Curated News Daily.
Our team scours the news to bring you important updates about refugees and migration from across Europe.
The Norwegian Refugee Council is working with displaced children (girls in particular) in Afghanistan, trying to provide them with a basic education in difficult circumstances. Mehdi Shams recounts the daily trials and tribulations of life as a refugee on Lesbos, and another video from Moria emerges, showing once again the horrendous conditions in the camp. In Germany, government statistics show that asylum seekers are more likely to be suspects in rape and sexual assault cases than German natives, and a petition against the racism and xenophobia of the AfD has been signed by more than 500,000 people.
Prioritising the future of Afghanistan
“We have a proverb that says that one girl is able to educate ten generations. It’s very important, educated women make the difference,” says Mohama Qayoum, an Afghan teacher.
Still, of the more than three million Afghan children out of school, three quarters are girls. Children are dropping out, not only due to traditions and conflicts, but also due to lack of funding and classrooms.
8th grade student Samia in Jalalabad is one of the girls who risked falling behind due to lack of proper facilities. Her family were living as Afghan refugees in Pakistan, but suddenly felt forced to return to Afghanistan last year.
She enrolled in a local school, but previously her schedule was unpredictable. Studying in old tents that were not water-resistant caused them to cancel classes for days. Now Samia and her classmates have received much needed equipment, allowing them to continue their education at a proper rate.
“Now I can study and get an education, I will be someone. And in the future, I want to serve my country and support my family,” she says.
Research conducted by UN agencies and NGOs like Save the Children and NRC indicate that there are three main reasons why displaced children are not able to attend school: lack of capacity to take on additional students, lack of required documentation and the families’ lack of ability to cover school-related costs.
“Education must be acknowledged as a humanitarian priority in crises. When children drop out of school, the community does not only risk losing generations of invaluable competence, they also lose a protective environment for their children, and risk losing a future,” says Carter.
Afghan refugee Mehdi Shams to give insight into life as a refugee on Lesvos, Greece.
Each month refugees receive 90€ from the EU Commission which is mostly spent on food, as the food they receive in Moria by the Greek government is not really healthy or suitable to eat. So the refugees go to the bazaar or markets instead, meaning that 70€ of the 90€ is wasted on something that was already provided.
The people in Moria are suffering from a lot of troubles, and to face these difficulties they need to stay healthy. For example, when they are being referred to the city hospital in Mytilini, it is almost impossible for the vulnerable ones to reach it because it takes 2 hours of walking. Also, the doctors diagnose a lot of physiological and chronic pain. So every time you need to go back to the hospital by bus or taxi also takes a lot of money. In a normal life, the younger people in Moria would like to spend their money on going out with friends, or on other wishes. Money shouldn’t be for surviving. These 90€ aren’t enough for refugees.
Nikos Michos quits Golden Dawn, to continue as independent MP
Golden Dawn was left with 16 MPs in Greece’s 300-seat Parliament after deputy Nikos Michos announced his departure from the neo fascist party, complaining that it had been hijacked by enemies of Greece’s nationalist movement.
In a statement Tuesday, Michos announced his withdrawal and said he would be standing as an independent MP.
A trial of party members on charges that Golden Dawn is run as a criminal organization is continuing.
The time for goodbye has come
“We have offered our services to VIAL. We believe our system for distribution through our Drop Shop would be a great asset to the residents in the camp. However, the authorities have assured us that they will cover for those needs through their own resources” says Trude Jacobsen of Dråpen i Havet, the Norwegian Charity operating in Chios.
September 2015 we sent our first team to Chios to assist the refugees as they arrived the shores of the island. Our volunteers patrolled the shores day and night and provided a safe and warm welcome for the people fleeing wars and conflicts.
At that time there were no refugee camps on the island, but fantastic locals provided tents, food and clothes in the park in Chios town. The arrivals could stay there until they were registered, and then move on to the mainland and continue to other European countries.
After a couple of months larger organisations came to the island and together with Greek authorities the first camps were established. Tabakika, Souda, Vial, Dipethe.
Now Souda is closing down. In a few days or maximum weeks, the space will have no tents and no people. The walls of the Castle of Chios will again tell the stories from the ancient times, but also carry memories from the largest migration in Europe since world war II. Souda was never a decent place for anyone to live. Still, a lot of the people who have moved on from there, look back at this as a place with lots of humanity and love.
Why are refugees disproportionately likely to be suspects in sexual assault cases?
Criminal statistics in Germany have shown that asylum seekers are suspects in rape and sexual assault cases at a rate higher than their representation in society as a whole.
“The first factor, which people generally are happy to forget, is the difference in how people report crimes,” argues Christian Pfeiffer, a criminologist at the Crime Research Institute of Lower Saxony.
“Locals are reported less for crimes than strangers because people feel more threatened by strangers.”
A second important aspect is age. Men under 40 are fundamentally more prone to violence and this age group is particularly highly represented among refugees. Around 40 percent of asylum seekers from North Africa are young men.
“These young guys are the most dangerous in every country,” says Pfeiffer.
“We have followed young Poles, Russian Italians, and Turks who live in Germany over a number of years, a
nd looked at how their criminal statistics have changed — in all these groups criminality sank.”
“So those who say that everything can only get worse, that is completely untrue.”
We are the 87 percent who did not vote for you.
We are people of every sex, age, origin, religion, skin colour, and sexual orientation. We are the tapestry that makes this country what it is.
And we’re taking a stand against your racism.”.
Sign the petition here
Almost 500,000 have already signed
Merkel’s Unsolved Refugee Question
The head of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex, says it straight: the continent needs more cooperation at EU level to reduce the inflow of refugees. “What we need now, are clear, collective rules for all (refugee) groups — otherwise migration pressure will not abate,” Fabrice Leggeri told Handelsblatt at Frontex’s head office in Warsaw, Poland. A unified approach is needed to process asylum requests, repatriate rejected applicants and protect the EU’s external borders.
On Wednesday, the European Commission will propose new guidelines to member states on repatriating rejected asylum seekers. Frontex currently deports refugees on behalf of EU countries, and ran 220 flights last year, up from 65 in 2015. This year, the number is already even higher than last, Mr. Leggeri said, but inefficiencies remain in the system.
Ms. Merkel will need all her negotiation skills as she struggles to form a new coalition.
Full story here
Navigating A New Culture, A Syrian Refugee In Germany Seeks A Dating Coach’s Advice
Sophia Lierenfeld didn’t set out to give dating advice to Syrian refugees.
The Berlin-based acting teacher and relationship coach wanted to do her part to help refugees integrate into German society. Assimilation is a big issue in German politics these days. Her self-funded workshop, Improv Without Borders, gathers weekly to let Europeans and refugees do improvisational theater together. Find out more here
Jeremy Corbyn on immigration rhetoric:
”We will never follow the Tories into the gutter of blaming migrants for the ills of our society.” Video here
Italy claims it’s found a solution to Europe’s migrant problem. Here’s why Italy’s wrong.
The seas off western Libya have been quiet since late July. Before that, they swarmed with smugglers’ boats overfilled with migrants, mostly sub-Saharan Africans heading for Europe. From 23,000 migrants per month, the flow of arrivals has slowed to a trickle.
Motivating the Libyan militias’ newfound zeal for blocking migrant movement is a new policy spearheaded by the Italian government and embraced by the European Union. The approach relies on payment to militias willing to act as migrant deterrent forces. Italian government representatives use intermediaries such as mayors and other local leaders to negotiate terms of the agreements with the armed groups. They also build local support in the targeted areas by distributing humanitarian aid.
Migration has emerged as one of the most politically charged issues in Europe in recent years. Since 2014, 1.7 million irregular migrants have arrived on the continent. In this context, the E.U. has sought to offshore migration enforcement, incentivizing its neighbors to halt the migrant flow by offering economic aid and political concessions.
To this end, in 2016, the E.U. struck a deal with Turkey, which significantly cut the flow of departing migrants. The E.U.’s attention then turned to Libya, with a view to duplicating the Turkish bargain. Full Story here
White House Plans to Set Refugee Cap at 45,000 for Next Fiscal Year
Refugee cap would be the lowest since at least 1980
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump plans to set the cap for refugee admissions for the coming fiscal year at 45,000, the lowest in decades, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The number won’t be officially settled until after senior administration officials consult with members of Congress, as required by law, on Wednesday. A decision is due by Saturday, before the next fiscal year begins.
Mr. Trump has already lowered the cap once, to 50,000. A year ago, former President Barack Obama said the U.S. would accept as many as 110,000 refugees in 2017.
The refugee and asylum programs are similar in that both require applicants to show a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political belief or membership in a social group.
But there are differences. First, under an international treaty, the U.S. is obligated to accept people with valid asylum claims, whereas it has the authority to set refugee admissions at any level. Also, asylum applicants who meet threshold criteria are allowed to wait inside the U.S. while their applications are considered, while refugees are often living in desperate conditions.
Europe migrant crisis: EU presents legal migration plan
The EU Commission has proposed a new two-year programme to bring at least 50,000 asylum seekers into Europe.
“It is about managing one of the most complex, structural phenomena of our times, not a temporary emergency,” said the Commission’s Vice-President Federica Mogherini.
The issue has soured relations in the 28-country European Union.
A two-year programme which finishes on Wednesday relocated less than a fifth of a planned 160,000 asylum seekers.
The Commission’s proposals for a new two-year scheme would bring 50,000 vulnerable people to Europe — from the Middle East and Turkey as before, but with a new focus on North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
“This is part of the Commission’s efforts to provide viable safe and legal alternatives for those who risk their lives at the hands of criminal smuggling networks”, it said.
It said it had set aside €500m (£440m; $590m) to support the programme, which it said would also bolster return rates, which it said were currently “unsatisfactory” at 36%.
Full Story here
The sparks fly a breath from his face. Omar, however, stays at his desk, crawling over the welding tackle, without mask or protective glasses. The craftsmanship with the blackened walls is his second home in Smyrna. Manufactures office chairs that are exported to the Balkans. He works for up to 11 hours a day, six times a week — and he is 14 years old.
“The weather is slowly going down,” the boy tells us in one of his breaks. It has smudged cheeks and red eyes. Whenever he speaks, a broken front tooth is revealed, a sign of an accident he had months ago when he was dragged away by the car as he left the job.
“When I turn, I wash, I eat a few bites and I hurt my head and I sleep. In the morning I go back to crafts, “he says. “I do not know what time can hide. We do not know when we will die today or tomorrow. “
Omar comes from Aleppo and has completed two years in Turkey with his parents and his four brothers. Of the other children in the family, the two older, 16-year-old Ussama and 15-year-old Adel, are sewing dresses.
We are returning to the same places, not for those who will attempt the blatant passage to Greece, but for those who are left behind.
The alliances of traffickers are no longer so obvious. In Bashmane parks and squares are empty. On the road to the airport, however, in the Karabaglar industrial area, some Syrian children have responsibilities that do not match their age.
Within three days we met 14 children from Syria, aged 10–16, working mainly in garages, garments, chairs and furniture. We spoke with parents and employers, while in four businesses — where there were probably minors — they did not allow us to enter when we explained the reason for our visit.
They are the only ones who bring home income.
More than 3 million Syrian refugees live today in Turkey, scattered across the southern border, in Istanbul and on the Aegean coast. Based on UNICEF data, it is estimated that more than 490,000 children are now attending courses in Turkish schools or temporary centers. However, another 380,000 children are estimated to be out of education. Read the full story from Ekathimerini
Maydayterraneo — Proyecto AitaMari publish powerful images from Gabriel Tizon in yesterday’s rescue: more than 300 people and six hours of operation.
300 stories, 300 future plans that arrived safely to port.
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