Press Review


14 January 2020
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MEDITERRANEAN: IOM: Nearly 1,000 Migrants Returned to Libya in the First Two Weeks of 2020: IOM – The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reports that at least 953 people, among them 136 women and 85 children, have been returned to Libyan shores in the first two weeks of 2020. Most were disembarked in Tripoli and all were taken to detention centres. They are among the more than 1,000 who have left Libya by sea since 1 January, driven in part by the heaviest clashes Tripoli has seen since hostilities began nine months ago. NGO search and rescue vessels rescued 237 others. The current sudden increase in departures is especially alarming given the very limited search and rescue capacity in the Mediterranean, IOM warns.
European Parliament: Parliamentary questions: Provision of information from EU maritime surveillance to the Libyan coastguard - Answer given by Vice-President Borrell on behalf of the European Commission – In a response to a parliamentary question on the provision of information from EU maritime surveillance to the Libyan coastguard, the European Commission states that FRONTEX provided information to Libyan authorities. “During the execution of Multipurpose Aerial Surveillance (MAS) in the pre-frontier area, when Frontex detected a distress situation in the Libyan Search and Rescue Region, the Agency provided notice in 42 cases to the neighbouring Member State Rescue Coordination Centre, to EUNAVFOR MED as well as to Libyan authorities”.
GERMANY: Die Welt: „Menschen sollen direkt aus libyschen Lagern kommen können“ [Menschen sollen direkt aus libyschen Lagern kommen können] – Over 90 German cities have declared themselves as “safe harbours” and are pushing the Federal government to let them take in refugees directly from camps in Libya to prevent people from risking their lives when crossing the Mediterranean. Municipalities need the permission of the Federal Interior Ministry to take in refugees. Although concerned about creating “pull factors”, the ministry agreed to discuss possible solutions with municipalities in February.

GERMANY: DW: Germany: Number of asylum-seeker deportations fell in 2019 - Annual deportation figures in Germany have fallen for the third year in a row. Germany issued deportation orders for 248,861 asylum-seekers as of November 2019, an increase of 5% compared to the year before. Of these cases, 200,598 have a tolerated status, which means that the state is temporarily unable to complete the deportation, often because the conditions in the country of return are not safe or the people are considered vulnerable.

GREECE: Ekathimerini: Ανοίγουν δέκα νέες δομές φιλοξενίας [Ten new hosting structures are being opened] – The Greek government plans the creation of ten new camps on the mainland and the transfer of 10,000 refugees from islands by end of February. New capacities will also be built on the islands despite resistance of some local communities. More than 42,000 refugees are currently trapped on the islands in critical conditions in overcrowded camps.

See also: Ekathimerini: Chios municipal council rejected plan for closed migrant centre.
Migreurop: Visas: Inequalities & Two-Speed Mobility Schemes – This brief by Migreurop looks at visa policy as an instrument to restrict mobility from the global South to the North and deepen existing inequalities. As examples, the authors examine the use of airport transit visas to ‘combat’ asylum and the privatisation of visa processing in Senegal. The decrease in North-South flights for climate reasons will remain a Eurocentric approach if it is not combined with indiscriminatory access to airlines covering South to North routes, they argue.
Digit Site: Does Frontex arrange illegal push backs? Matthias Monroy argues that their air surveillance capacity provides Frontex or the EU military mission EUNAVFORMED in the Mediterranean with „superior knowledge“ they use to aid and abet so-called „pull-back“ of the Libyan coastguard. The European Union and its member states must therefore be held accountable for the actions of the Libyan coastguard, he demands.
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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