Press Review


06 January 2020
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SEARCH & RECUE: Ekathimerini: Migrant boat sinks off Turkish coast, 8 killed – At least eight people were killed trying to reach the EU when their boat sank of the Turkish Aegean coast. According to a statement by the Turkish ministry of the interior 15 people were on board and Turkish coastguard continue the search for the other seven people.  

SEARCH & RESCUE: Alarm Phone: Central Mediterranean Regional Analysis – The NGO Alarm Phone, which runs a hotline for migrants in distress at the Mediterranean, reports that, in 2019, fewer than 15,000 people succeeded in crossing the central Mediterranean Sea. Around 11,500 people reached Italy by boat, and about 3,300 Malta, mostly fleeing from Libya or Tunisia. The Alarm Phone has received a record number of distress calls from the central Mediterranean region proportional to the number of departures

EU BORDERS: TSA: Plus de 300 migrants clandestins interceptés au large des côtes algériennes en 24 heures – Within the first 3 days of 2020, Algerian coastguard and police intercepted more than 300 people trying to reach Europe irregularly according to Algerian media sources. Most of them were trying to cross the Mediterranean in makeshift boats.
BELGIUM: The Brussels Times: Belgium to send back ‘asylum shoppers’ – Minister of Asylum and Migration Maggie De Block announced two new measures aimed to prevent Belgium from welcoming asylum seekers who have bypassed EU asylum rules. The measures are aimed at asylum seekers who have already passed through another EU country which carries the responsibility to process their asylum application as well as at asylum seekers who have already been recognized a refugees in another EU member state.
GREECE: Amna: Με ΚΥΑ καθορίζεται εθνικός κατάλογος με τις ασφαλείς χώρες καταγωγής των αιτούντων άσυλο [The JMD sets out a national list of safe countries of origin for asylum seekers]- Greek Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Citizenship adapted a new list of twelve safe countries of origin for asylum seekers. The list includes Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Gambia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Albania, Georgia, Ukraine, India and Armenia. The list comes in the context of a new law establishing that the application for asylum of a person coming from a safe country of origin is dealt with in an accelerated procedure with shorter deadlines for application and appeal.

GREECE: GCR: The European Court of Human Rights provides interim measures to unaccompanied minors living in the RIC and the "jungle" of Samos island – The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, granted interim measures to five unaccompanied teenagers, asylum seekers, who have been living for many months in the Reception and Identification Center (RIC) on Samos island. The interim measures indicate to the Greek authorities their timely transfer to a centre for unaccompanied children and to ensure that their reception conditions are compatible with Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the applicants’ particular status.

MALTA: Times of Malta: Malta's requests for relocation of rescued migrants ignored – According to Home Affairs Minister Michael Farrugia, a Maltese request for assistance for the relocation of rescued migrants has not been met with any response. The minister was replying to a statement of the outgoing Malta representative of the UNHCR, who said 1,400 asylum seekers are being held illegally at the Marsa and Safi centres, some of them detained for five months. Several groups of asylum seekers rescued by NGO rescue vessels were relocated from Malta over the past months after arrangements with other EU member states.

SPAIN: APN: Spanish NGOs accuse Spain of illegal migrant push-back –  In a statement co-signed by over 60 human rights organisations, the human rights group Walking Borders denounced the immediate and illegal push-backs to Morocco of 42 people who had reached one of Spain’s Chafarinas islands by boat on Friday. The group said Spain’s Civil Guard returned the people to Moroccan authorities a few hours after their arrival in violation of the non-refoulement principle enshrined in European law. Spanish authorities allege that the group had not reached Spanish soil, which is contradicted by testimonies and photo evidence of witnesses.

UK: The Guardian: Home Office faces legal cases over Zimbabwean asylum seekers – The UK Home Office faces a series of legal challenges over its decision to allow Zimbabwean government officials to interview people from the country who are seeking asylum in the UK. The UK government was criticised earlier this year for working with the Zimbabwean state to accelerate the removal of asylum seekers after Robert Mugabe was forced from power, despite continuing human rights abuses in the country.
GEF: Future of the EU – This series of videos on the Future of Europe by the Green European Foundation features ECRE Director Catherine Woollard. She describes the challenges and opportunities awaiting the European parliament in the area of asylum and migration in the coming year and beyond.

Politico: In pictures: The new faces of ‘Gayropa’ – This photo project offers a window into the lives of LGBTQ people from around the world who are claiming asylum, or have been granted asylum, in European countries on the grounds of their sexuality or gender identity. Despite facing varying challenges depending on the country where they sought asylum, there is more that unites than divides this diverse group of people, claims Photojournalist Bradley Secker.

InfoMigrants: Migration and asylum in Europe: 9 events that shaped the decade – InfoMigrants takes a look at events and decisions that significantly shaped the movement of migrants and refugees in(to) the European Union in the 2010s. Among the events featured are the war in Syria, the rise (and fall) of the Islamic State, the EU-Turkey deal and the Brexit referendum.
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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