Samba Issa Anne holding a photograph of his son Amadou Anne, right, with a friend. Amadou Anne died trying to reach Europe. Photo Credit Xaume Olleros for The New York Times

Why Migrants Keep Risking All on the ‘Deadliest Route’

Article in The New York Times
23 juin 2017

Deadly migration policies won’t win against hope for a better life and duty to help the loved ones. States erecting strict barriers are also responsible for the deaths en route. Unfortunately, it seems that those deaths are part of a concerted deterrence strategy

« Their fates, sealed in journeys nearly two years ago, matched those of so many in this region, where young men often fall into three unforgiving categories : the ones who have made it to Europe, the ones who were blocked or deported along the way and the ones who died trying…

The stormy sea is the last in a deadly series of obstacles to Europe. For migrants like the Anne brothers, the journey begins in packed buses that may topple over on bad roads patrolled by thieves. If they make it through the days-long desert crossing to Libya, the migrants are sometimes beaten, detained for weeks by smugglers and shaken down for yet more cash…

Some parents and spouses push their sons to make the trip. Village life is so isolated that often they are unaware of the dangers of the voyage. The pressure to try can be so intense that some men who fail never return home. Ashamed, they would rather have their families think they are dead. »

To access the full article, please click here

  Volunteers at the Westway centre say they are concerned some survivors may be discouraged from seeking help by the police officers standing outside. Photo Credit: Amer Ghazzal/Barcroft Images

Grenfell Tower survivors ‘too scared to seek help’ because of immigration status

Article in The Guardian
23 juin 2017

Arguing in favour of “firewalls” between immigration enforcement and other public services in this case sounds like a pun in very bad taste. But this is effectively what Theresa May announced for the survivors. Why does it take a tragedy to make it a good idea ?

« Volunteer doctors and lawyers providing support to survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster have spoken of residents who escaped from the fire but remain, they believe, too frightened seek to medical and legal help for fear of being reported to the Home Office because of their irregular immigration status…

In her Commons statement, Theresa May made it clear that no immigration checks would be carried out on survivors or relatives of the dead. “We will not use this tragic incident as a reason to carry out immigration checks on those involved,” the prime minister said. “We will make sure that all victims, irrespective of their immigration status, will be able to access the services they need, including healthcare and accommodation.”

To access the full article, please click here


Ensuring family reunification for refugees in Europe

Commissioner for Human Rights - Council of Europe
22 juin 2017

In an issue paper published on 19 June 2017, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, urges member states to lift the many obstacles to reunification of refugee families.

The paper highlights the European and international standards which govern this field, refers to concrete national cases where restrictive measures have been adopted and sets forth 36 recommendations to help member states adopt laws and policies which uphold refugees’ right to reunite with their families in host countries.

To access the full paper, please click here


Dear Family : How European migration policies are keeping families apart

Oxfam Briefing Paper - June 19, 2017
22 juin 2017

Please see Oxfam’s latest policy report entitled “Dear Family : How European migration policies are keeping families apart »

The “Dear Family” report explores how European migration policies and practices are separating and keeping families apart, with a focus on families separated between Greece and other EU member states and families separated within Greece. The report collects information and case studies from Oxfam’s programmes in Greece and from the people we are working with.

To access the full report, please click here

  Rescued migrants on the deck of the Iuventa of the NGO Jugend Rettet during the Easter Weekend 2017 operations. Despite a nominal capacity of no more than 100 people, the Iuventa had to take on board hundreds of people to make up for the absence of state-led SAR assets. Photo Credit: Giulia Bertoluzzi.

Blaming the Rescuers

Criminalising Solidarity, Re-Enforcing Deterrence
19 juin 2017

Please see this new report on how NGOs are being accused by certain European politicians to collaborate with the smugglers, when they are helping rescue migrants off the coast of Libya. This is very serious research work.

« Aiming to deter migrants from crossing the Mediterranean, the EU and its member states pulled back from rescue at sea at the end of 2014, leading to record numbers of deaths. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) were forced to deploy their own rescue missions in a desperate attempt to fill this gap and reduce casualties. Today, NGOs are under attack, wrongly accused of ‘colluding with smugglers’, ‘constituting a pull-factor’ and ultimately endangering migrants. This report refutes these accusations through empirical analysis. It is written to avert a looming catastrophe : if NGOs are forced to stop or reduce their operations, many more lives will be lost to the sea. »

To access the full report, please click here