Rome, Italy | AFP | Monday 6/29/2015 - 10:17 GMT
The Italian navy on Monday said it had begun efforts to recover the bodies of some 800 migrants killed in a shipwreck in the Mediterranean in April, as authorities rescued another 4,400 people making the dangerous sea journey to Europe.
The April 18 tragedy was the deadliest sinking in the sea between Europe and Africa in decades and sparked international calls for reinforced efforts to deal with the growing migrant crisis.
UNHCR notes last night’s decision of the European Council to relocate 40,000 people in need of international protection and to resettle 20,000 refugees. This is an important step along the way to finding answers to this crisis, but clearly much more will have to be done, including addressing root causes.
Greece - The Greek islands near Turkey's coast now rival Italy as the top destination for irregular migrants seeking entry into the EU by sea this year, signaling the shift from the central Mediterranean route to the Eastern route.
Some 61,000 migrants have arrived by sea to Greece this year, nearly doubling 2014’s full-year total of 34,442. During the current month of June, between 650 and 1,000 migrants are reaching the islands daily.
Commenting on the European Council meeting on migration, Aurelie Ponthieu, Migration Advisor for Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, said:
Leaders at EU Summit must do more to resolve global refugee crisis
A sharp increase in refugees arriving on Greece’s Aegean islands is pushing an already faltering reception system to breaking point and is symptomatic of a failure by Europe’s leaders to adequately address the refugee crisis, warned Amnesty International ahead of the EU Summit which starts today.
Increase Refugee Resettlement, Asylum Seeker Relocation
Ian Traynor in Brussels
Tuesday 23 June 2015 12.23 EDT
EU leaders have decided to create a new system of quarantining migrants in southern Italy and Greece to enable the forcible and swift registration, fingerprinting, expulsion, and, if necessary, detention for up to 18 months of those deemed to be illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya.
Since the beginning of the year some 153 000 migrants were detected at Europe’s external borders. This represents a 149% increase when compared to the same period in 2014 when 61 500 migrants entered Europe.
In May the total number of detections rose by 26% in relation to April and reached 50 500. Considering seasonal trends, it is expected that the migratory pressure will continue to increase during the summer period on all routes.
London/Rome, 23 June 2015 – A crisis of human suffering is being created at Europe’s borders, with thousands of people risking life and limb to reach safety in Europe left with little or no assistance. Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) warns of the shameful consequences of EU member states ignoring their humanitarian duty and calls on EU leaders to radically rethink their policies to offer safe and legal ways for people to seek refuge and asylum in Europe.
Ankara, Turkey | AFP | Tuesday 6/23/2015 - 08:24 GMT
Six Syrian migrants were killed and dozens more rescued on Tuesday when their overloaded boat capsized off Turkey's Aegean coast while on its way to Greece, the Dogan news agency reported.
The migrants were seeking to reach the Greek island of Kos and enter the European Union when their boat hit trouble in stormy weather before dawn on Tuesday after leaving the Turkish resort of Bodrum.
Child Recruitment and Marriage; Attacks on Education
(Brussels, June 23, 2015) – Large numbers of children from war-torn countries, often traveling alone, are fleeing abuses in their home countries to seek safety in the European Union, Human Rights Watch said today. Many are fleeing recruitment as soldiers, child marriage, and attacks on schools, or escaping other effects of war in Syria and Afghanistan or discrimination against Afghan refugees in Iran.
Luxembourg, Luxembourg | 07:28 GMT
EU foreign ministers formally approved Monday the launch of the first phase of a military operation to target people smugglers in the Mediterranean, officials said.
The initial ships and aircraft to conduct intelligence gathering missions should be available within a week, officials said.
EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said the 28-nation bloc had responded quickly to the crisis washing up on its southern shores.
EU: Rights Abuses at Home Drive Mediterranean Crisis
Migrants Detail Horrors That Caused Them to Flee
(Brussels, June 19, 2015) – Human rights abuses in their home countries are the driving force behind the surge in boat migration in the Mediterranean to reach Europe, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. EU leaders should put human rights at the heart of its response. EU leaders will meet on June 25 and 26, 2015, to discuss European Commission proposals toward a “European Migration Agenda.”
Skopje, Macedonia | AFP | Thursday 6/18/2015 - 18:36 GMT
Macedonian lawmakers on Thursday amended the country's asylum law in a bid to better cope with the thousands of migrants who have been pouring in the Balkan country, heading towards the EU.
The changes are designed to facilitate the transit of migrants, allowing them to register with the authorities and then within 72 hours either seek asylum or leave Macedonia, which is not an EU member.
This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva.
Initial reception conditions for refugees arriving in Greece's North Aegean and Dodecanese islands are worsening, despite the considerable efforts of local authorities and civil society. Hundreds of refugees continue to arrive every day in inflatable dinghies and wooden boats, putting a tremendous strain on the island communities that receive them.
Berlin, Germany | AFP | Wednesday 6/10/2015 - 15:26 GMT
The EU's border agency plans to step up its operations in Greece after a surge in Europe-bound migrants, especially from conflict-ridden Syria, its head said Wednesday.
"In the coming days and weeks we're going to extend the Poseidon operation," Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri said, referring to its patrols along Greece's sea border with Turkey.
The plan includes sending more border officials to Greece, he told a news conference in Berlin.