Daily Archives: Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Good Chance Theatre: Calais refugee camp theatre stages a double encore

European policy is driving refugees to more dangerous routes across the Med

Postcards from ...

Heaven Crawley, Coventry University and Nando Sigona, University of Birmingham

It is estimated that in 2015, more than a million people crossed the
Mediterranean to Europe in search of safety and a better life. 3,770 are known to have died trying to make this journey during the same period. This so-called “migration crisis” is the largest humanitarian disaster to face Europe since the end of World War II.

That’s why we’ve been working to examine the conditions underpinning this recent migration across, and loss of life in, the Mediterranean.

Our first research brief , based on interviews with 600 people, including 500 refugees, shines a light on the reasons why so many risk everything on the dangerous sea crossing. It also offers an insight into why the EU response has been so ineffective.

One of the main problems with the current approach to this crisis is the…

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News: UN rights chief concerned over ‘collective expulsion’ of migrants after EU-Turkey deal

22 March 2016 – The United Nations refugee agency has announced that it is “not a party” to the new provisions agreed between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to stem the large-scale flow of refugees and migrants into Greece and Europe, and that it will align its work to cope with the deal.

Till now, the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been supporting the authorities in the so-called “hotspots” on the Greek islands, where refugees and migrants were received, assisted, and registered. Under the EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect this past Sunday, these sites have now become detention facilities, and all new “irregular” migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands will be returned to Turkey.

UNHCR has a policy on opposing mandatory detention. Accordingly, it has suspended some of activities at all closed centres on the islands, including provision of transport to and from these sites.

“UNHCR is not a party to the EU-Turkey deal, nor will we be involved in returns or detention,” the agency said in a press release. “We will continue to assist the Greek authorities to develop an adequate reception capacity.”

Read Full Article: UN News Centre – UN rights chief concerned over ‘collective expulsion’ of migrants after EU-Turkey deal.

 

News: UN refugee agency redefines role in Greece as EU-Turkey deal comes into effect

22 March 2016 – The United Nations refugee agency has announced that it is “not a party” to the new provisions agreed between the European Union (EU) and Turkey to stem the large-scale flow of refugees and migrants into Greece and Europe, and that it will align its work to cope with the deal.

Till now, the Office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has been supporting the authorities in the so-called “hotspots” on the Greek islands, where refugees and migrants were received, assisted, and registered. Under the EU-Turkey deal, which came into effect this past Sunday, these sites have now become detention facilities, and all new “irregular” migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands will be returned to Turkey.

UNHCR has a policy on opposing mandatory detention. Accordingly, it has suspended some of activities at all closed centres on the islands, including provision of transport to and from these sites.

“UNHCR is not a party to the EU-Turkey deal, nor will we be involved in returns or detention,” the agency said in a press release. “We will continue to assist the Greek authorities to develop an adequate reception capacity.”

Read Full Article: UN News Centre – UN refugee agency redefines role in Greece as EU-Turkey deal comes into effect.

 

News: House of Lords votes to let lone child refugees come to Britain

The government has been defeated in the Lords as peers voted to allow 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees into the country.

Peers voted by 306 votes to 204, a majority of 102, to amend the immigration bill in order to require the government to let the children, currently in Europe, come to Britain.

They warned the government it must act fast to take in unaccompanied child refugees amid complaints from cross-party MPs that child migrants in Calais were enduring terrible conditions.

The vote came as three unaccompanied Syrian children, including one orphaned by war, arrived in the UK from the Calais refugee camp to be reunited with relatives.

Labour peer Lord Dubs, who proposed the amendment to the bill, said the step would protect children from exploitation, people trafficking and abuse. Dubs, who was rescued as a child as he fled the Nazis, called on the government to remember the spirit of the Kindertransport and take the lead in Europe in giving homes to child refugees traveling alone.

Read Full Article: The Guardian – House of Lords votes to let lone child refugees come to Britain.

 

News: Don’t call them ‘illegal immigrants’, says Europe human rights commissioner

A European human rights commissioner has told British ministers to stop referring to “illegal immigrants”, claiming they should use the term “irregular migrants” for foreigners who enter this country without permission.

Nils Muižnieks, the Council of Europe’s human rights commissioner, described Britain’s immigration laws as “draconian” and insisted key policies introduced by the Government should be scrapped.

Mr Muižnieks singled out David Cameron, the Prime Minister, for criticism, suggesting he had “scaled up the alarmist rhetoric targeting migrants” in official speeches.

In an official memorandum to James Brokenshire, the immigration minister, Mr Muižnieks said: “The commissioner is worried by the dominant political discourse in the UK which is tainted by alarmism.

Read Full Article: The Telegraph – Don’t call them ‘illegal immigrants’, says Europe human rights commissioner.

 

News: Home Office ‘to review’ policy on returning Afghan military interpreters

The Home Office is reviewing its controversial policy of returning Afghan military interpreters to their home country after granting asylum to a former interpreter it initially tried to remove from the UK, according to lawyers involved in the case.

The 31-year-old interpreter, who had worked with UK and other coalition forces for seven years on the frontline in the battle against the Taliban, is celebrating after being told by the Home Office on Thursday that he has been granted leave to remain in the UK, despite government officials trying to force him onto a plane back to Afghanistan last April.

Lewis Kett, the interpreter’s representative at Duncan Lewis solicitors, welcomed the news and said Home Office officials informed him at an earlier court hearing that a review of the policy of returning interpreters to Afghanistan is underway.

Read Full Article: The Guardian – Home Office ‘to review’ policy on returning Afghan military interpreters.

 

Daily News and Updates on Refugee and Forced Migration Studies 03/29/2016

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

Daily News and Updates from ReliefWeb 03/29/2016

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