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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
19-25.3.19
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Statewatch Observatory: The refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: a humanitarian emergency
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."

Full report: Reimagining Refugee Rights: Addressing Asylum Harms in Britain, Denmark and Sweden (pdf)

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.[1] 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):

Greece

"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."

Spain's migration agreements with Morocco have grave consequences for Mediterranean shipwrecks, warn trade union and human rights group

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” rescued 49 people from a shipwreck: now Italy must indicate a safe haven! (Mediterranea, link):

"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" (,,,)

EU asylum applications fall to pre-2015 levels (DW, link)

"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."

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