Media Listing May 2016

Slovakia receives 37 Somalis from camps in Eritrea: A group of 37 Somali refugees arrive in Slovakia from Eritrea en route to the United States for resettlement. The relocation was facilitated by UNHCR and IOM.(Geeska Africa – 02/05/2016) 

Niger tells Europe it needs 1 billion euros to fight illegal migration: Niger, a major transit country for migrants from Africa heading to Europe, tells EU foreign ministers visiting the country it needs 1 billion euros to help combat illegal migration. IOM estimates that up to 150,000 migrants, mostly from West Africa, will travel via Niger in 2016. (Reuters – 03/05/2016)

IOM urges African countries to ratify, implement protocols on free movement: IOM urges African countries to ratify and implement protocols of free movement of persons in respective economic blocs in order to make the Agenda 2063 on Regional Integration a reality. (IOM Press – 06/05/2016)

Migrant domestic workers take to the streets in Beirut: Hundreds of domestic workers march in Beirut to mark the International Workers’ Day and to denounce their working conditions. The demonstrators urged the Lebanese government to fully implement the ILO Convention 189. (Al Jazeera – 07/05/2016)

Turkey: Border guards kill and injure asylum seekers: Human Rights Watch express concern over shooting and beating of Syrian asylum seekers by Turkish border guards and calls on the Turkish authorities to investigate and stop violation of asylum seekers human rights. (Human Rights Watch – 10/05/2016)

Non-Syrians denied asylum claims under EU-Turkey deal - MEPs: A group of European legislators conclude that hundreds of non-Syrian asylum seekers deported under the EU-Turkey migrant deal were not allowed to claim asylum in either Greece or Turkey. The conclusion was made after interviews with deportees. (The Guardian – 10/05/2016)

Relaxing visa regulations will spur Africa’s integration agenda and economic potential: In this article, the author urges African countries to abolish visa requirements in order to facilitate movement of people and intra-regional trade and investments. (The New Times – 12/05/16)

EU ministers must change course on migration cooperation with Africa: Oxfam and ICMC urge European ministers to address the root causes of the migration crisis and ensure that the EU Trust Fund is used to fund development projects and not to prevent migration. (Oxfam Press – 11/05/2016)

US immigration officials planning 30-day 'surge' of arrests to deport families: According to this article, US immigration officials are planning a month long series of raids in May and June this year to deport illegal migrants from Central American countries. (The Guardian – 12/05/2016) 

The real refugee crisis is in the Middle East, not Europe: The author of this opinion article reviews the refugee crisis in Europe and argues that refugee hosting nations in MENA should be treated as actors and not refugee-hosting vessels, in discussions to develop an international refugee regime and durable solutions to the crisis. (The Washington Post – 14/06/2016) 

Comoros ready to take Kuwait's stateless, says minister: Comorian government say it’s ready to take in thousands of stateless people denied citizenship in the Gulf state of Kuwait. There are more 110,000 stateless people in Kuwait also referred to as “bidoons”. (Al Arabiya – 16/05/16) 

Now hundreds of migrants from the Caribbean fly 6,000 miles to Turkey in bid to enter Europe while posing as being from Somalia: According to this article, hundreds of migrants from the Caribbean are now travelling more than 6,000 miles to enter EU through Turkey and Greece. People from the Caribbean do not need a visa to enter Turkey and upon arrival, some claim to be Somali, Syrian or Afghanistan nationals.(Daily Mail – 16/05/2016) 

Kerry, foreign ministers hold Libya talks: Foreign ministers from the US, UK, France and other Western powers meet in Austria to drum up support for the newly formed Libyan government. EU is weighing whether to expand its operations to Libyan territorial waters to counter human smugglers and traffickers.(Wall Street Journal – 16/05/2016)

UN says turning migrants away 'won't work' The UN high commissioner for refugees, Filippo Grandi, in an interview with the BBC says that migrants’ crisis is a global phenomenon and that turning away migrants won’t work. The commissioner urged more nations to commit more funding and resettlement opportunities to help the few countries shouldering the burden. (BBC – 16/05/2016) 

IGAD and stakeholders meet over migration governance in the region: The 7th Meeting of Regional Consultative Process on Migration (RCP) by IGAD is held in Khartoum to deliberate two main recommendations by member states. These include the need to strengthen National Coordination Mechanisms and the inclusion of IGAD as an institution in the Khartoum process. (Geeska Afrika – 18/05/2016)

Only 177 Syrian refugees resettled in EU under deal with Turkey: According to this article, fewer than 200 Syrians have been resettled in Europe following the EU-Turkey migrant deal agreed in March 2016. Five EU member states namely Sweden, Germany, Netherlands, Finland and Lithuania have resettled a total of 177 Syrian refugees. (The Guardian – 18/05/2016)

20 stranded Nepali workers deported, Malaysian company buys air tickets: A Malaysian company supports the deportation of 20 Nepali migrant workers who were stranded at the immigration centre after serving their jail terms in the country. (Kathmandu Post – 18/05/2016) 

Collective punishment in Congo, Camp closures ignore the innocent homeless: According to this article, local authorities in North Kivu province of Democratic Republic of Congo threaten to close IDP camps in the province alleging that the camps are sanctuaries for rebel fighters. There are more than 700,000 IDPs sheltered in camps across the province. (IRIN News – 18/05/2016)

Pakistan to issue biometric passports to curb human trafficking to Europe, Gulf: Pakistan plans to issue biometric passports from 2017 to halt the thousands of people who are being trafficked abroad mainly to European and Gulf states. There are more than 1,000 trafficking networks in the country with majority operating in the central Punjab province. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 19/05/2016)

The back way to Europe: Gambia’s forgotten refugees: This article highlights the plight of refugees and migrants from Gambia who attempt the perilous journey to Europe starting with the Western Saharan route in Senegal and ending with the Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy. (IRIN News – 19/05/2016)

NATO agrees bigger Mediterranean mission to stop smugglers: NATO agrees to broaden its operations in the Mediterranean Sea to help EU counter people smugglers and traffickers operating from North Africa. This follows fears of possible uncontrolled migrant flows to Europe via Central Mediterranean route as the weather improves. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 19/05/2016)

IOM assists 7,000 victims of human trafficking globally in 2015: According to IOM, nearly 7,000 victims of trafficking were assisted by the organization in 115 countries in 2015 with the majority of victims (74%) being trafficked for the purpose of labour exploitation. (IOM Press – 20/05/2016)

Kuwait seeks to ban Ethiopian maids in 2 Years after report of premeditated murders targeting employers: Kuwait government seeks to ban domestic workers from Ethiopia within two years. To achieve this, the government has proposed non-renewal of work and residence permits for all Ethiopian maids. This follows increased reports of crime committed by the domestic workers. (Zegabi – 20/05/2016)

Syrian refugee policy highlights Canada’s bid for UN Council seat: In a bid to push for a more active role in global affairs, Canada seeks a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council citing its recent experience in welcoming Syrian refugees. The country has resettled more than 26,000 Syrian refugees. (The Middle East Eye – 23/05/2016)

Turkey only sending 'sick and ill-educated' Syrians to Europe in migrant swap deal: EU officials accuse Turkey of using the migrant swap deal to send ill and unqualified Syrian refugees to Europe while blocking the exit applications of skilled professionals. Some 400 asylum-seekers have been returned to Turkey and 177 refugees resettled in Europe under the deal. (The Telegraph – 23/05/2016)

Eritreans, Ethiopian and Sudanese among 28 Illegal immigrants arrested hiding in refrigerated truck in Britain: Police in Britain arrest 28 illegal African migrants who were found hiding in the back of a refrigerated lorry. The detained migrants included 11 Eritreans, 10 Sudanese and seven Ethiopians. (Zegabi – 24/05/2016)

At G7 summit, Tusk pleads for global burden-sharing on refugees: European Council President Donald Tusk urges the world to act together to deal with the refugee crisis. “We would also like the global community to show solidarity and recognise that this is a global crisis,” he said. (EurActiv – 26/05/2016) 

Last refugee among group Australia sent to Cambodia returns to home country: The last man in a group of refugees transferred to Cambodia from Nauru in 2015 has returned to his country of origin. The man, an Iranian, was one of four people resettled as part of a $40 million deal forged between Australia and Cambodia in 2014. (The Guardian – 28/05/2016)

UNHCR concerned about fighting in northern Syria affecting thousands of vulnerable civilians: UNHCR expresses deep concern about the plight of some 165,000 displaced persons reportedly massing near the Syrian town of Azaz in northern Syria. This follows heavy fighting in northern Aleppo which has left civilians without access to medical services, food, water and safety. (UNHCR Press – 28/05/2016)

IOM records over 60,000 migrants passing through Agadez, Niger between February and April 2016: Through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM has recorded a total of 60,970 migrants passing through the transit towns of Arlit and Séguédine in the Agadez region of Niger between February and April 2016. Of this total, 44,890 were recorded leaving Niger, while 16,080 were migrants entering the country.(Reliefweb – 27/05/2016) 

Namibia drops visa requirements for all African Union Member States (AU): According to this article, the Namibian government approves a decision to exempt visa requirements for all holders of diplomatic or official passports from the African Union member states. (Tourist Watch – 28/05/2016)

700+ migrants missing or feared dead in Mediterranean shipwrecks: More than 700 migrants are feared dead or missing following separate tragic incidents in which three boats capsized and sank in the Mediterranean. According to UNHCR, most of the migrants were from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan. (CNN – 30/05/2016)

EU and Nigeria to negotiate deal on migrants: EU is set to begin talks with Nigeria to negotiate a deal to return migrants to Africa. According to this article, the deal is expected to resemble the migrant deal between EU and Turkey. This follows an increase in the number of Nigerians arriving in Italy in 2016.(CCTV – 01/05/2016) 

EU refugee crisis: Brussels to propose charging over $289,000 from countries refusing asylum: According to this article, Brussels is set to put forth a proposal that will see European countries charged $289,659 per refugee for refusing to shelter asylum-seekers. (IBT – 03/05/2016) 

Hungary’s Supreme Court approves fall referendum on EU migrant plan: The Supreme Court in Hungary gives a green light for a national referendum later in the year in which the country will vote on EU’s plan to resettle asylum seekers in the country. (Wall Street Journal – 03/05/2016) 

Joint action to tackle West African human trafficking networks: The third pan-European operation to combat human trafficking is carried out by security authorities in 16 European countries in which over 400 potential victims of trafficking were identified and more than 30 individuals were found to have links to Nigerian criminal networks. (Europol – 04/05/2016) 

Hungary allows tougher asylum-seeker conditions: Hungary’s parliament approve tougher asylum rules which will gradually reduce social benefits and subsidies for asylum seekers. In addition, asylum seekers will be allowed to stay at reception centres for 30 days. (Washington Post – 10/05/2016) 

Italian police bust Somali mafia ring trafficking asylum seekers: Police in Italy arrest 13 members of a Somali-run trafficking ring that held Somali migrants hostage in private apartments until a ransom for their release was paid by families or friends. (DW News – 11/05/2016)

Our ships in the Mediterranean are only helping the migrant smugglers, say peers: A report reviewing EU’s naval operation in the Mediterranean reveals that the mission has become a “search and rescue mission” and a “magnet to migrants” instead of stemming the flow of migrants arriving along European shores. Migrant smuggling networks have also adjusted their business models and shifted to cheaper and unsafe dinghies. (Daily Mail – 13/05/2016)

EU plans floating migrant centres off Libya: According to this article, EU plans to create a “floating hotspot” on the Central Mediterranean route where migrants will be processed before being taken to Italy. This is aimed at controlling the flow of migrants arriving to Europe through this route. (The Telegraph – 12/05/2016)

Smugglers made at Least $5 billion last year in Europe migrant crisis: A joint report by Europol and Interpol reveal that smugglers made between $5 and $6 billion in 2015 from facilitating the movement of more than one million migrants into the EU. The report also identified “smuggling hotspots” along smuggling routes where smugglers and migrants meet. (New York Times – 17/05/2016) 

Prosecutor wants 18 years jail for migrant disaster captain: An Italian prosecutor request an 18 year prison term for an alleged captain of a migrant boat which sank off Libya in April 2015 killing as many as 800 people. Italy is set to begin an operation to raise the ship from the seabed so that the corpses can be identified and given a decent burial. (The Local – 17/05/2016)

Italy, Libya discuss investment in return for migration control: According to this article, Libya and Italy are set to renew the 2008 agreement under which Italy pledged billions of dollars in investments in return for energy contracts and controlling of illegal migration from North Africa. (Reuters - 17/05/2016)

Italy says Africa nations back plan to close Libya migrant route: During a ministerial conference in Rome, Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni says African nations are supporting Rome’s proposed “migration compact” aimed at closing migrant routes to Europe. The proposal also seeks to persuade African nations to take back migrants arriving via Libya in exchange for increased aid and investment. (Daily Mail - 18/05/2016)

Asylum seeker allegedly used British citizenship to run trafficking gang: An Iraqi asylum seeker, who was granted British citizenship in 2003, is detained for allegedly heading a criminal network that smuggled hundreds of illegal migrants into the UK over a period of two years. (The Telegraph – 20/05/2016)

Migrant deportations in jeopardy as Greek court rules Turkey ‘Unsafe’: A Greek court rules that Turkey is unsafe, a decision that is likely to jeopardize EU-Turkey migrant deal. This follows a ruling in which the court refused to reject the claim of a Syrian national to asylum. (Breitbart News – 21/05/2016)

Juncker: EU should be able to take in 2 million refugees: EU President Jean-Claude Junker says that EU should be able to absorb 2 million refugees noting that the continent has a population of 508 million people. The EU president also noted that countries like Jordan and Lebanon are poorer than most EU states yet they host more refugees than the 28-country bloc. (Europe Online – 23/05/2016)

Divert 10% of EU funds to deal with refugee crisis, says Germany: Noting that the current mechanisms for dealing with the refugee crisis have failed, Germany calls for the appointing of a special commissioner to lead a European wide strategy on refugees. In addition, the country proposes that 10% of EU’s budget be set aside to deal with the crisis. (The Guardian – 24/05/2016) 

More than 4,000 migrants rescued in single day: Italian coastguard rescue more than 4,000 migrants on the Mediterranean in 22 separate rescue operations carried out over 24 hour period. At least 20 people were feared dead. (US & World Report News – 26/05/2016)

Italy arrests 16 suspected boat migrant traffickers: Italian police arrest 16 people suspected of trafficking migrants across the Mediterranean from Libya. The individuals were rescued along with hundreds of migrants and brought to the port city of Sicily by the coastguard. (Reuters – 31/05/2016)

Flash floods displace nearly 120,000 in Ethiopia: aid agencies: According to the Ethiopian government and humanitarian agencies, an estimated 119,711 people in six provinces were displaced last month due to flash floods. Up to half a million people are expected to be displaced this year. (Reuters – 11/05/2016)

Eritrea: Swiss officials find few rights improvements: Following a fact finding mission in Eritrea, Swiss authorities conclude that human rights situation in the country has not improved for thousands of Eritreans who constitute the largest proportion of asylum seekers in Switzerland. (Geeska Afrika – 10/05/2016)

Eritrea blames international conspiracy for worsen exodus: Speaking during a conference on migration in Rome Italy, Eritrea’s foreign minister Osman Saleh rejected the claim that human rights violations were the main cause of emigration from Eritrea. Instead, the minister argued that the huge exodus of Eritreans was the outcome of an international conspiracy supported by human smugglers aimed at tarnishing the country’s image. (Sudan Tribune – 30/05/2016) 

Eritrea: EU collaboration with Sudan, Eritrea “strengthening human trafficking”: In this Op-Ed, the author argues that EU plans to cooperate with African states to stem migration, including building the capacity of security forces, will only strengthen human smuggling and trafficking, since security and government officials are complicit in the illicit trade. (Geeska Afrika – 31/05/2016)

Kenya drawing up timetable to close refugee camp for Somalis: The Kenyan government announces the closure of Dadaab refugee camp citing security concerns for the decision. A taskforce to handle the closure of the camp was also established and is expected to report on deportation plans by end of the month. (Reuters – 11/05/2016)

Somalia protests against Kenyan plan to close refugee camp: Somali government expresses concern over Kenya’s decision to close Dadaab refugee camp saying the move would hurt refugees and possible drive more people into militancy (Reuters – 12/05/2016)

Closing the world’s largest refugee camp-Kenya says go home: Following an announcement by the Kenyan government to close down Dadaab refugee camp within the shortest time possible, the author of this article argues that money is probably the main reason for the sudden announcement. The author points to the EU-Turkey migrant deal which saw Turkey secure promises of 6billion euros in return for taking migrants back from Greece. (The Economist – 14/05/2016) 

Why Kenya will not shut down the world's largest refugee camp: According to the author of this opinion article, Kenya will not shut down Dadaab refugee camp, not only because the action contravenes the country’s obligation to international law, but because it is contrary to the hospitality and compassion of Kenyan people. The author points to the hospitality accorded to refugees in Kakuma camp as an example.(Thomson Reuters Foundation – 18/05/2016)

Over 417,000 Internally Displaced in Libya: IOM Report: IOM Libya releases latest displacement figures for Libya which indicate that there are 417,123 IDPs as a result of three waves of displacements in 2011, 2012 to mid-2014 and from mid-2014. In addition, there are 234,699 migrants in the country for a variety of reasons including labour, transit or forced migration. (IOM Press – 13/05/2016)

Libya coast guard rescues more than 100 migrants from Africa: Libyan coastguard rescue more than 100 migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa as they attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. (Euro News – 17/05/16)

IOM helps 171 stranded Senegalese migrants return home from Libya: IOM facilitates the repatriation of 171 Senegalese migrants who had been detained for several months in Libya. Almost all the migrants repatriated were detained by Libyan security forces as they attempted to travel to Europe. (IOM Press – 20/05/2016)

Libyan coastguard intercepts 850 migrants at sea: Libyan coastguards intercept an estimated 850 migrants off the coast near the western city of Sabratha. The migrants from various African countries were travelling on inflatable rubber boats in an attempt to reach Europe. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 22/05/2016) 

Libya requests EU help training security services: According to this article, the Libyan government has requested the help of the European Union to train its country’s security services, naval forces and coastguard. (Wall Street Journal – 22/05/016) 

Sudanese families flee ISIS controlled areas in Libya: More than 300 Sudanese families have reportedly fled several Libyan cities captured by ISIS towards the Mediterranean coast in the hope of crossing the sea to Europe. (Sudan Tribune – 27/05/2016)

Libya is saving migrants at sea only to trap them in dire conditions on land: This article argues that EU and Libya’s efforts to curb irregular migration on the Mediterranean Sea risks creating a dire humanitarian situation in Libya. Intercepted migrants are detained in overcrowded and squalid detention centres in Libya where violence is rampant and detention can stretch on indefinitely. (The World Post – 27/05/2016)

Islamic State involved in migrant smuggling, Libyan ambassador says: According to Libyan ambassador to Italy, the Islamic state cells in Libya are involved in people smuggling from the country to Europe to generate money for their operations. The ambassador noted that Libya is not yet ready to invite EU navy vessels to patrol its waters as this may antagonize still active militias. (Europe Online – 31/05/2016)

Malawi 'jails' 119 Ethiopian migrants: Human rights organizations express concern over the detention of 119 Ethiopian migrants by Malawian authorities. In 2015, more than 700 migrants were detained in different prisons across the country as the government reportedly claimed there were no funds to facilitate deportations. (News 24 – 31/05/2016)

Somalia: Scores rescued off Puntland coast: According to this article, 92 migrants are rescued off the coast of Somalia as they attempted to cross the Red Sea to Yemen. 85 individuals were of Ethiopian origin and the remaining 7 were Somalis. (Garowe Online – 01/05/2016)

EU pledges support for stabilisation of Somalia: The European Union pledges its support towards stabilisation of Somalia and announces broader scope of engagement in areas such as migration, community resilience, human trafficking, and countering violent extremism. (The Leadership – 10/05/2016) 

Despite warnings, Somalia set to send domestic workers to Saudi Arabia: Somali government announce plans to send domestic workers to Saudi Arabia despite reports of human rights abuses towards Somali workers in the country. Somali government intends to send up to 50,000 workers to Saudi Arabia every year following a recruitment ban in the country by countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Philippines and Indonesia. (Hiiraan Online – 11/05/2016)

War-weary Somalis flee for Europe as rebuilding too slow: This article highlights some of the drivers of emigration from Somalia including insecurity and high levels of unemployment. In 2015, more than 12,400 Somali nationals entered Europe via the Central Mediterranean route. (Bloomberg – 16/05/16) 

Somalia: Closing Dadaab will dishonour 2013 deal on refugees, Kenya told: Somali government urges Kenya to observe the 2013 Tripartite Agreement on repatriation of refugees following Kenya’s decision to close Dadaab refugee camp. (The Star - 24/05/2016)

South Africa
Southern African countries join hands in addressing smuggling of migrants: The Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states hold a conference to address the growing challenge of smuggling of migrants in the SADC region. A draft strategy to combat illegal smuggling and trafficking in persons has been developed. (Shanghai Daily – 13/05/2016)

Living on the margins: The migrant experience of Basotho in South Africa: This article highlights the experience of Lesotho citizens living in South Africa who are estimated to be more than 400,000. In September 2015, the government of South Africa announced an amnesty granting Basotho an opportunity to regularize their status for up to four years until April 2020. (Daily Maverick – 16/05/2016)

There’s room for SA to improve its governance of migration: IOM: IOM launches its first migration governance index which measure well governed migration and also raises awareness on how nations can improve their policies and frameworks around migration. 15 countries were chosen for the study including three countries in Africa. (SABC – 20/05/2016)

South Sudan
4,000 Sudanese refugees cross to Uganda: About 4,000 South Sudanese nationals have crossed into Adjumani District in Uganda following the decommissioning of refugee camps in South Sudan and fears of renewed fighting. According to Ugandan government, there are more than 130,000 South Sudanese refugees living in 16 refugee camps in Adjumani. (All Africa – 28/05/2016)

Yemeni peace talks postponed indefinitely: According to this article, Yemeni peace talks have been postponed indefinitely after Houthi militia representatives fail to attend the talks. (Al Arabiya – 08/05/2016)

No way in and no way out for Yemeni refugees in Europe: This article highlights the plight of Yemeni asylum seekers stuck in Europe since they are no longer eligible for the EU relocation programme and cannot be repatriated back to Yemen as the country is considered unsafe. (Al Jazeera – 20/05/2016)

IOM assists newly arrived migrants along Yemen’s southern coast: IOM provides assistance to more than 1,500 migrants who arrived along the southern coast of Lahj in Yemen between March and May 2016. The UN estimates that almost 40,000 new arrivals have crossed the sea into Yemen in the first four months of 2016. (IOM Press – 27/05/2016)



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