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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
Austrian defence minister eyes plan to overhaul EU migrant policy (euractiv, link):

"Austria’s defence minister has drafted a plan that would revamp the European Union’s migrant policy by establishing a ceiling for migration and only permitting applications for asylum from outside the EU....

Doskozil’s plan also calls for the creation of asylum centres in countries such as Niger, Jordan and Uzbekistan, potentially using existing facilities of the United Nations Refugee Agency.

Migrants who were denied asylum or those who entered the EU illegally but could not be returned to their home countries would be transferred to “protective zones” that were linked to asylum centres, the newspaper said."

A template for protecting human rights during the ‘refugee crisis’? Immigration detention and the expulsion of migrants in a recent ECtHR Grand Chamber ruling (EU Law Analysis, link):

"On the 15th of December 2016 the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber handed down its judgment in the case of Khlaifia and Others v. Italy, which partially reversed the Chamber ruling issued on the 1st of September 2015. The case is about immigration detention at the Italian borders (including the island of Lampedusa) and the expulsion of aliens from Italy to Tunisia. Whilst the events took place in 2011, during that peculiar time which was in the immediate aftermath of the Arab Spring, the issues raised before the Court by the applicants and the principle outlined by the judgments appears relevant to the current refugee crisis and its management by the European Union Institutions and Member States."

See: Full-text of judgment (pdf)

Are You Syrious (5.1.17, link)

Italy: Protest following the death of a refugee leads to pledges to deport those whose asylum was rejected

"Following the death of a refugee woman as the result of a blood clot on Monday, the residents of the Cona refugee center in Veneto staged a protest. Over 500 refugees live in the center. They claim that the staff of the center would not call an ambulance for hours, despite it being clear that the woman was in need of medical assistance. Objects were set on fire, however nobody was injured in the course of the action."

Greece: Total of 131 official registrations on the islands

"There have been 52 arrivals on Lesvos, 35 on Chios, and 44 on Samos, making for a total of 131 arrivals. Additionally, there were 8 arrivals to Lesvos in the early hours of the morning. The people, 4 men, 2 women, and 2 children, are all safe."

Greece: Ministry: Daily statistics (3.1.17, pdf)

Italy boat migrant numbers surge 20% in 2016 (The, link): "Italy saw a record 181,000 migrants arriving on its shores on boats from northern Africa, EU border agency Frontex said on Friday."

CoE: Human Rights Commissioner: Immigration detention is never in the best interests of the child (link):

"Commissioner Muižnieks reaffirmed that immigration detention is never in the best interests of the child in a letter addressed to the Secretary of State for Migration and Asylum of Belgium, Mr Theo Francken, published on 19 December 2016.

In his letter, he warns against resuming the practice of detaining migrant families with children. Referring to the Secretary of State’s recent general policy statement, the Commissioner expressed the view that the intention to open closed family units near Brussels airport would go against the best interests of the child."

UNHCR: Faster movement of people from Greek islands to mainland essential (link):

"UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is today reiterating its call to accelerate the moving of asylum-seekers from the Aegean islands to the Greek mainland. Even with recent efforts to improve matters, conditions at many sites on the islands remain very poor. The need for better protection will become all the more acute this weekend when temperatures on the islands are expected to drop. We are worried."

Slovenia closing doors to refugees (News That Moves, link):

"Slovenia may allow police to seal the borders to migrants and refugees in case of a new migration crisis affecting the country.

The Slovenian government approved on the 5th of January amendments to the law regarding foreigners that will permit police forces to deny entry in Slovenia to migrants and refugees, without considering their asylum claims."

See also: Slovenia: Proposals to strip refugees and asylum-seekers of their rights must be rejected (AI, link)

Greece: Activists, migrants squatting in city buildings (, link):

"Residents and shop owners in parts of central Athens have told Kathimerini that an increasing number of derelict buildings are being occupied by activists and refugees and that appeals to the police and local authorities to intervene have failed to produce a solution.

More than 15 buildings have been occupied in the city center, Exarchia and surrounding areas, Kathimerini understands. In all cases, police are unable to intervene as they must first receive a complaint from the owners of the properties and, in several cases, it is unclear who they are."

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