Press Review


16 December 2019
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LIBYA: UNHCR:  Libya UNHCR Update 13 December 2019 - The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that a total of 72 refugees (14 men, 40 women and 18 children) departed from Libya to the Emergency Transit Centre (ETC) in Romania. The group who are from Eritrea, Sudan and Syria were previously hosted at the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) as well as living in the urban Community. In Romania, they will be further processed for resettlement. So far in 2019, a total of 846 individuals have departed from Libya through UNHCR’s resettlement programme.

UNITED NATIONS: UNHCR: World gathering on refugees opens in Geneva after ‘decade of displacement’- UNHCR announces the start of a three-day global gathering aimed at transforming the way the world responds to refugee situations on Monday, December 16, in Geneva, Switzerland. The first-ever Global Refugee Forum brings together refugees, heads of state and government, UN leaders, international institutions, development organizations, business leaders and civil society representatives and will focus on six areas: arrangements for burden and responsibility sharing; education; jobs and livelihoods; energy and infrastructure; solutions; and protection capacity.

See also: ECRE: ECRE’s Pledges at the Global Refugee Forum.
TURKEY: Reuters: Turkish official says EU should boost funding of Syrian refugees – A representative of the Turkish Foreign ministry has asked the EU to step up its funding to support the 3.5m Syrian refugees Turkey is hosting. Of a total of 6.6 billion the EU, which set up the funding in 2015, says more than 5.6 billion euros have been allocated, more than 3.5 billion contracted and more than 2.4 billion disbursed. The representative said hosting the refugees costs Turkey some $40 billion in total. Turkey has come under criticism for forcibly returning people to Syria.

EU BORDERS: Spiegel Online: EU-Kommission setzt griechische Behörden unter Druck [EU commission puts pressure on Greek authorities] –  Last week the German newspaper magazine Der Spiegel published evidence of Greek authorities carrying out push-backs of asylum seekers across the Evros river at the Greek-Turkish border. In response the European Commission has asked Greek authorities to investigate the situation. Numerous push-backs at the Evros river have been documented in recent years though they are in breach of Greece’s obligation under European law.

EU BORDERS: Illegal Push-Backs And Border Violence Reports – The Border Violence Monitoring Network gathered and published extensive material on pushbacks and their violent application during the month of November. The report analyses the illegal and life threatening police practices which govern the external border of the European Union. Case material gathered from the Western Balkan Route corroborates the recent publication of BVMN’s wider statistics, particularly in regard to the use of firearms during collective expulsion, but also the continuation of unlawful detention and border incursions.
BOSNIA: Global Risk Insights: Bosnia: Humanitarian crisis and EU aspirations – Global Risks Insights reports on the ensuing humanitarian crisis in Bosnia & Herzegovina (BiH) given an increased number of asylum seekers, the response of the EU and the implications for BiH’s accession process to the EU. Bosnia’s actions in the next month are crucial to its ultimate goal of EU membership, the author holds.

FRANCE: Ekathimerini: France offers to take in 400 refugees, help with returns, ambassador says – French officials announced that France will be taking in 400 asylum-seekers from Greece in the coming months in order to help the country tackle mounting arrivals. They will also help coordinate returns in cooperation with Frontex for people whose asylum applications have been rejected and support Greece in combatting smuggling.

See also: The Guardian: Greece says it's 'reached limit' as arrivals of refugees show no sign of slowing.

GERMANY: Neues Deutschland: Angfriff auf Dresdner Flüchtlingsunterkunft [Attack on Refugee centre in Dresden] – In the German city Dresden, a group of masked people attacked a refugee centre for unaccompanied children. The police investigates against two men and examines whether the attack was politically motivated.
Verfassungsblog: Exekutiver Freestyle im Mittelmeer - Zur Praxis der pre-screenings von Schutzsuchenden durch den Verfassungsschutz [Executive Freestyle at the Mediterranean – on the practice of pre-screening of asylum seekers by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution] – In this blog entry, legal researcher Lennart Kokott examines the practice of pre-screening of asylum seekers, which is carried out by the German Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. The practice concerns people rescued by NGOs at the Mediterranean and disembarked in Italy and Malta and for whose relocation and asylum application Germany has taken responsibility. The author questions the lawfulness of the security checks that excludes an increasing number of asylum seekers from being relocated to Germany.

IOM: MIGRATION POLICY PRACTICE - A Union Humanitarian Visa Framework – In this article, three researchers outline possibilities and challenges for a common Humanitarian Visa Framework. This could provide third-country nationals in fear of persecution with a safe and legal pathway to European Union territory for the sole purpose of lodging an asylum application upon arrival.

Al Jazeera: Q&A: 'Complete disregard for migrants dying on the Mediterranean' – In this interview, Al Jazeera speaks to Nicholas Romaniuk, search and rescue coordinator for SOS Mediterranee on board the rescue vessel Ocean Viking, about the pushback against rescue work, presence of the Libyan coastguard, deaths at sea, and how this job affects rescuers mentally and physically.
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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