Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
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Keep in touch: Statewatch Observatory: Refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: Daily news (updated through the day), commentaries and official documents
Aid groups split over Italys new rules for migrant rescues (euractiv, link):
"Five aid groups that operate migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean refused to sign up to the Italian governments code of conduct on Monday (31 July), the Interior Ministry said, but three others backed the new rules."
And: NGOs divided by Italy's new rescue code (euobserver, link)
"Five aid groups have refused to sign Italys code of conduct for organisations that run migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean, the Italian interior ministry said on Monday (31 July). "
And see: MSF committed to saving lives on Mediterranean but will not sign the Italian Code of Conduct (link):
"Médecins Sans Frontières formally informed the Italian Ministry of the Interior today that it would not be signing the Code of Conduct for NGOs operating rescue ships on the Mediterranean.
Although we are unable to sign this code of conduct in its current form, MSF already respects several provisions that are not within the remit of our core concerns, including financial transparency, said Annemarie Loof, operations manager.
MSF will continue to operate its search and rescue activities under the coordination of the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome and in accordance with all relevant international and maritime laws.
Number of unaccompanied minors detained with unrelated adult males rises (ekathimerini.com, link):
"More unaccompanied young refugees and migrants are ending up detained in unsafe conditions, according to the National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA), which found 117 detained at police centers. EKKA says the number stood at just two in November 2016.
Rather than being protected, dozens of vulnerable children are being locked up in dirty, crowded cells with unrelated adult males, said Eva Cosse, Greece researcher at Human Rights Watch."
Lesvos, Greece: After Moria Hunger Strike: The Struggle Continues! (Enough is Enough, link):
"The imprisoned refugees Bahrooz Arash and Kozhin Hussein stopped their hunger strike a few days ago. But that doesnt mean the struggle for their release is over. Tomorrow, Saturday the fifth of August there will be protests in front of the Moria prison camp. People will meet on Sappho square in Mytilini (Lesvos, Greece) at 05:30pm to take a bus to Moria. The protest will start at 06:30pm in front of the Moria prison camp.
The hunger strikers have been detained without trial for months now and although they stopped their hunger strike, they are still in a critical condition. Bahrooz Arash and Kozhin Hussein stopped their hunger strike because they lost 30% of their body weight and authorities denied them access to basic medical care."
Conditions for migrants in Calais: Reception conditions in Calais: the Conseil d'État has rejected the appeals of the Minister of the Interior and the municipality of Calais
Statewatch translation from: Conditions daccueil des migrants à Calais (Link)
"In 2016 the migrant reception centre in Calais was closed. Many migrants were distributed across the country to ensure appropriate care was received. By the beginning of 2017, hundreds of migrants had been found in Calais.
At the request of migrants and NGOs, the interim judge of the Administrative Court of Lille, with a reference to freedom of expression, ordered the Prefect of the Pas-de-Calais and the municipality of Calais to create several measures addressing migrants needs. These include: access to drinking water and water for washing clothes, as well as toilets and access to showers. In addition, the Prefect is instructed to organise departures from Calais to open reception centres in France, where places are available.
The Conseil d'État has rejected the appeals of the Minister of the Interior and the municipality of Calais against this order..."
GREECE: Asylum seekers being blocked out of job market and health system, say NGOs (ekathimerini.com, link):
"Thousands of asylum seekers trapped in Greece by slow bureaucracy are facing problems in being issued a social security number and tax identification code that would allow them to look for work and have access to public healthcare as they wait for the applications to be processed.
The issue was brought to the forefront in a written complaint on Thursday signed by 25 nongovernmental organizations and addressed to the ministries of Migration, Interior, Health, Administrative Reform, Labor, Economy and Finance."
UNHCR Libya Operation Update, 24 July - 1 August 2017 (Reliefweb, link):
"As of 31 July 2017, 42,346 refugees and asylum seekers are registered with UNHCR in Libya. Over 5,400 individuals were registered since UNHCR resumed registration in 2016, and 376 registered during the month of July alone."
EU "Implementation Plan" on Central Mediterranean will exacerbate "abuse, mislead and expel" process in Italy's hotspots
The EU's plans to limit the number of people travelling across the Mediterranean to Italy are set out in a detailed internal "Implementation Plan" (pdf) believed to be drawn up by the Council that is silent on the right to claim asylum in the EU - aside from ensuring that Italy "speed up examination of asylum applications" and ensure that it can "issue return decisions together with final negative asylum decisions," which is likely to exacerbate existing problems with access to the asylum procedure in Italy's "hotspots".
See: The Central Mediterranean - Alleviating the pressure: Implementation Plan (pdf)
EU: FRONTEX: Frontex Annual Activity Report 2016 (pdf):
"Frontex Annual Activity Report 2016 including the Declaration of Assurance and the Analysis and Assessment by Frontex' Management Board."
Greece: Alarm raised over detention of unaccompanied minor refugees (ekathimerini.com, link):
"An investigation conducted by the Greek Ombudsman from July 17 to 19 has revealed what it describes as blatant violations of the rights of unaccompanied, underage refugees and migrants.
The independent authority referred to prolonged detention in unsafe and inappropriate conditions at police stations and refugee centers across northern Greece as the main violations.
One example cited in the investigation is that of 17 minors who were found held in a single 25-square meter cell at a detention center for illegal migrants.
The Ombudsman said these violations of their rights put them in danger, and demanded immediate action to build more specialized accommodation centers for unaccompanied minors."
And see: Greece: Huge Rise in Detention of Migrant Children - Move Unaccompanied Kids from Cells to Open Facilities (HRW, link)
EU: How McKinsey quietly shaped Europes response to the refugee crisis (Washington Post, link):
"It was October 2015. With winter approaching and no end in sight to the flow of migrants seeking refuge from the Syrian civil war, Germany needed a solution fast.
Processing centers for refugees had exceeded capacity. Asylum claims were backlogged. Temporary tent cities would not survive the punishing winter months.
So Germany did what governments increasingly do when facing apparently unmanageable problems. It called in multinational management consulting firms, including New York-based giant McKinsey & Co., to streamline its asylum procedures.
Germany has paid McKinsey 29.3 million euros, the equivalent of nearly $34 million, for work with the federal migration office that began in October 2015 and continues to this day. The office also brought in two Europe-based firms, Roland Berger and Ernst & Young."
EU: Parliament's foreign affairs committee advises caution over biometrics in the Schengen Information System
The European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs has issued two opinions on proposed new rules for the Schengen Information System, dealing with the use of the system for border checks and the the "return of illegally-staying third country nationals", including a proposal for a "strict analysis" to be carried out before registering biometric data in the system. Specific safeguards for children are also proposed, along with a suggestion for a recital that would warn against Member States using coercion to obtain individuals' fingerprints.
Everything That's Happened Since A Bunch Of YouTubers Got A Ship To Stop Refugees Getting To Europe (BuzzFeed, link):
"The ship was supposed to pick them up in Italy. But on Wednesday, the captain and the crew of the ship were detained in Cyprus. Here's everything we do know, so far."
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