Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (26.3-1.4.19) including:
- New roles for Frontex agreed by Council and Parliament - but externalised deportations excluded
- UK: Majority of immigration removals called off
- Study: Sexual torture widespread for migrants seeking Europe
Money against Migration: The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (Heinrich Böll Stiftung, link):
"The EU-Africa migration summit in Valletta in November 2015 gave birth to a new European funding instrument: the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF). Halfway through the implementation period, this study aims to take a detailed look at the allocation mechanism and distribution of funds under the EUTF, to examine which objectives, countries and actors have actually been supported and which ones are no longer a focus of the attention of development and migration policy. It comes to the conclusion that the implementation of migration policy projects supported by EUTF funding primarily benefits the (wealthier) member states of the EU."
European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) to adopt new Regulation on the European Border and Coast Guard
Today the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee will be adopting the final text coming out of trilogue meetings on a new: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Border and Coast Guard (240 pages, pdf)
The European Parliament and the Council have agreed on new rules for Frontex - or the European Border and Coast Guard Agency as it is now formally known - including the setting up of a "standing corps" of 10,000 operational staff by 2027, executive powers for the agency's staff and the possibility for joint operations and deployments outside EU borders.
"Member states of the European Union and Schengen Area have constructed almost 1000 km of walls, the equivalent of more than six times the total length of the Berlin Walls, since the nineties to prevent displaced people migrating into Europe. These physical walls are accompanied by even longer ‘maritime walls’, naval operations patrolling the Mediterranean, as well as ‘virtual walls’, border control systems that seek to stop people entering or even traveling within Europe, and control movement of population."
Two new briefings by the EuroMediterranean Human Rights Network look at the implications for migrants and refugees of EU policies and financial aid to North African states. The first examines the main cooperation agreements aimed at realising the rights of migrants and refugees, while the second looks at policies and projects dedicated to border management "and their often negative consequences on the rights of persons migrating."
Border Violence Monitoring (link):
"A project documenting illegal push-backs and police violence inflicted by EU member state authorities, mainly on the borders of Serbia/Croatia, Serbia/Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina/Croatia."
"The main focus of the Mission, and that which will continue, is “destroying the smugglers’ business model”, that weaselly expression which covers so much. In practice, for this CSDP Mission it has meant destroying boats, leading to ever more rickety crafts setting sail. It has also contributed to training the Libyan Coastguard, activities widely criticized, including by ECRE."
UK: Majority of immigration removals called off amid concerns thousands of people wrongly targeted (The Independent, link):
"More than half of deportations from the UK are called off, The Independent can reveal – raising concerns that thousands of people are being unfairly targeted for forcible removal.
Figures obtained through freedom of information law show that of the 24,674 removal directions issued last year, 15,200 were cancelled. Of these, more than two-thirds were called off within a week of the scheduled removal and 45 per cent within just one day.
Lawyers and campaigners said the cancelled removals were a waste of public money and a "damaging" symptom of the Home Office’s “detain first, ask questions later” approach."
Study: Sexual torture widespread for migrants seeking Europe (Miami Herald, link):
"Migrants trying to reach Europe face routine rape and sexual torture throughout their journey and especially in Libya, with men facing abuse nearly as routinely as women, according to a study based on dozens of interviews with aid workers and migrants.
The graphic study released Monday by the Women's Refugee Commission comes as Europe has blocked rescues at sea and outsourced its migration policy to Libya's coast guard instead. With European Union funding, the Libyan coast guard retrieves migrants from the Mediterranean Sea and returns them to detention centers nominally run by the Libyan government, where migrants say the abuse resumes.
Smugglers torture migrants and film it to extract ransom payments from their families, and to thin the number of people in their unofficial prisons, according to the study. Previous studies have found that nearly all women who cross from North Africa have been raped or sexually abused along the journey; this one found that the danger was likely nearly as prevalent among men. A mental health worker described graves filled with men with their genitals sliced off — a description corroborated by the account of a survivor of a mass mutilation."
You Can’t Detain The Stubbornness of Freedom (PLAN C, link):
"Liberté, liberté! This chant – belted out by 49 refugees and migrants in the moment of their landing at Lampedusa last Tuesday – contains the real meaning of what has happened around the Mare Jonio over the last few days, Mediterranea‘s ship."
And in: Italian (link)
"Berlin is within its rights to deport asylum-seekers to other countries in the bloc, even if they'll encounter poor living conditions there, according to the EU's highest court. Exceptions apply only in extreme cases."
See the judgment: Case C-163/17: REQUEST for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Verwaltungsgerichtshof Baden-Württemberg (Higher Administrative Court, Baden-Württemberg, Germany) (pdf)
"At times of reduced migration flows at EU external borders, the facilitation of illegal immigration within the EU poses a particular growing challenge. Law enforcement agencies across Europe also have to cope with increasingly exploitative criminal activities, associated with violence and serious harm to the life of irregular migrants. These are some of the findings of the European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC)’s Annual Activity Report, released today on the occasion of the Annual Conference of Heads of Counter Migrant Smuggling Units, hosted by Europol at its headquarters in The Hague."
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (19-25.3.19) including:
- Greece: Three years of "cruel, inhumane and cynical" treatment of migrants and refugees
- UK: “Utter failure” of Home Office has led to serious problems with every part of the immigration detention system
- Spain's migration agreements with Morocco have grave consequences for Mediterranean shipwrecks
Reimagining refugee rights: addressing asylum harms in Britain, Denmark and Sweden (University of Bristol, link):
"This report outlines findings from a study based in Britain, Denmark and Sweden from 2016-2018. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, it documents the harms increasingly embedded in the lives of people seeking asylum. In particular, this study focuses on the gendered implications of seeking asylum.
It highlights that hostile attitudes and environments compound - or make worse - the impacts of violence, torture and sexual abuse. At the same time, social and psychological support is reduced, leaving many people in an unsupported limbo, and women survivors of violence on the periphery of societies. Overall, this report shows that the rights of women seeking asylum are diminishing in all three countries, and calls for a significant relaxation of social controls in the lives of people seeking asylum."
The European Refoulement Industry at Sea (Alarm Phone, link):
"In February 2019, Fabrice Leggeri, the director of the European border agency Frontex announced that there was “no burning crisis with the irregular crossing at external borders”, pointing to the drop in arrivals between 2017 and 2018. And yet, he suggested, stronger border controls were needed. As the crossings to Greece and Spain have in fact increased over the past year, the overall decrease in arrivals via the sea in 2018 stems from Europe’s offensive against migrants leaving from Libya. With only about 23,000 arrivals via the Central Mediterranean route, the number of arrivals dropped by nearly a hundred thousand people to the year prior. This dramatic decrease is not due to a reduction in the need and willingness of people to cross but simply the effect of a vicious containment and deterrence practice that Europe carries out together with its allies. Currently, burning crises produced by the European border regime take place not only at the external sea borders, but also elsewhere, such as in the gruesome detention camps of Libya.
We can speak of a veritable ‘refoulement industry’ that has emerged in the Central Mediterranean, where a range of authorities collude to abduct those escaping at sea and to return them into inhumane camps where severe atrocities are being committed daily."
Are You Syrious (20.3.19, link):
"In Greece, since last night, six boats arrived with 239 people altogether, according to the Aegean Boat Report.
The first boat arrived last night on Farmakonisi, and 19 people were transported to Leros. The next one arrived on Lesvos and was picked up outside Korakas with 44 people; the second boat landed on Lesvos at Neon Kydonion with 41 people; two boats arrived on Samos during the night, carrying a total of 118 people.(...)
NoBorder Greece have kept track of recent attacks and mobilizations by racists and neo-Nazis in Greece at Samos, Lesvos (two) Konitsa (two), Metaxourgio, Athens (the police against a refugee), Villa, Salamina Island."
UK: Home Affairs Committee Report: “Utter failure” of Home Office has led to serious problems with every part of the immigration detention system, Committee warns (pdf):
"The Home Office has shown a shockingly cavalier attitude in its approach to immigration detention and overseen serious failings in almost every area of the immigration detention process, a new report by the Home Affairs Committee has found."
Migrants fail German tests in increasing numbers (DW, link):
"The number of migrants and refugees failing Germany's integration and language classes has risen. Germany's migration office has been under fire for the quality of the courses."
Andalusia, 16 March 2019 - The General Work Confederation (Confederación General del Trabajo, CGT) and the Andalusian Association for Human Rights (Asociación Pro-derechos Humanos de Andalucía, APDHA) have said in a press conference that the consequences of the recent agreements between Spain and Morocco on migration will have serious consequences for the human beings risking their lives in the Mediterranean.
3 years on, what’s become of the EU-Turkey migration deal? (Washington Post, link):
"ATHENS, Greece — In March 2016, European governments breathed a sigh of relief as the European Union reached a deal with Turkey designed to stop hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants heading into the heart of Europe. For many of those who had fled war, hunger and poverty hoping for a bright future on the continent, the deal shattered their dreams.
Three years on, here is a look back at the agreement and the effect it’s had on migration."
"The “Mare Jonio,” a ship flying an Italian flag and run by “Mediterranea Saving Humans,” has rescued 49 people on a rubber boat in distress while engaged in a monitoring mission in the Central Mediterranean, 42 miles off the Libyan coast. The warning, alerting to a boat adrift in international waters, came from the spotter plane “Moonbird,” run by the NGO “Sea Watch.”"
In troubled waters: What does the the future hold for Operation Sophia? (Jacques Delors Institute, link):
"In a row over the disembarkation of migrants rescued at sea, the Italian government has brought the EU’s maritime military Operation Sophia to the verge of collapse. As its current mandate expires on 31 December 2018, Lucas Rasche explores what the trouble about Operation Sophia is really about. In this policy brief he argues that a lack of responsibility sharing among EU member states has been responsible for the stalemate in negotiations over a new mandate and outlines three options for the future of Operation Sophia."
Greece: Three years of "cruel, inhumane and cynical" treatment of migrants and refugees (Doctors Wiithout Borders, link):
"Thousands of people remain trapped in overcrowded, unsafe and unsanitary Greek island camps three years after the implementation of the European Union-Turkey deal, said Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) today, calling on European leaders to immediately evacuate children and other vulnerable people from these locations.
The European Union (EU) and Turkey deal, signed three years ago today, is a set of policies aimed at preventing refugees, migrants, and asylum-seekers from crossing irregularly from Turkey to Greece. These policies now trap about 12,000 men, women, and children in unsafe and degrading conditions in five Greek island camps, where they have little access to basic health services and suffer widespread misery."
The woman in you…is the woman in me (Detained Voices, link)
"What I see in Yarl’swood
Is greatly misunderstood
You say you care – oh oh oh
You are right you do but you don’t really know
How grave an injustice to perceive
Cos the woman in you…is the woman in me" (,,,)
"The number of first-time asylum applications in the European Union has fallen to 580,845, Eurostat has reported. At the height of the migrant movements into Europe in 2015, asylum applications exceeded 1.2 million."
Italian charity ship defies Rome to rescue 50 off Libyan coast (Guardian, link)
"Rescue could spark showdown with government after order not to bring migrants to Italy. An Italian charity ship has rescued about 50 people from a rubber boat off the coast of Libya, prompting Rome to warn it is ready to stop private vessels “once and for all” from bringing rescued migrants to Italy."
And see: NGOs saving lives in the Mediterranean: MEPs take stock of the situation (European Parliament, link): "Members of Sea Watch, Solidarity at Sea, Sea Eye, Seebrücke Germany, Open Arms, Médecins sans Frontières and Migrant Offshore Aid Station objected to MEPs that their activities are being unjustly criminalised. They regret that the media and authorities are focussing their attention now on NGOs carrying out these rescue operations, and not on the humanitarian crisis taking place in the Mediterranean."
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (13-18.3.19) including:
- Italy delivers 50 off-road vehicles to fight irregular migration in Tunisia
- 45 migrants drowned between Morocco and Spain
- Human rights organisation propose "fair and predictable rescue system" for the EU
Italy delivers 50 off-road vehicles to fight irregular migration in Tunisia (InfoMigrants, link):
"The Italian government said it has delivered 50 off-road vehicles to the Tunisian National Guard, which it donated for use in operations to fight irregular migration in the North African country.
In a ceremony on March 13, the Italian Embassy in Tunis confirmed the donation of 50 4x4 off-road vehicles by the Italian Interior Ministry to the Tunisian National Guard for use in the fight against irregular migration. The embassy said the donation of the 50 off-road vehicles was "made possible thanks to financing from the foreign ministry's Africa Fund, and is part of a framework of fruitful operational and security collaboration between the governments of Italy and Tunisia.""
Moroccan Navy Rescues 21 Migrants, 45 Die at Sea (Morroco World News, link):
"Rabat – The Royal Moroccan Navy has rescued 21 migrants, including 13 women, who were trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Spain. However, 45 migrants, all sub-Saharan Africans, died at sea.
The Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders) collective, which alerts naval authorities about migrant boats in distress at sea between Morocco and Spain told the Associated Press on Thursday that there were pregnant women among the migrants who drowned.
“There was also one young girl, between 12 and 14 years old, who didn’t survive,” said Helena Maleno, the Tangier-based NGO’s spokesperson."
Are You Syrious (15.3.19, link):
Amnesty and HRW Propose Sea Rescue Action Plan to EU
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have sent an action plan to the European Council detailing 20 steps that offer a fair and predictable rescue system in the Mediterranean in order to put an end to deaths at sea and in detention.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) recently handed down three important judgements concerning the unacceptable detention of unaccompanied foreign minors in Greek police stations; the failure of the authorities to provide care for an unaccompanied foreign minor living in a camp in Calais; and a lack of safeguards in UK legislation that gave "immigration officers the power to stop, search and question passengers at ports, airports and international rail terminals."
UK: London: activists take action against former Italian Minister of Interior (Freedom News, link):
"On the 12th March 2019 students, activists and academics have taken action against the visit of the former Italian Minister of Interior, Marco Minniti, the architect of Italy’s policy to externalisation of the EU border to Libya and the sealing of the Mediterranean route.
During a scheduled talk at the London School of Economics (LSE) on “the situation of the Mediterranean Sea, migration and security” Marco Minniti largely praised himself for his diplomatic ‘achievements’ during his mandate, without mentioning the tragic and inhuman conditions faced by migrants and refugees trapped there. Students, activists and academics eventually challenged him on this point, by asking if the human rights of migrants were ever taken into account when it came to sign the Memorandum of Understanding with Libya, in February 2017."
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have sent an action plan for "a fair and predictable rescue system in the Mediterranean Sea" to Carmen Daniela Dan, the internal affairs minister of Romania, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU.
"Madrid – According to an International Organization for Migration (IOM) flow monitoring survey of over 1,300 migrants and refugees in Spain last year, nearly half (48%) of those interviewed indicated having at least one direct experience related to human trafficking, exploitation or abuse while traveling on the Western Mediterranean Route. Men – who outnumber women nine to one among those surveyed – reported a higher percentage (49%) of incidents than women (40%).
The survey findings are based on 1,341 interviews with migrants and refugees from 39 countries of origin who arrived in Spain in 2018. The surveys were conducted between July and October 2018 in transit and reception centres in more than 40 Spanish municipalities across four autonomous regions to shed more light on the profile and experiences of those who arrived in the country by sea and by land via the Western Mediterranean route."
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (5-12.3.19) including:
- Council Presidency: "progress" in migration cooperation with Libya should be repeated across North Africa
- Criminal investigation against Spanish human rights activist Helena Maleno closed
- Bulldozers demolish migrant camp in Italy
The Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU has called for increased cooperation with North African countries on migration control, arguing that the "progress achieved in Libya" means "the EU should provide - on a much larger scale and over a longer period - targeted assistance" to other countries in the region.
Last week the European Commission published its latest report on the European Agenda on Migration, praising work that has "brought irregular arrivals to Europe down to the lowest level recorded in 5 years." At the same time, it highlights the need for further work as part of the EU's "comprehensive approach", putting particular emphasis on cooperation with Morocco.
The Moroccan criminal investigation into alleged human trafficking by Spanish human rights activist Helena Maleno has been closed. The Tangiers Court of Appeal last week confirmed that there is no evidence of criminal activity by Maleno, against whom the Moroccan authorities opened an investigation in December 2017. She was accused of trafficking in persons due to her alarm calls to the Spanish authorities concerning vessels in distress on the journey between Spain and Morocco.
"Catastrophic impact of Europe’s migration policies
Most of the people currently held in Libya’s detention centres were intercepted at sea by the Libyan coastguard, which has enjoyed all kind of support from European governments in exchange for preventing refugees and migrants from reaching European shores.
Through the donation of ships, the setting up of a Libyan search and rescue zone, and the construction of coordination centres, among other measures, European taxpayers’ money has been used to enhance the Libyan capacity to block people attempting to flee Libya and hold them in unlawful detention. And this was done with no conditions attached, even if such cooperation results in gross human rights violations like torture."
No agreement on asylum possible before EU elections, EU member states admit (euractiv, link):
"EU interior ministers on Thursday (7 March) failed to conclude an overhaul of the bloc’s migration policy, meaning that under the Juncker Commission, no further progress can be expected on a dossier expected to take centre stage at the European elections.
After the proposal of a package of laws to overhaul the European asylum system, five of the seven laws have been agreed.
However, EU member states have been deadlocked for more than a year on the most important one: the planned harmonisation of the bloc’s asylum procedures and the controversial question of relocation quotas for refugees across the bloc."
"The European commission has declared the migration crisis over, as it sharpened its attack on “fake news” and “misinformation” about the issue.
Frans Timmermans, the European commission’s first vice-president, said: “Europe is no longer experiencing the migration crisis we lived in 2015, but structural problems remain.”"
Greece: Three dead in migrant boat sinking off Samos (ekathimerini.com, link):
"One man and two children died on Thursday after a boat they were on sank off the east coast of the Greek island of Samos, in the eastern Aegean, state-run news agency ANA-MPA reported."
Bulldozers demolish migrant camp in Italy (euobserver, link):
"Bulldozers and paramilitary police demolished a migrant camp near Gioia Tauro, in Calabria, in southern Italy, on Wednesday, putting at risk of homelessness the mostly African people who lived there and who worked on local farms for low wages, local charities warned."
Border controls in Bavaria and Austria: Police to extract mobile phones (Matthias Monroy, link):
"With the takeover of the sovereign border security, the Free State is also using new technology. The extraction of telephones is supposed to help in the detection of „smuggler networks“. Another application is „contactless identity verification“. The projects are perfecting the expansion of biometric EU databases."
No choice: Migrants kidnapped for ransom (Info Migrants, link):
"'Travel now, pay later' schemes offered by smugglers seem to be increasing the risks to migrants and refugees, especially in parts of Africa. One of the dangers is being kidnapped for ransom, a business that thrives in lawless regions and traps migrants with no way out."
EU-MED: Sophia in limbo: political games limit sea rescues (euobserver, link):
"There are only few weeks left until the mandate of the EU's naval mission in the Mediterranean, EUNAVFOR Med [Operation Sophia], will expire on 31 March (...)
And, indeed, the mission which has rescued about 49,000 people so far has picked up only 106 refugees since July 2018."
Rethinking refugee support: Responding to the crisis in South Eastern Europe (pressenza.com, llink):
"The migration crisis that began in 2015 has had a major impact on countries in South Eastern Europe.
Outlining findings and recommendations from a new project, Amanda Russell Beattie, Gemma Bird, Jelena Obradovic-Wochnik and Patrycja Rozbicka explain that the EU’s response to the crisis has resulted in the outsourcing of refugee settlement and care to states such as Serbia, Greece and Bosnia which were previously described as ‘transit’ countries. This is leading to overcrowding in refugee camps and reception centres, as well as difficulty in ensuring adequate standards of care and accommodation."
UK: Celebrities call for change to ‘unjust’ rules on asylum seekers working in UK (Daily Echo, link):
" A group of actors, authors, lawyers and film-makers have called on the Government to lift a ban on people seeking asylum in the UK taking on paid work.
The joint letter, signed by 39 people including actor Jude Law, sculptor Antony Gormley, film-maker Ken Loach and former archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, said the issue is “urgent, so plainly unjust and so easy to reconcile that we have been compelled to speak out”.
Under current Government rules, asylum seekers are not normally permitted to work while they are waiting for their application to be processed."
Greece: Moria 8 declared innocent (aegean.bordermonitoring.eu, link):
"After 11 months of unjust detention, the Moria 8 have finally been declared innocent and will be released. On the 22nd of February 2019, they were brought to the High Court in Chios where it took the three judges and the four person jury only an hour and a half to acquit them of all charges."
After crackdown, what do people employed in migration market do? (Aljazzera, link)
"Thousands in Niger were employed as middlemen until the government, aided by the EU, targeted undocumented migration."
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (26.2-4.3.19) including:
- Officials knew EU military mission made migration more dangerous
- Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) update report
- Common European Asylum System legislation - still going nowhere fast
A racist death threat directed at a young Senegalese man has been described by the Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini as a request for "security and legality."
New Danish assessment makes future uncertain for Syrian asylum seekers (The Local, link):
"An assessment by the Immigration Service (Udlændingestyrelsen) of the security situation in Syria’s Damascus province could affect refugees from that region who seek asylum in Denmark, and those already granted it.
For the first time since 2013, the Danish immigration agency does not consider the situation across all of Syria to automatically qualify refugees from the Middle Eastern country for temporary asylum status.
Specifically, this could affect the cases of persons from the Damascus province, the Ministry of Immigration and Integration stated in a press statement Thursday evening."
"While the Portuguese government does not currently have a single helicopter operating in order to control and fight forest fires that have caused more than 100 deaths in the past two years, much EU and national public funding goes into technology aimed at the control of racialized bodies and the observation of earth from space. At the same time, there is considerable concern among experts that surveillance technology used for military means and border security will be rolled out over the entire population in the future for general policing purposes. For this reason, it remains important to keep an eye on which technologies are receiving large public funds and what are its possible uses."
EU: Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) update report
The Commission Services together with the EEAS (European External Action Service) have produced the latest: GAMM update (LIMITE doc no: 6363-19, 43 pages, pdf):
"GAMM UPDATE: 11 February 2019
This document provides an updated overview of the main external migration dialogues and processes implemented in the framework of the EU Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM). The document is compiled for the information of the EU High Level Working Group on Asylum and Migration by the responsible European Commission services, in association with the EEAS."
European Parliament briefing: Reform of the Dublin system (pdf):
"An agreement on the balance between responsibility and solidarity regarding the distribution of asylum-seekers will be a cornerstone for the new EU asylum policy. Although Parliament’s LIBE committee adopted its positon in autumn 2017, the Council has been unable to reach a position on the proposal."
"But a collection of leaked documents from the European External Action Service, the bloc’s foreign policy arm, obtained by POLITICO, paint a different picture.
In internal memos, the operation’s leaders admit Sophia’s success has been limited by its own mandate — it can only operate in international waters, not in Libyan waters or on land, where smuggling networks operate — and it is underfunded, understaffed and underequipped.(...)
The confidential reports also show the EU is aware that a number of its policies have made the sea crossing more dangerous for migrants, and that it nonetheless chose to continue to pursue those strategies. Officials acknowledge internally that some members of the Libyan coast guard that the EU funds, equips and trains are collaborating with smuggling networks.
For the operation’s critics, the EU’s willingness to turn a blind eye to these shortcomings — as well as serious human rights abuses by the Libyan coast guard and in the country’s migrant detention centers — are symptomatic of what critics call the bloc’s incoherent approach to managing migration and its desire to outsource the problem to non-EU countries."
ECHR: Unaccompanied migrant minors in detention (Factsheet, pdf): List of cases:
"“[I]t is important to bear in mind that [the child’s extreme vulnerability] is the decisive factor and ... takes precedence over considerations relating to the ... status [of] illegal immigrant.”
The Council's latest "progress report" on the seven pieces of legislation underpinning the Common European Asylum System has very little progress to report.
Nothing has changed on the Greek Islands (AYS Daily Digest 25/02/2019, link):
"Despite continuous claims by the Greek Government and EU authorities, and while still remembering embarrassing statements of the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras being proud of the living conditions of refugees on the islands, nothing there seems to change…
According to National Statistics 15,493 people are still on the facilities on the islands: 7252 on Lesvos, 1741 on Chios, 4294 on Samos, 1173 on Leros, 995 on Kos and 72 on other islands.
We learned to mistrust such statistics, especially while — on February 25th — they still state that no one is living in makeshift camps."
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