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Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe
16-23.9.19

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

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LESVOS: Journey back to the borders - melody and rhythm of freedom for all (w2eu.net, link)

"Small concert and musical activities in memory with welcome to europe

We would like to look back on migrant struggles and we want to face the reality today on the island. A reality of an organized permanent crisis, with the hot-spots like Moria made to deter people and break their will to move freely – but people continue moving. 10 years after Noborder ‘09 on Lesvos we want to celebrate continuity and stubbornness we have learned together in these migrant struggles."

See: Lost at border (pdf):

"We want to give back a piece of dignity, to those who died – right here – into the senselessness of the European borders – and we want to thank those who risk their lives to rescue.

All of these dead people have a face, a name. All of them leave behind relatives and friends. Besides the bodies also their hopes and dreams are lost."

Sudanese migrant killed after disembarking in Tripoli (ansamed.info, link):

"A Sudanese migrant was killed by gunshot on Thursday in Tripoli, said the International Organization for Migration (IOM), whose staff witnessed the tragedy. It said the death occurred at the Abusitta Disembarkation point in Tripoli, where 103 migrants had just disembarked and were resisting being taken back to detention centres. A group of armed men began shooting in the air when several migrants tried to run away from their guards. The Sudanese migrant was hit in the stomach and died despite receiving immediate medical care on site from IOM staff.

The man was part of a group of migrants who had just been brought back to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard, (...)"

EU ministers in Malta to thrash out new migrant system (euractiv, link):

"Interior ministers from four EU countries meet Monday (23 September) in Malta to try to work out an automatic system to determine which countries will welcome migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean.

The ministers from France, Germany, Italy and Malta hope to end the long, drawn-out negotiations that have seen vulnerable asylum seekers including babies stranded at sea, sometimes for weeks."

Hundreds of migrants reach Lesvos; Moria bursting at the seams (ekathimerini.com, link):

"nother 408 migrants reached the island of Lesvos by Friday noon, of which 73 arrived by sailboat, the general police directorate of the Northern Aegean said in a press release.

The new arrivals raise the total number of migrants living in the overcrowded identification center of Moria to 12,000, when the camp's capacity is for 3,000."

And see: Greek PM to seek international help with migration problem (ekathimerini.com, link)

Far right Britain First patrolling beaches to ‘catch migrants’ (Metro link):

"It says it is determined to stop people who undertake the dangerous journey from Britain to France on small boats ‘from landing on our shores’. Calling it ‘Operation White Cliffs’ the far right group focuses on the beaches of South England. Wearing high vis jackets and carrying torches and binoculars, they search the area looking for migrants."

Using latest tech for border management (geospatialworld.net,link):

"While a lot of tasks performed by people in border management must not be replaced by Artificial Intelligence, it is important to use new and emerging technologies to prepare for those tasks, emphasizes Berndt Körner, Deputy Executive Director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontex."

Niger: Has Securitisation Stopped Traffickers? (ispionline.it/itispionline.it, link):

"In the past five years there has been an increase in border controls and foreign military presence in Niger; paradoxically this has only diversified and professionalised the criminal networks operating there. In fact, this development was to be expected. "
Italy, France agree on 'automatic' distribution of migrants (DW, link):

"France and Italy have agreed on a new system to distribute migrants across the European Union. It comes ahead of an interior ministers meeting in Malta next week."

Europe's refugee policy is test of its true 'way of life' (euobserver, link) by Mary Robinson, a former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights:

"What is the "European way of life"?

In a continent as geographically, linguistically and culturally diverse as ours, this is very difficult to answer.

The way that Europeans live their lives is informed by centuries of history, enriched by overlapping traditions and the shared experience of different peoples, from long-settled communities to new arrivals, living side by side.

In today's turbulent times, we believe it is more fruitful to reflect on what constitute European values, and how these can be applied and strengthened in an era of globalisation and mass migration."

French Dunkirk camp cleared as migrants try to reach UK (BBC News, link):

"French police have begun an operation to evacuate a gymnasium and a tent camp near the northern port of Dunkirk amid an increase in migrants trying to cross the Channel.

Some 1,000 people, many of them Iraqi Kurds, have been living on the Grande Synthe site."

Arrests made after migrants identify 'torturers' in camp in Sicily (The Guardian, link):

"Detectives in Sicily have arrested three men who allegedly raped and tortured dozens of migrants in a detention centre in the north-west of Libya.

Prosecutors in Agrigento have collected testimonies from numerous asylum seekers from north Africa who allegedly recognised their former captors at a migrant registration centre in Messina, Sicily.

The three alleged captors, a 27-year-old Guinean man and two Egyptians aged 24 and 26, are accused of torture, kidnapping and human trafficking."

See: The ongoing disasters in Libya

Turkey stops 300,000 irregular migrants en route to EU so far this year (Daily Sabah, link):

"According to the migration authority's most recent data, the authorities have intercepted some 269,059 irregular migrants between the period of Jan. 1 and Sept. 12. The number is expected to rise until the end of the year. Last year Turkey intercepted 268,003 illegal migrants. The number was 146,485 in 2015, 174,466 in 2016 and 175,752 in 2017 – meaning the number has almost doubled over the last three years."

Hungary: Government extends the “state of crisis due to mass migration” (AIDA, link):

"On 6 September 2019, the Hungarian Government announced it would extend the “state of crisis due to mass migration” until 7 March 2020 to protect the country's security and borders.

To justify this extension, the Government referred to the 7,000 irregular border crossing attempts that have been registered since the beginning of the year as well as to the “critical situation in Serbia and the thousand illegal migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina and some 30,000 migrants in Greece”. It further argued that, without Hungary’s southern fences and border control activities, the country would face a similar scenario to the so-called 2015 “migration crisis” and become the main transit route of irregular migration."

The ongoing disasters in Libya

- There are between 700,000 and 1 million migrants in Libya

- "migrants and refugees rescued or intercepted at sea being transferred to detention centres [with a] lack of traceability, transparency and accountability"

- "The government’s reluctance to address the problems raises the question of its own involvement."

See: Note from the Council Presidency to national delegations; Libya and the surrounding area: current situation and need for immediate action (LIMITE doc no: 115381, pdf)

Aid workers warn of catastrophe in Greek refugee camps (Guardian, link):

"At least 24,000 people are trapped in vastly overcrowded Aegean island camps in squalid conditions.

"Children being bitten by scorpions, rats and snakes; hundreds being forced to use a single shower; the stench of human excrement never far away; and food shortages becoming the norm. One by one, Sophie McCann lists the degradations of life for refugees detained on Lesbos, the Greek island on the frontline of a new surge of asylum seekers desperate to reach Europe.

McCann, a British advocacy manager with Médecins Sans Frontières, like other aid workers, is now raising the alarm: at least 24,000 men, women and children trapped in vastly overcrowded Aegean island camps are being subjected to conditions so harrowing they bear all the hallmarks of humanitarian catastrophe. Four years after the greatest migration crisis in modern times, there are fears history is repeating itself."

Ireland should more than double intake of refugees to meet 'fair share', migrant group says (Irish Examiner, link):

"Ireland should more than double its annual intake of refugees over the coming three years to meet its “fair share” of the projected global refugee resettlement need, a migrant umbrella group has said.

The Irish Refugee and Migrant Coalition said Ireland had taken in almost 2,600 people under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme (IRPP) in the four years since September 2015, averaging at 650 people per year."

Refugee Support Aegean (RSA): The systematic rejections of family reunification requests from Greece by Germany and their detrimental impact upon the right to family life and the best interest of the child (pdf, link):

"While the Dublin Regulation - the “cornerstone” of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) - has been repeatedly and not unjustly criticized as an unfair and ineffective mechanism for the allocation of responsibility for the examination of asylum applications submitted in different European member states, its family reunification procedure remains until today one of the scarce safe legal routes to fulfill the rights and core principles of family unity, the best interest of the child and the right to family life."

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