AYS Daily Digest 15/12/17: More responsibility for Libya in sea rescues, Italy suggests

ProActiva during a rescue mission. Credits: ProActive Open Arms

Feature: Responsibility for the irresponsibles

Italy’s Coast Guard aims to hand over the responsibility for search-and-rescue-operations to the Libyan Coast Guard by 2020, Reuters found out. The plan was already presented to the EU’s anti-trafficking mission, Sophia, in November behind closed doors.


The number of transfers from the Eastern Aegean Islands is still lower than the number of new arrivals. Especially on Lesvos, where some 3000 people were supposed to be transferred, the situation remains tense. Only half of this number has been reached as yet, while in the recent weeks alone more than 600 people have arrived on the island, keeping the count inside Moria at more than 6100 poeple. The hotspot is meant to accommodate a maximum of 2330 people, according to the Greek Ministry, whilw the European Commission puts the total reception capacity of the island at 1500 people.
Today 59 new arrivals were reported on Lesvos, 91 on Chios and 53 on Samos.

For the people, who are still stuck on Moria, nothing has changed. Credits: Lesvos Solidarit — Pipka


People who do not arrive in Greece via the islands struggle to submit their asylum applications. According to one source, they have to call a Skype hotline which is only available between one and five hours a week and can only process eight people per hour. This leaves people in limbo: without this pre-registration they cannot use official accomodation, financial support or get access to medical healthcare in public hospitals. Furthermore, they are at risk of being detained for being in Greece illegally.


The Mediterranean route seems to be more frequented recently. Since the number of new arrivals dropped to less than 10,000 in August, they rose to almost 17,000 in November again, according to UNHCR data. As of now, some 6000 people have arrived in December. The rescue ship of ProActiva saved more than 600 people in the past week according to their own account, only 100 today. Salvamento Maritimo reported the rescue of five and 72 people with two of their boats.

The Guardamar Concepción Arena rescueing people in distress. Credits: SALVAMENTO MARÍTIMO


“Humanity Welcome”. Activists in Gorizia are calling for a transnational demonstration on Saturday at 3pm. Their appeals can be found here.


Germany has taken back an Afghan who had been unlawfully deported to Bulgaria and from there back to Pakistan, Tagblatt reports. The administrative court in Sigmaringen ruled that the Bamf has to bring him back to Germany. The 23-year-old man is now back in Tübingen, where he will be processed again. The asylum office has now withdrawn its rejection and taken the case upon themselves. Supporters of the man assume that this is a political step, so the court will not deal with the asylum procedure in Bulgaria. They hope the asylum office will do the same with other cases, so people will not be deported to Bulgaria any more.


More than a year after the Dubs amandment was installed, the first refugee child from Greece was transfered to the UK, the Guardian reports. Under this scheme, unaccompanied minors who live in poor conditions in France, Italy, Greece and other countries, can safely arrive in the UK. There are more than 3,000 unaccompanied children in Greece, 11,000 in France and 13,000 in Italy. Before arriving in the UK, this child spent more than one year in psychiatric clinics, almost half a year in shelters for unaccompanied minors and six weeks in police detention.


The countries supporting a fixed quota of relocation have increased pressure on the opposing countries. If no deal is found by June 2018, they want to hold a vote on the issue with a qualified majority — which they probably have. As of now, only Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are refusing to relocate people from Greece or Italy at all, Reuters reports.



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Are You Syrious?

Are You Syrious?

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