Press Review


22 July 2019
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NORTHERN/CENTRAL AFRICA: Alarm Phone Sahara: Minor refugees march into the desert in protest – The NGO Alarm Phone Sahara reports that Sudanese youth accommodated at the UNHCR refugee camp in Agadez/Niger have left the refugee camp on 18th of July to march through the desert towards Libya to protest the fact that their asylum procedures are not advancing. Upon return, some of them have been brought to hospital due to their health conditions. They are part of scores of refugees and migrants who are presently blocked in Niger as a result of EU policies trying to keep African migrants from reaching the EU.
POLICY: European Commission: EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey: €5.6 billion out of €6 billion now allocated in support of refugees – The European Commission adopted a new set of assistance measures worth €1.41 billion, for continued European Union support to refugees and host communities in Turkey. The programmes will focus on the areas of health, protection, socio-economic support and municipal infrastructure and are part of a second tranche of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey, bringing the total amount already allocated to €5.6 billion out of €6 billion since 2016, with the remaining balance due to be allocated over the summer.

SEARCH & RESCUE: MSF: MSF resumes search and rescue amid deteriorating conditions in Libya – The NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced the resumption of lifesaving search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean, and condemns the criminal inaction of European governments. Operating in partnership with the civilian sea rescue organisation SOS MEDITERRANEE, the new ship Ocean Viking is set to sail to the Central Mediterranean Sea at the end of the month.

SEARCH & RESCUE: Statewatch: Disembarkation scheme - Member States asked to agree to allow landings by "private rescue vessels in the closest safe harbour" – A Draft Note leaked to Statewatch on commitments by Member States for predictable temporary disembarkation scheme proposes to set up "a more predictable and efficient temporary mechanism in order to ensure swift and dignified disembarkation of migrants rescued at sea by private vessels in closest safe harbour." The new proposed mechanism would operate until October 2019 or until end of 2019. Italy is reportedly opposing the Franco-German insistence on the principle of the “nearest landing port”.

See also: NewEurope: Italy objects to Franco-German insistence on “closest port” principle.
SEARCH & RESCUE: DW: Cruise ship rescues 111 migrants off Greece – A Maltese-registered cruise ship sailing close to the Greek mainland has rescued more than a hundred migrants according to the Greek coast guard. The migrants' boat was found in distress on Saturday evening, some 74 kilometers (40 nautical miles) off Greece's Peloponnese peninsula. The passengers were taken to the Greek port of Kalamata and two of the migrant boat's operators were arrested.
CROATIA: Complaint By Croatian Police Officers Who Are Being Urged to Act Unlawfully – After the Croatian president Grabar-Kitarović said last week that Croatian authorities are involved in illegal pushbacks of migrants to Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatian Ombudswoman presents an anonymous complaint by police officers that were ordered to “return everyone without papers, no traces, take money, break mobile phones or take for ourselves, and forcefully return refugees to Bosnia.” Border Violence Monitoring published a translation of the letter.

SLOVENIA: Bellingham Herald: Slovenia to deploy troops to boost patrols for migrants – the Slovenian army says 35 troops will join police in patrolling borders in the southwest of the country after increased numbers of migrants have been spotted in the area. The soldiers will help the police operating in the area of the coastal town of Koper, which is near the Croatian and Italian borders. Koper police have reported apprehending 122 migrants on Friday after discovering several small makeshift migrant camps in a forested area.

TURKEY: Syrian refugees in Istanbul nervous over raids, arrests by Turkish authorities – Turkish authorities have reportedly increased stop-and-search checks around Istanbul, targeting Syrians without registration papers or for working informally. The interior ministry had announced raids to find undocumented migrants in Istanbul, with local security officials also calling for the arrest of Syrians allegedly involved in unspecified crimes. At the same time, tightening restrictions on the registration of Syrian refugees in Turkey have made it difficult to receive temporary protection IDs.
Le Monde Diplomatique:  Weathering the storm – Reseracher Alex Randall discusses the idea of ‘migration as adaption’ and calls for a migration as adaptation narrative that can serve the rights and welfare of migrants, rather than for those who would exploit them. It has to start by recognising that the responsibility for climate change rests with high-emitting countries that have benefited economically from a history of fossil fuel use, he argues.

The New Humanitarian: Somalia’s displacement camp ‘gatekeepers’ – ‘parasites’ or aid partners? – The New Humanitarian reports on the role of gatekeepers in informal refugee settlements in Somalia. They developed a business around accommodating refugees, providing protection and basic services – including dispute settlement, help in emergencies like illness or births, and facilitating crowd-funding for small camp upgrades. They fill a vacuum left by a weak government incapable of meeting those needs, and a humanitarian community limited in its operations by Mogadishu’s prevailing insecurity.

BBC: Europe's migration standoff – In this BBC podcast, researchers, NGO representatives and BBC journalists discuss: Is it time for Europe to reconsider its partnership with Libya? Why are European countries failing to agree on a plan to help out Italy? And how much of the concern expressed by Italy are motivated by political reasons?
With kind regards,
Hannah Berwian

Hannah Berwian
Communications Assistant
p: +32 2 234 38 22
a: Rue Royale 146, Brussels

Please note that the information of the press review is taken from publicly available information provided by media companies, organisations and blogs. All the sources are clearly ascribed and ECRE is not claiming any authorship over the content. The Press Review does not necessarily reflect the views of ECRE. This document is just a relay to the original articles and makes it easier to find stories concerning asylum issues. If you are the publisher of some of the information and would like it removed from this document, or if you would like to see a particular story published in the Press Review, please email: 

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