The Croatian Presidency of the Council has raised the prospect of EU measures to deal with "non-removable" irregular migrants - people who for a variety of reasons "end up in a situation of prolonged illegal stay, which can last for a number of years."
"We are deeply concerned about recent reports of failure to assist and coordinated pushbacks of migrant boats in the central Mediterranean, which continues to be one of the deadliest migration routes in the world. Reports that Maltese authorities requested commercial ships to push boats with migrants in distress back to the high seas are of particular concern."
"Frontex expects a fresh wave of migrants seeking to cross the Turkish border into the European Union via Greece after Ankara lifts restrictions imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus, German newspaper Die Welt reported Friday citing an internal report of the bloc’s border agency."
"The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting every aspect of human life on earth. The challenge is awesome in its scale and scope."
"Greek authorities have reported two new incidents in less than 24 hours of shots being fired in the air by Turkish guards on the Evros River border with Greece, in the northeast."
In response to the recent spike in pushbacks from Greece to Turkey, the Border Violence Monitoring Network, with members Mobile Info Team and Wave Thessaloniki , are releasing first hand testimony and photographic evidence indicating the existence of violent collective expulsions. In the space of six weeks, the teams received reports of 194 people removed and pushed back into Turkey from the refugee camp in Diavata and the Drama Paranesti Pre-removal Detention Centre.
"The decision of the European Court of Human Rights in M.N. and Others v. Belgium will undoubtedly further propel the debate on the scope of extraterritorial state jurisdiction. More importantly, however, it reveals the necessity of addressing the systemic exclusion of refugees from the international legal order."
"The ongoing armed conflict in Libya is going to push thousands of people, now asylum-seekers in Libyan camps, to escape towards the Southern border regions of Tunisia, Medenine and Tataouine, writes Mourad Teyeb."
"For many migrants still camped out in Calais and Dunkirk, the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated an already dire situation. Supermarkets are reportedly turning them away and the police are removing their tents."
"Nearly 37,000 people are currently hosted in camps on the Greek islands, while Lesbos alone accommodates almost 19,000 people in a space designed for about 3,000."
Translation of a letter originally published by Médécins sans Frontieres, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Open Arms and Sea Watch, organisations that have vessels operating in search and rescue activities in the central Mediterranean on 11 April 2020.
"On April 23, the security minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) proposed to forcibly deport migrants out of the country in the midst of the Coronavirus outbreak. The initiative follows a decision on April 16 by the Council of Ministers of BiH on the Restriction of Movement and Stay of Foreigners challenged by the Legal Aid Network Vaaa prava BiH."
"The European Union is reshuffling budgets to further shore up Libya's coast guard and the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
"The EU is financially supporting Libyan and Italian authorities, who are responsible for grave violations of migrant rights, with some 90 million euros. In a complaint submitted to the European Court of Auditors, GLAN and our partners at ASGI and ARCI demonstrate that this support enables Libyan authorities to intercept and return migrant boats to Libyan territory, contrary to fundamental rules of refugee law; and that it is often funnelled into one of the world’s most notorious detention systems where migrants are held in deplorable conditions and subjected to extreme violence and in some cases, sold into slavery."
"In Italy, social media monitoring companies have been scouring Instagram to see who's breaking the nationwide lockdown. In Israel, the government has made plans to “sift through geolocation data” collected by the Shin Bet intelligence agency and text people who have been in contact with an infected person. And in the UK, the government has asked mobile operators to share phone users’ aggregate location data to “help to predict broadly how the virus might move”."
"The housing and accommodation of asylum seekers in Ireland has become a billion-euro industry."
"The follow-up and reactions to the massacre of 12 migrants in the waters between Malta and Libya in the days just after Easter continue to offer surprises. In addition to the phantom fleet of Libyan-Maltese fishing boats used by Valletta to illegally repel the shipwrecked migrants to Libyan prison camps, there is a deliberate plan to obtain money from the EU and have Libya declared a "safe port"."
"The joint action plan has been signed by Immigration Minister, Chris Philp, and Greece’s Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, today signalling a firm commitment from both governments to increase cooperation as illegal migration into Europe via Greece remains high."
Seven EU member states are in favour of a mandatory relocation procedure as part of a revamped 'Common European Asylum System', according to two recent documents obtained by Statewatch - the first, a letter to the European Commission from the Italian, Spanish, French and German governments and the second, a 'non-paper' drafted by Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Spain and Malta.
"The European Commission is refusing to release a preliminary legal assessment into Greece's decision to temporarily shelve asylum applications."
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