Kecskemét, Hungary | AFP | Saturday 8/29/2015 - 12:59 GMT
by Peter Murphy with Serene Assir on the Greece-Macedonia border
Four defendants appeared in court in Hungary on Saturday over Austria's migrant truck tragedy, as a "horrified and heartbroken" UN chief called for concerted action to end Europe's refugee crisis.
Police believe the three Bulgarians and one Afghan held over the 71 deaths to be low-ranking members of one of the numerous human trafficking gangs that many of the tens of thousands of migrants coming to Europe pay for help.
The following statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was issued today:
I am horrified and heartbroken at the latest loss of lives of refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and Europe. Yesterday saw the grim discovery of the bodies of more than 70 people inside a truck abandoned near the Austrian border with Hungary. Reports indicate that many of the victims were Syrian asylum seekers — including children.
OXFORD, 28 August 2015 (IRIN) - On Thursday, Austrian police opened the back of a truck abandoned on the side of a motorway to find the bodies of 71 migrants. They had suffocated after paying smugglers to transport them across the border from neighbouring Hungary. The bodies were so decomposed it took a day to determine the number of dead.
GENEVA, Aug 28 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency said it was "deeply shocked and saddened" at the grim discovery yesterday of the bodies of 71 people inside a truck abandoned near the Austrian border with Hungary.
"This tragedy underscores the ruthlessness of people smugglers who have expanded their business from the Mediterranean sea to the highways of Europe. It shows they have no regard for human life and are only after profit," UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told a press briefing in Geneva.
Geneva, 27 August 2015 – Two recent tragedies have highlighted the dangers faced by individuals and families attempting to reach safety in Europe. In Austria, dozens of people were discovered suffocated in the back of a lorry parked alongside a highway in the east of the country. Earlier today, in the Mediterranean, a Swedish coast guard vessel rescued more than 400 people from a small boat, but found a further 51 people dead on the lower decks.
These deaths increase the current total of over 3,200 people known to have died in 2015 on the world’s migration routes.
Vienna, Austria | AFP | Wednesday 8/26/2015 - 10:28 GMT
by Simon Sturdee with Mohamad Ali Harissi in Zuwara, Libya
Hungary said Friday it had arrested four people over the discovery of the decomposing bodies of 71 migrants, believed to be Syrian, in an abandoned truck in Austria.
Hungarian police said three of the suspects held over the latest grim tragedy involving migrants seeking refuge in Europe were Bulgarians and one was Afghan.
Paris, France | AFP | Wednesday 8/26/2015 - 11:00 GMT
Europe is struggling with its biggest migration crisis since World War II, and the situation has got much worse since January.
Around 340,000 migrants have reached the borders of the European Union in the seven months to July, three times more than in the same period a year earlier, according to Frontex, the EU border management agency.
In 2014, a total of 283,000 people sought to emigrate to Europe, three times the figure in 2013.
OXFORD, 19 August 2015 (IRIN) - Migrant arrivals to Europe in 2015 were widely expected to surpass the record levels reached in 2014, as conflicts in Syria and elsewhere raged on. But the staggering number of sea arrivals to Greece in recent weeks appears to have taken many by surprise. Greece recorded more than 50,000 arrivals in July, according to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, surpassing in just one month the 43,500 who arrived during the whole of 2014.
VIENNA, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Austrian towns that balk at taking in refugees can be forced to accept migrants under draft legislation agreed by the two ruling parties and the opposition Greens on Monday.
The decision, which could become law by October, gives the federal government the upper hand in wrangling with provinces and municipalities over how to handle refugees whose treatment Amnesty International last week called "scandalous".
Bruxelles, Belgique | AFP | vendredi 14/08/2015 - 15:36 GMT
La Commission européenne a dénoncé vendredi l'inaction des pays des Balkans face à l'immigration illégale et les a enjoints à prendre des mesures pour fermer une route devenue de plus en plus prisée par les passeurs.
European Commission - Speech - [Check Against Delivery]
"A European Response to Migration: Showing solidarity and sharing responsibility"
Brussels, 14 August 2015
Migration and Home Affairs Commissioner You have all seen the news headlines – you are the ones writing the reports – you know why I am here.
I have come here today at the request of President Juncker, whom I spoke with again this morning and who, like me, remains gravely concerned by the situation in our Member States.
Vienne, Austria | AFP | Sunday 8/9/2015 - 15:59 GMT | 316 words
Over 140 migrants were found stranded this weekend on motorways in Britain and Austria, with at least a dozen children among them, police said Sunday.
Eighty-five squeezed into the back of a lorry -- including 16 children -- were discovered by police on Saturday abandoned on an Austrian motorway.
The refugees, mostly Afghans, had been locked into the lorry for at least 12 hours, and an eight-month pregnant women had to be taken to hospital after blacking out.
Vienna, Austria | AFP | Wednesday 8/5/2015 - 10:49 GMT
Austria on Wednesday stopped accepting new arrivals at its main refugee camp, where the United Nations has described conditions as "inhumane".
The move comes as a growing number of countries show signs of strain from Europe's burgeoning migrant crisis.
The temporary ban at Traiskirchen camp came into force at midnight (2200 GMT), officials said. It was not immediately clear when it would be lifted.
VIENNA, July 31 (Reuters) - Austria pledged on Friday to improve appalling conditions at its refugee centres and admitted its current laws were insufficient to meet what Chancellor Werner Faymann described as "Europe's biggest challenge".
Read the full article
BUDAPEST/VIENNA , 29 July 2015 (IRIN) - Hundreds of migrants sit in the underpasses in front of Budapest’s Keleti station on a balmy Sunday morning. Every couple of hours, a few dozen rouse themselves and look up at the departures board, waiting for the platform number for the Vienna train to appear above.
The stakes are high.
Vienna, Austria | AFP | Tuesday 7/21/2015 - 13:40 GMT
About 500 asylum-seekers will be temporarily relocated from Austria to Slovakia following an agreement signed by the two nations on Tuesday to help ease the pressure on Vienna.
Austria, a country of 8.5 million people, received more than 28,000 asylum requests in 2014, three times the European average relative to population size.
It expects at least 75,000 to arrive by the end of this year.
Oslo, 07 July 2015
The European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides announces today his objective to dedicate 4% of the EU humanitarian aid budget to education for children in emergency situations.
14 July 2015 – IGAD’s Executive Secretary Amb.(Eng.) MahboubMaalim and H.E. Mr.
Sebastian Kurz, Federal Minster for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Austria, today signed a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) which makes the Government of Austria a lead development partner of CEWARN on a Rapid Response Fund (RRF).
IGAD’s Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism (CEWARN) was set up in 2002 as a specialized unit to provide data-based conflict early warning information and analysis to government and non-government actors in IGAD Member States.
Source: Reuters - Tue, 30 Jun 2015 18:40 GMT
BUDAPEST, June 30 (Reuters) - Austria, Hungary and Serbia called on the European Union on Tuesday to step up efforts to fight human smuggling through the Balkans and not just focus on southern immigration routes.
Read more on AlertNet.
The Prime Minister has announced that he will 'modestly expand' Britain’s special resettlement programme for Syrian refugees.
According to media reports, Government sources have indicated that Britain will resettle ‘a few hundred more’ people but the total will not exceed 1,000.
The British Government had previously committed to resettling ‘several hundred’ Syrian refugees over a three year period, with just 187 people having arrived in Britain so far.