Statewatch article: RefNo# 37087
Refugee crisis: latest news from across Europe (7.9.16)
Statewatch News Online, September 2016
- REPORT: Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children (Unicef, link):

"Across the globe, nearly 50 million children have been uprooted – 28 million of them driven from their homes by conflicts not of their making, and millions more migrating in the hope of finding a better, safer life. Often traumatized by the conflicts and violence they are fleeing, they face further dangers along the way, including the risk of drowning on sea crossings, malnourishment and dehydration, trafficking, kidnapping, rape and even murder. In countries they travel through and at their destinations, they often face xenophobia and discrimination."

And see: Nearly half of all refugees are children, says Unicef (Guardian, link): "Report shows child refugee figures have jumped by 75% in five years to 8 million, and calls for urgent action to protect the 50 million child migrants worldwide."

- European Commission urges Greece to implement Dublin regulations (ekathimerini.com, link):

"One day after a senior German official suggested that his country could send migrants back to Greece, the European Commission on Monday urged Greece to implement the so-called Dublin Regulation.

The agreement, which is currently under review, stipulates that migrants who have traveled on to other nations in the bloc via Greece be returned to Greece.

In an interview with Welt am Sonntag newspaper, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said: “We have done a lot in Europe in order to improve the refugee situation in Greece. This must have consequences that will enable refugees to be sent back to Greece according to Dublin regulations.”"


- Slovenian PM: Greece needs to do more to secure Schengen border (ekathimerini.com, link):

"Greece needs to do more to secure the Schengen external border, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar has said adding that failure to do so could mean exit from Europe’s 26-nation zone of passport-free travel.

“Let’s be honest. The Greeks are not doing enough to secure the Schengen border,” Cerar said in an interview with the German Die Welt newspaper adding that migrants were still crossing the country’s northern frontier.....

Asked whether Greece could face a Schengen exit, the Slovenian prime minister said: “If Greece does not show enough responsibility and solidarity, then other Schengen members will soon have to consider all available options.”


- Turkey won't accept delay in EU visa liberalization: spokesperson (Finland Times, link):

"Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said on Tuesday that Turkey will not accept a delay for visa-free travel to the European Union (EU) until the end of the year, Daily Sabah reported.

Speaking in an interview with NTV, Kalin said that such delay is out of question, and he believed the remaining issues would soon be solved."


- UK immigration minister confirms work to start on £1.9m Calais wall (Guardian, link): "Robert Goodwill says four-metre high wall to stop refugees boarding lorries is part of £17m Anglo-French security package"

- Danish premier to defy EU with tough asylum law (euractiv, link):

"Denmark’s prime minister on Wednesday (7 September) said his minority government would push ahead with a bill to reject asylum seekers at the borders in times of crisis even though such a move might breach the EU’s Dublin System.

Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he wanted to guard against a situation like last year when 21,300 asylum seekers entered the country and the rules that say people must stay and claim asylum in the first EU country they reach were discarded."


- Greece balks at ‘unacceptable’ German plans to send back refugees (euractiv, link):

"Germany’s interior minister wants to start sending refugees back to Greece next year, but Athens has already given the plan short shrift. EurActiv’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports...

According to the Interior Ministry, 521 refugees were returned to Italy, 311 to Poland and 165 to Hungary during the first six months of 2016. However, Germany has not sent anyone back to Greece since 2011, since the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that there are serious shortcomings in the Greek asylum system.

But de Maizière has now said that returns will be possible once again starting in January 2017, a stance that he first shared with his EU colleagues at a meeting in Slovakia in July."


- Are You Syrious (6.9.16)

Turkey: Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Istanbul

"Istanbul is the city with that hosts the highest number of Syrian refugees, around 500.000 only from Syria. New research, supported by Support to Life Association (HDD, Hayata Destek Dernegi) pints out toward some of the needs of refugees in Istanbul, and warns about their bad position.

Prof. Ayaan Kaya (Istanbul Bilgi University) and Aysu Kiraç (HDD) prepered an extensive report, which warns about “anti-immigrant, anti-Arab, racist and xenophobic discourses” that have surfaced among the Turkish public.

See: Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Istanbul (researchturkey.org, link)"


Greece: Boat report

"One boat with 25 people, of whom 11 are men, 6 are women, and 8 are children, landed in the north-east Lesvos around midnight. They were found walking on the road passing Kapi Petro station. Most of them have been already picked up by police. It looks like more refugees are still walking and, therefore, land teams of volunteers are still searching for them.

3 boats with a total of 107 people landed on Chios this morning."


The bare life of refugees at Softex camp

"On several occasions, AYS warned about inhuman conditions in Softex camp. UK daily the Guardian visited this place, and several other in Northern Greece reporting about “prisoners of Europe”, refugees who are agains their own will kept in these camps."

Serbia: New danger for refugees in Serbia

"Volunteers from Info Park in Belgrade reacted after, what they call, “a disturbing joint press conference of Victor Orban and Aleksandar Vucic, Hungarian and Serbian Prime Ministers in Belgrade”.

On Monday, Orban was in an official visit to Serbia where he talked with his local government representatives about the economic cooperation, but the main topic of the meeting was refugee route.

A number of the newcomers in Serbia has gone up from 2700 in mid July to more than 6000 today. At the press conference, Vucic mentioned that 81% of the newcomers are Afghan economic migrants, emphasizing “the increasing cases of violence and robbery in the shopping malls”. There is omnipresent fear among volunteers of radical actions from the authorities, including arrests and deportations."


- Austria threatens to sue Hungary for refusing to take migrants back (hurriyetdailynews.com, link):

"Austria’s interior minister threatened on Sept. 7 to sue Hungary if it refused to take back migrants who had crossed their shared border, as political tensions mounted over immigration before presidential elections.

Austria’s government, facing a challenge from the far-right Freedom Party, has repeatedly accused Hungary of letting migrants enter its territory in the face of EU rules that asylum seekers must stay in the first country they enter in the bloc.

Hungary, itself preparing for a referendum on whether to accept a Europe-wide asylum quota, has insisted that most refugees enter its territory from other EU states, notably Italy and Greece, in a growing blame game."


- Greece Urged by EC to Implement the Dublin Regulation (Greek Reporter, link):

"The European Commission (EC) on Monday urged Greece to implement the Dublin Regulation that stipulates that migrants who have traveled to other nations in the bloc via Greece be returned to the country of arrival.

The report comes one day after German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere, in an interview with Welt am Sonntag newspaper, said that a lot has been done in Europe to improve the refugee situation in Greece. “This must have consequences that will enable refugees to be sent back to Greece according to Dublin regulations,” he said.

EC Spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said on Monday that although the EU’s refugee system is set for a shake-up Greece should implement the Dublin Regulation until these provisions are reviewed. Berlin has suspended deportations to Greece since 2011 due to deficiencies in the Greek asylum processing system and the number of arrivals in Greece."

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