Saving Lives at Sea – A two-week rescue mission with SOS MEDITERRANEE

Human Rights Watch
4 décembre 2017

An excellent Human Rights Watch report, with striking photos and videos, on how lives are saved at sea.

« The Mediterranean is the deadliest migration route in the world, with over 15,000 deaths recorded since 2014. So far this year almost 3,000 have gone missing or died, including 26 Nigerian girls in one tragic incident. That so many are willing to risk their lives is a testament to their desperation and determination to escape persecution, violence, and hardship at home. And it speaks volumes about the brutality asylum seekers and other migrants face in Libya. « 

To access the report, please click here

  A mother of a lost migrant holds a photo of her son during a demonstration in front of government palace in Tunis, Tunisia on April 27, 2017. Photo Credit: Hamdi Yildiz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

What’s Behind the Dramatic Rise in Migrant Boats from Tunisia

Article in Refugees Deeply
4 décembre 2017

Anti-smuggling policies, alone, are counterproductive as they push migrants deeper in the underground, into the hands of smugglers, traffickers and exploitative employers. As long as there will be inequalities in this world, a small minority will always try to move : trying to stop them only diverts the movement to another more dangerous and onerous route. Taking over the mobility market by offering migration candidates more legal mobility options would considerably reduce the migrant smuggling market, while allowing security agencies the opportunity to make appropriate security checks.

« To understand why migration is increasing, the best place to start is with the origin of many of the apprehended migrants : Tunisia’s southern and interior regions, such as Kasserine, Sidi Bouzid and Tataouine, to name a few. These regions have a long history of economic and political marginalization and frustration, which occasionally sparked mass unrest. The 2011 revolution caught fire in these regions with calls for dignity and economic justice long before they swept the streets of Tunis and other coastal cities. However, what is much less discussed is that since the revolution, the economic and political marginalization fueling frustration in these regions is unresolved, and for some has worsened. For Tunisia, 2017 has been particularly rough. »

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  Picture: “State of Exception/ Estado de Excepción”. Backpacks of migrants found in the Arizona desert, as part of the Undocumented Migration Project led by Jason De León at the University of Michigan.

Fatal Journeys : Improving Data on Missing Migrants

International Organization for Migration
30 novembre 2017

« Since the beginning of 2014, IOM has recorded the deaths and disappearances of over 22,500  migrants.  IOM has also calculated that at least 60,000 migrants have died since the year 2000.  The Mediterranean crossing, which has claimed the lives of 15,000 migrants since it first made  headlines in October 2013, is just one example of the many migration routes that see numerous  fatalities each year.

However, the true number of migrant fatalities is unknown, as not all deaths and disappearances  are reported. In many remote regions of the world, bodies may never be found, and many  migrants may never be identified. Each nameless death represents a family missing a loved one »

To access the report, please click here

  Migrants are put in dire detention camps after getting stuck in Libya while trying to reach Europe. Photo Credit: Reuters

Libya migrants : Emergency evacuation operation agreed

Article in the BBC
30 novembre 2017

Rescuing these migrants from the hellhole they are in is indeed the first priority and the urgent operation is essential, despite its implementation being doubtful. However, Europe is taking advantage of the outrage to tighten another screw on its fortress policy by sending these migrants all back home. Europe still does not admit that their condition was created in the first place by a conjunction of European labour needs that attract migrants and European border policies that put them in an ever more precarious situation, driving them deep underground into the hands of smugglers, traffickers, recruiters and exploitative employers. As long as Europe does not open sufficient legal pathways to allow most migrants to enter its territory and respond to the labour demand from European employers at all skills levels, more people will be sucked into smuggling and trafficking rings and abused. If European leaders and policy makers were strategically planning mobility policies over the long term, they would see how much this is in Europe’s own interest.

« An urgent evacuation plan has been devised for migrants facing abuse in Libyan detention camps.

It was drawn up at an African Union-European Union summit in Ivory Coast.

Libya’s UN-backed administration joined the agreement, but has only limited control over the territory, raising questions about how it will work in practice.

The migrants will be sent mainly back to their home countries. »

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  Paulette Wilson … the week of detention in Yarl’s Wood was the worst experience of her life. Photo Credit: Fabio De Paola for the Guardian

‘I can’t eat or sleep’ : the woman threatened with deportation after 50 years in Britain

Article in The Guardian
30 novembre 2017

Sowing the seeds of division, instead of providing tools of integration is a recipe for disaster in the long-term. Trust and loyalty are slowly built and quickly lost. Identities formed over decades can be shattered in seconds. How can policy makers make such life-altering decisions without careful consideration of the precise particulars of each case ? They are dealing with individual lives which are all different, not with boxes which can be process in identical manner.

« Paulette Wilson had been in Britain for 50 years when she received a letter informing her that she was an illegal immigrant and was going to be removed and sent back to Jamaica, the country she left when she was 10 and has never visited since…

Migrant rights charities around the country are increasingly coming across people who have been living here for 50 or more years – often people from the Commonwealth – who came to the UK when there was no need to apply formally for leave to remain. They have only recently encountered problems because they have no documents to prove their right to be here…

Unusually, Paulette was not given a document giving details of the Home Office’s decisions when she was released from detention. Ashwell, her caseworker, says he has requested it several times, but has had no response. He says he has dealt with as many as 40 similar cases of people who have lived here for decades, but do not have British citizenship. “It’s very hard to communicate with anyone in the Home Office,” he says. “It’s hard to get through on the phone and you never speak to the person making the decision because those numbers aren’t provided. You’re always talking to an intermediary.”

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