AYS DAILY DIGEST 05/07: Hundreds of unaccompanied children among refugees in Greece

In less than a month, 15,500 people were pre-registered in Greece, including many children who are traveling alone. In Italy, police discovered a huge organ trafficking ring. One of the witnesses told the police that people who can’t pay for passage to Italy are sold to people who kill them and then sell their organs. Help needed in Greece, Serbia, Hungary, France…

MSF and SOSMedFrance today rescued 23 children from the rubber boat

Mediterranean

People were saved in a joint operation by MSF and SOSMedFrance. Nearly one quarter (23) of those rescued are children traveling alone.

Safepassage. Photo MSFsea

Human trafficking ring discovered in Italy

The Palermo anti-mafia squad on Monday put 38 people in detention across Italy in connection with a migrant trafficking ring based in Rome. The investigation has been going on for three years and has resulted in several convictions.

Libya

2.44 million people in Libya need protection, the UN warns

Greece

According to the government numbers, there were 56,984 refugees and migrants today in Greece.

In the pre-registration process, which began on June 8th, 680 unaccompanied children were identified among 15,500 people who were pre-registered by the Greek Asylum Service. This is according to the UNHCR which provides support during the process. The process is aimed at pre-registering claims for asylum, family reunification, and relocation.

The cards that were given to pre-registered asylum seekers will allow them to: reside legally in Greece until the Asylum Service makes a final decision on their cases; freely move within Greece (but not to leave the country); access health care, paying a small fee for services and medicine; and enable registered asylum seekers’ children to attend school.

The aim is to pre-register 49,000 people living in organized sites on mainland Greece. The pre-registration process is expected to be completed in August.

Help for mothers in camps needed

“ If anyone would like to supply some bulk nuts, seeds, or dried fruit of any kind, please bring them by the Amurtel caravans outside of Stonehouse or contact one of us to arrange pickup. The Amurtel team can then break them into small bags for the women, or if you/your team are so inclined, you can package them in individual bags for our ladies.”

In Veria Camp baby milk powder is desperately needed for ages 0–12 months. Veria is a camp run by local volunteers, who look after around 400 refugees.

Please help if you can and post baby milk to:
Stratopedo Armatolou Kokinou
Attn: Efi Kousidou/Christina
59100 Veria, Greece

Serbia-Hungary border

Warning for volunteers heading toward the border

Before thinking of going, check out the new FB page and connect with those already working there.

If you are an independent volunteer, you will have to find an organization which has permission to get to the border area. Alternatively, you can organize activities and distribution 500 meters away from the border area where there is a shop. People are gathering there; you can meet them easily.

We also received a message from all volunteers from Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HCC).

“Dear Volunteers, please take some time to have a look at this. If you’ve got any questions, feel free to get in touch with me here on FB or at andras.lederer@helsinki.hu. Thanks! Since the beginning of this spring, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee (HHC) has been receiving a growing number of alarming reports from asylum-seekers and various NGOs and individuals working at the Hungarian-Serbian border about serious abuses and ill-treatments committed against asylum-seekers. While these reports show a clear trend of increasing violence, more specific information is needed to trigger the authorities’ action to investigate abuses. The HHC is releasing the “Reporting form on abuses committed at the Hungarian border” in order to provide a structured and standardized framework for NGOs and volunteers to report such incidents. Our aim is to allow people to conduct interviews with victims of violence in a way that enhances the HHC’s work towards eliminating ill-treatment against migrants and refugees. The form can be downloaded here.

Completed forms should either be sent to us with any additional relevant materials (photos, scans, videos, voice recordings) to helsinki@helsinki.hu or you can fill it out online here.

The HHC keeps all personal information shared with the HHC fully confidential and will not disclose them to third parties.”

Free Wi-Fi at the border

IHO team is at the border helping to refugees to stay in touch with their friends and family

In the meantime, I’m Human Organization (IHO) arrived today to the border where they will provide different types of help. The first step was to provide Wi-Fi, free internet access, and communication tools (such as laptops, phones, and phone charging).

Hungary

Referendum on EU plans to relocate refugees and migrants among member states

Voters will be asked: “Do you want the EU to prescribe the mandatory relocation of non-Hungarian citizens to Hungary without the approval of the Hungarian parliament?”

The right-wing argument is that the plan violates its national sovereignty and that “terrorists” might enter the country disguised as refugees.

The actual relocation plan is going extremely slowly and as of July 1st, fewer than 2,800 people have been relocated.

Croatia

The Mayor of Zagreb promised to help asylum seekers accommodated in Porin Hotel

Luka, Nancy and Marko of AYS after getting a promise from the mayor

France

Call for volunteers in Calais

“It has been a very long month for all of us but as 5 long-termers, we feel that we might need some fresh energy to help us prepare earlier in the mornings and getting back into normal services for larger number of people during the day.
We are looking for people who can come and work with us for at least a week or more, who have high energy and are friendly and out-going! We are also looking for one or two long-term volunteers who are prepared to dedicate at least a month or longer of their time to help run and organize Ashram and potentially take over some of the roles of some of our current team. Please let us know about any relevant experience you may have. Anyone who wants to come and join us at Ashram please drop us a private message with your email, age, and any relevant experience and we will get back to you as soon as we can.”

General

Refugees should be allowed to work in Europe

The idea is that this move “not only helps to restore their human dignity, but also reduces strain on public budgets by turning them into taxpayers”.

The resolution was approved with a vote of 486 — 189, with 28 abstentions, so there is hope that some politicians in Europe are ready and willing to take different approaches.

The resolution also stresses that “since youth and long-term unemployment are still at alarming levels in some countries and regions, assistance to refugees and asylum seekers should not be financed at the expense of programs for other disadvantaged groups,” but the additional funding is proposed. The MPs opposed the idea of creating special labour markets for refugees and argue that the national minimum wage should also apply to refugees. Finally, it concludes that “the fight against all forms of discrimination, xenophobia and racism should be stepped up”.

More border and coast guards for the EU border agency Frontex

Eid Mubarak

Did Eid UL-Fitr is one of the most important holidays for Muslims. It marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

In camp Cherso, today during the English class, they talked again about how refugees feel living in the camp and waiting. Their words speak to us all and remind us about solidarity with those in need and to speak loudly against wars.

Photo by Amanda Grady

At different places, refugees and volunteers celebrated Eid. Samos volunteers organized celebration with homemade sweets with the tea and coffee and watermelon, and all the children received an Eid gift including soft toys and coloring books.

Time for celebration. Samos Volunteers photo

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Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

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