Media Listing August 2015


Man dies in suitcase trying to illegally enter Spain:  27 year old Moroccan man suffocated to death while he tried to smuggle himself from Morocco into Spain in a suitcase. The man was hiding in the suitcase of his older brother who now faces charges of involuntary manslaughter in Spain. (Breitbart – 05/08/2015)

Philippines must protect Internally Displaced Persons, warns UN expert: UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons Chakola Beyani issues a report highlighting the deplorable conditions of IDPs in the Philippines. On living conditions for example, Dr Beyani noted: “Many families remain housed in collective “bunkhouses” that do not meet necessary minimums standards for the provision of basic needs and services and create numerous safety and protection challenges, particularly for women and girls” . (The Diplomat – 06/08/2015)

Australia reveals over 600 asylum seekers turned back at sea: The Australian government revealed that over 600 asylum seekers had been turned back at sea since enacting controversial border controls in December 2013. “The fact that today we celebrate that we have not had a successful people smuggling venture in a year, and that over the course of the last 18 months or so we have turned back 20 boats and stopped 633 people from arriving in our country, is a significant achievement”, said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. (Reuters – 06/08/2015)

Europe must not mimic Australia’s tough talk on asylum seekers: In this opinion piece, the author reflects on the evolution that the language used by the Australian government to describe asylum seekers has taken. This follows the growing unease to a final point in the 1990s where the term “illegal” was refashioned to refer to boat arrivals in the country. The article then touches on the most recent and controversial Australian asylum policy which allows for the push back of boats to neighbouring countries, and warns that Europe should not adopt the same strategy. (The Guardian – 10/08/2015)

Human traffickers arrested in Thailand crackdown: Local Thai police arrested 22 people suspected of engaging in human trafficking. According to local police 26 new arrest warrants had been issued for similar offences. Senior police commander Major-General Paween Pongsirin stated that “no state officials [were] involved in this batch’.  (Al Jazeera – 13/08/2015)

The difference between asylum seekers, refugees and economic migrants: This article by the Independent tries to bring some clarity to the misuse of terms clouding the current political debate on the chaotic situation in Calais and the Mediterranean. It goes on to give definitions of an asylum seeker and economic migrant. (The Independent – 18/08/2015)

Mass migration is no ‘crisis’: it’s the new normal as the climate changes: This author challenges the idea that the current migration situation in Europe is one of crisis and counters that mass migration is the new normal. This is then placed into the context of climate change, which she states, could cause 200 million people to be displaced by 2050. (The Guardian – 18/08/2015)

New mass graves on Malaysia-Thai border: This article reports on the uncovering of new mass graves in a region on the Malay-Thai border. 24 bodies, thought to be those of migrants, were reportedly found not far from the mass graves unearthed in May 2015. (BBC – 23/08/2015)

When to use the M-word: This article explores some of the common mistakes made in the media when referring to the European migration situation. It highlights that there is largely a conflation of all people on the move as “migrants”, and while not technically wrong, where more precise terms exist, it urges that these should be used instead. For example, referring to forced migrants as refugees and asylum seekers.(IRIN – 27/08/2015)

UNHCR viewpoint: ‘Refugee’ or ‘migrant’ – Which is right?: UNHCR offers its perspective on the debate over terminology of people on the move, defining refugees as ‘persons fleeing armed conflict or persecution’ and migrants as persons who ‘choose to move not because of a direct threat of persecution or death, but mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, family reunion, or other reasons’. UNHCR’s position will be to use both terms when referring to people on the move where they think both groups may be present.  (UNHCR – 27/08/2015)

We deride them as ‘migrants’. Why not call them people?: The writer in this piece opines that the language used in the current discourse on migration has been ‘debased’.  He writes: ‘Politically charged expressions such as “economic migrants”, “genuine refugees, or “illegal asylum seekers”, should have no part in our coverage”. (The Guardian – 29/08/2015)

Australian Border Force: Tony Abbot promises officers will ‘never’ stop people for visa checks: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott countered a media release that suggested that Australian Border Force officers would have the power to stop people and ask for visa checks. “I want to make it absolutely crystal clear, as far as this Government is concerned, people will never be stopped in the street randomly and asked for their visa details,” he said. (ABC – 30/08/2015)

Cambodia deal doomed after just four Nauru refugees resettled for $55m: According to officials from the Cambodian government, Australia’s $55m plan to resettle refugees from Nauru to Cambodia will not continue. “We don’t have any plans to import more refugees from Nauru to Cambodia. I think the less we receive the better,” Khie Sopheak, interior ministry spokesman for the Cambodian government is reported as saying. The Australian government counters this view with foreign minister Julie Bishop stating, “that is not correct. You are relying on an alleged statement of one official”. (The Guardian – 31/08/2015)

Australia urges more European nations to join IS air strikes: The Australian government urged European states to begin air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria as a tactic to combat the escalating refugee crisis on the European continent. Speaking on this, foreign minister Julie Bishop stated “there’s more countries can do in terms of supporting the air strikes which are proving effective ins topping Daesh (IS) from claiming territory off sovereign governments and from inflicting so much barbaric violence” . (Yahoo! News – 31/08/2015)

Debates over language – A dangerous distraction?: In this article by RMMS fellow Melissa Phillips, the author warns that the debates over language dominating current press coverage are a risky distraction. She warns, “while it is extremely important in matters of law and policy, it’s an easy issue to get angry about while achieving very little”. (IRIN – 31/08/2015)


Burundi’s Nkurunziza sworn in, urges refugees who fled violence to return: Pierre Nkurnunziza was sworn into office and urged the tens of thousands who had fled violence to return home. Burundians had fled into neighbouring countries following the outbreak of political violence following his disputed decision to run for a third term. Speaking in his swearing in speech he said, “We call on our fellow Burundians to return and join other Burundians in building their nation”. (Thomson Reuters – 20/08/2015)



210 Egyptians arrive in Egypt from Libya in the last 24 hours: Local media reports covered the arrival of 210 Egyptian nationals who had fled the violence in Libya. The returnees arrived through the Salloum border crossing. 31 of those returning had crossed into Libya illegally it was reported.  (Ahram Online – 03/08/2015)

Egypt organises regional conference on combating human trafficking, illegal migration: According to this report, the Egyptian government plans to launch a regional conference in September to come up with strategies to tackle human trafficking and illegal migration. (State Information Services – 10/08/2015)

Egypt arrests 5,087 over ‘illegal immigration’ during past month: military: According to Egyptian military sources, Egypt has arrested over 5,000 persons over irregular migration during the past month. “Border guards are intensifying their efforts on different strategic routes, especially the western and southern ones, to combat any attempts of infiltration and smuggling”, said the source. (The Cairo Post – 10/08/2015)

Ten years of waiting: Sudanese refugees stuck in Egypt: According to this article, Sudanese refugees are being faced with hardship in Egypt, which is prompting many of them to turn to smuggling networks to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. “People aren’t willing to wait anymore. Everything is going wrong here. You don’t have help or income or any organisation standing behind you. UNHCR has washed its hands of you. You must wait here for five year, or three years, until they think about you,” says one refugee from Darfur who has been living in Egypt since 1993. (Middle East Eye – 12/08/2015) 


Migrant bids to reach Britain fail as security tightened: This article reports on the effect of increased security measures mounted by French authorities in Calais, restricting the movement of migrants and refugees into the Channel tunnel. “We didn’t have a chance last night. There were too many policemen, even more than before,” said one Eritrean national. British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised “more fencing, more resources, more sniffer dog teams” to aid French police. (Ahram Online – 01/08/2015)

Calais migrant crisis: UK and France urge EU action: The British and French government have urged other EU nations to support them in addressing the root causes of the Calais “migrant crisis”. In a joint newspaper article British and French ministers wrote that the situation is not just an issue for two countries, but “a priority at both a European and international level”. (BBC – 02/08/2015)

EU must open safe legal routes to Europe to solve the refugee crisis: The author in this article criticises the European Union’s approach to dealing with the mounting migrant and refugee situation on the continent. The author argues that by referring to the people on the move as “migrants”, “Europe justifies its overwhelmingly military response and skilfully exploits the grey area that exists between the right to seek asylum…and the principle of non-refoulement”. The author argues that the only solution to the situation is to open up safe legal avenues to Europe. (Middle East Eye – 02/08/2015)

Concerns raised over plan to strip failed asylum seeker families of benefits: The UK Home Office has come under fire after the minister defended plans to remove benefits for families who are not successful in their asylum claims. Speaking in a radio interview, the minister said: “We think it is right that if you don’t have that claim – in essence you are here illegally – there should not be an automatic right to receive that benefit”. The move has been backed by Theresa May, UK’s Home Secretary, and Bernard Cazeneuve, her French counterpart, who wanted to send a message that “Our streets are not paved with gold”. (The Guardian – 02/08/2015)

Slovakians vote ‘no’ to taking in Austria’s homeless asylum seekers: Residents of a village in Slovakia strongly rejected hosting asylum seekers following a vote in a referendum. Almost 97% of local residents said no to temporarily hosting 500 asylum seekers from neighbouring Austria. Austrian authorities have been keen to relieve pressure on overcrowded refugee arrival centres. (DW – 03/08/2015)

Five solutions to the Calais migrant crisis: This article proposes five solutions to the Calais migrant and refugee situation. Solutions include undertaking a reform of the EU’s asylum system, introducing safe and legal avenues or asylum seekers and suspending the Dublin regulations that provide for free movement of people within the EU. (Euronews – 03/8/2015)

Illegal immigrants to UK face eviction without court order under new laws: Immigrants living illegally in the UK will face eviction from rental housing under newly drafted laws. The law will also crack down on landlords who fail to check the immigration status of tenants, and could face a fine or imprisonment for up to 5 years. “We are determined to crack down on rogue landlords,” said communities secretary Greg Clark.(The Guardian – 04/08/2015)

Curb economic migration but welcome refugee, UN officials tell EU: According to this article, a top UNHCR official criticised the EU for delaying the deporting of irregular migrants who are not entitled to asylum. “It is important for public opinion that people understand that they system is working, and that those staying are only those who are in need of international protection, not the others. Otherwise it gives the message to the public that they system is not managed; that everybody can come in and stay,” said the official, reportedly. (Europe Online Magazine – 04/08/2015)

Deadly milestone as Mediterranean migrant deaths pass 2,000: This International Organization for Migration press release confirm that over 2,000 migrants and refugees have perished so far in 2015 while trying to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. According to IOM, this can be compared with the death of 1,607 people in the same period in 2015. “It is unacceptable that in the 21st century people fleeing from conflict, persecutions, misery and land degradation must endure such terrible experiences in their home countries, not to mention en route, and then die on Europe’s door step,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. (IOM – 04/08/2015)

More than 200 feared dead in sinking of migrant boat in the Mediterranean: More than 200 people were feared dead following the sinking of a vessel of a smuggling vessel in the Mediterranean. The boat was reportedly carrying around 500 people. “What happened here was because the boat was so overloaded,” said Irish Defence Minister.  (Reuters – 06/08/2015)

Why Europe doesn’t need another anti-immigrant fence: In this opinion piece, the author argues that the response by some European states to erect border fences to keep migrants and refugees out is a contradictory immigration policy. While they may deter migrants and refugees from entering at a certain point, it is argued that they actually result in increased pressure elsewhere and encourage the use of smuggling networks, which government are trying to combat. The article uses examples of such policies and their effect in Cueta and Melilla, Bulgaria, and Hungary. (The Huffington Post – 06/08/2015)

UNHCR warns of deepening crisis in Greece: UNHCR has warned of a deepening refugee crisis in Greece, where scenes have been described as “total chaos”. Director of the Bureau for Europe, Vincent Cocehtel said: “As Greece faces financial challenges the country needs help, European countries should support Greece on these efforts”. (RT News – 07/08/2015)

Italy arrests North African traffickers over migrant ship deaths: Italy arrested five North African men on suspicion of multiple homicide and human trafficking, following the presumed drowning of more than 200 people off the coast of Libya. The men were identified as two Libyans, two Algerians and one Tunisian ranging in age from 21 to 24 years old. “The arrested are suspected of causing the confirmed deaths of 26 migrants and the presumed deaths of about 200 people who, according to witnesses, were locked in the hold of the boat that capsized,” said a police statement. (Reuters – 07/08/2015)

IOM wants Europe to open 'safe routes' for migration: The International Organization for Migration is advocating for the opening up safe and legal avenues for migration into Europe. IOM spokesman Itayi Virir said: “With yet another tragedy and more loss of life, IOM is greatly concerned at the role criminal gangs are playing in these tragedies. The international community must show the same resolve and coordination it showed when tackling piracy off the east coast of Africa a few years ago”. (World Bulletin – 08/08/2015)

UK officials deporting migrants by nationality 'to fill chartered planes': UK border officials have come under fire after it emerged that they were targeting specific nationalities for deportation in order to fill up chartered planes. According to the article, the Home Office authorised team members to target people of specific nationalities that are suspected of living in the country illegally. (The Guardian – 10/08/2015)

EU approves 2.4 billion Euros for migration crisis: The European Commission approved 2.4 billion Euros of aid oer six years for countries struggling to cope with the influx of migrants and refugees. Reportedly, Italy will receive the most aid (almost 560 million Euros), while Greece will receive 473 million. (Reuters – 10/08/2015)

10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis: The author in this article sets out some factual statistics on the refugee and migrant situation in Europe. (The Guardian – 11/08/2015)

Austrian treatment of refugees ‘scandalous’: Amnesty: Amnesty International condemned the Austrian government’s treatment of asylum seekers at a centre near Vienna, terming it “scandalous”. According to the repot, as any as 2,000 refugees have had to endure 40 degrees Celsius heat and rainstorm with only blankets to shelter them in the open air. Children have allegedly had no psychological care, and women have had to use mixed showers.  (Reuters – 14/08/2015)

Turkish fisherman claims Greek officials intentionally sank migrant boat: According to this article a group of Turkish fishermen have levied claim that Greek coast guard officials intentionally sank a boat with migrants and refugees on board. (Euronews – 14/8/2015)

Plan, warn, compare: migrants use social media to help each other out: This article reports on the increased reliance that migrants, refugees and asylum seekers have on social media networks to navigate their journeys to Europe. The social media sites are also used by people smugglers who offer services to those seeking passage. “It depends on the case. We use Viber, WhatsApp to chat and we use the phone’s GPS system to make our way across borders and the sea,” said one migrant. (Sputnik News – 17/08/2015)

Merkel: Refugees could be bigger challenge than Greek debt crisis: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that record number of migrants and refugees could become a bigger issue for the European Union that the Greek debt crisis. “The issue of asylum could be the next major European project, in which we show whether we are really able to take joint action,” said Merkel. (Newsweek – 17/08/2015)

Theresa May set to sign new deal with French government to tackle migrant crisis: This article speculated on a possible deal between the UK and France to tackle the migrant and refugee situation in Calais. The deal between the two countries was reported to include tighter and tougher security at the port and around the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. (The Independent – 18/08/2015)

The Eritrean returning to the Med to save his fellow refugees: This article covers the story of an Eritrean refugee who volunteered to join a Médecins Sans Frontières rescue boat to assist in the rescue of refugees in the Mediterranean. “It was very surreal, coming face to face like this with people from my own country. Their eyes were wide open in disbelief when I told them we were taking them to Italy and not back to Libya,” he says. (The Guardian – 18/08/2015)

Calais migrant deadlock prompts new talks: The author of this article criticises recent move by the Hungarian government to tighten up asylum and immigration laws in the country. The changes mean that asylum claims for persons entering from a safe third country will not be considered and will be returned through the country through which they travelled. (Euronews – 19/08/2015)

Migrant arrivals at EU borders reach record high: The number of migrants and refugees reaching EU borders hit a record high in July 2015, reaching 107,500. The figures released by EU border agency Frontex also showed that the number of border detection between January and July, reached nearly 340,000 people compared with 123,500 in the same period in 2014. According to the director of Frontex, “This is an emergency situation for Europe that requires all EU member states to step in to support the national authorities who are taking on a massive number of migrants at its borders”. (The Guardian – 19/08/2015)

Germans expect up to 800,000 people to seek asylum this year: The German government that expect up to 800,000 people to seek asylum in the whole of 2015. This represents nearly 1% of the country’s population. (The Wall Street Journal – 19/08/2015)

Slovakia ‘will only accept Christians’: The Slovakian government has come under fire after stating that it will only accept Christian refugees from Syria under a proposed EU relocation scheme. “We could take 800 Muslims but we don’t have any mosques in Slovakia so how can Muslims be integrated if they are not going to like it here,” said Interior Minister Netik. (BBC - 19/08/2015)

UK and France boost policing in Calais to target migrant traffickers: This article reports on a shared command and control centre that has jointly been set up by French and British authorities. The move is expected to “find and disrupt organised criminals who attempt to smuggle migrants illegally into northern France and cross the Channel by ensuring intelligence and enforcement work is more joined up and collaborative”. (DW – 20/08/2015)

Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrants’: News outlet Al Jazeera made an editorial decision to no longer refer to the situation concerning thousands of people crossing the Mediterranean into Europe as ‘migrants’. The term it is argued diminishes the experience of those making the passage. According to Al Jazeera, “the umbrella term migrant is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to describing the horror unfolding in the Mediterranean. It has evolved from its dictionary definitions into a tool that dehumanises and distances, a blunt pejorative”. (Al Jazeera – 20/08/2015)

Drones help save migrants in the Mediterranean: The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), which coordinates rescue operations in the Mediterranean announced that it is using drones to patrol the Sea in search of people in danger. According to MOAS, the technology has helped save thousands of lives since it began operating in 2014. The drones are fitted with infrared cameras which are particularly useful for patrolling the sea in the dark. (Mashable – 21/08/2015)

Germany, the EU country which takes the most asylum seekers, is straining: Germany’s interior minister termed the effects of a surge into German territory as ‘challenging, but not overwhelming”. The government announced that it expects 800,000 applications for asylum by the end of 2015. (The Economist -21/08/2015)

Schengen free movement ‘may be in danger’, says German minister:  Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maziere warned that the Schengen Agreement, that allows for free movement within the European Union’s border may be “in danger”, urging all states to “become more aware of their responsibilities”. (BBC – 21/08/2015)

Mediterranean migrant crisis map shows routes used to get to Europe: This article maps the main migratory routes used by those moving from African nations into Europe. It highlight major migration hubs in Istanbul, Turkey, Oujda in Morocco and Ouargla and Maghnia in Algeria. (The Huffington Post UK – 21/08/2015)

From Calais refugee to millionaire: one man’s story:  This article covers the story of one Afghan refugee who has made a successful life for himself in the UK after fleeing the Taliban in the late 1990s. His narration tells of his crossing from Afghanistan, through Pakistan, Iran and central Asia into Russia, where he stayed for a number of years before smuggling across Europe and across the Channel tunnel into Britain. (Al Jazeera – 21/08/2015)

Macedonia: Stop police violence against migrants: The Human Rights Watch have condemned the use of violence by Macedonian border officials against migrants and refugees attempting to cross into the territory from Greece. Macedonia declared a state of emergency at its southern and northern borders and sealed its border with Greece with a barbed wire fence. (Human Rights Watch – 22/08/2015)

What a solution to Europe’s migrant crisis could look like: In an attempt to offer solutions to the European migrant and refugee situation the author in this article proposes that Europe will have to invest in creating real opportunities for refugees, so that they can stay in neighbouring countries. The author also considers what the future holds for migrant integrating into Europe and whether there is political will for that to happen. (The Huffington Post – 22/08/2015)

Europe must show courage in migrant crisis – EU’s Juncker: European Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker has urged states to show “collective courage to follow through on [our] commitments – even when they are not easy; even when they are not popular”. (Reuters – 24/08/2015)

Hungary’s migrant fence is simply a pointless PR exercise: In this opinion piece the author criticises the Hungarian government’s decision to construct a fence along its borders to keep out migrants and refugees. The writer points out that the construction of walls in other territories has not stop people trying to cross.(The Guardian – 25/08/2015)

Germany and France want unified asylum response:. French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to step up efforts on sharing the increasing number of migrants and refugees entering the EU. Hollande urged that “a unified system for the right to asylum is needed and “rather than wait, we should organise and reinforce our policies, and that is what France and Germany are proposing”. (EU Observer – 25/08/2015)

Chancellor condemns anti-refugee protests as thousands head for Europe: Germany’s premier Angela Merkel broke her silence over right-wing anti-migrant and anti-refugee protests being held in the country. Her spokesman is quoted as saying, “The Chancellor and the entire government condemn in the strongest possible terms the violet attacks and aggressive anti-foreigner sentiment created there. It’s repulsive how far-right extremists and neo-Nazis are trying to spread their hollow message of hatred around a refugee shelter, and it’s shameful how citizens, even families with children, are supporting this spectacle by marching along”. (The National – 25/08/2015)

European Commission many sue 18 EU states for asylum rules violations: According to this article the European Commission has opened up 32 investigation against 18 EU member states for alleged violations of asylum laws. The countries include: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, and Sweden. (Sputnik News – 25/08/2015)

Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean ‘migrant’ but we should: Following the announcement by news outlet Al Jazeera that it could not be using the term ‘migrant’ to label the flows of people into Europe across the Mediterranean, this article counters that we should be using the term.  According to the writer, the word ‘migrant’ should be reclaimed from those who have turned into a term of abuse. (The Huffington Post UK – 25/08/2015)

What’s asylum got to do with it?: The author of this article argues that the “terminology applied to people making irregular border crossings varies across time and place, generally to suit those setting the rules”. The writer states that the pure distinction between refugees and economic migrants is unrealistic as the categories are very blurred in the so called migration-asylum nexus, “whereby extreme poverty is often grounded in political destabilisation because weak states are characterised by both human rights abuse and failed economies’. (Middle East Eye – 25/08/2015)

Greece’s push back of asylum boats puts lives at risk, says Amnesty: Amnesty International has criticised the Greek government for its alleged push back of boats from its shores. Amnesty suggests that this ia practice that the country has been engaging in on a regular basis over the last three years and that abuse of migrants and refugees is commonplace. (Euronews – 25/08/2015)

An asylum blacklist for Europe: The European Commission is slated to draw up a list of safe third countries whose citizens’ asylum claims would be fast-tracked if their applications fail. First Vice President of the European Commission suggested that such a list could be drawn up as early as the end of the year, and would include some Balkan and African countries. “For example in Germany, there are quite a few refugees who come from Balkan countries – countries that are candidates to join the European Union. We need to agree to return these people home, because they don’t have the right to asylum,” he said. (Politico – 25/08/2015)

A 21st-Century migrant’s essentials: food, shelter, smartphone: This article reports on the modern migrant and refugee’s survival kit, which includes a smart phone. “Every time I got to a new country, I buy a SIM card and activate the Internet and download the map to locate myself,” says one asylum seeker. “I would never have been able to arrive at my destination without my smartphone. I get stressed out when the battery even starts to get slow,” he adds. (The New York Times – 25/08/2015)

Germany’s small yet important change to the way it deals with Syrian refugees: The German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) announced that it will no longer adhere to the Dublin regulations for Syrians, processing their asylum claims directly. (The Washington Post – 26/08/2015)

Afghan asylum seekers deported from UK may have been unaware of rights: This article covers reports that Afghan asylum seekers may have been deported to their home country without receiving legal representation. The return may have been in contravention of a court order giving a ruling to stay the deportation of people originating from all but three Afghan provinces. “So many people on this flight were unrepresented, and if they were, they might not have been informed of the court order,” said one lawyer.(The Guardian – 26/08/2015)

Greater support in countries of first asylum needed to stem refugee outflows:  The UNHCR has repeated calls to increase and improve support in countries of first asylum, such as Lebanon, Jordan ad Turkey, pointing out that the Syria Region Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) remains under-funded. (UNHCR – 26/08/2015)

Rescuers save 3,000 migrants in Mediterranean, 55 dead: This article covers reports of rescuers saving the lives of around 3,000 migrants and refugees near the coast of Libya in a series of rescue attempts. More than 50 were however found dead. (Reuters – 26/08/2015)

UN refugee chief: ‘Hotspot’ triage sites could help EU countries better manage migrant flows: Head of UNHCR Antonio Guterres said that the EU asylum system is “completely dysfunctional”, and has urged member states to better coordinate their response to the influx of refugees fleeing violence. (Star Tribune – 26/08/2015)

EU response plans on migration crisis: This article reports on a package of plans being developed by the EU to tackle the current migration situation on the continent. This includes a naval mission, emergency assistance, relocation, resettlement, deportation and foreign missions, among others.  (Reuters – 27/08/2015)

Migrant crisis: Grim find of bodies in Austria lorry: Austrian police discovered an abandoned lorry full of the remains of between 20 and 50 migrants on a motorway near the Austrian-Hungarian border. Austrian police suspect that the people inside were already dead when they crossed the border into the country, as preliminary indications suggested that the bodies had been dead for one and half to two days. (BBC – 27/08/2015)

Government accused of closing door on Eritrean refugees in attempt to hit immigration target: The British government has been accused of shutting the door on Eritrean asylum seekers in an attempt to be in line with the government’s immigration targets. Recent figures showed that net migration had risen to 330,000 persons a year, much higher than the target of 100,000. (The Independent – 27/08/2015)

Four arrested in Hungary over migrant truck deaths: Hungarian police arrested 4 male suspects in connection with the discovery of migrant bodies in the back of a lorry on an Austrian motorway. The men were said to be of Bulgarian and Afghan nationalities and were suspected of being part of a migrant smuggling ring. (The Wall Street Journal – 28/08/2015)

Crossings of Mediterranean Sea exceed 300,000 including 200,000 to Greece: .The UNHCRT announced that the number of migrants and refugees using the Mediterranean Sea to cross into Europe has surpassed the 300,000 mark.  (UNHCR – 28/08/2015)

3 children critical after being found in refugee lorry in Austria: 3 young children were rushed to hospital suffering from dehydration following the discovery of another truck ferrying migrants and refugees in Austria. “It was a very close call,” said one police officer. “Medical staff told us they would not have made it much longer”. (RTE – 29/08/2015)

Why the debate over Europe’s migration crisis is full of myths: In this interview with migration expert Hein de Hass, this article attempts to bring light to the various myths plaguing the current discourse on the migration and refugee situation facing Europe. (The Huffington Post – 29/08/2015)

EU plans extra billion euros to pay African countries to take back migrants: According to reports, the European Commission has plans to offer an additional 1 billion Euros to African countries if they agree to take back migrants with no legitimate claims for asylum in the EU. The funding proposal will be presented at an EU-AU summit taking place in Malta in November this year. (The Telegraph – 29/08/2015)

As police investigate deaths in truck, migrants and smugglers appear to shift tactics: This article reports on the apparent shift of smuggling networks on the Austria-Hungary border, following a step up in random car stops by police to prevent migrants and refugees from crossing the border. (The New York Times – 30/08/2015)

Coming to grips with Europe’s refugee crisis: The author in this article argues that “Europe’s ‘crisis’ is not about migration, but about a lack of collective political will to respond to it”. The author contends that the situation requires much greater international cooperation to have offer a lasting solution. (The Sydney Morning Herald – 30/08/2015)

Hungarian police detain fifth suspect for migrant deaths in truck: Hungarian police arrested a fifth suspect in the case related to the discovery of 71 decomposed migrant bodies in the back of a truck on an Austrian motorway. Three Bulgarians and one Afghan were already detained in relation to the offence. (Reuters – 30/08/2015)

Dutch plan tougher asylum policy as migrants flock to Europe: This article reports on plans by the Dutch government to adopt tougher asylum policies to deter migrants from attempting to reach the Netherlands. Failed asylum seekers would be limited to a few weeks of shelter, after which they would be deported or required to fend for themselves. (Reuters – 30/08/2015)

Migrant crisis: EU calls emergency talks: The European Union announced emergency talks to be held on 14th September to deal with the escalating migration crisis on the continent. “The situation of migration phenomena outside and inside the European Union has recently taken unprecedented proportions,” it was announced. (BBC – 31/08/2015)



Ethiopia detains seven suspected human traffickers: The Ethiopian Federal Police Commission has reportedly detained seven suspected human traffickers. The suspects were extradited from Kenya, Sudan and Tanzania in collaboration with Interpol. (Star Africa – 04/08/2015)

Ethiopians, Somalis brave death and head to Yemen…then finally Saudi Arabia: This article covers the determination of two Ethiopian migrants who plan to embark on a dangerous journey across the Horn of Africa to Yemen and finally into Saudi Arabia. “We will walk until we become weak,” says one migrant.(Mail & Guardian Africa – 20/08/2015)

Despite border crackdown in Ethiopia, migrants still risk lives to leave: This article covers reports of migrants in Ethiopia determined to risk their lives for a better future. “I’m tired f working in Ethiopia. I know the dangers of living now in Libya, especially with the Isis news. But I want to risk it all and try my luck,” says one interviewee. (The Guardian – 25/08/2015)


Explaining Eritrea’s migrant exodus: Video documentary that interviews Eritrean nationals on the reasons behind their decision to migrate from Eritrea. (MSN – 11/08/2015)

Canadian mining company accused of exploiting Eritrea’s forced labour: The United Nations accused a Canadian mining company of using forced labour at one of its mines in Eritrea. “Forced labour was used, especially in the construction phase, for the simple reason that all construction is done under the government,” said UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Eritrea, Sheila Keetharuth. The company, Nevsun Resources, denies the claims and has vowed to “vigorously defend itself”.  (The Guardian – 19/08/2015)

Eritrea opens its doors to European investigators: Yemane Gebrab, political advisor to the president of Eritrea, said that there is an increase in the number of European delegations visiting Eritrea to assess the situation on the ground for themselves. “So, key European countries have sent their people to look at the situation on the ground. And I think that they have come to realisation that what is being said about Eritrea is not true, that there is no political persecution in this country, that national service is not indefinite, that it does not constitute slave labour. Those who are travelling to Europe are travelling there essentially for economic reasons,” he said. (Voice of America – 21/08/2015)

Eritrea is Africa’s north Korea – but UK bureaucrats won’t accept its citizens are refugees: In this opinion piece the author criticises the approach of the British government in issuing guidelines that show that the Home Office has accepted assurances from Eritrea that ay people returned home would be safe, if they signed an apology letter and paid taxes. (The Independent – 30/08/2015)



Israel concerned about ISIS infiltrators from Sinai:  Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan demanded that all irregular migrants who entered Israel through the Sinai peninsula in recent weeks to be labelled as a security risk. “It is not unrealistic that Islamic State and other terrorist groups operating in Sinai would take advantage of [the migrants’] distress to recruit them,” he said. (17/08/2015)

Israel releases hundreds of migrants from desert facility: Following a Supreme Court ruling that ordered the Israeli government to release detainees after a maximum holding period of one year, the government released 1,178 asylum seekers. The government however restricted this release by announcing that the former detainees would not be able to access Tel Aviv or Eliat. (Yahoo! News – 25/08/2015)


Issue ID cards to stateless Kenyans: The writer in this article urges the Kenyan government to issue Kenyan citizenship to marginalised communities in Kenya, who are at risk of being stateless, or are stateless. These communities include, the Nubian, Makonde, Shone, Somalia and Arab communities. (The Star – 19/08/2015)


UNHCR and partners to help Libyans save lives at sea and improve corpse collection: UNHCR has established a forum to enhance Libya’s response to boats in distress in its waters by streamlining information sharing and coordination with international organisations. “We hope the new contact group will boost Libya’s ability to save lives, collect bodies at sea or along the coast an improve the humanitarian care of the rescued on disembarkation,” said a UNHCR official.. (UNHCR – 18/08/2015)

Italian navy rescues 4,400 migrants off Libya coast: This article covers the reports on the rescue of around 4,400 migrants and refugees off the Libyan coast. (Reuters – 23/08/2015)

Libya recovers 82 bodies after migrant boat sinks – official: Libyan officials recovered 82 bodies washed ashore after the sinking of a boat near the western town of Zuwara. Survivors of the tragedy were taken to a detention facility for irregular migrants. (Reuters – 28/08/2015)

Libya arrests three suspected smugglers over migrant boat disaster: Libyan authorities arrested three people on suspicion of involvement in launching a boat that later sank off the coast of the country killing up to an approximated 200 people. (Yahoo! News – 29/08/2015)


European Union delegates in Somalia to address illegal immigration: European Union officilas were present in Somalia to discuss among other issues the emigration of Somali nationals to Europe. Government officials cited the lack of proper jobs and radicalisation as the reasons that motivate youth to leave Somalia for better prospects in Europe. (Somali Current – 26/08/2015)


Sudan focal point of human trafficking – EU: The European Union has expressed concern about the increase in human trafficking in the east of Sudan, and expressed the bloc’s keenness to cooperate with federal and state authorities to combat the vice. (Star Africa – 27/08/2015)

South Africa

More professionals are coming into South Africa, than leaving: According to this article, findings of research conducted by business oriented social networking site LinkedIn revealed that professionals entering South Africa are not necessarily skilled South Africans returning to the country, but rather professionals from other countries seeking opportunities in South Africa. (Business Tech – 30/08/2015)

Contact Us

Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
DRC East Africa & Great Lakes
Lower Kabete Road
(Ngecha Road Junction)
P.O.Box 14762, 00800
Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 709867 000


Subscribe to our monthly email alerts with mixed migration summaries, maps, feature articles and other new RMMS publications

Follow RMMS



Our Donors


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