Media Listing September 2014

Global

Integrating Migration into the Post-2015 United Nations Development Agenda: Although the Millennium Development Goals did not contain any target setting on migration and development, it is anticipated that the United Nations development agenda (post-2015) will set clear targets and mobilize global action to improve the quality of the migration process. If so, substantial benefits could accrue to 232 million international migrants and their dependents in the form of more development to both their countries of origin and destination. (Migration Policy Institute - September 2014)

UNHCR and ICMPD conclude memorandum of understanding: The International Centre on Migration Policy and Development (ICMPD) and the UN Refugee Agency signed an agreement which will both institutionalise and further their long-standing partnership. Both organizations agreed to enhance cooperation in areas where refugee protection and international migration converge. (ICMPD – 1/09/14)

Human trafficking a low-risk, high-gain crime, says UNODC: According to an official of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 90 percent of the world's countries now criminalise human trafficking, but the number of adjudicated cases is extremely low, which sends a message to criminals that trafficking in persons is a low-risk high-gain crime. (Qatar Tribune – 9/09/14).  

Migration’s Hall of Mirrors: [Opinion] On both sides of the Atlantic, anti-immigrant politics are undermining democracies and damaging lives. However, a new public-opinion survey by the German Marshall Fund (GMF) reveals that anti-immigrant sentiment stems largely from misinformation, not entrenched animus. (Project Syndicate – 10/09/14).

Pope calls for global cooperation on migration crisis:  Pope Francis called for countries to join forces to help the rising number of migrants, thousands of whom have died this year on perilous journeys to flee poverty and war. (Reuters - 23/09/14).

Failure to help victims is blind spot in struggle against human traffickers: Measures to curb human trafficking are failing those most affected despite governments and private donors pouring more than $120m a year into programmes focused on prosecuting traffickers and boosting criminal justice systems, a coalition of NGOs has warned. (The Guardian – 23/09/14).

Human trafficking tops agenda at Transnational Organized Crime Conference: UNODC will hold its seventh session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime from the 6 – 10 October 2014 in Vienna. During the week-long conference, Parties will discuss draft resolutions on human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and firearms smuggling among others matters. (UNODC – 25/09/14)

The African Union must take its share of responsibility for migrant deaths: [Opinion] African migrants are not Europe’s problem alone. The AU should try to limit illegal migration and make Africa more appealing to its people. (The Guardian – 26/09/14)

Europe, North America, parts of Asia-Pacific seeing rising refugee claims from Syria, Iraq and other conflict zones – UNHCR report: A UNHCR report shows that the number of people seeking refugee status in industrialized countries continued to climb in the first half of 2014, driven by the wars in Syria and Iraq as well as conflict and instability in Afghanistan, Eritrea and elsewhere (UNHCR – 26/09/14).

Gay Asylum Seekers Forced to ‘Prove’ Their Sexuality: States conducting refugee status determination may benefit from the Difference, Stigma, Shame, Harm (DSSH) guidelines, which have been endorsed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and been tested by authorities in Cyprus, Finland and Germany, among other countries. This system consists of trigger questions that lead to further investigation, and that don’t stray into the ­pornographic. (Newsweek – 25/09/14).

Record number of migrant deaths at sea, in deserts this year – IOM: A record 4,077 migrants have died already this year crossing deserts and seas worldwide, three-quarters of them in perilous journeys across the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 29/09/14).

IOM Releases New Data on Migrant Fatalities Worldwide: Almost 40,000 Since 2000: IOM released“Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost During Migration,” the world’s most comprehensive tally to date of migrant fatalities across land and sea. With a count surpassing 40,000 victims since 2000, IOM calls on all the world’s governments to address what it describes as “an epidemic of crime and victimization.” (IOM – 29/09/14)

IOM, Italy to Host Global Dialogue on Migration and Development Workshop: In the beginning of October, IOM and the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation will host a workshop in Rome designed to further the ongoing global dialogue on migration and development (IOM – 30/09/14)

Australia

Calls for probe into Eritrean 'diaspora tax' in Australia: Calls are being made for a probe into claims that members of Australia's Eritrean community are being forced to pay a so-called 'diaspora tax'. The Eritrean nationals are required to pay the 2 per cent tax before they can access services from the Government (including passport renewals), it is alleged. [Eritrea is accused of levying the tax contrary to a United Nations Security Council resolution prohibiting its imposition by way of extortion, threats of violence, fraud, and other illicit means].

Costa Rica

Costa Rican police detain immigrants from Somalia and Eritrea: Costa Rican police continued rounding up undocumented migrants this week with the detention of four Eritreans and four Somalis who were traveling toward the Peñas Blancas border crossing with Nicaragua. Costa Rican authorities believe that Africans are transported by people-trafficking rings that charge each one up to $7,000 to take them to the United States, but instead leave them abandoned to their fate in the Caribbean. (Diplomat – 11/09/14).

Europe:

France wants to create new EU migration post: France wants a new European coordinator to ensure member states follow through more rapidly on their asylum and border control commitments. A French official close to the issue said the coordinator is needed because the EU’s home affairs portfolio, currently headed by Cecilia Malmstrom, is too broad. (EU Observer – 2/09/14).

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees: Germany’s Interior Minister pledged to support Italy in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. (The Local – 2/09/14).  

EU concerned about 'systematic use of detention': EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom expressed concerns about "the systematic use of detention of irregular immigrants" by Malta and said the island needed to address this problem. (EU Observer – 4/09/14).

Calais heading for crisis: Migrant problem threatens to escalate, and neither France nor Britain seem able – or willing – to sort it out: The French government and the mayor say the problem of the migrant crisis in Calais is partly of Britain’s making. 1,300 migrants are said to be sleeping rough in the day and trying to board trucks and ships by night. The French government also wants Britain to persuade refugees that the UK is not the El Dorado painted by people-smugglers. (The Independent – 4/09/14)

Calais residents fear migrant crisis will end in violence: Residents warn that if the situation doesn't improve, the far-right Front National could gain a stronger foothold in the town. One resident stated: "People here are not extremists, we are quite passive – but I am fearful that something is going to happen," he said. "The number of migrants is going up, the opportunities to get to the UK are fewer – there's a real risk of violence." (The Guardian – 5/09/14).

Europe's migrant influx: illegal border crossings soar in 2014: More migrants are likely to risk dangerous, undocumented land or sea crossings into Europe this year than at the height of the Arab spring, according to the agency that monitors the EU's external borders (Frontex). (The Guardian – 5/09/14).

Calais migrants in human rights protest: Migrants in Calais have taken part in a protest asking for human rights protection amid rising tensions at the French port. There is an increased police presence in the town after dozens of migrants tried to storm a ferry bound for Dover. (BBC – 6/09/14).

Britain offers NATO fences to French port to block migrants: Britain will offer strong security fences used at a recent NATO summit to the French port of Calais, which is struggling to block migrants seeking illegal passage to Britain. The UK’s Immigration Minister said the donated fencing could replace and enlarge the "inadequate" infrastructure currently in place. (AFP – 7/09/14)

'Kick them out' Cry Calais Anti-Migrant Protesters: Far-right groups rallied against migrants in the northern French port of Calais days after refugees tried to storm their way onto a ferry to England. Some protesters carried placards saying "Kick them out!" and others blamed migrants for the "crime, filth and economic disaster" they claim was affecting the town from which hundreds of refugees hope to make it across the English Channel. (Naharnet – 7/09/14).

International waters likely off limits to EU migrant mission: Plans to restrict the EU border agency Frontex operations to an area close to the Italian coast could jeopardise lives should Italy’s Mare Nostrum be phased out. (EU Observer – 9/09/14).  

At Britain's door, migrants defy French border crackdown: French officials estimate that the number of illegal immigrants in Calais tallies at 1,500. This is up by 50 percent in the past year with their numbers boosted by conflict in the Middle East and north Africa. With no money to pay smugglers at the border, new arrivals seek strength in numbers to overwhelm security. Groups have taken to surrounding trucks bound for Britain, stopping them long enough to open loading hatches. In one make shift camp, most migrants said they wanted to reach Britain because of the language and because they believe its economy is more open and dynamic. (Reuters – 9/09/14)

Europe's Deadly Borders: An Inside Look at EU's Shameful Immigration Policy: [Opinion] A critique of Europe’s immigration policy, which according to the author begs serious questions about the EU’s character and values. (Die Spiegel – 11/09/14).

French in uphill fight against illegal Channel crossings: Migrants huddle on sand dunes in the French port of Calais, monitoring police further down who are poised to stop them if they attempt to board trucks heading to Britain. According to a French police officer: "They are becoming more violent and aggressive and we have to use tear gas more and more." Some 1,400 to 1,500 migrants (who have mainly come from eastern Africa via Italy) roam the city, waiting for an opportunity to get to Britain which they see as having a favourable asylum policy. (AFP – 12/09/14).

Malta boat sinking 'leaves 500 dead' – IOM:  About 500 migrants are feared dead after their ship was rammed by another boat near Malta, the IOM said. News of the sinking near Malta emerged as another vessel carrying 250 people sank off the coast of Libya. Over 200 people are feared to have drowned in that incident. (BBC News – 15/09/14)

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and Special Envoy Angelina Jolie warn of escalating crisis in the Mediterranean: Over 2,500 people have drowned or gone missing attempting the crossing this year alone, including over 2,200 since the start of June. 130,000 people have arrived in Europe by sea so far this year, more than double the 60,000 recorded in 2013. Italy has received over 118,000 arrivals, most of them rescued at sea by Italy under its Navy operation Mare Nostrum. (UNHCR – 15/09/14).

100 children among migrants 'deliberately drowned' in Mediterranean: Up to 100 children may have been among about 500 migrants who drowned in the Mediterranean when their boat was sunk by people smugglers, IOM has said after further interviews with survivors. (The Guardian - 16/09/14).  

Outraged Swiss village of 1,000 residents forced to raise taxes after African refugee mother-of-seven moves there and costs them £40,000 a month in benefits: The Daily Mail reports a village of just 1,000 residents in Switzerland has been forced to raise taxes because an Eritrean refugee and her seven children cost the local authority £40,000 in benefits every month. (Daily Mail – 16/09/14).

'Laughing' traffickers ram boat full migrants and kill 500, survivors say: Witnesses say as many as 500 migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea when human traffickers intentionally sunk their. (CNN – 16/09/14)

UNHCR alarmed at death toll from boat sinkings in the Mediterranean: The UN Refugee Agency is alarmed at the death toll from boat sinkings in the Mediterranean in recent days, which underlines the need for collective European action to avoid further loss of lives at sea (UNHCR – 17/09/14).

 A Heinous Act, More Deaths on the High Seas: Over the last two days, news emerged of three separate shipwrecks in the Mediterranean with the unbearable estimate of 700 presumed dead. The few survivors of the worst incident told the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Italian police that smugglers deliberately rammed their boat when migrants objected to being transferred to what looked like an even less seaworthy vessel, a particularly heinous act by human smugglers already known for unscrupulous and sometimes deadly practices. (Human Rights Watch - 16/09/14)

EU recognizes migrant diasporas as partners in development: The European Commission (EC) ruled to include programmes in its development policy to support immigrant associations that help non-European countries of origin. (Ansamed - 16/09/14)

Right to work urged for asylum seekers: Irish Minister of State urged the Government to grant a certain category of asylum-seekers the right to work. Ireland and Lithuania are reportedly the only EU member states to absolutely prohibit asylum-seekers from working. (Irish Times  16/09/14)

The EU must take more responsibility for the migrants risking their lives to reach Italy: Worried about the operating costs of Mare Nostrum (the search and rescue operation costing around €9Million a month - and domestic criticism) the Italian government has repeatedly asked the European Union to take responsibility for the operation. Those calls have been largely ignored, with other EU member states reluctant to defray costs or share responsibility for rescuing migrants or processing them once they land. (The Independent – 17/09/14).

Employment: report shows worker mobility key to tackle EU demographic and skills challenges: To address the effects of population ageing, the EU will need to close the gender gap and increase the participation of young and older workers in the labour market, but mobility and migration also have a key role to play. This is the main finding of the joint Commission-OECD report on Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs (Europa - 18/09/14)

Sea patrols in Mediterranean extended as borders agency faces €2.3m shortfall: Operations to secure Europe's frontiers face potential cutbacks in order to finance extended patrols in the Mediterranean in the wake of a series of migrant deaths, including the apparent murder of around 500 people by traffickers. Frontex says it faces a shortfall of €2.3m (£1.8) after extending operations off Italy, which were due to finish this month, until the end of November. This is a significant sum for an already hugely stretched organisation with an annual operational budget of just €42m. (The Guardian -18/09/14).

Austria backs calls for joint EU response to migrant crisis: The incoming European Commission must step up efforts with EU governments to develop a coordinated approach to refugee and asylum policy, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann has said (World Bulletin.net - 18/09/14)

Migrants 'pleading for oxygen' found in lorry in Kent: Twenty-four Eritrean migrants were found in the back of a refrigerated yoghurt lorry in Kent after they were heard knocking and pleading for oxygen. They were discovered by a local garage owner who said: "You could hear people screaming and saying 'oxygen', so I made a decision to cut the tab off and open it.” BBC- 18/09/14).

Bring “Mediterranean mass murderers” to justice – UN Human Rights Chief: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged Egypt and other North African and European States with relevant information to make a concerted effort to bring to justice the people smugglers who allegedly deliberately sank a boat causing the deaths of between 300 and 500 refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean last week. (OHCHR - 19/09/14).

'Treated like dogs': Migrants speak of horror at sea off Malta: When at least 300 migrants drowned off Malta's coast on 12 September it was different from previous migrant tragedies in the Mediterranean. It was downright mass murder, according to three survivors who spoke to the Times of Malta. (BBC  - 19/09/14)

Is the EU doing enough to prevent migrant deaths at sea? The news that up to 850 lives were lost in the Mediterranean in one weekend as a result of five shipwrecks of boats carrying migrants has sparked a new round of calls for the European Union (EU) to take more responsibility for preventing deaths at sea. There are few indications that the astounding death toll will lead to significant changes in that policy. Instead, Europe continues to shore up its defences against irregular migrants, whether or not many of them are in fact asylum seekers. (IRIN – 19/09/14).

IOM Assists Probes into the Deaths of Hundreds of Migrants Lost this Month Off the Coast of Malta: Investigations are proceeding in three countries following the loss of up to 500 migrants who sailed to Europe from the port of Damietta, Egypt, earlier this month. (IOM – 23/09/14).

British government pledges £12m to tackle 'illegal immigration' from Calais: The UK government has pledged £12m to help France tackle the problem of 'illegal immigrants' trying to enter Britain through Calais.  (The Guardian – 20/09/14).

Sweden immigrants dismayed by far-right gain: Immigrants in Sweden have reacted with shock and disappointment after a far-right party gained enough votes to become the country's third-largest in the September 14 parliamentary elections. (Al Jazeera – 21/09/14).

Dying to get to Europe: nearly 450,000 asylum seekers a year make their way to EU: Asylum applications in the EU were up by some 100,000 in 2013 compared to the year before. Members of the European Parliament will discuss the latest developments on 24 September when the European Commission presents the latest annual report on immigration and asylum to the civil liberties committee. The report stressed that the EU needed to do more on immigration, asylum and the smuggling and trafficking of human being (European Parliament News – 23/09/14).

Gambia urges U.N. inquiry into 'deliberate' migrant shipwrecks:  Gambia's president demanded a United Nations investigation into the "man made sinking [and] capsizing" of boats carrying migrants to Europe, saying 500 citizens of his African country had died in such incidents in the past five years. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 25/09/14).

Nordic American Tankers' vessel performed rescue operation, involving 150 people in Mediterranean: Nordic American Tankers says one of its vessels performed a rescue operation, involving 150 people in the Mediterranean. Asylum-seekers from a variety of countries, including Somalia and Eritrea, were stranded in a wooden boat after experiencing engine trouble. (Reuters – 29/09/14).

Migrant deaths crossing Mediterranean top 3,000 in 2014: More than 3,000 migrants have died crossing the Mediterranean this year, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). IOM said the 3,072 deaths made Europe the most dangerous destination for "irregular" migrants. (BBC – 29/09/14). 

UN expert urges European nations to rethink policies as migration-related deaths rise: The UN Special Rapporteur on human rights of migrants has said that in attempting to seal their borders, European nations are facing an “impossible” task. He has encouraged the European Union to identify new legal channels of migration in an effort to save lives. (UN News Centre – 29/09/14).

Frontex can develop into an 'authority that protects borders, save lives': The European Commissioner-designate for migration Dimitris Avramopoulos called for a “legal migration system” in order to establish legal and safe route for asylum seekers seeking refuge in Europe. (Malta Today – 30/09/14).

EU embassies should take asylum requests, new commissioner says: Dimitris Avramopoulos, the incoming Greek EU commissioner for migration and home affairs, wants offices set up at EU foreign embassies to allow people to apply for asylum. (EU Observer – 30/09/14).

EU platitudes on migration: With the Italian government threatening to halt its €10 million per month Mare Nostrum mission, the European Union’s border agency, Frontex, is in the process of establishing a new operation, to be known as Triton. However, the implementation of the new mission has been held up by wrangling between Italy and Malta with regard to the new rules of engagement stipulating which country will take the rescued migrants. (Times of Malta – 30/09/14).

Eritrea

One man's hellish journey from Eritrea terror to UK sanctuary: Thousands of Eritreans risk their lives each year trying to reach the United Kingdom and one man's successful journey meant suffering privations for three years. (The Guardian – 6/09/14).

UN expert to interview Eritrean diaspora in Italy: The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Eritrea will make an official visit to Italy to collect first-hand information from Eritrean refugees and migrants on the human rights situation in Eritrea. (Capital Eritrea - 18/09/14).

Migrants 'pleading for oxygen' found in lorry in Kent: Twenty-four Eritrean migrants have been found in the back of a refrigerated yoghurt lorry in Kent after they were heard knocking and pleading for oxygen. They were discovered by a local garage owner who said: "You could hear people screaming and saying 'oxygen', so I made a decision to cut the tab off and open it.” BBC- 19/09/14).

UN Names Commission of Inquiry: The President of the UN Human Rights Council appointed: Mike Smith (Australia) and Victor Dankwa (Ghana) to serve in the Commission of Inquiry, together with Sheila Keetharuth (Mauritius), the council’s special rapporteur on human rights in Eritrea. Human Rights Watch says: “The flow of Eritrean youth fleeing the country shows that the persistent, alarming patterns of serious human rights violations in Eritrea need scrutiny and action.” (Human Rights Watch – 26/09/14)

Dire human rights situation in Eritrea persists, United Nations Special Rapporteur warns:  United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea, Sheila B. Keetharuth, warned that human rights violations continue to be committed on a large scale, compelling hundreds of Eritreans, many of them very young, to leave their home country in search of safer havens where they can enjoy their fundamental human rights. (United Nations Office at Geneva – 30/09/14).

Ethiopia

Ethiopia refugee camp submerged by floods: Ethiopia's Lietchuor camp, home to almost 40,000 refugees from South Sudan, has been made uninhabitable by flooding, Doctors without Borders (MSF) said. Ethiopia's Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs and UNHCR have decided to close the camp and are searching for suitable ways to relocate the refugees. (Al Jazeera - 5/09/14).  

The Swiss hopes of refugees with nothing to lose: Fleeing a repressive regime at home, thousands of young Eritreans cross the frontier with Ethiopia every month. It’s the first stage on the way to Europe.Swissinfo.ch talked to these refugees, some of whom have dreams of reaching Switzerland.  (Swissinfo.ch – 16/09/14).

UNHCR Operational Update, 18-25 September 2014: A total of 686 South Sudanese refugees arrived in Ethiopia over the last week through the three entry points of Akobo, Burbiey and Pagak. The total number of South Sudanese refugees who have entered Ethiopia since the outbreak of the conflict in mid-December 2013 is now over 189,343 individuals, with the number continuing to increase daily. (UNHCR – 25/09/14).

Israel:

Israel 'coercing Eritreans and Sudanese to leave' Israel is unlawfully coercing almost 7,000 Eritrean and Sudanese nationals into leaving the country at great personal risk, Human Rights Watch says. (BBC – 9/09/14)

Immigration official charged with forgery and accepting bribe: An employee of the Population, Immigration and Border Authority has been charged with forging a passport for a Sudanese asylum seeker in return for a 5,000-shekel ($1,390) bribe. (Haaretz – 9/09/14).

Making desperate people's lives truly miserable: [Opinion] It is time Israeli authorities guaranteed Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers access to fair asylum procedures. (Al Jazeera- 14/09/14)

On Surge Of Asylum Seekers, Israel Caught In A Bind: Israel, like other Mediterranean and European countries, is a magnet for asylum seekers escaping forced, open-ended conscription in Eritrea or war in Sudan. Their influx has forced Israel to face a painful dilemma: defend its Jewish character, or its Jewish values? (The New York Jewish Week - 17/09/14)

How to solve the African migrant 'threat' and do the right thing, too [Opinion] Instead of passivity and ill will as policy, Israel could treat Africans already here as guest workers, not a demographic threat. (Haaretz – 11/09/14 )

African asylum seekers await pivotal court move on anti-infiltration law: An analysis of the campaign by some human rights organizations to have amendments to the Anti-Infiltration Law overturned. (Haaretz - 21/09/14)

High Court orders closure of detention facility for African asylum seekers: The High Court of Justice ordered the state to close the Holot detention facility for asylum seekers within 90 days, a dramatic decision that marked the first time the court has ever struck down two versions of the same law. Some 2,000 Eritreans and Sudanese are incarcerated in Holot 'open facility’ in Negev, which the Court rules must be shut within 90 days. The Court also cancelled an amendment allowing incarceration for one year without trial. (Haaretz - 22/09/14)

African asylum seeker speaks: 'We’re not to blame for south Tel Aviv woes' An African asylum seeker weighed in on the Israeli Court decision to close an ‘open detention’ centre. He praised the court for its decision and  had a message for the Israeli public: 'we [African asylum-seekers are] not to blame for south Tel Aviv woes' (Haaretz - 23/09/14)

Opponents of African asylum seekers gather in south Tel Aviv to express anger - and racism: Soon after the High Court of Justice announced that the government must shut down its Holot detention facility for asylum seekers, residents of a south Tel Aviv neighborhood expressed anger, disappointment and racism at the decision. (Haaretz – 23/09/14).

High Court Voids Migrant Holding Law: Human Rights Watch described the High Court decision as a positive ruling which is consistent with its findings in a recent report that characterized the “residency center” at the heart of the court’s decision as “a detention center in all but name.” (Human Rights Watch– 24/09/14).

Southern Tel Aviv residents outraged at High Court ruling: Residents of southern Tel Aviv are fuming after the High Court of Justice ordered the closure of a detention facility holding thousands of African infiltrators and overturned an amendment stipulating that illegal infiltrators can be held without trial for a year. (Israel Hayom – 24/09/14).

Smiles hide lost hope of Israel’s asylum seekers in Uganda: [Opinion] Some South Sudanese asylum seekers 'voluntarily returned’ by Israel to Africa say they would rather die in far way and not in prison in Israel. (Haaretz – 24/09/14).

A second chance to get it right for asylum seekers (and Israelis): [Opinion] Any solution to Israel's migrant-workers problem must take into account the residents of south Tel Aviv and the asylum seekers themselves. (Haaretz  - 29/09/14).

Ministry freezes summons of African asylum seekers to Holot: The Interior Ministry issued an order to freeze the summons of migrants to the Holot detention facility. The move came after Haaretz reported that the ministry had kept sending Eritreans and Sudanese there, despite a High Court ruling ordering its closure. (Haaretz - 29/09/14)

Netanyahu: Israel has no asylum seeker problem - only illegal job immigrants: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded for the first time to a High Court ruling ordering the closure of a detention center for African asylum seekers, saying that Israel cannot afford to be engulfed by "illegal job seekers”. (Haaretz – 30/09/14)

Libya:

Libya: UN report details serious human rights abuses in Tripoli, Benghazi: The UN Support Mission in Libya and the UN Human Rights Office issued a joint report on the serious human rights violations taking place in Libya. It details the harsh protection environment facing migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers. (OHCHR – 4/09/14)

Dozens of migrants missing in sinking off Libya coast: navy: Dozens of African migrants are missing and feared dead after their boat sank off the coast of Libya, a Libyan navy spokesman said. Only 36 of the migrants, including three women, were rescued after the boat carrying some 200 migrants sank in waters east of Tripoli. (AFP – 15/09/14)

Forty migrants missing after raft sinks near Libya: Italy coast guard:  Forty migrants were missing after the raft that carried them sank  some miles from eastern Libya. Italian authorities sent boats to the scene and 55 people were rescued, but survivors said there were around 95 people in total on the raft, an official said. (Reuters - 21/09/14)

Kenya:

Mandera clan conflict has displaced more than 19,000, Kenya Red Cross says: The ongoing conflict since May between the Degodia and Garre clans in Mandera County is said to have displaced more than 19,000 people. It is further reported that the conflict shows evidence of Al-Shabaab involvement and cross-border spillover from Ethiopia. (Sabahionline – 16/09/14).

Two Iranians nabbed in Kenya are illegal migrants: police: Kenyan police said that two Iranians arrested in Nairobi carrying fake Israeli passports are being treated as illegal migrants. They were reportedly en route to Belgium. A security source at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport said that Kenya is regularly used as a transit point for illegal migrants from the Middle East region -- mainly Iran, Iraq and Syria -- hoping to travel to Europe.   (AFP – 22/09/14)

Refugees & camps

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Somali Refugees in Kenya: Refugees International released a reportlisting the pressure Somali refugees in Kenya are facing on multiple fronts. (Refugees International – 09/09/14)

UNHCR responds after annual rains claim another victim in Kakuma: Heavy rains fall on Kakuma camp on an annual basis and often sweep away lives, belongings and hopes. UNHCR works closely with its implementing partner, the International Rescue Committee, to assist those affected. (UNHCR – 09/09/14).

Harassment haunts Somalis in Kenya, a year after Westgate attack: Mass arrests, extortion, deportation and suspicion: one year since Somali gunmen staged a four-day massacre in Nairobi's Westgate mall, Somalis in Kenya say the attack has left their community battling harassment and denigration. "The Somali people in Kenya strongly condemned the attack on Westgate, but they were collectively punished for it," said a refugee living in Nairobi's Eastleigh district, a largely ethnic Somali area of the city.  (AFP – 19/09/14)

Two Somali refugees shot dead in Dadaab, North Eastern Kenya: Gunmen on Saturday shot dead two Somali refugees in Dhagahley camp in Dadaab Refugee Complex in Kenya’s northeastern province according to reports from the camp. The assailants escaped from the scene shortly after killing the two refugees and the motives behind the killing are yet to be established. (Diplomat – 21/09/14)

Porous border puts Kenya at risk of polio outbreak: Kenya is still at risk of a polio outbreak due to its porous border with Somalia. Rotary International says the country is not free from polio because children from Somalia, some who are not vaccinated, are crossing from the horn of Africa nation to refugee camps in northern Kenya. (The Standard - 22/09/14)

Kenya and Interim Jubbaland State Discuss Repatriation of Refugees: The Kenyan government and the interim government of Jubbaland have reportedly entered talks on the repatriation of refugees to Jubbaland. The two governments are said to have identified a portion of land (measuring 4.047 hectares) for their resettlement. The federal government of Somalia (while a party to the tripartite agreement with UNHCR and Kenya) said it was unaware of the plan. (The Star – 22/09/14)

UNHCR Kenya Kakuma Operational Update 18th – 24th September 2014: As at 24th September 2014, Kakuma Refugee Camp had received 43,485 asylum seekers from South Sudan. This brings the total camp population to 178,445. As at 21st September 174,737refugees had been registered by UNHCR and DRA (UNHCR – 24/09/14).

Between a rock and a hard place: Which way for Somali refugees?: Torn between a ‘hostile’ host and war-torn home in Somalia, refugees face an uncertain future. (The Star – 25/09/14)

Saudi Arabia:

'How I escaped death in Saudi Arabia': Many Kenyans are killed in suspicious circumstances in Saudi Arabia while many others are stranded in detention centres. Last year, the Kenyan Embassy rescued more than 800 people languishing in Saudi jails. This has, however, not stopped Kenyans from flocking in droves to Saudi Arabia in search of greener pastures. (The Star – 2/09/14)

Police arrest 15,000 illegal expats in Jeddah: Security forces have arrested more than 15,000 foreign workers during the past few months for allegedly violating the Kingdom’s residency and labor regulations. A spokesman for the police said that the: “raids to track down violators will continue until the last illegal expat is deported from the country.”   (Arab News – 19/09/14).

Somalia

Africa Union troops 'raped' girls in Mogadishu, Somalia: According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), African Union (AU) troops raped women and girls seeking medical aid or water from their bases in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu. (BBC – 8/09/14).

Over 100,000 people displaced in Somalia so far this year as IDPs bear brunt of food insecurity crisis: Forced evictions, drought, conflict and lack of livelihoods have prompted more than 100,000 Somalis to flee their homes so far this year. This displacement within Somalia and across its borders shows no signs of easing. The vast majority – some 80% – are internally displaced in Somalia, while newly arrived Somali refugees have registered in Yemen, Kenya and Ethiopia during the first eight months of 2014. Insecurity is the main cause of internal displacement, with some 80,000 people fleeing their homes because of military conflict. (UNHCR – 17/09/14).

OCHA Humanitarian Bulletin Somalia: Almost 11,000 internally displaced people have been evicted in Mogadishu in late August and September 2014.(OCHA – 19/09/14)

UN Human Rights Council: Interactive Dialogue with the Independent Expert on Somalia: Human Rights Watch welcomes the Independent Expert’s report on Somalia, which highlights that the human rights situation in Somalia, particularly in the south-central region, remains dire. (Human Rights Watch - 25/09/14).

IOM Helps Mental Health Displaced in Hargeisa:  IOM is supporting 210 patients admitted and treated at the Mental Health Department at Hargeisa Group Hospital in Somaliland. (IOM News – 26/09/14).

Somalia ranks worst in African rule of law index: Somalia was ranked the worst country in an annual African governance index, which showed even the best performers had slipped in at least one category over the past five years. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 29/09/14).

South Africa

South African move on child trafficking: South Africa has postponed a regulation designed to combat child trafficking. Under the regulation, parents travelling with children into and out of South Africa will be required to carry unabridged birth certificates, and where the child is travelling with a single parent a letter from the other parent consenting to the travel. Some commentators, however, question the efficacy of the proposed rules to combat child trafficking. (IRIN – 17/09/14).

Rights to health of Lindela detainees violated – SAHRC: The South African Human Rights Commission has released its findings of an investigation into violations of access to health for detainees at the Lindela Repatriation Centre. In its recommendations the Commission requested release of detained persons who had been extra judicially detained in excess of 120 days. Both the Department of Home Affairs and South African Police Services have also been requested to take steps to secure the protection of human rights of persons who are arrested and detained.  (South African Human Rights Commission – 19/09/14).

South Sudan

Women fearful in South Sudan camps: Since fighting broke out in South Sudan in mid-December, nearly 100,000 people have crowded into 10 UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) bases across the eastern half of the country. Although there are no official statistics, humanitarian groups say sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) - including rape, but also beating, harassment and domestic violence - exists in varying degrees at all of the larger camps, as does a growing resentment among women and girls that more is not being done to protect them (IRIN – 9/09/14)

South Sudan bans foreign workers amid aid crisis: South Sudan's government has issued an order to non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private firms to fire certain foreign workers by mid-October. If implemented, commentators predict the policy will impact aid programmes during a critical time for the world’s youngest nation. (BBC – 16/09/14).

S. Sudan to delay expelling foreign workers: South Sudan government backtracked on expelling foreign nationals working with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private companies by mid-October after fierce criticism from neighbours. (Sudan Tribune – 18/09/14).

IOM Regional Response to South Sudan Crisis: The number of South Sudanese refugees entering Khartoum continues to drop. Between 15 and 21 September 2014, the number of refugees crossing into Kenya decreased. The decrease can be attributed to both the rising insecurity at the border, and the heavy rains. Refugees who manage to cross the border report of attackers on the route to Nadapal who threaten and extort refugees. (IOM - 15-21/09/14)

South Sudan's Bentiu camp still a draw for IDPs: Despite the harsh living conditions in the UN base people keep arriving, including 500 more in a week in September. They are said to be looking for a measure of security and some services, which they can no longer find in the areas around Bentiu. (IRIN – 24/09/14)

South Sudan Crisis Situation Report No. 55 (as of 25 September 2014): Fighting continued in Renk, Upper Nile State. This caused population movement northwards to the Sudan border, as well as to the south of Renk. Since the crisis began in December 2013, 1.35 million people have been internally displaced. (UNOCHA - 25/09/14).

UNMISS Update, 25 September 2014: As of 23 September, the estimated number of civilians seeking safety in ten Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites located on UNMISS bases is 96,723. (UNMISS – 25/09/14). 

Thailand:

Rights group slams Thai detention of child migrants and refugees: According to Human Rights Watch, Thailand arbitrarily and indefinitely detains thousands of child migrants and asylum seekers (including Somalis) due to their immigration status or that of their parents. (Reuters  – 2/09/14).

Yemen:

Can legal changes stop trafficking in Yemen? A Yemeni draft law envisaging strict penalties for those involved in trafficking migrants, including kidnapping them and demanding ransom, may finally bring an end to decades of exploitation. (IRIN – 9/09/14).

UNHCR Gets Plan to Repatriate Somali Refugees From Yemen: The Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister who is also the director of the refugee affairs in Yemen and UNHCR's Yemen representative discussed how the Somali refugees should be assisted to return to their country voluntarily. The Yemeni department for refugees will coordinate the project. (Dalsan Radio – 10/09/14)

UNHCR and the Sana’a University sign new partnership to enhance academic study and research to promote protection of refugees in Yemen: UNHCR and the University of Sana’a signed an agreement which will further the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Yemen – deepening the understanding of International Refugee Law and sharing expert knowledge among those working in the area of refugees and migration policy and practice. (Yemen Post – 10/09/14).

Contact Us

Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
DRC Horn of Africa & Yemen
Lower Kabete Road
(Ngecha Road Junction)
P.O.Box 14762, 00800
Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: (0)20 418 0403/4/5 (switchboard)
info@regionalmms.org

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The RMMS is primarily funded by the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss government and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development , with support from other donors for specific projects.