8 Medical assessment / first medical assistance, including psychosocial assistance."
"Children who are not citizens, or young arrivers often face difficulties growing up in the UK, but their rights are generally more extensive than those of adults. It is far less likely that they will be detained or deported than adults. Once children approach 18, they move from protected to unprotected status. Many are not able to secure settled immigration status, but even when they do, they risk automatic deportation orders if they go to prison.
Having spent a significant part of their formative years in the UK, some adults end up detained in Immigration Removal Centres (IRCs) while the government tries to deport them to places that feel foreign. This can be a frightening process which dramatically challenges identities and rights that they previously took for granted. But there has been little written on the topic and no research about this group in relation to immigration detention."
GREECE: Opinion: Who defends the rights of refugee children on the fringes of Europe?(Devex, link) by Maria Brul and Linnea Huld:
"Earlier this month, the bodies of two children washed ashore on the Greek island of Lesvos, and Europes growing disregard for refugees at its borders was never more obvious. The coroner found that the two children had been dead in the water for 24 days, but no record of a migrant shipwreck or missing childrens report was ever filed by authorities for that period. Whats more, this horrific tragedy which would have caused public uproar two years ago, when images of Alan Kurdis death first dominated headlines attracted little to no attention at all.
Sadly, this is not the first time weve seen the protection of refugee children treated as a political afterthought in Europe. Since January, our emergency response team in Lesvos has seen almost 1,000 children arrive by boat to the north shore of the island, sometimes so scared and hypothermic that they lay limp in volunteers arms. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of young people remain stranded in camps on the islands and across mainland Greece, often in unsafe and inhumane conditions.
Thats why today, Universal Childrens Day and the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, we call on Europe to uphold its responsibility to protect the rights of refugee children forgotten at its margins. "
The UK government's response to a highly-critical parliamentary committee report on housing for asylum-seekers "really isn't good enough," according to the chair of the committee, Yvette Cooper MP, adding that: "Only last month, charities reported that unclean, vermin infested, damp conditions remain a common experience for asylum seekers arriving in the UK. It is difficult to know what exactly it will take before these shameful conditions are acknowledged and meaningful action taken."
HUNGARY: Beware, the refugees are coming!(Hungarian Spectrum, link):
"A couple of days ago a brief article appeared in Magyar Nemzet, which surely surprised those who happened upon it. The Hungarian government has surreptitiously accepted a fair number of refugees for settlement in Hungary this year. While the drumbeat against the Soros Plan and migrants is continuous and unrelenting, behind the backs of the misled people the government has accepted far more migrants so far this year than in 2016. While in 2016 the Hungarian government received over 25,000 applicants, this year their number shrank to fewer than 3,000. Yet, according to the Office of Immigration and Refugee Affairs (BMH), the number of people receiving asylum has more than doubled."
EU-Africa migration funds were used on Libyas coast guard patrol vessels"(The Medi Telegraph, link)
"Genoa - EU international cooperation funding destined for development projects in Africa was used to refurbish patrol boats for Libyas coast guard, and handed over to Libyan militia units who practice torture and extrajudicial killings, in violation of Libyan and international standards. While a chilling CNN video that showed migrants being auctioned off as slaves has opened a moral debate (only yesterday, the UN High Commissioner described the agreement signed by Italy and the EU with Libya as inhuman), now the Italian government will have to respond also to allegations that it acted illegitimately by providing funding to authorities in Tripoli. The ASGI, an Italian association of immigration lawyers, has lodged a complaint with Lazios Regional Court, in which it contests a 2.5 million euro payment by Italys Interior Ministry for the refurbishment of four patrol boats operated by Libyas coast guard for coastal border control."
See: Depositato il ricorso di ASGI contro lo sviamento di 2,5 milioni di euro dal c.d. Fondo Africa(Italian, link): "Given that these vessels might be used by the Libyan Coast Guard to pull-back migrants and refugees rescued/intercepted at sea and retain them in appalling detention centers, the main argument before TAR is that this military equipment is a diversion of the funding allocated by the Italian Parliament to contribute to the resolution of the humanitarian crisis in Libya."
"Bulgarian Defence Minister Krassimir Karakachanov admitted in a television interview on October 20 that ladders were being used to climb over the countrys fence at the Turkish border, built at huge expense to prevent illicit entry to the country.
The Bulgarian government has come under sustained opposition criticism for several months about the fence. Officials recently said that the fence had been significantly damaged by heavy rainfall, while photos have been circulated not only of people climbing over the fence, but also showing a large hole underneath it."
UK: The fightback against May's hostile environment has begun(politics.co.uk, link):
" It was on the streets of British towns and cities that the 'hostile environment' first took hold. Immigration officers, sometimes working with homeless charities and local authorities, would head out at night to track down foreign rough sleepers and detain them. If they were undocumented they were often given the opportunity to leave the country voluntarily. If they refused, they could be forcibly removed. Then in 2016 the Home Office introduced new rules which meant that rough sleeping was to be considered an 'abuse' or 'misuse' of an EU citizens' right to freedom of movement. It was no longer just undocumented migrants being targeted but also those who came to the UK legally.
Now, thanks to a tireless campaign from the organisation North East London Migrant Action (NELMA), a judicial review of the policy began at the High Court yesterday. And it's not the only fight the government is facing over its 'hostile environment' agenda.
There are currently two legal challenges against policies that have been introduced in the NHS. The first, which Politics.co.uk reported on recently, is a case brought by the Migrants' Rights Network against the sharing of patients' personal data between NHS Digital and the Home Office for immigration purposes... The second case relates to new guidelines introduced in October which mean that migrants who are not entitled to free NHS treatment will be charged upfront for non-urgent care when they visit a hospital."
"Home Secretary Amber Rudd and the Minister of the Interior of France, Gérard Collomb, met in London today (Thursday 16 November). They discussed a range of home affairs matters including joint efforts to fight terrorism, illegal migration, border security and efforts to tackle serious and organised crime.
The ministers emphasised the need to maintain and strengthen bilateral cooperation on security and law enforcement co-operation. On counter-terrorism they reinforced their commitment to the British-French action plan to ensure the internet is not used as a safe space for terrorists. The ministers recognised that the internet companies are making progress, but committed to push them to go further and faster in taking down terrorist material online in particular to ensure it is removed within one to two hours of upload and to continue to develop technical solutions to tackle the issue.
On migration, the ministers discussed the situation in Northern France and the challenges linked to illegal migration. The ministers acknowledged the importance of UK support in reinforcing the security arrangements in coastal cities of Northern France and the need for continued efforts to manage jointly the shared border between the UK and France. The UK and France will also explore ways of improving cooperating on efforts in countries of origin and transit in Africa and Asia."
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