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AYS Daily Digest: 2/5/18: More than 3000 new arrivals in Greece in April

Lesvos and Chios see sharp increases of boat landings / More than 400 deaths recorded in the Syrian war in April / New asylum system in France comes into force, donations and volunteers needed / Sweden deports one-third of the rejected people / EU reveals new long-term budget

Feature: The increase of new arrivals in Greece continues

Today was quite busy in the Aegean with a reported total of 239 newly arrived people just on Lesvos and Chios. Six boats with many women and children on board landed on both islands.

The trend of an increasing number of boat landings on the Eastern Islands continues. Figures compiled by volunteers show, that in comparison to the previous months and the same period of last year the numbers are significantly higher these days. Overall, 3115 people were documented to have arrived on the Greek islands during April, almost 700 more than in March. Once again, Lesvos saw the most boat landings with a total of more than 1800 people compared to 1400 in March. The highest increase was on Chios with around 550 people arriving compared to 100 in March, which means an increase of more than 400 percent. Meanwhile, the Turkish Coast Guard stopped more than 2500 people from crossing the Aegean and the police reportedly apprehended more than 1000 people from departing.

Furthermore, Greek politicians attended a regional conference on Lesvos on Wednesday and Thursday. Migration Minister Dimitris Vitsas promised to reduce the number of camp residents on the Greek islands to 6500 — which is the official capacity. At the moment, some 15,500 people are said to be stuck on the so-called hotspots. In order to achive this goal, Vitsas promised to send more staff to process the asylum applications faster.

Luckily, the Feox team was able to truly react to the difficult situation by providing the Vial warehouse on Chios with 400 pairs of shoes for children and another 100 pairs for men and women. Just last night, Mersey Aid sent a container full of urgently needed supplies, including these items.


The Syrian Network for Human Rights, a London-based NGO close to opposition forces, recorded 408 civilians deaths in April. More than half of them are believed to have been killed by forces of the Syrian-Russian alliance. But also people died by the hands of other parties such as YPG, Daesh or the so-called international coalition led by the US. 129 casualties remained unidentified.


On the mainland, the Khora Community Center in Athens is looking for volunteer teachers at their education space. German and English teachers especially are needed. If you are interested, you can send an e-mail to or join the introduction meetings on Mondays at 11am at Khora.

Greek police also arrested two alleged smugglers in Attica after it found ten people hidden in their van, Ekathimerini reports. The two men are believed to have played a key role in the smugglings across the Evros river at the land border between Greece and Turkey.

Efsyn got to know about a racist attack on Tuesday against three residents of the Eleonas camp in Athens when they went back home from a football match. Reportedly, three men chased them in a vehicle and with weapons, but they managed to escape.


Proactiva published a video today, showing an empty rubber boat after the rescue. If the rescue team would have come a few minutes later, the boat would most likely have already sunk.

According to Cadenaser, with more than 20 percent of the global deaths on frontiers, Spain currently has one of the most deadly borders on the planet.


With the 1st of May, the new asylum system in France came into force. From now on, people in the region around Paris have to make an appointment through a telephone hotline to ask for international protection. It is not possible anymore to show up at the Padas centres, where they find help to submit their application, without an appointment. Several NGOs said the new system is too complicated for the people, InfoMigrants writes.

In Calais and Paris volunteers are in need of various donations to distribute to people in need.

Vestiaire pour les migrants in Paris asks for toiletries, diapers and milk for babies, pants, shoes, belts, t-shirts, underwear, backpacks, jogging trousers, caps, jackets… Volunteers can send an SMS to 06 03 02 83 72.

Volunteers are needed to transport blankets and sleeping bags to the Bosnian border.


During the first three months of 2018 the police succeeded in pushing through one-third of all expulsions and rejections, the Swedish Radio reports.

A couple of thousand of asylum seekers could not be deported since the police lacked their address and information about their whereabouts, according to Per Löwenberg, group chief of National Frontier Police at the National Operational Department (NOA).

This means that two-thirds of the people who were supposed to be rejected and deported so far this year have “disappeared”. On the other hand, one-third of all expulsions are performed as planned. The government last year raised their demands towards the police, saying that they wanted an increase in the number of successfully performed expulsions. Compared to the first three months of last year, there was a 4 percent increase. At the same time, the total number of expulsions increased by 24 percent compared to the same months last year.

Failed deportations have always been an issue. But previously approximately 50–60 percent “disappeared”, whereas today it is up to 80 percent in certain groups of asylum seekers. In the first three months of 2018 the number is 2000 people.

One reason behind this development is a changed law from 2016, where people lost the right to accommodation provided by the Migration Agency after the first negative answer on their asylum request. In practice, that means that the police have no records of where people live when they are supposed to be expelled from the country.


The EU released its plans for the next long-term budget and confirmed that it wants to massively raise the budget to secure the external borders from 2021 to 2027. It wants to almost triple “expenditure for external border management, migration and asylum, to reach around €33 billion, up from the current €13 billion. This could fund 10,000 border guards by 2027 for the European Border and Coast Guard Agency”.

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Are You Syrious?

News digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and people on the move, but also for journalists, decision makers and other parties.