Press Review


18 December 2019
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SAHEL: DabangaSudan: Agadez, 16th of December 2019: Refugees leave camp and start sit in at UNHCR – According to several media reports, almost 1000 people are staging a sit-in in front of the UNHCR office in Agadez in Niger after marching 18 km from a UNHCR-run facility, where they are accommodated. They submitted a memorandum bearing their demands to expedite their resettlement procedures. The protest also denounces the deteriorating humanitarian aid and health conditions in the facility and is part of on-going series of refugee protests in Niger since early 2019.

See also: Alarm Phone Sahara: Agadez, 16th of December 2019: Refugees leave camp and start sit in at UNHCR.
SEARCH & RESCUE: Ocho personas mueren en las costas de Marruecos intentando llegar a España – At least seven people died in a shipwreck off the Northern coast of Morocco. The Royal Navy reportedly rescued 63 people. According to the NGO Caminando Fronteras a total 94 people were on the boat and 24 are still missing. Moroccan authorities say all passengers have been found and stopped the search.

PARLIAMENT: EU Parliament: Geneva: MEPs call for EU leadership to respond to global displacement challenges – At the Global Refugee Forum hosted by UNHCR in Geneva this week, a delegation of MEPs welcomed the EU commitments in all six thematic areas to support refugees in and outside of Europe. They also called for a higher number of resettlement places from member states as a humanitarian tool and an increase in support for refugee-hosting countries outside of Europe. They urged the EU to take a holistic approach to global displacement challenges that must be people-centered and rights-based, including guaranteeing the right to asylum on EU territory.

See also: DRC: Provide alternatives for migrants and refugees in Libya.

EU AGENCIES: Statewatch: Analysis - Monitoring “secondary movements” and “hotspots”: Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency – Statewatch analyses the EU’s border agency, Frontex, new powers to gather data on “secondary movements” and the “hotspots” within the EU. The intention is to ensure “situational awareness” and produce risk analyses on the migratory situation within the EU, in order to inform possible operational action by national authorities. This brings with it increased risks for the fundamental rights of both non-EU nationals and ethnic minority EU citizens, Statewatch warns.

ROUTES: DW: Migrant arrivals in Europe from Turkey nearly double in 2019 – From January to mid-December, 70,002 migrants reached the European Union from Turkey, representing an increase of 46% compared with the same period in 2018, according to a confidential EU report published by German media. Around 68,000 of these people crossed the Aegean to Greece, where they are living in overcrowded camps. Smaller numbers reached Bulgaria, Italy and Cyprus. Most people arriving are fleeing from the conflict-torn countries Afghanistan and Syria.
 DENMARK: Politiken: Syrere får afslag på asyl på grund af bedre forhold [Syrians are denied asylum because of better conditions] – In three cases the Danish Appeal Board has confirmed the first instance decision to deny protection to three female asylum seekers from Syria based on a general improvement of the security situation in Damascus. According to the board there was no individual bases to claim protection status.

See also: Denmark rejects Syrian asylum claims on basis that Damascus is safe.

GREECE: RSAegan: Refugees trapped on Samos: A humanitarian crisis with no end in sight – Members of Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) have visited the Greek island Samos and spoke with refugees residing inside and outside the hotspot about their entrapment and the inhumane reception conditions. Together with ECRE member Pro Asyl, RSA calls for large-scale transfers to the mainland and relocation to other EU member states, particularly for unaccompanied children.

See also: Oxfam & GCR: No-Rights Zone How people in need of protection are being denied crucial access to legal information and assistance in the Greek islands’ EU ‘hotspot’ camps.

ITALY: NAGA: Senza (s)campo: Lo smantellamento del sistema di accoglienza per richiedenti asilo e rifugiati. Un’indagine qualitative [Without (s) field: The dismantling of the reception system for asylum seekers and refugees. A qualitative survey]. The NGO NAGA Onlus published the third of a series of reports on the changes in the Italian reception system, after the entry into force of the Salvini Decrees in 2018 and 2019, with a specific focus on the area around Milan.

UK: The Guardian: Asylum seeker 'stabbed in eye by husband' while awaiting Home Office ruling – A woman who fled Afghanistan was allegedly blinded in one eye by her husband, following the UK Home Office’s delay to grant her demand for family reunification with her sister in the UK. The woman, an asylum seeker who cannot be named for legal reasons, fled her home country with her three young children after being subjected to a series of rapes, which she feared her husband could find out about.
CNN: Grading the world on how it treats refugees – David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), comments on the Global Refugee Forum taking place in Geneva this week finding that the gap between the needs of refugees and the support for them continues to grow. He calls on the EU to add the necessary political will to their resettlement pledges and rescue resettlement from the US retreat.

Public Seminar: Remote Control of Asylum Seekers - How States Evade their Protection Obligation – In Refuge Beyond Reach: How Rich Democracies Repel Asylum Seekers, researcher David Scott FitzGerald shows how modern remote control of borders has become a pervasive global system. Regardless of the intentions of government actors when particular policies were put into place, he argues, the cumulative effect of the architecture of repulsion is to systematically shut down most paths to asylum.
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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