News Stories (weekly)

  • “In early September, according to eyewitnesses, Egyptian smugglers deliberately sunk a boat carrying aout 450 migrants, most of them Palestinians fleeing Gaza after this summer’s war. The UN’s human rights chief called it “mass murder in the Mediterranean.””
    A ‘mass murder in the Mediterranean’ leaves nearly 450 lost at sea, including this man’s family http://t.co/4wpPnX0pZT @hratsea

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  • “In the past four weeks alone, the Minister of Justice and Security in the Netherlands was blamed for deporting failed asylum seekers with severe medical conditions to countries in which their health treatment cannot be guaranteed; the chief of the national police in Melilla, Spain, was charged by a judge for illegally performing ‘pushback’ operations of migrants into Morocco; and the Israeli High Court ordered the dismantling of the biggest detention center and revoked a recent law that permitted the imprisonment of asylum seekers for one year without trial. I could go on providing more examples from other countries that illustrate the formal and informal mess that overwhelmingly characterizes the running of modern state deportation regimes.”

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  • “By: Sarah Spencer, Open Society Fellow, and Nicola Delvino (Nicola is a lawyer and worked as a researcher and co-authored the COMPAS report “Irregular Migrants in Italy: Law and Policy on Entitlements to Services”)

    This month sees the first anniversary of Italy’s Mare Nostrum operation, launched to reinforce rescue capacity in the Mediterranean following the drowning of 368 migrants off the coast of Lampedusa in October last year. In the intervening months many lives have still been lost but many saved. A consequence for Italy has been that thousands more people from the Middle East and parts of Africa are reaching its shores in need of help.”

    tags:news

  • “David Needham knows first hand the struggle French police and border officials face in preventing illegal immigrants from crossing the Channel into Britain.

    The experienced British lorry driver runs the gauntlet of desperate gangs daily as he passes through Calais on his route between Kent and Belgium.

    An estimated 2,300 people live in squalid camps near the French port just waiting for the opportunity to sneak onto a vehicle such as his.

    Mr Needham is one of a growing number of British road hauliers who will not stop in Calais, even to refuel his vehicle, nevermind to rest overnight.

    “We all used to park on the seafront and never have any trouble, now you wouldn’t dare to stop in Calais,” he told The Telegraph. ”

    tags:news

  • ““Ordre, ordre. Je veux te – si je peux be so bold – welcomer ici. It is not souvent que the Lady Mayor de Calais gets to meet moi,” said Keith Vaz in the pre-rehearsed speed-dating routine he usually reserves for his mirror. Natacha Bouchart looked startled, as much by the sound of her native language being badly mauled as by the nature of her welcome. She had made the day trip on Eurostar to give evidence to the home affairs committee on immigration only to find herself treated like an illegal immigrant.”

    tags:news

  • “Evidence of waste and poor management within Britain’s immigration system has been laid bare by a parliamentary report which reveals that failed IT systems are to cost up to £1bn while officials cannot find 50,000 rejected asylum seekers.

    The Commons public accounts committee (PAC) also discloses that 11,000 asylum seekers in the UK have been waiting for at least seven years to hear whether they can stay and that officials have still not resolved 29,000 asylum applications dating back to at least 2007.”

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  • “Courtesy of Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, Britain’s rightwing press has had a field day. Speaking before the home affairs select committee in London yesterday, Bouchart also gave the immigration-obsessed Westminster village a run for its money. Even by Ukip standards, her comments were inflammatory. Nigel Farage must have thought that the French politician was the most effective recruiter ever for his cause. The media used a rather loose translation of her words to make them sound more dramatic than they actually were.”

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  • “We are under siege from great hordes of immigrants as we wave around our “lavish” benefits. They climb over huge fences erected to protect politicians from protestors. They dangle on spikes of barbed wire, half-gone from exhaustion. No one can stop them. All the systems that are meant to control their numbers are in disarray.”

    tags:news

  • “As the construction boom in the West Asian (Gulf) countries continues, including building of the World Cup related structures in Qatar and the complex of international museums in Abu Dhabi, there is increasing attention and growing concern in the world’s media and human rights organisations about the situation of migrants recruited for low-skilled, low-paid work in these countries. Recent reports estimate that over 90% of the total workforce in some Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries is made up of non-nationals. While most of the migrants in the construction sector, and some in the service sector, are male, there is a continuing influx of female domestic workers in the region. In contrast to workers in high-skilled, high-paid jobs who largely tend to come from richer countries in the global north, the majority of migrants recruited for low-skilled jobs are from South and South East Asia.”

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  • “The great majority of labour immigration programmes (and almost all temporary labour migration programmes) in high-income countries operate “labour market tests”, which aim to ensure that employers recruit migrant workers only after having made every reasonable effort to recruit “local workers”. Labour market tests usually require employers to advertise their vacancies for a minimum period of time before applying for a work permit for a migrant worker. For example, the UK’s “resident labour market test” for employing non-EU workers is explained here (pages 83-91) and Ireland’s version is here.”

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  • “Many commentators, especially those who are broadly “pro-migration”, blame the media for creating a public discourse of hostility to immigration through its use of inflamed language and scare-mongering statistics. Others, especially those who are broadly “anti-migration”, defend the media as simply responding to public fears and concerns, reflecting back an issue on which voters feel passionate. But what evidence is there about the content of media messages on migration?”

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  • “The investigation was ordered following an exposé by the Observer newspaper which uncovered evidence of an asylum seeker being asked inappropriate and sexually explicit questions by a Home Office case worker.”

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  • “The UK Government has shamefully refused to support search and rescue efforts, aimed at saving the lives of people who are forced to take perilous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea as they try to reach safety in Europe.

    This week, the Italian-funded search and rescue operation focused on helping people whose boats get into difficulty in the Mediterranean is due to come to an end.”

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  • “An influential group of MPs has criticised the Government for a mounting backlog of asylum cases, blaming in part the decision to downgrade asylum decision makers at the Home Office.

    The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has slammed the Home Office for failing to resolve 29,000 asylum applications dating back to at least 2007, of which 11,000 have not even received an initial decision on their claim.”

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  • “Pantomime season began early this week, set to the beat of a calypso drum. And part of the soap-opera drama of UK immigration politics – all dodgy peerages and unpaid bills this week – surely stems from the ease with which the “truth” is bent to our own convenience. So Migration Watch has ‘improved public understanding’ of immigration; Sir Andrew Green has ‘no political axes to grind’. In this world-turned-upside down, this is Democracy in Action: not the loss of a measured, meaningful debate on migration in favour of prejudice. “

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  • ” 366 refugees died off Lampedusa on 3 October 2013. One year later, refugees still have no other choice but to risk their lives in order to seek protection. One year later, despite much talk, there is still no legal and safe access to Europe for people fleeing war and persecution. One year later, a truly European response to guarantee sustainable and effective search and rescue in the Mediterranean is still missing. It’s high time the EU acts. NGOs call on the EU to open up legal and safe routes for refugees and step up search and rescue efforts in the Mediterranean.”

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  • “More than 140,000 Syrian refugees have fled across the border to southern Turkey. CARE is assessing needs and coordinating with the Turkish authorities and other organisations to distribute food, blankets and hygiene items to newly arrived refugees most in need. Here are some of their stories.

    Alan Abraka* is a lawyer from a village 50km from Kobane, Syria. He is helping CARE to carry out assessments in Turkey.”

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  • “The last thing I remember about Syria is my last day at school. It was the hardest day of my life. I have always been very ambitious and one of the top students in my class. I had only four weeks left to finish ninth grade when my father told my sister, my two brothers and me that we would have to flee to Jordan. I was yelling at him and screaming. He explained to us that it was not safe anymore, that people were getting killed and arrested. I did not care about our safety and told my parents that I preferred to stay in the middle of the bombings rather than having to leave my country. But in the end I kept quiet. I knew that if I made my family stay and anything would happen, I could never ever forgive myself. The only thing I knew about Jordan I knew from TV. I had seen videos of Zaatari Camp on the news, and I was horrified.”

    tags:news

  • “His neat uniform holds the emblem of a private security company. In the moonlight I could see the rolling hills with their bare, small patches of grass and bush in a sea of stones and dust. No houses, street lamps, or mosques in sight. Not even a moving car. At least nowhere near the perimeter that marks the boundaries of what could turn into one of the biggest refugee camps in the world.”

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  • “Sri Lanka must stop making empty promises to the international community and the Sri Lankan people on improving the country’s still desperate human rights situation, Amnesty International said ahead of a UN review of the country’s rights record.

    The UN Human Rights Committee (HRC) in Geneva, Switzerland, will on 7 and 8 October 2014 be reviewing Sri Lanka’s respect for rights enshrined in the key human rights treaty: the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). This is the first such assessment since 2003.”

    tags:news

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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