Media Listing April 2017

Global

Zimbabwe: ICRC calls on African states to honour their commitments to protect IDPs: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) appeals to African States to transform their commitment to the Kampala Convention into tangible, long term policies and action that protects and assists IDPs. This follows a meeting of African States in Harare aimed at improving the implementation of the Convention across African countries. (ReliefWeb – 03/04/2017)

The migrant boon: In this article by McKinsey & Company, the authors, argue that cross-border migrants (more than 90% of whom have moved for economic reasons) comprise just 3.4% of the world’s population, but contribute nearly 10% of global GDP. Thus far from being an economic burden, immigrants represent a major economic opportunity for destination countries. (McKinsey & Company – 07/04/2017) 

Remarks to the UN General Assembly plenary meeting, “Global awareness of the tragedies of irregular migrants in the Mediterranean basin, with specific emphasis on Syrian asylum seekers”: Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Volker Turk, addresses the UN General Assembly appealing among other things, for States to develop a comprehensive regional approach for the situation of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean. (UNHCR – 07/04/2017)

Migrants from West Africa being ‘sold in Libyan slave markets’: According to this article, West African migrants are being bought and sold openly in modern-day slave markets in Libya. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. (The Guardian – 10/04/2017) 

Communication from the Commission to the European parliament and the Council on the protection of children in migration: The EU Commission issues a communication to the European parliament and the Council on protection of children in migration including addressing the needs of children in migration routes and upon reaching Europe. (EU Press – 12/04/2017)

IOM inches closer to global migration compact: UN Member States convene at the United Nations for the first of two workshops aimed at laying the foundation for a new Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, set to be adopted in September 2018. (Devex – 19/04/2017)

EU approves €59 million to support peace, stability and job creation in the Horn of Africa: The EU announces 4 new actions worth €59 million to improve stability and address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement in the Horn of Africa region. (EU Press – 28/04/2017)

Migration hotspots are working, but critical issues remain, say EU Auditors: The European Court of Auditors reviews EU’s response to the refugee crisis, the ‘hotspot approach’ and find that it has helped to significantly improve the registration, identification and security checking of migrants. However, more needs to be done as thousands of migrants are still stranded on the Greek islands after their arrival. (April 25/04/2017)

Europe

EU migration crisis: border agency accused of stirring controversy: Italy’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Mario Giro, criticizes the EU border agency, Frontex, of creating a “misleading controversy” for political purposes after it accused humanitarian groups rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean of colluding with people smugglers and traffickers in Libya. (The Guardian – 05/04/2017) 

'It's a shambles': data shows most asylum seekers put in poorest parts of Britain: According to analysis by the Guardian, more than half of all asylum seekers (57%) housed by the UK government live in the poorest third of the country while the richest third of the country houses 10% of all asylum seekers. These findings have prompted UK MPs to call for a complete overhaul of the asylum dispersal system. (The Guardian – 09/04/2017)

The EU’s emphasis on migrant returns has some serious human rights problems: This article reviews recent policies by the EU aimed at increasing migrant returns, arguing that while such initiatives are expected to deter irregular migration they may actually lead to deportation at all costs including at the expense of migrants’ human rights. (The Conversation – 10/04/2017)

UN urges EU to stop sending migrants to Hungary: The United Nations has urged European countries to stop returning asylum seekers to Hungary because of deteriorating conditions there for new arrivals including children and allegations of abuse. (EURACTIV – 11/04/2017)

Italy approves measures to accelerate asylum procedures: Italy’s parliament approves new asylum rules to accelerate asylum procedures, cutting the number of possible appeals and speeding up deportations of rejected migrants. Human rights organizations have expressed concern over this move, claiming that the new rules could be unconstitutional and discriminatory. (Reuters – 11/04/2017)

Building fortress Italia by introducing “a wall of laws”?: This article by ECRE reviews possible implications of recent asylum rules approved by Italian parliament cautioning that the new rules are likely to severely limit safeguards for asylum seekers in Italy by introducing unconstitutional legal changes. (ECRE – 14/04/2017)

Child refugees in Europe 'forced to sell bodies' to pay smugglers: Unaccompanied child refugees in Greece desperate to reach the UK and other parts of northern Europe are being forced to sell their bodies in order to pay smugglers to help them with their journeys. According to a study from the Harvard, there are concerns about a growing epidemic of sexual exploitation and abuse of migrant children in Greece. (The Guardian – 18/04/2017) 

EU urged to save more migrants at sea, not patrol 'make-believe border': According to MOAS, a rescue charity operating in the Mediterranean, EU patrol vessels are putting migrant lives at risk by operating too far from the Libyan coast where migrants are embarking on the perilous crossing to Europe. "The priority needs to be saving lives, not patrolling a make-believe border. The further they (Frontex) stay away, the more people will die. Saying there is a pull factor is just ignorance. It's avoiding responsibility," said the head of the rescue charity. (Reuters – 18/04/2017)

EU 'leaving migrants to drown' say rescuers who saved 2,000 from Mediterranean in single day: In this article, humanitarian charity, Doctors without Border (MSF) criticizes recent remarks by the director of EU border agency, Frontex, who claimed that “it’s a paradox that a third of sea rescues are done by NGO.” In response, the charity notes that NGOs are being forced to fill gaps in service provision left by the EU coastguard. “Where are Frontex boats? Many more people could have died if we arrived a few hours later. We are where we’re needed, what’s the EU doing meanwhile?" MSF tweeted (The Independent – 18/04/2017)

Austria calls for closure of Mediterranean migrant route: Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka, calls for the immediate closure of the Mediterranean route used by migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to reach Europe as “the only way to end the tragic and senseless dying in the Mediterranean.” This follows massive rescue operations over the Easter weekend in which nearly 9,000 migrants were rescued. (Politico – 19/04/2017)

Malta suggests cash solution to end EU migration row: In a bid to end a row over migration that has sharply divided Europe, Malta proposes that EU states be allocated 60,000 euros for each asylum-seeker they take in above their quota, or chose to pay that amount if they fall below their share. (Reuters – 24/04/2017)

Migrant rescue boats are colluding with people traffickers, Italy prosecutor claims: In an interview with a local media, Sicily-based prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro is quoted claiming that charity boats rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean are colluding with traffickers in Libya. "We have evidence that there are direct contacts between certain NGOs and people traffickers in Libya […] we do not yet know if and how we could use this evidence in court, but we are quite certain about what we say,” the prosecutor said. (The Local – 24/04/2017)

Refugees beaten, abused and tear-gassed as they sleep by police in Calais, report warns: According to this investigative article by the Independent newspaper, migrants and asylum seekers in and around Calais, France are subjected to “endemic” levels of police brutality on a daily basis, amid concerns that the region is under police lockdown to prevent refugees from returning to the ‘jungle’. (The Independent – 24/04/2017)

Italian FM backs prosecutor on NGO migrant row: Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano in a media interview says that he "agreed 100 percent" with a prosecutor's repeated suggestions that some charity boats rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean are colluding with traffickers in Libya. (Yahoo News – 30/04/2017)

Ethiopia

EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis visits Ethiopia: The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis visits Ethiopia to launch sectoral dialogue on human rights and governance, the first formal dialogue between the two sides under the June 2016 EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement. A key topic of the sectoral dialogue includes human rights of migrants in the Middle East and cooperation in fight against human trafficking. (ReliefWeb – 10/04/2017)

Ethiopia: Welcoming repatriation of immigrants: The Ethiopian government issues a statement asserting its commitment to safeguard the rights of its citizens abroad and facilitate the repatriation of those who are in bad situations. This follows a 90-day grace period issued by the Saudi government for undocumented immigrants to regularize their status. (AllAfrica – 11/04/2017)

Switzerland to cooperate with Ethiopia on migration issues: Ethiopia and Switzerland agree to enhance cooperation on migration and refugee issues including tackling irregular migration. This follows a meeting between the Swiss Secretary of State for Migration, Mario Gattiker and Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hirut Zimene, in Addis Ababa. (Ethiopian News Agency – 24/04/2017)

Eritrea

Eritreans find refuge in Ethiopia but no incentive to remain: This article reviews the plight of Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers stuck in Ethiopia, with aspirations to move to Europe but constrained by financial costs and risks associated with irregular migration. Others hope for resettlement into Western countries even though the odds of being resettled are incredibly slim for refugees in Ethiopia. (Refugees Deeply – 24/04/2017)

Israel

Africans leaving Israel under secret deals arrive on Europe’s shores: This article highlights the plight of African asylum seekers in Israel who despite being encouraged to leave Israel ‘voluntarily’ for resettlement in other third countries, end up taking perilous journeys to Europe. (Refugees Deeply – 11/04/2017)

Kenya

Kenya: Agencies sending workers to Middle East to be vetted, says Kandie: The Kenyan government is set to introduce new labour rules and regulations to ensure recruitment agencies sending Kenyan workers to the Middle East are vetted and licenced. The new rules will also ensure migrant workers are trained and that labour attaches in three Middle Eastern countries are operational. (AllAfrica – 12/04/2017)

Kenya to amend law to protect human trafficking victims: According to this article, Kenya is set to amend its anti-trafficking law to strengthen protection of trafficking victims. "Our traditional reaction to this has been to arrest the victims, charge them, jail them and then deport them, some of them are women and children. We need to rethink how we deal with the victims," said Kenyan Attorney General Githu Muigai. (The Star – 21/04/2017)

Libya

Most Libya migrants not headed to EU, aid group says: According to this article, most migrants that end up in Libya are not seeking to leave for Europe. This is based on interviews carried out by IOM in 2016 and early 2017. Between 700,000 and 1 million migrants and asylum seekers are reportedly residing in Libya. (EU Observer – 03/04/2017)

Italy-Libya accord to fight smugglers is 'dangerous fiction': aid groups: Humanitarian organization, Doctors without Borders (MSF) expresses concern over recent agreement between Italy and Libya to curb migrant flows to Europe noting that such a deal will led to migrants being returned to camps where they are likely to be held against their will, extorted and abused. (Reuters – 03/04/2017)

Dozens of Eritrean and Nigerian former Islamic State captives freed in Libya: According to this article, Libyan authorities release 28 Eritreans and seven Nigerians who were captured and enslaved by terrorist group, Islamic State, in Sirte and had been held in detention since December 2016. (Reuters – 05/04/2017)

EU Trust Fund for Africa adopts €90 million programme on protection of migrants and improved migration management in Libya:  The EU Emergency Trust Fund for addressing the root causes of irregular migration in Africa adopts a €90 million programme to reinforce protection and resilience of migrants, refugees and host communities in Libya. The programme will also support improved migration management in the country. (EU Press – 12/04/2017)

Migrants flee Libya as weather warms and Libyan patrols loom: According to this article, while warm weather and calm seas in the Mediterranean usually trigger a surge in sea crossings to Europe, the threat of increased coastguard patrols following a recent deal between Italy and Libya is said to be behind a spike in number of migrants attempting the crossing in April 2017. (VOA News – 18/04/2017)

Dozens of refugees found dead in drifting dinghy off Libyan coast after 8,300 rescued over Easter weekend: Nearly 30 people are found dead in a boat drifting off the coast of Libya after their boat reportedly failed. This comes after more than 8,300 migrants and asylum seekers were rescued over the Easter weekend as they attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. (The Independent – 18/04/2017)

Libya could relapse into conflict, Secretary-General’s Special Representative warns, citing volatile security, human rights situation: Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) warns that Libya could return to wide-spread conflict citing the volatility and human rights situation in the country. Briefing the UN Security Council, Martin urged all armed actors to uphold their duties under international humanitarian and human rights law, and protect civilians. (ReliefWeb – 19/04/2017)

Fewer migrants are crossing Niger for Libya: IOM: According to this article, the number of migrants crossing Niger to reach Libya has declined significantly since 2016. The number of migrants observed passing through Niger between February and December 2016 was approximately 292,000 while only 8,700 have been recorded in the first two months of 2017. (Reuters – 21/04/2017)

EU considering giving ships armed with machine guns to Libyan coastguard accused of killing migrants: According to this article, Libya is requesting the EU for armed ships and helicopters to increase its refugee patrols in the Mediterranean Sea amid allegations of widespread abuse against migrants. A spokesperson for the European Commission confirmed Libya’s request adding that it is “currently being assessed.” (The Independent – 26/04/2017)

Libya lacks plan to prevent more migrants crossing to Europe: EU officials: European Union officials claim that Libya’s UN backed government has no clear plan to help prevent more migrants reaching Europe’s shores, citing confused requests for equipment to patrol its shores. "Our objective is not to be in the territorial waters of Libya. Our objective is that in the territorial waters of Libya, the work is done by the Libyans," the European Union's top diplomat Federica Mogherini said. (Reuters – 27/04/2017)

Somalia

EU launches €10m reintegration and better migration projects in Somalia: Somali authorities and the European Union launch two projects in Kismayu that are part of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa designed to address the challenges of mixed migration, aspects of stability and reintegration of returnees to contribute to better migration management in Somalia. (ReliefWeb – 04/05/2017)

EU launches re-integration projects worth €33 million in Somalia: Somali authorities and the European Union launch five re-integration projects in Somalia under the EU Trust Fund to provide long term support to the urgent challenge of sustainable and durable integration of returnees and IDPs in Somalia. (ReliefWeb – 05/04/2017)

UAE: Clarify role in deadly attack on refugee boat - Human Rights Watch: Following an attack on a migrant boat off the coast of Yemen in which an estimated 42 Somali refugees lost their lives, Human Rights Watch calls on the UAE to clarify its role in the “apparent Saudi-led coalition attack.” The human rights agency also appeals for an impartial and international inquiry into laws-of-war violations by all parties to the conflict in Yemen. (Human Rights Watch – 13/04/2017)

Report: Trump expected to deport thousands of Somali migrants: In a media interview, Somalia’s ambassador to the US, Ahmed Awad, claims that his embassy has been informed about planned deportations by US immigration authorities of at least 4,000 Somali nationals. An additional group of Somalis whose asylum requests have been denied are also said to be held in detention centres or prisons and are likely to be deported. (Dennis Michael Lynch -13/04/2017)

Sudan

Sudan police free 21 Eritreans from human traffickers: Sudanese security forces report that they have freed 21 Eritrean nationals from a human trafficking gang in the eastern part of the country near the border with Eritrea. Seven suspected human traffickers were arrested in the same operation. (World Bulletin – 14/04/2017)

Sudanese army stops over 200 migrants en-route to Libya: Sudanese authorities report that more than 200 migrants of different nationalities were intercepted on the Sudanese-Libyan border on their way to Libya through the Western Sahara. The migrants were transported to Khartoum and handed over to their respective embassies. (Sudan Tribune – 30/04/2017)

South Sudan

More than 6,000 flee fresh South Sudan violence into Uganda: UNHCR expresses concern over the deteriorating security situation in South Sudan following attacks in the town of Pajok which led to the displacement of more than 6,000 South Sudanese into Uganda. According to UNHCR, fighting has also been reported in the districts of Magwi and Oboo close to the border with Uganda. (UNHCR – 07/04/2017)

Renewed fighting causes thousands to flee from Jonglei, South Sudan: Renewed fighting is reported in multiple locations including Waat and Walgak in Jonglei, South Sudan causing thousands to flee amidst concerns that clashes may spread to additional areas. (ReliefWeb – 20/04/2017)

Yemen

UNHCR braces for further displacement as Yemen conflict intensifies: UNHCR warns that an intensification of conflict in Taizz and Al Hudaydah governorates, could potentially displace up to half a million people, further exacerbating Yemen’s deep humanitarian crisis. (UNHCR – 25/04/2017)

Donors pledge $1.1 billion to help people in urgent need in Yemen: International donors pledge nearly USD 1.1 billion to help scale up lifesaving aid to millions of people in need in Yemen. Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world with close to 19 million people – two thirds of the population – in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. (ReliefWeb – 25/04/2017)

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info@regionalmms.org

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