Press Review


09 January 2020
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RESETTLEMENT: The New Times: Norway offers to take in 500 African refugees from Rwanda – Norway is considering taking in up to 500 African refugees and asylum-seekers from Libya who are currently hosted at an emergency transit centre in Bugesera District, known as Gashora Transit Centre, according to the Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister. As part of an agreement signed in September last year, Rwanda set up a transit mechanism to host up to 500 refugees from Libya at a time with the view of offering long-term solutions elsewhere. Sweden has already resettled seven refugees from the centre.
UNITED NATIONS: UNHCR: UNHCR’s Recommendations for the Croatian and German Presidencies of the Council of the European Union (EU) January - December 2020 – The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has published its recommendations for the incoming Council Presidencies of Croatia and Germany in 2020. The recommendations concern areas of possible action to strengthen the implementation of the EU acquis on asylum and to forge common ground among Member States on evolving issues of asylum and migration, in line with the Global Compact on Refugees and the Global Compact for Migration and will also be of relevance for the incoming Commission’s new Pact on Migration and Asylum.
BELGIUM: Sudinfo: Maggie De Block accusée par les ONG de discriminer et de présenter les demandeurs d’asile comme des «abuseurs» [Maggie De Block accused of discriminating and presenting asylum seekers as "abusers"] – The Belgium minister responsible for asylum and migration announced that given the exhaustion of reception facilities in Belgium, certain asylum seekers will be denied access to reception centres. Maggie de Block said the measures will target asylum seeker who may be sent back to another EU member state under  the Dublin regulation and those who already have a protection status in another EU member state. Local human rights organisations warn that both categories have the right to ask for asylum in Belgium and should not be presented as frauds. Their cases need to be examined individually.

See also: Le Soir:  Méthodes «créatives» pour renvoyer des étrangers: Francken ne sera pas tenu de s’expliquer devant le Parlement.

FRANCE: Anafe: Mort d’un enfant de 10 ans à Roissy : encore une victime des politiques migratoires européennes ? [Death of a ten-year old at Roissy airport: another victim of European Migration politics?] – On Wednesday, the dead body of a ten-year old child was discovered in the undercarriage of a plane at the airport Roissy-Charles de Gaulle. The plane arrived from Abidjan, the capital of the Ivory Coast. The migrant rights association Anafé states, that the incident is the consequence of the overly restrictive and violent migration policy enacted by the EU that provides hardly any legal pathways for people from Sub-Saharan Africa to enter the EU.

GERMANY: PRO ASYL: PRO ASYL zur Asylstatistik 2019 [PRO ASYL on German Asylum Statistics 2019] – The German ministry for the interior (BMI) released its asylum statistics for 2019 showing that the number of people seeking asylum in German has decreased for the third year in a row. ECRE member PRO ASYL is concerned that, in light of a record number of refugees worldwide, the decrease reflects the limited access to international protection in Germany. The decrease should not be considered a success, the NGO urges.  

See also: FAZ: Zahl der Asylanträge 2019 stark zurückgegangen.

MALTA: Times of Malta: 20 arrests after large fire at Marsa migrants centre – Hundreds of people were evacuated from an initial reception centre in Marsa on Wednesday after a large fire broke out inside one of its dormitories. Around 480 residents detained while their asylum applications are processed, were rushed out of the centre. Detainees unable to return to their dormitories would be temporarily moved to an open centre in Ħal Far. As the centre’s capacity is already stretched authorities face a challenge in finding short-term housing for affected people.

UK: Independent: Tories vote down plan to help reunite unaccompanied child refugees with UK families – UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposal for a Brexit agreement with the EU scrapped the commitment to negotiate new deal for refugee children hoping to join relatives in UK. This week, a bid in the UK parliament to force the PM to act to reunite unaccompanied child refugees with relatives in the UK was also unsuccessful. Charities have warned that children seeking asylum will have to turn to smugglers and take dangerous routes to escape desperate conditions and reach their families.
Migration Policy Institute: Beyond Work: Reducing Social Isolation for Refugee Women and Other Marginalized Newcomers – This report examines the situation of newcomers who are not in the workplace and thus at high risk of social isolation in OECD countries. The consequences for this population, which is largely made up of women, refugees, the elderly, and migrants who are unskilled or illiterate, are far-reaching and go well beyond simple economics. The author argues that societies should reconsider what successful integration looks like for newcomers who will never find traditional employment or who need a longer-than-average timeline to get there.

Pulitzer Center: European Money Spawns more Misery for Migrants in Libya – A group of investigative journalists revealed that the desperate situation of migrants in Libya spawned a thriving and highly lucrative web of businesses funded in part by the EU and enabled by the United Nations. Some of the people cooperating with the UN are themselves responsible for abusive conditions in detention centers, the journalists found.

See also: Pulitzer Centre: Outsourcing Migrants

Rethinking Refuge: Rethinking Refuge from Gender-Based Violence: Persecution for Which Convention Reason? – Women fleeing gender-based violence continue to struggle to be recognised as refugees, despite UNHCR and others maintaining that ‘properly interpreted’ the Convention on the Status of Refugees 1951 (CSR) covers gender-related claims. This article argues that those involved in determining refugee status should consult and draw on the specialised legal regimes that have been developed to respond to violence against women.
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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