A boy has been evacuated from a migrant rescue ship after he received severe fuel burns. More than 200 migrants remain on the Sea-Watch 4 stranded off Sicily. He was suffering from severe fuel burns caused by a mix of salt water and engine fuel.
Injured boy evacuated from stranded migrant rescue ship Sea-Watch 4
Tension is rising in northwestern Bosnia. Authorities have launched a crackdown on thousands of migrants. Some migrants have accussed police of abusing them. Local anti-migrant vigilante groups have formed, threatening the migrants with violence and expulsion. And on top of that, eight migrants tested positive for coronavirus at two camps this week. The UN migration agency is extremly worried about this "volatile situation."
Migrant situation 'volatile' in Bosnia border town
"We can do this!" ("Wir schaffen das!) It's five years to the day since German Chancellor Angela Merkel uttered her famous quote about taking in refugees. But did Germany do this? Did they successfully integrate more than a million refugees who came to Germany since 2015? The numbers show that integration has made progress in the past five years, but skepticism persists.
'We can do this!' — Merkel's famous words five years on
Five Eritrean citizens arrived in Italy on Sunday after the Court of Rome recognized their right to apply for asylum. In 2009, Italy had rescued the migrants in the Mediterranean Sea and illegally sent them back to Libya.
Five Eritreans in Italy after illegal pushback
On Spain’s Canary Islands, migrant arrivals are at the highest level in over a decade. More than 200 people who recently arrived from Western Africa are now in a makeshift camp in Gran Canaria's Arguineguin port, since reception centers on the island are full.
Surge in migrants reaching Canary Islands
Roughly 300 migrants are camping out under the national highway in the Parisian suburb of Saint-Denis. Nearly every morning police officers order them to get out; and food distribution points keep getting pushed farther away from the heart of the French capital. The camp right now has about 200 small tents, and every day, new ones are added. Volunteers from the French NGO Utopia 56 regularly visit the camp, which is inhabited by single men mostly hailing from Afghanistan. "The hardest part is that the police come every morning and tell us to get out," says a 23-year-old Afghan man. "Sometimes, outside people also come and attack us or pick fights to steal our phones," he says. To try to protect themselves, the migrants in the camp now organize guard tours.
Informal settlement near Paris: 'Every morning, the police tell us to get out'
Germany's interior ministry warns in a paper that there could be a rise in so-called "secondary migration" of recognized refugees traveling from Greece to Germany. According to reports, there already has been a rise in asylum applications of recognized refugees coming from Greece.
More recognized refugees coming to Germany from Greece
Fires have destroyed Moria camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, which used to shelter more than 12,000 refugees and migrants. So where are they staying now? Thousands spent the night sleeping on the roads and in fields with what few belongings they were able to save from the fires. The authorities are providing temporary accommodation on board navy ships, and ferries, and new tents are being flown in. 407 unaccompanied minors have been transferred to the Greek mainland by plane. More details:
What next for former residents of Moria?
Abdulfatah Hamdallah was the first migrant to be found dead on the coast of the northern France this year. The 28-year-old Sudanese had reportedly tried to cross the Channel to the UK after his asylum application in France was rejected. He and another migrant had set off in an inflatable dinghy, "made for children's games, not for crossing the Channel," according to the French daily Libération.
The journey of Abdulfatah Hamdallah, a Sudanese man found dead on a French beach
Thousands of migrants have refused to enter the new tent settlement erected by Greek authorities after flames swept through the Moria camp, saying that they wanted to leave the island of Lesbos. As humanitarian conditions worsen, InfoMigrants talked to several asylum seekers who have only one demand: leave Lesbos.
Lesbos migrants refuse to enter new tent settlement: 'We'd rather die here than go to another camp'
A court in Vietnam sentenced four people to several years in prison over their involvement in the deaths of 39 migrants, whose bodies were found in the back of a truck outside London last October.
4 people sentenced in Vietnam for British truck deaths
One week after flames swept through the Moria migrant camp, thousands of people from Afghanistan, the Middle East and Africa are still living alongside a stretch of road on the island of Lesbos. They sleep rough in makeshift shelters and have very limited access to food and water supplies. InfoMigrants reports.
In pictures: One week after the Moria blaze, homeless migrants face squalid conditions
Most migrants and refugees who fled the Moria camp fires a week ago are still living on the streets on the Greek island of Lesbos, with no proper shelter or sanitation. Many worry this could cause a surge in coronavirus cases.
Lesbos migrants' dire humanitarian conditions overshadow threat of COVID outbreak
More and more people are trying to cross the English Channel from France to the UK in small dinghies. This year, at least 6,200 migrants have attempted the crossing. Over 4,000 have made it to the shores of the UK – the rest were intercepted by French authorities before they reached Britain. At least one person drowned in the attempt. The crossing is extremely risky because that the Channel is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and highly dangerous for small boats. But many migrants are desperate to escape the unemployment and homelessness they experienced elsewhere in Europe – they are hoping things will be easier in the UK.
France to UK: Why do migrants risk the Channel crossing?
More than 240 asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos have contracted the novel coronavirus. They are all housed at a temporary camp accommodation after the devastating fire at the Moria camp earlier in September.
More than 240 new COVID-19 infections among migrants on Lesbos
The world is growing less accepting of migrants, according to a global survey. The Gallup poll also found that attitudes towards migrants in several European countries are the most negative.
Global downturn in acceptance of migrants, poll shows
The European Commission has unveiled a new reform plan on how to manage migration in the European Union. Some of the proposed measures: ▶️ Accelerated procedures for asylum seekers from countries with a low acceptance rate ▶️ Dublin Regulation will mostly stay, but asylum seekers would be able join family members in other EU countries ▶️ Deportations carried out together, not by single EU member states; states that refuse to take in asylum seekers will instead carry out deportations
EU migration pact: What's in the plan?
A humanitarian crisis could be looming in Bosnia if local authorities don't act in the next few weeks, an official from the UN migration agency IOM has warned. Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM's Western Balkans coordinator, said that migrants could soon be "sleeping in the snow, including... families and children." According to Van der Auweraert, migrant centers in Bosnia theoretically have enough room for all migrants in the country, but Bosnian authorities do not allow them to run at full capacity. This leaves thousands of people without shelter, the IOM official said.
IOM: Bosnia leaves migrants to suffer
Becoming a pilot was one of his big dreams: Ali Noori was born in Afghanistan and grew up in Iran; during childhood he had to work to support his family. After he fled to Germany, he successfully studied for his glider license and says he has found his freedom. Watch the video here:
Up in the sky: An Afghan migrant in Germany realizes his dreams of becoming a pilot
Since August migrants stranded in Libya can once again apply to be repatriated to their countries of origin with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). These return flights, suspended for months because of COVID-19, are now among the few planes allowed in Libyan airspace. Since March 2020, at least 2,300 people have applied to the program. But how do these returns take place and who is eligible for them? InfoMigrants spoke to Safa Msehli, IOM spokesperson in Libya.
IOM repatriations from Libya: 'We want migrants to be able to reintegrate in their countries of origin'
Thousands of migrant workers in southern Spain pick food for Europe’s supermarkets. Often without papers or proper contracts, they toil for hours under plastic and the beating sun. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they often lack protective equipment. Now some more migrants have come forward to speak out about the situation.
Forgotten migrant workers in Southern Spain speak out about conditions
European police have arrested a dozen people suspected of smuggling migrants across the English Channel to Britain. The mainly Iranian gang reportedly charged migrants thousands of euros per crossing.
Channel smugglers 'made huge profits', European police
An Iranian born canoeist, who was forced to flee his country in 2015, has just been given the green light to attempt qualification for the IOC Refugee Team at the Tokyo Olympics. It’s the next step on the way to an Olympic dream for Saeid Fazloula who lives and trains in Germany.
Refugee canoeist gets green light towards Olympics in Tokyo
According to the UN, more than 20,000 migrants and refugees have drowned in the past seven years trying to cross the Mediterranean. October 3 was the 7th anniversary of one of the first major shipwrecks when at least 368 migrants drowned off Lampedusa.
More than 20,000 migrants died in Mediterranean since 2013
Although hundreds of thousands of Africans are still choosing to migrate along the so-called "Eastern Route" between the Horn of Africa and the Gulf States via Yemen, a growing number are giving up on their dream and going back home. A new report by IOM Nairobi found that many migrants who set off were largely unaware of the migration risks prior to departure.
Giving up on the 'Eastern Route': Why increasing numbers of migrants are returning home
Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte on Monday presented stay permits to four foreign citizens who were involved in an episode of worker exploitation last June. Three of the foreigners who received permits were coworkers of Thomas Daniel, a 41-year-old from Liberia who was killed along with an Italian worker in a collapse at a construction site in Naples. The fourth stay permit was issued to Daniel's widow.
Italy: Liberian dies at worksite, work permits given to coworkers
A young Nigerian man was burned alive in Libya earlier this week, according to UN and government officials. Three Libyan men "stormed a factory in the Tripoli neighborhood of Tajoura, where African migrants were working," Libya's interior minister told the news agency AP. The men then poured gasoline on one of the workers and set him on fire. Three other migrants were reportedly also injured and suffered burns. The three suspects have been arrested. According to the UN migration agency, there are over 600,000 migrants in war-torn Libya. Many have been subjected to abuse by traffickers and local authorities.
Nigerian migrant burned alive in Libya
The coastguard of Montenegro says it intercepted 52 migrants "with Turkish citizenship" on their way to Italy on Saturday. The migrants were taken to the harbor of Herceg Novi for investigation by police and prosecutors.
52 migrants intercepted by Montenegrin authorities en route to Italy
A Greek government spokesperson has announced that Greece is continuing with its plans to extend a border fence along its northern border with Turkey in order to deter migrants from entering the country. The barbed wire and concrete fence along Greece’s northern border with Turkey was installed in 2012. The Greek government already announced plans to extend the fence in March this year and again in May, according to Reuters. The new wall will extend the existing barrier by about 26 kilometers, according to Petsas, and will strenghten an existing 10 kilometer section of fence, reported the news agency Associated Press (AP).
Greek government finalizes plans for wall on Turkish border
The UN migration agency IOM has begun what has become an annual distribution of aid to migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina to help them survive the cold winter temperatures.
IOM begins distributing aid to migrants for winter in Bosnia
The conditions at Kara Tepe refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos would cause any mentally healthy person to become anxious and depressed, a psychologist working there says. But the situation is catastrophic for the many refugees and migrants living there who are already deeply traumatized. Many experienced violence in their home country and on their way to Greece; and after Moria camp burned down, they slept in the streets and faced violence and intimidation from anti-migrant groups and Greek police. Many young children at Kara Tepe are receiving psychiatric treatment, including medication, to deal with ongoing trauma.
Lesbos: A mental health crisis beneath the surface
The IOM reported that at least 11 migrants, including a pregnant woman, have drowned on Sunday when their boat capsized off the coast of Libya trying to reach Europe. The incident was the third of its kind in the Mediterranean in a week.
Several migrants drown off Libyan coast — again
French rescue boats and a Belgian helicopter were called when a migrant boat was seen in distress off the coastal town of Dunkirk. Two children and two adults have died, officials said.
Four migrants die as boat capsizes in English Channel
The Greek government evicted around 11,000 recognized refugees from camps and reception facilities over four months ago. Today, many of them remain homeless in central Athens. Among them: mothers and fathers with new babies, children, pregnant women, people with mental and physical health problems, and the elderly. We visited Victoria Square in Athens to talk to them:
Victoria Square: 'Greece and Europe have failed, together'
On Friday, Greek police cleared the small community-run PIKPA migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. The facility had been created to provide a safe haven for particularly vulnerable refugees and migrants. The nearly 80 people living at PIKPA will be transferred to the Kara Tepe camp.
Police clear 'PIKPA' camp on Lesbos
Bosnian authorities said they registered 13,683 irregular migrant arrivals so far this year, nearly half of the 25,000 arrivals reported by the Balkan country in 2019. The migrants who reach Bosnia are mainly from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Morocco.
Bosnia reports drop in migrant arrivals compared to 2019
Within three days, Libya's coast guard intercepted 935 migrants in the Mediterranean and returned them to Libya. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) once again slammed the longstanding practice because of the documented abuse and exploitation that await returnees in Libyan detention camps.
Libya: Nearly 1,000 migrants intercepted at sea and returned to Libya in 3 days
Malta's government is facing legal action over alleged rights abuses. Migrants say Maltese authorities left them stranded at sea before ordering their return to Libya in a fishing boat.
Maltese government in court over alleged rights abuses against migrants
Italy has proposed the deployment of vessels and airplanes to monitor international waters off Tunisia. The aim: to report to Tunisian authorities the departure of migrant boats and stem migrant departures to Europe.
Ships, airplanes to search for migrant boats off Tunisia
Where can homeless migrants in Paris, France, take a shower amid the coronavirus lockdown? The city is is keeping around a dozen shower facilities open until December 1. The showers are free of charge, and users only need to bring their own toiletries. We compiled a list of these facilities and their opening hours:
Migrants living rough in Paris: Where to shower during lockdown?
While over 200 migrants disembarked off the coast of Sicily on Sicily after they were rescued by humanitarian NGO Open Arms, about a hundred migrants died in the Mediterranean Sea last week.
Open Arms rescue ship brings 255 migrants to Italy
Are people who fled military service in violent regimes entitled to asylum? Usually yes, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled. The judges said on Thursday that "there is a strong presumption" that people escaping military service in violent regimes are entitled to asylum, but that it is still up to national authorities to ascertain whether individuals qualify for asylum. A young Syrian had filed a lawsuit against German authorities, after he had received only subsidiary protection, but not full asylum status.
Fleeing military draft can be grounds for asylum finds EU's highest court
Today a trial opened in Belgium in the shooting death of a two-year-old toddler who was in a van during a high-speed chase between police and suspected migrant smugglers in 2018. A policeman stands accused of involuntary manslaughter and two other men are charged with people smuggling.
Trial begins in Belgium of police officer after migrant toddler's death
Authorities have removed a new camp just a week after hundreds of migrants were left homeless in the French capital. Police used tear gas to drive the inhabitants out and decried an "illegal occupation of public space."
French police use tear gas to dismantle Paris migrant camp
The European Asylum Support Office has published its latest report on asylum trends in the EU+ (=all EU countries & Norway & Switzerland). Some key takeaways: *More asylum applications in September than August, but still far fewer than pre-COVID-19 *Surge of asylum seekers from Belarus *Syria, Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela and Pakistan most common countries of origins for asylum seekers in September *Syrian asylum applicants had the highest recognition rate More detailed information:
Report: Asylum trends across EU continue to be affected by COVID
Wie wärs am Freitag nach einer harten Woche mal mit einer Wohlfühl-Geschichte? Nämlich: Mbaye Babacar Diouf was just 15 when he arrived on the Spanish Canary Islands. After receiving care from the Red Cross, he promised himself he would, one day, become a nurse. He's achieved that dream. Now, he wants to become a doctor. This is his story:
Babacar's story: 'I arrived in Spain, but I have not yet reached my destination'
France and England will increase patrols (including drones and radar) along France's beaches under a new agreement aimed at stopping illegal migration across the English Channel. The deal will see French patrols doubled from December 1.
France, UK agree tougher patrols to thwart migrant Channel crossings
The makeshift tent camp on a pier in Arguineguín, which was used to process and accommodate migrants who tried to reach the Canary Islands, was cleared by authorities on Sunday after being used for three months. In November alone, more than 8,000 people arrived on the Spanish Atlantic archipelago. Meanwhile, 68 migrants arrived on Gran Canaria today on two small boats.
Spain closes controversial dock camp for migrants on Gran Canaria
Battling a second COVID-19 wave, Italian hospitals are desperate for medical staff. Some local health authorities have now opened up hiring practices to migrant doctors and nurses — but has anything actually changed?
Coronavirus: Short on doctors, Italy looks to migrants
Over the past week, a total of 120 refugees from Sudan and Central African Republic were resettled to France, faciliated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Many had spent more than 10 years in Chad, awaiting a chance to be resettled.
120 refugees resettled from Africa to France by IOM
Greece has announced that 7,200 migrants stuck in temporary accommodation on Lesbos will be moved to permanent accommodation by September 2021. This could mean that thousands of former Moria residents might have to spend a year in Kara Tepe camp, where aid groups have long criticized the conditions, including the fact that the tent city is ill-prepared for winter temperatures and weather. Three months ago, fires had burned down the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp on Lesbos.
EU to fund building of new migrant camp on Lesbos – amid great criticism
18-year-old Babacar is one of more than 8,000 migrants who made his way to the Canary Islands archipelago in November 2020. When InfoMigrants spoke to him, Babacar was staying with a Canary Island resident who decided to help him.
Leaving Senegal: 'Three of my friends died at sea. I set off the day after they died.'
In Senegal, a court has sentenced three fathers to jail after it found that the fathers had pushed their sons to migrate. One son, a 14-year-old, died after setting off from Mbour in Senegal in mid-October.
Fathers in Senegal sentenced to jail for pushing their sons to migrate
Thousands of asylum seekers and aid workers at the new migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos may be at risk of lead poisoning, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW). The 'Kara Tepe camp' was constructed on a former military firing range after the Moria camp burned down. "Firing ranges are commonly contaminated with lead from munitions," HRW says in a new report. The organization alleges that Greek authorities "did not conduct comprehensive lead testing or soil remediation before moving migrants to the site."
Fears of possible lead poisoning at new migrant camp on Lesbos
The number of the forcibly displaced people worldwide surpassed 80 million in mid-2020, according to new estimates from the UN refugee agency UNHCR. More than half of the people displaced abroad originated from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.
UNHCR: Numbers of displaced people in world passes 80 million
Germany's Interior Ministry says a ban on deporting Syrians will not get extended. Critics see this as a violation of international law protecting refugees. Here is a look at the legal backdrop.
What are Germany's deportations rules?
Italy faces growing criticism following reports that it has returned migrants back across its border with Slovenia. Slovenia and the Balkans region at large have been facing accusations of violent pushbacks, which have been investigated by various human rights groups in recent years.
Italy faces accusations of indirectly supporting Balkans' pushbacks
The European Court of Justice has ruled that Hungary's restrictive asylum-seeker policies violated EU law. The court said the 2015 migration crisis did not justify the country's decision to override EU rules.
Hungary asylum policies 'failed' to fulfill EU obligations
A plane carrying at least 86 asylum seekers, including sick children, arrived in Germany on Thursday as part of the country's pledge to take in migrants from camps in Greece.
Germany: Vulnerable migrants from Greek camps arrive in last transfer of 2020
Unaccompanied migrant minors are living on the streets of Serbia's capital, even in the middle of winter. Their fate is in the hands of an international smuggling ring.
In Serbia, migrant children left to fend for themselves on Belgrade's streets
Four migrants were found dead on arrival when a boat carrying 47 migrants landed in Tenerife at dawn, Spanish coast guards said Tuesday. Three others were hospitalized with burns and other injuries.
Four migrants found dead on arrival in Canary Islands
Officials from the European Union and the UN migration agency IOM have called on Bosnian authorities to relocate migrants and refugees who are sleeping rough to appropriate accommodation. Meanwhile, migrants at Lipa camp ended their hunger strike.
Migrants in Bosnia: EU, UN officials condemn situation in Lipa camp
Tents erected a few days ago near the burnt-out Lipa migrant camp in northern Bosnia have now been fitted out with beds and mattresses, according to local media reports. Several hundred migrants and refugees who have been sleeping in the open in freezing cold weather are to be accommodated at the site. An attempt to transfer them to a former barracks in the country's south was abandoned in late December because of opposition by residents. Meanwhile, pressure is mounting in Europe for urgent solutions to be found for the thousands of migrants sleeping rough in Bosnia.
Calls growing for EU action on migrant situation in Bosnia
A Malian migrant worker in Calabria (southern Italy) was run over by a car while walking back to the tent camp where he lives from the fields. The local labor union says that migrant workers in the area are not well protected and have called on the governemt to act. In December, a migrant from Sudan was killed by a car near the same location.
Southern Italy: Union sounds alarm after Malian worker run over by car
The Turkish news agency DHA has reported that some migrant smugglers in Turkey are using a new trick to deceive migrants: Taking money from them to reach Italy and then after a long journey, letting them out of the trucks, still in Turkey.
Turkey: Smugglers trick migrants hoping to reach Italy
Following the death of a five-year-old Afghan boy at the Malakasa migrant camp near Athens, the local mayor has appealed to the Greek government to stop "human warehouses". The death highlighted the tragic living conditions of the refugees, he said.
'No more human warehouses', urges Athens regional official
Over the weekend, more than 150 migrants arrived in the UK after crossing the English Channel. More than 50 were intercepted by French authorities and returned to France. 2020 saw more than 9,500 crossings: Numbers more than quadrupled on 2019 figures.
2021: Migrants continue to cross Channel in hope of reaching UK
Malta is the smallest EU country. But as an EU 'frontier' state off the Libyan and Tunisian coast, it has seen a large number of migrant and refugee arrivals in recent years. In the past year, the number of migrants arriving in Malta has dropped, but authorities still seem to be unable to properly accommodate and process asylum seekers on the island. Migrants are being detained for more than a year in "miserable conditions", as a Moroccan held at Safi barracks told InfoMigrants.
Malta: Mistreatment claims, ongoing pressure despite a drop in migrant arrivals
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