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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
29.10-18.11.19

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Statewatch Observatory: The refugee crisis in the Med and inside the EU: a humanitarian emergency

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EU: New report: Data Protection, Immigration Enforcement and Fundamental Rights: What the EU's Regulations on Interoperability Mean for People with Irregular Status

A new report published by Statewatch and the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) explains the EU's new rules on interoperable information systems and databases and examines the potential implications for people in an irregular migration situation.

The West’s Obsession With Border Security Is Breeding Instability (Foreign Policy, link):

"An obsession with protecting the border—and with escalating the fight against migration—is actually an ideological choice that sets up a dangerous game. If policymakers and voters really want to be “realistic,” then it is essential to appreciate the full future costs of the path on which they are currently set and to acknowledge the dangerously perverse incentives for escalating violence, extortion, and authoritarian rule that it entrenches. Meanwhile, the fantasy of protecting Western democracies through the outsourcing of migration controls feeds the damaging delusion that these countries can seal themselves off from problems such as conflict and global warming to which they are themselves strongly contributing.

The next step is to propose another frame. Instead of feeding instability abroad and normalizing shrill nationalist politics at home through obsessing over more short-term border security, there’s a better choice to be made—a choice that involves protecting people, not borders. Enlightened citizens and political leaders must start making the case for it."

Berlin wall´s 30th anniversary: the businesses booming from Europe’s new walls (TNI, link):

"On the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, a new report reveals the European businesses profiting from the construction of new walls across Europe. It identifies three key players – the arms firms Thales, Airbus and Leonardo – as well as a whole host of construction, shipping, technology and security firms from across Europe winning border militarisation contracts.

The report, ‘The Business of Building Walls’, examines the industry involved in building the many different kinds of walls constructed - especially since 2015 - to keep refugees and migrants out of Europe. It looks at those involved in the construction of the walls and fences and the technology that accompanies them, as well as the ‘maritime wall’ built across the Mediterranean and the ‘virtual’ walls of surveillance and biometrics that extend across Europe. It argues that these are all walls as their primary objective is to keep people out, with often deadly consequences."

EU: The Atlas of Migration in Europe: A Critical Geography of Migration Policies

The Migreurop network, of which Statewatch is a member, has published a new edition of The Atlas of Migration in Europe, a book which "follows the journeys of those fleeing war, poverty or political crises, risking their lives as they attempt to find sanctuary in Europe."

Asylum-seekers in Greece, Italy hotspots face ‘years of limbo’

"Asylum-seekers crowded into “hotspots” in Greece and Italy face limbo that can drag on for years because of legal bottlenecks and poorly performing EU schemes, a report said Wednesday.

The document, by the EU’s European Court of Auditors, also found that two agencies meant to assist the two countries with their overflowing camps and caseloads were failing in their missions, partly because of insufficient support from member states."

Greece illegally deported 60,000 migrants to Turkey: report (DW, link)

"Greece illegally deported 60,000 migrants to Turkey, documents released by Turkey reportedly show. The process involves returning asylum seekers without assessing their status."

ECHR: Finnish decision to deport an Iraqi man who was killed when he arrived back in his country of origin violated the Convention (Press releaase, pdf):

"In today’s Chamber judgment1 in the case of N.A. v. Finland (application no. 25244/18) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 2 (right to life) and Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman and degrading treatment) of the European Convention on Human Rights owing to decisions to deport the applicant’s father to his country of origin, Iraq, where he was subsequently killed."

See: Judgment (pdf)

EPRS: Situation of migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina (pdf):

"Recently, local authorities in the Una-Sana Canton (Bihaæ), which have been shouldering most of the burden of migration management, have resorted to action such as restricting movement and forcibly transferring migrants to the Vuèjak site, which is unsuitable for human occupation on account of severe health and safety risks for its residents. The government of Croatia has meanwhile been accused by some non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international organisations of pushing migrants back into BiH, in violation of international norms on non-refoulement."

"Welcome to Europe. Now Go Home." (The Atlantic, link):

"The overcrowded Moria refugee camp in Greece is where Europe’s ideals—solidarity, human rights, a haven for victims of war and violence—dissolve in a tangle of bureaucracy, indifference, and lack of political will."

Refugee chaperones are accessories to traffickers, German court rules (DW, link):

"A refugee who was told by a smuggler to look after several women and children during the perilous journey to Europe also committed a crime, the court ruled. "The defendant is both victim and perpetrator," the judge said."

AYS Daily Digest 12/11/19: Slovenian activists demand action after the recent deaths reported in the area (Medium, link):

FEATURED

"Slovenian police has been systematically violating basic international law with the practice of illegal denial of right to asylum procedure and cooperation in conducting chain pushbacks of migrants from Slovenia to Croatia and from there on to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

After having pulished the results of an investigation of practices of the Slovenian police at the border, during which we found out that the Republic of Slovenia is systematically preventing migrants access to the asylum procedure, the Slovenian activist group InfoKolpa published a statement after the recent deaths in the border area, reminding that the Slovenian police is complicit with the systematic malversation of official procedures at the border."

Europe’s Unauthorized Immigrant Population Peaks in 2016, Then Levels Off (Pew Research, link):

"New estimates find half live in Germany and the United Kingdom .

Europe has experienced a high level of immigration in recent years, driving debate about how countries should deal with immigrants when it comes to social services, security issues, deportation policies and integration efforts. Among these recently arrived immigrants are many who live in Europe without authorization. Coupled with unauthorized immigrants who were already in Europe, their numbers reach into the millions, though together they make up a small share of Europe’s total population."

ICJ and others intervene in Mediterranean Sea search and rescue case before European Court (link):

"Today, the ICJ, the AIRE Centre, ECRE and DCR have submitted a third party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights in the case of a 2017 rescue operation of migrants, including refugees, in the Mediterranean Sea that involved the SeaWatch rescue vessel.

The case, S.S. and Others v. Italy, concerns the facts occurred during a rescue operation coordinated by the Maritime Research and Rescue Centre of Italy in Rome in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea."

Update on the current situation at the borders to Greece and Turkey (Bordermonitoring Bulgaria, link):

"In the first 10 months of 2019, the Bulgarian Border Police officers prevented 2,122 attempts at ‚illegal‘ entry at the Bulgarian-Turkish border and 3,795 attempts at the border with Greece. This was statet by the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior (MoI). In September 2019 the number of people who were trying to attempt the Greek-Bulgarian border was rising. Due to the Bulgarian MoI Mladen Marinov further police units were installed at the border. The Bulgarian premier Boiko Borissow stated that at the moment around a daily amount of 150 migrants are being caught in the border region."

European Court of Auditors: Special report No 20/2019: EU information systems supporting border control - a strong tool, but more focus needed on timely and complete data (ECA, link)

"The abolishment of border checks at the internal Schengen borders reinforced the importance of effective control and surveillance of the Schengen area external borders. To help border guards control these, the EU has set up a number of information systems. Our audit examined whether the main EU information systems for internal security support border controls efficiently. We found that border guards are increasingly using and relying on the systems when performing border checks. However, some data is currently not included in the systems, while other data is either not complete or not entered in a timely manner."

See: Press release (pdf) and: Report (pdf)

Dear President Macron, being a migrant is not a crime (euobserver, link):

"President Emmanuel Macron,

I am writing to convey my intense shock and horror at the wilful, remorseless neglect of universal human rights, the frank disregard for humanity and the wanton abuse of European law at your country's border with Italy.

During my heart-wrenching trip to Menton and Ventimiglia with Refugee Rights Europe, I saw refugees and displaced people of all ages and from all corners of our planet - compelled to flee poverty, persecution, war, ecological breakdown and compelled to traverse great distances in unimaginably traumatic journeys - dehumanised and demeaned, disregarded and discarded, and dealt with delay and disdain."

Greek islands: Aegean Boat report: 4 -10 November 2019 (pdf)

"A total of 105 boats started their trip towards the Greek Islands, carrying a total of 3740 people. However, 74 boats were stopped by TCG/police, and 1078 people arrived on the Greek Islands.

So far this year 2754 boats have been stopped by The Turkish Coast Guard and Police with 91591 people (and). 47548 people have arrived on the Greek islands on 1450 boats, so far in 2019."

News highlights: Italy and Libya prolong coast guard arrangement; Eritrea accuses CIA of plot against government; Greece formalises new law on deportation (EEPA, link):

"In this week’s news highlights: Eritrea claims CIA has plot to overthrow the government; Eritreans protest against the regime in London; UN official allegedly spreads propaganda; South Sudan calls state of emergency; New measures for protection Kenyan domestic workers questioned; Greece formalises new law on deportation of rejected asylum seekers;

Report urges the UK to change its migration policies; EU funds €663 million to support refugees in Turkey; Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland accused of breaking EU law in 2015; Refugees and migrants participate in local entrepreneurship;

Deal between Libyan Coastguard and Italy continues; People from Libyan detention centre are released but left outside of rescue centre overnight; And Spain’s Prime Minister praises the efforts made by Morocco to lower number of illegal migrants."

New report examines the brutal human costs of 'necroborders'

"Over 1,000 people died or went missing whilst attempting to reach Spanish soil between January 2018 and April 2019, the result of 70 shipwrecks and 12 missing boats on routes crossing the Strait of Gibraltar, traversing the Alboran Sea and travelling to the Canary Islands.

The figures - and the human stories behind them - are recounted in the report Vida en la Necrofrontera (Life on the Necroborder), which was published by the collective Caminando Fronteras (Walking Borders) in June this year (Caminando Fronteras, link)"

AYS Digest 9–10/11/19: Bosnian police now beats and robs people, too (link):

"FEATURED

- 10 000 border guards
- Meter-high fences
- Border fortifications, 1000 kilometres long
- The deadly moat of the Mediterranean Sea
- Thousands dead

30 years ago, the fall of the Berlin Wall raised hopes for an open Europe; today we are surrounded by more walls than ever before."

Exposed: Malta’s secret migrant deal with Libya - Office of the Prime Minister official Neville Gafà acted as intermediary in deal (Times of Malta, link):

"Malta has secretly negotiated an agreement with Libya that sees the Armed Forces of Malta coordinating with the Libyan coastguard to intercept migrants headed towards the island and returned to the war-torn North African country.

The agreement for “mutual cooperation” was struck between members of the AFM and the Libyan coastguard, with government official Neville Gafà acting as an intermediary.

Mr Gafà, who works out of the OPM in an undisclosed position, has faced repeated allegations of bribery linked to the issuing of medical visas to Libyan nationals, claims he denies."

Belgian asylum centre set on fire (euobserver, link):

"During the night of 10 November a planned asylum centre in the city of Bilzen, in the Belgian province of Limburg, was set on fire. According to fire services and the police it was an arson attack. The federal government was planning to use the building as a new asylum centre in December. There were no victims."

Erdogan: refugees will enter Europe unless EU does more (Vestnik Kavkaza, link):

"Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again used the millions of refugees hosted in the country as a bargaining chip against the European Union. As EU Observer reports, speaking alongside Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban on Thursday (7 November), he told reporters the refugees will be allowed into Europe unless the EU provides more support. "Whether we receive support or not, we will continue to aid the guests we are hosting. But, if this doesn't work out, then we will have to open the doors," he said."

Shots fired at sea rescuers: EU supports competing militias in Libya (link):

"A German public prosecutor’s office is investigating the shooting of the ship "Alan Kurdi". Its crew could be caught between the fronts of two coastguards equipped and trained by different EU missions.

With the General Administration for Coastal Security (GACS) and the Libyan Coast Guard and Port Security (LCGPS), two authorities with overlapping functions exist in Libya. The Ministry of Interior Coast Guard is a law enforcement agency operating within the 12-mile zone and along the coast, while the Ministry of Defence Coast Guard is responsible for territorial waters."

Migrations in Latin America and the Mediterranean compared: Violence, State cruelty and (Un-)Institutional Resistance (pdf):including: Presentation of the English version of the Atlas of Migrations 2019.

Convened by Véronique Beneï (IIAC Paris), Thomas Lacroix (MFO) and Eduardo Posado-Carlo (Latin American Centre Oxford):

Tuesday 12 November, 2.45pm, Latin American Centre, Oxford and Wednesday 13 November, 9.15am, Maison Française d’Oxford.

Italy to renew 2017 bilateral deal with Libya to stem migration (New Europe, link):

"Italy is calling for government-run migrant centres in Libya be taken over by UN agencies, public news agency ANSA reported on Wednesday. Rome wants to review a 2017 deal with Libya for combatting immigration.

However, Rome wants the closure of centres criticised for human rights violations and their replacement with new facilities run by UN agencies. According to ANSA, the UN-backed government in Tripoli had voiced willingness to modify the terms of the 2017 deal accordingly."

Human Rights Watch letter to Frontex (HRW, link):

"I am writing in relation to a July 9 statement made by Croatian President Gabar-Kitarovic during an interview with Swiss channel SRF, where she admitted knowledge of pushbacks of migrants by Croatian border officials from Croatia to Bosnia Herzegovina and that sometimes force is used. The president’s acknowledgement is consistent with findings by Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, and other organizations.

It calls into question the effectiveness of European Border and Coast Guard Agency operations on the Croatia-Bosnia borders, and in particular European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s mandate to ensure the protection of human rights through detection activities."

EU: Croatia: violence at the border no barrier to Schengen accession

The European Commission’s decision to give the green light to Croatia’s membership of the Schengen area has been condemned by human rights groups who say that it ignores “illegal and violent push-backs of migrants” at Croatia’s borders that violate EU and international law.

According to the European Court of Human Rights, all is well in the Greek hotspots: Joint Press Release (migreurop.org, link)

"The European Court of Human Rights has rejected for the most part the request made on 16 June 2016 by 51 persons (including many minors) from Afghanistan, Syria and Palestine, who were forcibly maintained in a situation of extreme distress in the hotspot of Chios, Greece [1].

The 51 applicants, supported by our organisations, were identified during an observation mission led by the Gisti in the Greek hotspots in May 2016 [2]. These persons were deprived of their freedom and detained on the island of Chios, which had become an open prison since the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement of 20 March 2016, just like the neighbouring islands of Lesbos, Leros, Samos and Kos. The requestees invoked the violation of several provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights [3]".

See ECHR: Judgment (French, pdf)

Migrants in Malta transferred after EU deal (euobserver, link):

"Migrants were transferred on Thursday from Malta to Germany, Lithuania, and Romania after they were rescued by the NGO vessel Ocean Vikings last August, the Times of Malta writes. This follows an EU-brokered agreement reached between these member states before the migrants could disembark on Malta. However, the numbers of migrants transferred and those who remain in Malta are still unknown, according to the Maltese daily."

THE ATLAS OF MIGRATION IN EUROPE: A critical geography of migration policies (Migreurop and Rosa Luxembourg Stiftung, Brussels, pdf):

Presentation evening: 11 November 2010: 19.00 - 21.00: Rm G3, main College Building, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1H OXG.

EU governments ignore Greek request to help 4,000 child refugees (euractiv, link):

"Greece’s migration minister Michalis Chrisochoidis sent a letter to his EU counterparts asking them to help share the burden of 4,000 unaccompanied minor refugees on Greek islands, but just one responded.

Speaking today (6 November) at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), the Greek minister said they are 4,000 unaccompanied minors on Greek islands who live in conditions that “do not honour the EU”.

Chrisochoidis recently sent a letter to the EU-27 asking them to volunteer to share the burden, but received little response.

“One member state responded. It’s not a matter of rules or solidarity, it’s a matter of civilisation,” he said."

Data-driven policing: The hardwiring of discriminatory policing practies across Europe (European Network Against Racism, pdf):

"We, as activists, as anti-racist organisations, and as racialised communities in Europe, know too well what it means to be over-policed and under-protected. Still, in 2019, we feel the need to evidence racial profiling, to contest narratives placing us as a threat to ‘security’ and essentially to unsettle presumptions as to our criminality.

We are still mastering the techniques with which we contest over-policing, brutality and racial profiling. We must now contend with another challenge. When law enforcement resorts to new technology to aid their practice, we find ourselves at further risk. Not only must we consider our physical safety in our relations with the authorities, we also need to be informed about the security of our data."

EU to support reinforcement of Turkey's coast guard (Prensa Latina, link):

"The European Union (EU) will pay Turkey 50 million euros to reinforce its coast guard, as increasing numbers of migrants attempt to travel from this country to Europe, according to a senior EU official.

The Deputy Director-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Maciej Popowski, said that part of the money would help 'improve the capacities of the Turkish coast guard to perform search-and-rescue operations,' for migrants trying to reach the bloc through the Greek islands.

He noted that the rest of the funding would be used to improve conditions in migrant detention centers and to help those people allowed to stay in Turkey to better integrate into its society."

European Commission: Answer given by Mr Avramopouloson behalf of the European EU Commission: The objective of regional disembarkation arrangements is to establish predictable disembarkation and post-disembarkation procedures in line with international law (pdf)

Greece: Pork 'barbecue protest' plan near refugee camp raises hackles (DW, link):

"A Greek nationalist group's plan to throw a pork barbecue near a refugee camp has led to a debate in the country's parliament. Critics want to do something, but some say that would mean attacking the Greek way of life."

France to set migrant worker quotas in bid to appeal to rightwing voters - Policy seen as part of tougher stance by Emmanuel Macron as he prepares to take on Marie Le Pen (Guardian, link):

"France will start setting quotas for migrant workers from next year as Emmanuel Macron toughens his stance on immigration in an apparent attempt to appeal to rightwing voters.

The French labour minister, Muriel Pénicaud, said on Tuesday that France would set quotas for the first time, with the government working with employers to identify industries lacking qualified candidates and where foreigners could fill the gap."

Number of unaccompanied refugee minors in Greece rises to 4,800 (Keep Talking Greece, link):

"They are the most vulnerable group among the refugees: unaccompanied minors in Greece. 4,800 children, aged 2 -17. A real challenge for those in and outside Greece dealing with their protection.

30 percent of them are orphans. Seven out of ten have families in Europe and need to be reunited.

The protection of unaccompanied minors is a major issue for the government, the creation of appropriate accommodation structures is imminent, their transfer from the overcrowded islands an urgent necessity.

The number of unaccompanied children in Greece is increasing: while they are approximately 2,500 unaccompanied children in 2017, their number has reached 4,800 in 2019, according to data released by the National Center for Social Solidarity on October 15."

'Repatriation' of Syrians in Turkey needs EU action (Euobserver, link):

""I was deported with about 35 Syrians on a large bus. They handcuffed us and…they beat some of the men on the bus with truncheons when they asked to go to the toilet or for water. We all spoke with each other [and] no one wanted to go back to Syria."

Do those sound like the words of refugees who freely signed papers asking Turkey to return them to an active conflict zone in northern Syria?"

European Parliament: Refugees in Turkey: MEPs to assess use of EU funds and cooperation with Ankara (europarl.europa.eu, link):

"MEPs will assess on Wednesday the situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey and the results of the budgetary support provided by the EU to the Turkish government."

Migrants, the Libyan government issues a decree to neutralize NGOs (news1.news, link):

"The decree, issued by the Presidential Council of the Libyan national agreement, bears the date of September 14 and has as its object "the special treatment of international and non-governmental organizations in the Libyan area of ??maritime search and rescue".

He has also been sent to Italy and is a grotesque and dangerous attempt to hinder even more the work of humanitarian ships but above all to attack them with police operations with the threat of leading them and seizing them in Libyan ports."

Briefing: How will Greece’s new asylum law affect refugees? ‘There's no justification for what we're seeing.’ (The New Humanitarian, link):

"Nearly 44,000 asylum seekers have crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek islands so far this year, compared to fewer than 32,500 in all of 2018 – an annual increase of more than 30 percent, but still far below 2015 and 2016 levels.

In response, the Greek government passed a new asylum law on Thursday, 31 October aimed at speeding up procedures and facilitating the return of more people to Turkey under the terms of the EU-Turkey deal signed in March 2016 to curb migration across the Aegean."

Netherlands: Persisting delays in the procedure put strain on reception (asylumineurope.org, link):

"Asylum seekers in the Netherlands are confronted with a shortage of reception places, in addition to long delays in accessing the procedure.

As of 28 October 2019, the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers (COA) counted 26,975 accommodation places. The Agency estimates that as many as 10,000 additional reception places will be needed as of January 2020 for the country to be able to house asylum seekers."

Land migration in Africa twice as deadly as Mediterranean, says UNHCR (DW, link):

"Even as a migrant rescue ship disembarks 88 asylum-seekers in an Italian port, a UN official says the Mediterranean isn't the most dangerous place for migrants. Many more die trying to reach the coast than in the sea.

While the Mediterranean Sea remains a deadly route for migrants attempting to reach the European Union, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has warned that the African land journey to reach the Mediterranean coast remains far more lethal.

Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR's special envoy for the central Mediterranean, said in an interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that around twice as many migrants die crossing Africa as crossing the Mediterranean."

Call for Croatia to Be Kept out of Schengen Until it Improves Asylum Practices (liberties.eu, link):

"Croatia has received the green light from the European Commission to enter the border-free Schengen Area, but nine organisations and initiatives working with the victims of border violence have made their objections clear."

AYS Weekend Digest 02–03/11/2019: Italy-Libya deal renewed without changes (link)

Feature Story: Italy-Libya deal renewed without changes

"On Saturday 2nd of November the agreement between Italy and Libya which regulates the “cooperation in the fields of development, the fight against illegal immigration, human trafficking and fuel smuggling and on reinforcing the security of borders”, will be automatically renewed. Saturday was the deadline for proposing an annulment or any changes to the deal, but despite a lot of talk in the media, no official proposal was advanced. The deal is now valid for three more years."

GREECE: Arrivals

"Aegean Boat Report state that from Saturday to Sunday 8 boats arrived on the Greek Aegean islands, carrying 263 people, 7 of the boats arrive on Lesvos and the remaining one to Chios. However, in the last 3 days, a total of 97 boats carrying 3,519 people began the journey towards the Islands from Turkey, but only 28 % arrived — 27 boats carrying 1,098 people. 72 % were stopped."

Full breakdown of arrivals and more detailed statistics here (link)

GREECE: Residents of Chios block access to migrant camp in symbolic protest (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Residents of Chios early on Monday blocked the road leading to the island's Vial reception facility in a protest against the camp's growing migrant population.

The residents have said that they will scale up their protests if central government authorities do not extend an operation to decongest the camps on Lesvos and Samos to their island too.

Some 5,000 migrants are currently being hosted at the camp which is several times above its maximum capacity."

Outrage in Calais over death of Nigerian man in tent - Man tried to light a fire to keep warm and died from smoke inhalation (Guardian, link):

"Aid groups have protested over “inhuman” conditions for migrants and refugees sleeping rough in Calais after a 25-year-old Nigerian man died from smoke inhalation in his tent. He had tried to light a fire in a tin to keep warm and prepare food.

Police in Pas-de-Calais confirmed that a man had died from intoxication from smoke fumes at the end of last week and said an autopsy would take place. The man was the third migrant or refugee to die in Calais this year."

Migrants continue to suffer as reception centres remain overcrowded and violence against migrants surges (FRA, link):

"Significant increase in arrivals in Greece, overcrowding of reception centres and violence against migrants at the borders are some of the fundamental rights concerns FRA identifies in its latest migration quarterly report. It also highlights the situation in the Mediterranean, where boats with migrants were still being forced to remain at sea, waiting for weeks or days until they were allowed to disembark."

GREECE: AEGEAN BOAT REPORT: October 2019 (link to pdf):

"In 2019, people arriving is up 66%, compared to 2018. In October 270 boats made it to the Greek islands, carrying a total of 9251 people. Arrivals has decreased 13.8% compared to September, boats arriving is down 12.6%. Demographics on the islands: Men 44%, Women 21% and Children 35%."

German migrant rescue boat carrying 88 people allowed to dock in Italy (DW, link):

"After nearly a week stranded at sea, Italy granted permission for migrants on board a Sea-Eye rescue ship to disembark. The standoff ended after Germany and other EU countries agreed to take in the migrants."

Advocate General Sharpston: the Court should rule that, by refusing to comply with the provisional and time-limited mechanism for the mandatory relocation of applicants for internationalprotection, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have failed to fulfil their obligations under EU law (pdf)

"These Member States cannot invoke their responsibilities with regard to the maintenance of law and order and the safeguarding of internal security in order to disapply a valid EU measure with which they disagree."

See also: Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland ‘breached EU law’ by refusing refugees (euractiv, link)

GREECE: Leros turns away boat with migrants (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Residents and local officials on the Aegean island of Leros on Friday blocked a passenger ferry carrying 40 migrants from Symi from disembarking.

Leros Mayor Michalis Kolias has protested against plans to move more migrants to the island where facilities, originally designed for 800 people, allegedly now hold around 3,000. The vessel was redirected to Kos."

AYS Daily Digest 31/10/19: Ventimiglia, illegal pushbacks as a daily reality at the French-Italian border (Medium, link):

"Illegal pushbacks at the French-Italian border are happening on a daily basis since few years, with an alarming increase in the past months, reaching a total number of 1.855 (sometimes the same person is counted multiple times) just in the month of October. More and more unaccompanied minors are being pushed-back by French authorities, in addition to adults, who are forced to spend the night imprisoned in containers and held in inhumane conditions. People are being denied any legal support and advice."

Greece must urgently transfer asylum seekers from the Aegean islands and improve living conditions in reception facilities (CoE, link):

"“The situation of migrants, including asylum seekers, in the Greek Aegean islands has dramatically worsened over the past 12 months. Urgent measures are needed to address the desperate conditions in which thousands of human beings are living,” said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, at the end of a five-day visit to Greece during which she visited reception facilities in Lesvos, Samos, and Corinth.

The Commissioner is appalled by the unhygienic conditions in which migrants are kept in the islands."

Libyan decree to affect NGOs, Protests in Ethiopia, EU Parliament rejects motion on search and rescue (link):

"In this week’s News Highlights: Protests lead to killings of civilians in Ethiopia; Returnees to Ethiopia face difficult conditions; Follow the journey of Eritrean refugees; Human rights in Eritrea the topic of seminar in European Parliament; Right-wing groups in the European Parliament vote against improving rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea; Rescue ship waits 11 days at sea; Eritreans in the Netherlands protest against the presence of the Eritrean regime."

Greece: Aegean Boat Report (pdf)

"A total of 110 boats started their trip towards the Greek Islands, carrying a total of 3940 people. However, 67 boats were stopped by TCG/police, and 1625 people arrived on the Greek Islands.

So far this year 2559 boats have been stopped by The Turkish Coast Guard and Police, 84235 people. 44054 people have arrived on the Greek islands on 1335 boats, so far in 2019."

Migration and the Shrinking Humanitarian Space in EuropeFrom maritime search and rescue operations to contested humanitarian action in EU countries (CHA, link):

"As of October 10th, 1071 deaths of migrants were recorded in the Mediterranean in 2019.[1] In their attempt to save lives, civilian maritime search and rescue organisations like Sea Watch or Proactive Open Arms have gained high levels of media attention over the last years. Cases such as the arrest of the captain of the Sea Watch 3, Carola Rackete, in June 2019 or the three weeks odyssey of Open Arms in August 2019 dominate the media and public discourse in Europe."

Commission expects Greek reply to allegations of migrants’ mistreatment (euractiv, link):

"The European Commission expects the Greek authorities to follow up on the allegations of the Turkish ministry of foreign affairs over migrants’ mistreatment and the illegal practice of “pushback”, a Commission spokesperson has said.

The tension between Athens and Ankara has heated up recently following a statement by the Turkish foreign affairs ministry calling on Greece to end the illegal practice of “pushback” of irregular migrants at the Turkish border.

Ankara said in the first 10 months of 2019, 25,404 irregular migrants were pushed back into Turkey by Greece compared to 11,867 in 2018."

What drives African migrants to risk their lives? (DW, link):

"A UN study says that a majority of irregular migrants who made the fraught journey from Africa to Europe would do so again, despite knowing the dangers of the trip. Achim Steiner, head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), explains why."

Turkey: Sent to a war zone: Turkey's illegal deportations of Syrian refugees (AI, link):

"This report reveals that, contrary to the Turkish authorities’ claims that they do not deport anyone to Syria, in mid-2019 it is likely that hundreds of Syrian refugees across Turkey were swept up, detained, and transported against their will to one of the world’s most dangerous countries. Deporting anyone to Syria violates the international law principle of non-refoulement, as it puts them at risk of serious human rights violations. For those who manage to re-enter Turkey, they find that their Turkish identification documents have been cancelled. Syrians without valid identification documents are unable to access essential services and are at heightened risk of deportation."

Libya authorities 'fire warning shots' at migrant rescue ship (DW, link):

"Libyan authorities fired warning shots in the air and pointed mounted guns at rescuers and migrants, according to the humanitarian group Sea-Eye. A group spokesman said the act was unprecedented."

Greece: Asylum Overhaul Threatens Rights - Remove All Abusive Articles Before Passing Law (HRW, link):

"Greece’s parliament should scrap provisions in a new bill that threaten to limit asylum seekers’ access to protection, Human Rights Watch said today. The draft law, to be debated in parliament this week, would reduce safeguards for asylum seekers from countries like Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq in an effort to block the arrival of migrants and refugees in Greece, per a 2016 European Union (EU) migration deal with Turkey."

Back to the Libyan Warzone - How Malta Instructed Libyan Authorities to Intercept 50 Migrants within the Maltese SAR Zone (Alarmphone, link):

"On Friday the 18th of October 2019, in the afternoon, the Alarm Phone was contacted by an overcrowded boat in distress, carrying approximately 50 migrants. They had fled from Libya and were in the Maltese Search and Rescue (SAR) zone when they first alerted the Alarm Phone. The Alarm Phone informed RCC Malta via email and received acknowledgement of its receipt."

Did you say 'deal' on migration? ... or was it 'meal'? (Malta Today, link):

Yet we still blame asylum seekers – and only asylum seekers – for a crisis brought on directly by the incompetence, nonchalance, and sheer ‘couldn’t-care-less’ attitude of the politicians we rely on to solve all our migration and national security problems (but who are really the cause of all these problems to begin with)."

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