Media Listing January 2016

Dangerous Mediterranean crossing killed record number of migrants in 2015 - agency: IOM announce that at least 3,770 migrants and refugees perished in 2015 trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean sea. "Throughout the year, we have been reminded that much of human mobility is not voluntary," said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing in a statement. (Thomson Reuters Foundation - 31/12/2015)

Libya’s migrant-smuggling highway: Lessons for Europe: This policy briefing by European Council on Foreign Relations urges EU to tackle human smuggling by opening more legal channels for migration and supporting new economic models for border communities in Libya who make their living from smuggling. (EU Bulletin – 06/01/2016)

A better year for migrants?: In this op-ed, Peter Sutherland reviews lessons from migration crisis in 2015 and proposes key priorities for EU in 2016. These include creating safe and legal paths for refugees to reach Europe and building a robust global system to protect refugees and migrants. (Project Syndicate – 07/01/2017) 

Europe must do better on refugees: In this op-ed, the author urges EU to do a better job on migration by opening legal channels for migration, ensuring protection for migrants and sanctioning countries that refuse to settle qualified asylum seekers. (New York Times – 08/01/2016)

Sharp drop in Rohingya migrants after Thai, Bangladesh crackdowns: UN announce that the number of migrants leaving Myanmar and Bangladesh by boat has declined due to crackdowns on human smugglers by Thai and Bangladeshi authorities. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 08/01/2016)

Turkey plans to introduce work permits for Syrian refugees, minister says: Turkey plans to offer work permits to Syrian refugees in an attempt to stem onwards migration to Europe. "We are trying to reduce the pressure for illegal migration by giving Syrians in Turkey work permits," said Volkan Bozkir, Turkey's minister for European Affairs. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 11/01/2016)
Mass migration into Europe is unstoppable: The author of this article gives three reasons why mass migration into Europe is unstoppable. For example the possible increase in number of countries afflicted by war or state failure. (Financial Times – 11/01/2016)

US weighs permanent naval deployment in Mediterranean: The US Navy is reportedly weighing permanent deployment in the Mediterranean to assist European nations cope with the migrant crisis. (Sputnik News– 12/01/2016)

Democrats urge Obama to stop ‘inhumane’ deportation raids: This article provides a rundown of Democrats who are urging US president to protect Central American families seeking to stay permanently in the country through the asylum process. (Think Progress – 12/01/2016) 

244 million international migrants living abroad worldwide: According to UN, the number of international migrants reached 244 million in 2015 in the world, a 41% increase compared to 2000. This figure includes almost 20 million refugees. (UN Press – 12/01/2016) 

First group of stranded Cuban migrants leaves Costa Rica: A first group of 180 Cubans out of an estimated 8,000 Cubans stranded in Costa Rica, are flown to El Salvador as part of a program by Central American countries meant to facilitate their movement to US. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 13/01/2016)

Refugee crisis: Bridging the gap between old and new Europe: In this article, the author highlights the division between western (old) and eastern (new) EU states in addressing the migration crisis, and calls for a viable and sustainable plan informed by mature dialogue and one that recognizes EU’s diversity.(European Public Affairs – 13/01/2016)

New measures proposed to improve stability and tackle the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa: European Commission announce the adoption of 10 measures worth more than 100 million euros to assist the Sahel region tackle the root causes of irregular migration and instability. (EU News – 14/01/2016)

New research: How are the war in Syria and the refugee crisis affecting human trafficking?: ICMPD release a new study which finds that Syrian refugees are often trafficked or exploited because they are not able to meet their basic needs. ICMPD calls for infrastructure investment and humanitarian aid in countries hosting the refugees (ICMPD – 14/01/16)

People smuggler cash scandal: Jail for boat crew paid by Australian official to turn back: A captain and 5 crew members of an asylum seeker boat are sentenced to over five years in jail and fined over 500 million rupiah by an Indonesian court on people smuggling charges. (The Sydney Morning Herald – 17/01/2016)

Time to get real about migrant deaths: The Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime in partnership with Institute for Security Studies (ISS) launch a report detailing the smuggling component of the current rise in migration. (ISS – 19/01/2016)

The African refugee crisis and smugglers of humanity: The author of this article argues that insufficient focus on African refugee crisis – compared to Middle East – is likely to increase reliance on smuggling networks as the only option for African migrants to reach Europe. (Harvard Political Review – 20/01/2016)

'Drop visas for Africans in Africa': African Union Commissioner for Social Affairs, Dr Mustapha Kaloko urge African countries to ease their visa policies to stem emigration from the continent. “Easier movement of people across borders like what we see generally in West Africa won’t stop migration to richer nations, but the economic benefits will lessen the impact” he said. (eNCA – 29/01/2016)

Record-breaking 13,000 asylum seekers arrive in Spain in 2015: UNHCR announce that a record 13,000 asylum seekers arrived in Spain in 2015 – more than twice the 2014 number of 5,895. (The Local – 31/12/2015)

Boy, 2, is first migrant casualty of the year, with 10 others injured: A 2 year old Syrian boy is reportedly the first sea migrant casualty of 2016 following a shipwreck on the Aegean island of Nera. 35 migrants were rescued. (Europe Online – 02/01/2016)

Reports of attacks on women in Germany heighten tension over migrants: Tension over migrants heighten in Germany following sexual attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve allegedly by people of North Africa and Arabic origin. (The New York Times – 05/01/2016) 

Germany recorded 1.1 mn asylum seekers in 2015: German authorities announce that a record 1.1 million asylum seekers were registered in 2015, five times more than in previous year. Syrian refugees make up almost 40% of the 2015 figure. (Yahoo News – 05/01/2016)

Migrant crisis: Seven young among 34 dead in Turkey: Bodies of 34 people wash up on Turkey’s Aegean Coast. According to IOM, at least 2,500 people travelled each day from Turkey to Greece in the first week of January despite rough seas and cold winter weather. (The Irish Times – 06/01/2016) 

Germany assesses deportation policy for migrants in wake of Cologne sex attacks: Following sex attacks on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, allegedly perpetrated by persons of Arabian and North African origin, Germany is set to review its deportation policy to facilitate increased ability to deport criminal asylum seekers. (Newsweek – 08/01/2016) 

After assaults in Cologne, Merkel proposes tougher asylum laws: Germany’s Angela Merkel proposes tougher expulsion laws for foreigners who commit crimes in the wake of sexual attacks on women in Cologne on New Year’s Eve. (New York Times – 08/01/2016) 

Migrant invasion will reach OVER 10 MILLION warns German minister: Warning that eight to ten million migrants are on their way to Europe, Germany’s Development Minister Gerd Müller, calls for a 10 billion euro “Marshall Plan” to rebuild war torn countries to stem the flow of migrants into Europe. (Breitbart – 10/01/2016) 

Belgium smashes ring smuggling migrants to Britain: police: Belgium police smash a ring that possibly smuggled up to 30,000 migrants into Britain between May and November 2015. (Egypt Independent – 11/01/2016) 

1 Migrant dead, 4 missing after abandoning boat south of Italy: 37 migrants, mostly of Somali origin, are rescued by Italian coast guard off Santa Maria di Leuca coast after being forced by smugglers to abandon the boat carrying them to Europe. (La Prensa – 11/01/2016) 

Swedish police to investigate sexual assault cover-up allegations: Swedish authorities order investigations into allegations that officers covered up sexual assaults by migrant youths on teenage girls during a festival in Stockholm. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 11/01/2016) 

Austria turns away 3,000 migrants in 20 days: Austrian authorities report that about 3,000 migrants had been turned away for making false asylum claims. (Washington Post – 13/01/2016)

France receives 79,000 asylum applications in 2015: French authorities announce that 79,130 asylum applications were received last year - a 22% increase over 2014. Only 31.5% of asylum claims in 2015 were granted. (Europe Online – 12/01/2016) 

For Europe, integrating refugees is the next big challenge: In this article, the author urges EU to establish a functional integration system for refugees with provisions for legal status, appropriate accommodation, access to employment and education and family reunification. (Human Rights Watch – 13/01/2016) 

Refugee crisis: Commission reviews 2015 actions and sets 2016 priorities: European Commission reviews the status of key actions agreed in 2015 and sets priorities for 2016 to address the refugee crisis. These include relocation and resettlement, hotspots, return, Schengen and European Border and Coast Guard.(European Commission Press – 13/01/2016) 

Switzerland, like Denmark, seize assets from refugees to cover costs: Switzerland unveils new asylum regulations that require refugees and asylum seekers to surrender to the state assets worth about $1,000 to help pay for their upkeep. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 14/01/2016)

Failed EU relocation plan leaves refugees in limbo: This article highlights the plight of asylum seekers stuck in Greece following “dismal failure” by EU to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers from Greece and Italy to other EU states. (IRIN News – 18/01/2016)

Refugees in Europe? Here’s a different reason people are saying no to them: The author of this article provides an alternative explanation as to why many Europeans oppose refugees: “locals do not want their everyday lives altered by a new, potentially intrusive element” (Washington Post – 18/01/2016) 

These are the forgotten sexual assault victims in Europe: Despite heightened focus in Europe about sexual assault allegedly by asylum seekers, Amnesty International launch a report indicating that female refugees face assaults, harassment and exploitation in destination countries in Europe. (The Washington Post – 18/01/2016) 

Migrant spouses who fail English test may have to leave UK, says Cameron: David Cameron announce forthcoming regulations that may require migrants who fail language tests after two and a half years in UK to leave the country. (The Guardian -18/01/2016) 

Petition urging Theresa May to scrap £35,000 threshold for non-EU migrants soars past 50,000 signatures: Tens of thousands petition the UK government to scrap new rules set to come into effect in April 2016 which require non-EU migrants to show they are earning more than GBP 35,000 or be deported. (The Independent – 18/01/2016)

Germany seeks to limit migration from North Africa: Following sexual attacks on women in Cologne allegedly by migrants from North Africa, Germany intends to declare Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia ‘safe countries’ to limit migration from these countries and make deportation easier. (Reuters – 18/01/2016) 

Refugee crisis: EU 'first country' rule change puts pressure on UK to take more asylum seekers: EU’s rule requiring refugees to register in the first European country they enter is set to be abolished. This means richer destination countries will have to establish registration and fingerprinting infrastructure while countries such as Britain may find it difficult to turn back migrants to other EU states. (The Independent – 19/01/2016) 

How the EU plans to overhaul ‘Dublin Regulation’ on asylum claims: In this article, the author reviews the Dublin Regulations, its shortcomings during the migrant crisis in 2015 and potential plans by Brussels to overhaul the system. (Financial Times – 19/01/2016)

Migrant crisis: Norway begins deportations to Russia: Norway sends 13 migrants back to Russia under new rules that deny entry into the country by migrants arriving from countries deemed as safe. Another 5,500 migrants are due to be transported in coming days. (BBC – 20/01/2016)

Over 200 refugees from Syria, Eritrea sue German migrant service: Over 200 refugees from Eritrean and Syria start legal proceedings against Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees demanding faster processing of their asylum applications to enable them work and study. (Sputnik News – 20/01/2016)

Austria says will slash asylum claims, strengthen border checks: Austria declares it will cap the number of asylum claims to 37,000 in 2016 and further down to 25,000 per year by 2019. (Reuters – 20/01/2016) 

EU border closures would cost three billion euros a year, Juncker says: European Commission President Jean-Claude Junker warn that impulsive measures to curb migrant flows would hurt EU economy. “[…] once they [borders] are all closed we will see that the economic cost is huge,” he said. (Reuters – 20/01/2016)

German, Turkish police arrest 15 in migrant smuggler raids: German and Turkish authorities announce the arrest of 15 people believed to have participated in smuggling 1766 migrants across the Mediterranean into Europe. It is estimated that the smugglers earned at least $9.5 million. (Wall Street Journal – 20/01/2016) 

Bulgaria: Pushbacks, abuse at borders: Human Rights Watch document incidents of abuse and summary returns of migrants from Bulgaria to Turkey by law enforcement officials. (Human Rights Watch – 20/01/2016) 
Migrants cross after Macedonia reopens Greek border: An estimated 2000 migrants cross into Macedonia after the country conditionally reopened its border with Greece. Only migrants whose Greek registration papers show their final destination as Germany or Austria were allowed to enter. (Yahoo News – 21/01/2016) 

Denmark considers moving migrants to camps outside cities: Danish parliament approves a resolution that will require the government to move migrants into camps outside cities and towns. Anti-immigration political parties hope this will shift government immigration policy towards repatriation. (Reuters – 21/01/2016) 

IMF proposes prickly solutions for Europe’s refugee ‘challenges’: In a study presented during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, IMF urge European countries to suspend some of their existing asylum rules and instead turn to creative new solutions such as allowing asylum seekers to work pending approval of their claims. (Euronews – 21/01/2016) 

Dozens drown as two migrant smuggling boats sink near Greek islands: Greek coast guard rescue more than 70 people after two wooden boats sankin the Aegean Sea. More than 40 people are reported to have drowned. (Los Angeles Times – 22/01/2016) 

‘SEXUAL TERRORISM’: Geert Wilders says we must stop Europe’s ‘Testosterone Bombs’: Dutch politician Geert Wilders call for all male asylum seekers in Europe to be kept within asylum centres to prevent Muslim “testosterone bombs” from waging “sexual jihad” (Breitbart – 22/01/2016) 

Turkey is doing the dirty work of Europe’s immigration control: The author of this article argues that EU’s policy in relation to Turkey is motivated more by a desire to keep unwanted migrants and asylum seekers from entering Europe than by finding a humanitarian solution to the migration crisis. (Open Democracy – 22/01/2016)

Over 700 African refugees rescued in Mediterranean: About 723 migrants are rescued in the Mediterranean in six different operations carried out by EU task force and Italian coast guard. Majority of the migrants were of African origin. (eNCA – 25/01/2016)

Danish parliament approves plan to seize assets from refugees: Danish parliament approves a new law that will allow police to search asylum seekers and confiscate cash and any non-essential items worth more than 1,000 GBP. Similar regulations have been announced in Switzerland and southern Germany.(The Guardian – 26/01/2016) 

Netherlands claimed more than £500,000 from refugees in four years: Refugees in Netherlands have paid more than €700,000 over the past four years to cover the cost of living in asylum seekers centres. Working refugees hand over up to 75% of their income. (The Guardian – 25/01/2016) 

More than 1,200 boat migrants rescued off Libya on Tuesday: Italian coast guard: Italian coast guard announce that an estimated 1,271 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast. (Reuters – 26/01/2016) 

60 per cent of ‘Refugees’ are really economic migrants admits EU Commissioner: “More than half of the people now coming to Europe come from countries where you can assume they have no reason whatsoever to ask for refugee status. More than half, 60 per cent” said Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s First Vice-President in an interview. (Breitbart – 26/01/2016)

Migrant crisis: Why are countries taking refugees' valuables?: This article reviews recent regulations in some EU states which allow authorities to seize cash and other valuables from asylum seekers. According to analysts, this is aimed at discouraging or deterring migrants and asylum seekers. (BBC News – 26/01/2016) 

Six migrants drown as vessel sinks off Greek island: According to Greek coast guard, six migrants including one child drowned when their vessel sank off the Greek island of Kos. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 27/01/2016)

Six ways the EU has tried and failed to solve the migrant crisis: The author of this article reviews six policy measures launched by EU to address the migration crisis – and which according to the author, have failed to achieve intended objectives. (The Telegraph – 27/01/2016)

Sweden prepares to expel up to 80,000 migrants: Swedish government announce plans to deport about 80,000 asylum seekers whose claims have been rejected. The government estimates that about 45% of all claims received in 2015 have been rejected. (DW News – 28/01/2016)

EU 'should expect another MILLION migrants this year': UN warns of flood of economic refugees from Asia and North Africa: UN warns that one million more migrants will arrive in Europe in 2016 with increasing number of economic migrants coming from south west Asia and northern and western Africa. (Daily Mail – 28/01/2016)

Gateway to Britain: Economic migrants targeting Spanish colonies as route into EU and UK: According to this article, economic migrants are increasingly turning to Ceuta and Melilla in Morocco, as an alternative to the deadly routes into Greece and Italy. There are an estimated 5,000 Syrian refugees in Morocco.(Express – 28/01/2016) 

24 die after Iraqi Kurdish refugees’ boat sinks off Greek island: At least 24 people drown after a boat carrying Iraqi Kurds capsize off the Greek island of Samos in Aegean Sea. In a separate operation, Italian navy rescue 290 migrants and recover six bodies off Libyan coast. (New York Times – 28/01/2016) 

Finland expects to expel 20,000 of last year's asylum seekers: Finnish authorities announce that nearly 20,000 migrants out of the 32,000 who sought asylum in 2015 will be deported. (Reuters – 28/01/2016) 

Germany accused of ‘paying’ African countries to take back ‘foreign’ asylum seekers: According to Pro Azyl, a German refugee rights organization, Germany is allegedly giving financial incentives to some African countries to accept rejected asylum seekers regardless of their actual country of origin. (RT – 30/01/2016) 

More than 10,000 children 'missing': EU’s police intelligence unit, Europol, announce that more than 10,000 child migrants may have vanished after arriving in Europe over the past two years. According to Save the Children, about 26,000 unaccompanied child migrants arrived in Europe in 2015. (BBC – 31/01/2016)

Austria to repatriate 50,000 asylum seekers over three years: Austrian government announce plans to repatriate 50,000 asylum seekers over the next three years. The plan include a financial incentive of 500 euros if a migrant voluntarily leaves within three months and an expanded list of safe countries such as Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Ghana, Georgia and Mongolia. (DW News– 31/01/2016) 

Burundi on the brink of civil war as peace talks collapse: This article reviews the situation in Burundi, with experts warning that a descent into civil war is possible due to government’s refusal to participate in peace talks. More than 230,000 Burundians have fled the country into neighbouring countries. (Newsweek – 07/01/2016) 

Israel, the west, and the migration challenge: The author of this article reviews the immigration policies in Israel and argues that the country’s standard of living and proximity to conflict afflicted states in Middle East and Africa expose the country to illegal immigration unless a clear, resolute policy is enacted.(Canada Free Press – 12/01/2016)

Jordan cracks (down) under refugee pressure: This article highlight the refugee crisis in Jordan following the deportation of at least 600 Sudanese asylum seekers by the government. The country currently hosts almost 700,000 refugees and asylum seekers from more than 40 nations. (IRIN News – 06/01/2016)

U.N. agency eyes 50,000 Somalis returning from Kenyan camp: UNHCR in Kenya expects an estimated 50,000 Somali refugees in Kenya to return home this year. 1200 Somali refugees have voluntarily returned back to Somali in January 2016. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 21/01/2016) 

Kenya to get Sh19 billion from EU for refugees: EU announce 77 million euro in aid to help Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia provide assistance to about 1.7 million refugees. This is part of the EU Humanitarian Implementation Plan for 2016. (AllAfrica – 22/01/2016)

Life in Dadaab: three generations of refugees isolated from Kenyan society: This article highlights the life of refugees in Dadaab and calls for their full integration – as opposed to isolation - into the Kenyan society.(The Guardian – 27/01/2016) 

Lebanon: Stop forcible returns to Syria: Human Rights Watch petition the Lebanese government to stop forcible return of Syrians fleeing conflict in their country. At least 400 Syrians planning to fly to Turkey were forcibly returned to Syria according to the agency. (Human Rights Watch – 11/01/2016) 

Rights group: Lebanese residency laws put Syrians at risk: Human Rights Watch warn that recent Lebanese residency laws expose Syrian refugees to exploitation and abuse. To stay in Lebanon, Syrian refugees are required to register with UNHCR or find a Lebanese citizen to sponsor them. (WSB Radio – 12/01/2016)

ISIS massacred over 300 West African migrants in Libya on New Year’s Day: More than 300 West African migrants are reportedly massacred by ISIS in Tripoli, Libya on New Year’s Day. (Freedom Newspaper – 01/01/2016) 

IOM assists Sub-Saharan migrants stranded in Libya in their return: IOM assists 154 Senegalese and 133 Burkinabe migrants stranded in Libya to return to their respective countries. Most of them were held for months in Libya’s immigration detention centers. (IOM Press - 08/01/2016)

Fearful Mozambicans flee as old foes clash: An estimated 3500 Mozambicans have reportedly fled into Malawi following an escalation of conflict in Mozambique. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 25/01/2016)

Somalia boat tragedy leaves 122 refugees dead: At least 112 Ethiopian and Somali migrants drown off the coast of Somaliland as another 75 are rescued by the coast guard. (Sky News – 10/01/2016)

Ethiopian Survivors of Somalia Boat Tragedy Return Home: IOM provides repatriation assistance to 64 Ethiopians who survived the boat tragedy that took place off the coast of Somaliland in early January 2016. (IOM Press – 29/01/2016) 

South Sudan
Congolese refugees flee new South Sudan fighting: Majority of Congolese refugees living in Ezo region, South Sudan, have reportedly fled back to DRC and Central Africa Republic, following an eruption of clashes between government forces and so called Arrow Boys in late 2015. (UNHCR Press – 28/01/2016)

U.N. urges more Darfur aid access as fighting displaces 34,000: UN urges Sudan to allow more aid to western region of Darfur where recent fighting has displaced an estimated 34,000 people. (Thomson Reuters Foundation - 27/01/2016)

Tanzania: Urgent support needed for refugees as humanitarian situation deteriorates: IFRC launch an emergency appeal in Tanzania to support hundreds of Burundian refugees crossing into Tanzania. An estimated 232,000 people have fled Burundi since conflict erupted in April 2015 with more than half of them seeking refuge in Tanzania. (IFRC – 21/01/2016) 

Tanzania threatens to deport migrants from drought-hit Ethiopia: Tanzanian authorities launch an operation to arrest and prosecute / deport Ethiopians and other foreigners living or working illegally in the country.(Yahoo News – 27/01/2016)

UNHCR warns against perilous Horn of Africa sea crossings: UNHCR release the latest data on sea arrivals to Yemen. Despite the ongoing conflict in Yemen, 92,446 people arrived in the country by boat in 2015 with 95 deaths reported in the same period. (UNHCR -19/01/2016)

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Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
DRC East Africa & Great Lakes
Lower Kabete Road
(Ngecha Road Junction)
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