With massive support, UNODC spreads its message against human trafficking all over the world: The social media campaign #givehope, launched by UNODC on the first World Day against Trafficking of Persons, encouraged people worldwide to express their solidarity with the victims of human trafficking wherever they may be. People were asked to share photos of themselves online making the universally recognized hand heart - a gesture of solidarity representing love, care and friendship (UNODC – 6/08/14)
U.N. Conference Set to Bypass Climate Change Refugees: An international conference on small island developing states (SIDS), bypasses a politically sensitive issue: a proposal to create a new category of “environmental refugees” fleeing tiny island nations threatened by rising seas. (Inter Press Service – 25/08/14)
Focus on Migration: Rising Migration is a Myth: [Opinion] It is widely believed that globalisation has boosted long-distance migration. But a study in Science reports stable international migration since the 1990s. (Scidevnet – 28/08/14)
Traffickers shoot dead Egyptian guard at Israeli border: An Egyptian border guard was killed during a shootout with people traffickers trying to cross into Israel with illegal African migrants, a security official said. (AFP – 27/08/14)
Role of Egyptian Media in combatting trafficking in persons discussed at EU project roundtable: Media officers attended a round table on the role of media in combating human trafficking. The round table was organised by IOM and the Egyptian National Coordinating Committee for Combating and Preventing Trafficking (NCCTIP) in the framework of the EU-funded project ‘Supporting governmental and nongovernmental partners to protect migrants’ human rights along the East African Route’. (EU Neighbourhood Information Centre - 27/08/14)
As South Sudan crisis grows, Ethiopia becomes Africa's biggest refugee-hosting country: Ethiopia has overtaken Kenya to become the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa, sheltering 629,718 refugees as of the end of July. Kenya, still a major hosting country, is host to 575,334 registered refugees and asylum seekers. (UNHCR – 19/08/14)
IOM Briefs Ethiopian Diplomats on Diaspora Mapping: IOM has organized a briefing in Addis Ababa on diaspora mapping for over 100 Ethiopian ambassadors and senior diplomats from around the world. The mapping exercise is the first step towards formulating a diaspora engagement strategy. (IOM News – 19/08/14).
Ministerial meeting reaffirms commitment to solving Somalia crisis: Participants at a ministerial meeting co-chaired by UNHCR in Addis Ababa reaffirmed their commitment to find solutions for hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees. They called on the international community to help the Somali government in its efforts to restore peace and progress. (UNHCR – 21/08/14)
Germany commits 750,000 euros to help refugees in Ethiopia: Germany has contributed 750,000 euros to provide ongoing humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of refugees in Ethiopia, mostly from South Sudan. The money will go directly to supporting the WFP, which has been facing funding shortages. (Sudan Tribune – 24/08/14)
Jesuit Refugee Service accompanies refugees in Ethiopia: Supported by a grant from the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, JRS is working with the UN Refugee Agency and local authorities in Ethiopia to address the trend of minors departing from refugee camps by improving conditions for children in the camp and working toward long-term solutions. (Huffington Post – 28/08/14).
Waiting in Leitchuor: South Sudanese refugees need help: Eight months after conflict broke out, thousands of South Sudanese refugees continue to flee into Ethiopia but lack of funding makes it difficult to provide shelter, clean water and proper sanitation. (Danchurch Aid – 29/08/14)
Time Running Out for Refugees Seeking Asylum in Italy: ‘Mare Nostrum’ Italy’s search and rescue operation has saved about 80,000 migrants since it began. But despite this fact, the Italian right-wing party Northern League is calling for its termination amid growing concerns of its financial cost. (Inter Press Service News Agency – 01/08/14).
From Eritrea and Sudan, the new migrant queue at Calais: Latest illegal encampment to spring up has hundreds who are currently waiting for the first chance to escape: Hundreds of migrants set up a new camp in the French port of Calais. The camp named 'Jungle 2' mushroomed two months after a previous one in the town was bulldozed. Most of the migrants in the camp are from Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia (Daily Mail – 2/02/14).
Italy navy rescues 2,700 migrants, recovers two bodies: The Italian navy said it had rescued over 2,700 migrants from boats attempting to cross the Mediterranean from North Africa over the weekend, and recovered two bodies off the coast of Libya. (AFP – 4/08/14)
Dozens hurt as migrants clash in France: Dozens of mainly African migrants were hurt in fresh clashes in the French port of Calais as a new report warned of a dramatic rise in illegal immigration to Europe. (AFP – 5/08/14)
France becoming 'weak link' in European migration control as police warn of 'alarming' rise in illegal migrants: Numbers of Eritreans crossing into France from Italy is rocketing warn French border police in a leaked report as fresh migrant clashes erupt in port of Calais. Many of the migrants – mainly Eritreans, as well as Ethiopians, Sudanese, Afghans and Syrians – were heading for Calais in the hope of boarding lorries bound for Britain. 61,591 migrants landed in Italy in the first six months of the year. During the same period last year, the figure was only 7,913. (The Telegraph – 5/08/14).
Italy processing 1,416 rescued migrants: An Italian Navy vessel has reached the port city of Salerno with 1,416 rescued migrants on board, most of them war refugees. According to the French newspaper Le Figaro, Mare Nostrum has saved "more than 93,700 lives" to date and costs Italy nine million euros a month. (Ansa – 5/08/14).
Boat migrant arrivals to Italy up 500 percent in 2014: The number of boat migrants arriving in Italy soared 500 percent in the first half of the year, already topping a 2011 record during the Arab Spring uprisings, Frontex said. 78,300 people had arrived in the EU by the end of July via the hazardous Mediterranean route from Libya to mainly Italy, but also Malta. The figure is up from 12,915 during the same period last year. Eritreans and Syrians make up the bulk of migrants risking the sea journey, but many sub-Saharan Africans, mostly from Mali and Sudan, also arrive via that route. (AFP – 12/08/14)
Italy says two boat migrants die, 1,500 saved as total passes 100,000: Two boat migrants died among almost 1,500 rescued by Italy in the last 24 hours, authorities said as the total number reaching Italian shores this year passed 100,000. (Reuters – 15/08/14)
AFM denies Italian media report claiming it pushed migrants away: The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) has denied a report in the Italian newspaper Il Giornale claiming that it refueled a migrant vessel and then pointed in the direction of Italy. The AFM says the allegation is “completely unfounded.” (Times of Malta – 19/08/14)
Sweden warns of rising immigration costs as election nears: Sweden will not "shut the door" on record numbers of asylum seekers but they pose a growing financial burden, the country's finance minister said in comments that underscore voters' concerns on immigration ahead of next month's general election. (World Bulletin – 21/08/14)
Moroccan authorities raid camp of migrants waiting to cross into Spain: Moroccan authorities have carried out raids on a makeshift camp where some 1,000 migrants were living as they waited to rush the border fence that separates Morocco and Spain, according to a human rights group in Melilla. (The Guardian – 21/08/14)
Italy finds 19 boat migrants dead, saves over 3,500 since Friday: navy Italy's maritime search and rescue service saved 3,500 migrants and found 19 corpses in the Mediterranean as thousands attempted to cross to Europe by boat over the weekend, the Italian navy said. (Reuters – 24/08/14)
EU 'appalled' by migrant dead off Italy: The European Union's Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said she was "appalled" by a new report that migrants had died trying to cross the Mediterranean to get to Italy. (AFP – 24/08/14)
Mediterranean migrant deaths multiply in summer sailing season: The series of tragedies in the Mediterranean in the last weekend marks one of the deadliest periods of 2014, with an estimated 230 migrants lost and presumed dead. (IOM News - 26/08/14).
Three boat tragedies in five days on the Mediterranean – scores feared dead: The past few days have been the deadliest this year on the Mediterranean for people making irregular crossings to Europe, with at least three vessels having overturned or sunk and more than 300 lives lost. In all, it is believed that 1,889 people have perished this year while making such journeys, 1,600 of these since the start of June. (UNHCR – 26/08/14).
Deadly migrant crossings push issue up EU agenda: Italy's navy said it had recovered 24 corpses from the latest capsize of a boat carrying migrants from Africa, as EU officials debated action over the perilous efforts to reach European shores. Talks on the issue were being held in Rome between officials representing Italy, the European Commission, and Frontex - the European borders' agency. (AFP- 26/08/14)
EU urged to act over surge in migrant deaths in Med: Italy's navy said that 24 corpses had been recovered from the latest capsize of a boat carrying migrants from Africa, as EU officials debated how to stem a surge in the numbers dying in perilous efforts to reach European shores. More than 300 would-be immigrants have been killed and another 4,000 rescued at sea since Friday (22/08/14) according to navy figures. The death toll since the start of the year is nearing 2,000 (AFP – 26/08/14)
Illegal Mediterranean Sea Crossings Spike Refugee Death Toll: The U.N. refugee agency reports that more than 300 migrants lost their lives when their boats capsized in the Mediterranean Sea last weekend. The UNHCR says escalating conflicts are driving more and more people to embark on desperate journeys to reach Europe. IOM says that 100,000 people have arrived irregularly in Italy this year, with 25,000 Eritreans arriving in the first seven months of 2014. (Voice of America – 26/08/14)
EU to launch mission to help Italy cope with boat migrants: The European Commission said it would launch an EU version of Italy's sea rescue operation to help it deal with the droves of migrants crossing the Mediterranean in crowded boats from North Africa, something Italy has repeatedly called for. (Reuters – 27/08/14)
Mali to prosecute parents of underage migrants: Mali says it intends to prosecute parents who send their underage children to Europe as migrants, but needs Europe's co-operation to do so. (BBC News – 27/08/14)
Switzerland grants entry to Eritrean asylum seeker fearing detention in Israel: A Swiss court recently permitted an Eritrean asylum seeker to enter Switzerland, in an effort to prevent the man from being held in an Israeli detention center. The court said people should generally seek protection from their country of residence, but in exceptional cases when that country cannot provide adequate protection, Switzerland can permit asylum seekers to enter. The court ruled that the Swiss authorities must allow the man entry so he may complete the asylum-seeking process. (Haaretz – 28/08/14).
The millionaires who rescue people at sea: Couple living in Malta have drawn deeply from their own pockets to fund a highly-sophisticated ship, the Phoenix, which they are using to find and help migrants trying to enter Europe by boat, mostly from Africa. (BBC News – 28/08/14).
UN warning over Mediterranean crossing patrol force from EU: UNHCR has warned that more people will die trying to cross the Mediterranean if the creation of a new EU border patrol to replace an Italian naval operation leads to a reduced search and rescue presence (The Guardian – 29/08/14)
Migrant boat capsizes off Libya: A boat carrying more than 100 migrants has capsized off the coast near the Libyan capital, a coast guard official said. The coast guard has not yet confirmed the number of deaths but estimated the boat carried at least 100 people. (Times of Malta – 31/08/14)
Israeli Mob Beat Eritrean Refugee and Leave him Unconscious: An angry Israeli mob has reportedly beaten a 23-year-old Eritrean refugee in Tel Aviv's new Central Bus Station, leaving him unconscious and on the verge of dying. The six suspects, two of them minors, claimed that the refugee had tried to rob one of them but an ongoing investigation showed that they had attacked the Eritrean first with punches and kicks (International Business Times – 19/08/14).
Eritrean migrants risk detentions and beatings in Libya for a life in Europe: Crumbling state authority in Libya has allowed people-smuggling to become big business. Eritreans risk brutalization in Libyan detention centres as they journey for a better life in Europe. (The Guardian – 1/08/14)
Concern mounts for refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya: UNHCR is deeply concerned about the safety of refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya as violence escalates. Almost 37,000 people are registered with UNHCR in Tripoli and Benghazi, with many living in areas heavily damaged by fighting and unable to leave to safer areas due to ongoing clashes. (UNHCR - 5/08/14)
18 Sudanese killed in Libya unrest: official media: Eighteen Sudanese have been killed by a rocket strike in the Libyan capital, but Khartoum says the situation does not yet warrant an evacuation of its nationals, official media reported. (AFP – 6/08/14)
Conditions for asylum seekers worsen in Libya: As violence in Libya continues to escalate, most diplomats and foreign workers have by now received assistance from their governments and employers to evacuate the country. But for the tens of thousands of undocumented migrants and asylum seekers in Libya, the only possibility for escape lies in the hands of smugglers. (IRIN – 7/08/14)
Tunisian fishermen rescue 75 migrants drifting at sea: Tunisian fishermen rescued 75 migrants who had drifted for five days after leaving Libya aboard an inflatable boat in an attempt to reach Italy, an official said. (AFP - 21/08/14)
170 migrants feared lost at sea off Libya: coastguard: A Libyan coastguard official said a boat carrying 200 illegal migrants from sub-Saharan Africa was feared lost at sea off the capital Tripoli, with 170 people still missing. The coastguard official was unable to give any firm details of the nationalities of the victims or survivors, but added: "It seems that among them are Somalis and Eritreans." (AFP - 22/08/14)
Libya unrest ‘stimulating deadly passage’ for smuggled migrants: A series of tragedies in the Mediterranean marked one of the deadliest periods of 2014, the International Organisation for Migration said, with an estimated 230 migrants lost and presumed dead last weekend. (Times of Malta – 26/08/14)
Deteriorating Security in Libya May Result in More Migrant Boats: IOM is concerned that the number of migrants trying to reach Italy from Libya by sea could increase in the coming weeks, as more people decide to opt for the dangerous Mediterranean crossing to escape ongoing fighting in the Libyan capital. (IOM News – 29/08/14)
Libya finds 15 migrants' bodies near ripped inflatable boat: Libyan coastguards on Sunday found 15 bodies of sub-Saharan African migrants floating in the sea near a ripped inflatable boat, east of the capital. Last week in the same area, rescuers recovered the bodies of around 170 people after the shipwreck of another vessel carrying illegal immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. (AFP – 31/08/14)
Kenyan authorities concerned about spillover of internal conflict in Ethiopia: Security authorities say they are concerned that the conflict between the Ethiopian government and the outlawed Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) is spilling over into Kenya with a string of assassinations of Ethiopian nationals suspected of being ONLF members in Garissa. (Sabahionline – 1/08/14)
Kenya passes law to step up fight against human trafficking: Kenya has passed a law that will make it easier to secure convictions for human trafficking by providing greater support to victims, encouraging them to give evidence, campaigners said. (The Guardian – 2/09/14)
South Sudanese asylum seekers in Kenya rise to over 42,000: The number of South Sudanese asylum seekers in Kenya has risen to 42,410 since fighting broke out in December 2013. (Global Post – 30/08/14)
Refugees & Camps:
Rights group sues Kenya over separated refugee children: The Refugee Consortium of Kenya (a national NGO) has taken legal action against the government, accusing it of separating 300 children from their parents who were arrested and taken to refugee camps four months ago. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 01/08/14).
Refugee who lives in different prison cells: A two-year-old boy is among thousands of migrants detained in police stations across the country for months, raising fears of human rights abuses in the ongoing Operation Usalama Watch campaign. (The Standard – 3/08/14).
Kenyan hold demo at refugee camp over sacking: Hundreds of local residents marched outside the UNHCR compound, demanding the reinstatement of the three employees allegedly sacked by the Norwegian Refugee Council after they became pregnant. (Global Post - 8/08/14).
Somalia pulls out of refugee talks again: Somalia for the second time has pulled out of a long-awaited deal to repatriate more than half a million Somali refugees, and Kenya is now considering dealing with the administration of the Jubaland region. (The Star - 16/08/14).
Four Questions Reveal Horrifying Situation for LGBTs in Kenyan Refugee Camps: An interview detailing the harsh living conditions and protection climate for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender refugees in Kenya’s Kakuma Camp and Nairobi. (Advocate – 16/08/14).
Ugandan gays who fled to Kenya still feel danger: When a Ugandan court overturned the country's Anti-Homosexuality Act this month, rights activists worldwide claimed a victory. But not gay Ugandans who fled persecution to live in a refugee camp in neighboring Kenya. (Associated Press – 17/08/14)
Kenya seeks cash for refugees return: Kenya is seeking $100 million (Sh8.8bn) from the international community for the repatriation of more than half a million Somali refugees. (The Star – 18/08/14)
Somali prime minister visits Dadaab refugee camp: Somali Prime Minister led a ministerial delegation to Dadaab refugee complex to assess the living conditions of Somalis living in the camps. It marked the first time a Somali leader has visited the camp. (Sabahionline – 25/08/14)
UNHCR - We Shall Assist the Refugees Going Back to Somalia Willingly: In a press statement, the representative of the UN Refugee Agency in Nairobi, Mr. Rauf Mazou, said that the UNHCR is planning to implement a project in which the Somali refugees in Dadaab who are willing to go back to Somalia willingly will be assisted. (Dalsan Radio Mogadishu – 27/08/14)
UNHCR donates vehicles to help refugees returning to Somalia: UNHCR has donated two new project vehicles to Mandera County government. The two land cruiser vehicles will support health and environment projects in Mandera County. (The Standard – 27/08/14)
Saudi police arrest 400 illegal migrants: reports: Police in Saudi Arabia have arrested at least 400 mostly African illegal migrants south of the capital Riyadh. 574,000 illegals have been arrested in 2014, with 13,000 still in detention centres following deportation. (AFP - 22/08/14)
London Diaspora Dialogue Aims to Build Somalia’s Capacity: The Somali diaspora present a unique reserve of experts with skills and professional experience combined with local knowledge of their country of origin. But mobilizing Somali diaspora resources to strengthen the institutional capacities of government agencies represents a challenge. To address this, IOM’s Migration for Development (MIDA) Somalia programme, implemented in collaboration with the Somali authorities, allows for skills transfers to take place through short-term assignments of diaspora professionals in Somalia and to date has placed over 300 experts. (IOM News – 08/08/14).
Ministerial meeting reaffirms commitment to solving Somalia crisis: Participants at a ministerial meeting co-chaired by UNHCR in Addis Ababa on Wednesday reaffirmed their commitment to find solutions for hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees and called on the international community to help the Somali government in its efforts to restore peace and progress. (UNHCR – 21/08/14)
More and more are fleeing Somalia's Lower Shabelle: Having recently visited some of the many settlements for internally displaced people (IDP) dotting the outskirts of Mogadishu, Concern Worldwide Somalia Director met newly displaced families, most fleeing the worsening food security and fighting in Lower Shabelle. He shares the accounts of some of the families arriving in Mogadishu’s IDP settlements, and how Concern and ECHO are trying to help. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 27/08/14)
Drought and Food insecurity in Somalia: In South-Central Somalia, the deteriorating food security is the result of intensified conflict, restricted trade, below average planting in some areas, and below average availability of agricultural labour opportunities related to below-average rainfall. There is little indication that Somali refugees from refugee camps like Dadaab will return to Somalia in large numbers any time soon. However, an influx of these refugees into Dadaab is anticipated if the drought situation in Somalia deteriorates. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 29/08/14)
IOM Health Post Targets Displaced in Somaliland: A health post established by IOM opened in the Ayah 4 settlement for relocated internally displaced persons. Before it was opened Ayah 4 residents had to walk for over nine kilometers to the city to receive free healthcare services or seek out often unaffordable private clinics. (IOM News – 22/08/14).
Impact of human trafficking on South African Economy: Human trafficking is an escalating crime in South Africa and across the world. With close ties to the illegal arms industry it is the second most lucrative criminal enterprise after the illegal drug trade. With thousands of illegal immigrants entering South Africa annually - the country implemented anti-trafficking laws in 2013 with stricter visa regulations coming into effect on the first of October this year. (CNBC Africa – 26/08/14).
Home affairs studies Lindela detention ruling: The South African Home Affairs department stated it is studying a High Court ruling that detaining migrants for an extended period at the Lindela Repatriation Centre is unlawful and unconstitutional. Lindela, west of Johannesburg, is the only facility of its kind in South Africa where irregular migrants are detained while awaiting deportation. (News 24 – 29/08/14)
6 aid workers targeted, killed in South Sudan A militia hunting down members of a specific ethnic group targeted and killed at least six South Sudanese aid workers over two days during a new bout of violence close to the South Sudan-Sudan border. UNHCR says that the outbreak of violence is compromising the security of the more than 100,000 Sudanese refugees who fled clashes in Sudan's Blue Nile state. (Daily Mail – 5/08/14).
IOM Conducts Biometric Registration of Displaced in Juba Civilian Protection Sites: The IOM Displacement Tracking and Monitoring (DTM) team has been involved in the monitoring and registration of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Sudan since the New Year and on 6th August it launched a new biometric registration exercise for IDPs sheltering in Juba Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs). In another registration exercise, some 578 nationals from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan were fingerprinted and issued with new registration cards. An estimated 95,000 civilians are residing in the PoCs and 1.1 million are reported to be displaced since December 2013. (IOM News – 8/08/14).
IOM Warns against Increase of Human Trafficking Operations: During a work shop to raise awareness on human trafficking in Sudan, IOM warned against the increase of the phenomenon and the tremendous growth of irregular migration in the last few years. (Sudan Vision – 31/08/14).
Ethiopians migrants stranded in Tanzanian forest: Tanzanian police, in collaboration with the country’s immigration department, apprehended 48 illegal immigrants of Ethiopian origin last week at Ubena forest in Bagamoyo district. (The Reporter – 30/08/14)
Tunisia recovers 41 bodies from sea near Libya: Tunisian rescuers have recovered the bodies of at least 41 migrants after their ship sank off the Libyan coast and more are expected to be found, officials said. The victims were found in an area that has seen many boatloads of illegal migrants capsize. (AFP – 30/08/14).
Tunisia renews search for shipwreck victims as 42nd body found: Tunisian coastguards resumed the search for more bodies of drowned migrants, thought to be mainly Syrians, after finding a 42nd shipwreck victim, officials said. (AFP – 31/08/14).
Kenyan refugees demand to go home: Struggling to survive in Uganda, Kenyans who fled the 2007-08 post-election violence are angry at their government’s failure to return them home. The refugees, mainly women, marched in small groups to the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kiryandongo settlement. In a petition, they urged UNHCR to push their government to repatriate them as soon as possible. (The Observer - 06/08/14).
Fleeing War And Finding Work: In most parts of the world, refugees are not allowed to work. But in Uganda, refugee life is different. One of the oldest refugee camps in Africa is remarkable not just for its stone houses instead of plastic tarps. The camp is also full of markets and traders, selling everything from imported fabric to smartphones. (WBUR – 15/08/14)
Over 70 South Sudan refugees enter Uganda daily: An estimated 70 refugees from South Sudan enter Uganda on a daily basis in Adjuman, statistics indicate. (New Vision – 20/08/14)
Dreams of Eritrean refugees turn to ashes in Yemen: A group of around 200 Eritrean refugees have been living on the streets of Sana’a for months. They were first arrested and sent to jail upon their crossing of the Red Sea and the Yemeni coastal border. (The Yemen Times - 19/08/14)
Yemen partakes in UNHCR’s conference on GISR in Ethiopia: Yemen took part in the regional conference on the Global Initiative on Somali Refugees (GISR) in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. (Sabanews – 20/08/14).