AYS DAILY DIGEST 21/03/2017: Failure of institutions puts children in jail for weeks

More than 6000 people rescued in the last few days on central Mediterranean // Nea Kavala becomes more and more multicultural // Macedonia extends emergency state // Mental health deteriorates in Belgrade // Calls for a protest on the Hungarian-Serbian border // commemorating a fatality one year after and protesting against killer borders in Italy

Credits: NGO Praxis Serbia


A recent inspection revealed that some children have been in a dangerous and prison-like UK immigration removal centre among adult men. One child was held for 151 days whilst others were detained 12 and 36 days at Morton Hall Immigration Removal centre, in Lincolnshire.

Refugees are detained in a prison-like camp

Mediterranean Sea

Yesterday, 1,800 migrants have been rescued in front of the Libyan coasts, during 15 rescuing operations coordinated by the Italian coast guards. The migrants have been transferred from dinghies and boats to the Spanish ship Canarias, within the mechanism Eunavformed, to a MSF ship and to some trade boats and patrol boats. Meanwhile, coast guard’s CP 940 Dattilo took onboard 1.477 migrants rescued in 7 operations: 747 were riding a boat, 82 a smaller one, the others on five dinghies. These arrivals take the numbers of the last few days over 6000 and as the weather gets better more are expected to be found in the sea.

Credits: Giornale di Sicilia


Today we bring you sad news from Greece as one old Syrian refugee died waiting for family reunionification. HRW reported about her case:


Registrations on the islands as for today were:


Nea Kavala camp in the north of Greece is getting more and more multicultural since the transfers from the islands began. Volunteers at the site report that all the refugees taken there were from Moria camp in Lesvos and the nationalities are Syria (247-majority-55 in flats and other 7 planned), Iraq(18), Palestina(15), Eritrea(13), Sudan(4), Congo(19), Nigeria(4), Uganda(2), Kamerun(1), the Comoros(1), Sierra Leone(2), Mali(1), Eritrea(13), Ethiopia(4), Afghanistan(20), Haiti(2) and 4 stateless persons. The total number for the camp at the moment is 358. Most of them are single persons.


The Refugee Info Bus is getting refurbished for the next part of their mission supporting refugees in Athens with information, education, and internet access. The red mini van has now been fitted with a new electronic system, wifi system, and is insulated to protect from the hot Greek sun. Now for the drive over to Athens, where they will be back on the ground within the week.

Picture by Refugee Info Bus


Advocates Abroad is making a complaint protesting against the caging of refugees recently seen in pictures from Vial hotspot.

We just filed our newest (and 10th) complaint to the Greek Ombudsman, this time regarding the horrific use of a cage to detain new arrivals in the Vial hotspot.

The complaint noted the caging of children with strange adults for hours, without heat or blankets or spare clothes provided for these new arrivals, still soaking wet from the Aegean Sea.

Rhodes: First time in a long time we get information from this island. Volunteers report that in Rhodes there are at the moment 120–140 people, police talks about more, about 350. The situation in prison changes every time.


Macedonian authorities have extended the State of Emergency until July 30th, 2017, allowing fences to remain along the Macedonian -Greek border and continue with military and police patrols along the frontier. Security along the Macedonian-Greek border has also been reinforced since February 3rd, 2017.


There are increasing reports of mental heath issues in Belgrade. With the days, weeks and months passing without much hope of being able to move from the terrible conditions they live in and being aware of more and more restrictions being imposed by European countries, some refugees are reportedly becoming more depressed.

Credits: Calor português para os refugiados
Credits: Calor português para os refugiados


MigSzol Csoport is calling for a protest on the Hungarian-Serbian border on Horgoš / Röszke Border Crossing on the Hungarian side. This will take place on the 15th of April. They are protesting against violence, push-backs and detention of asylum seekers by the Hungarian authorities. For more information please follow the link.


A hundred people met yesterday afternoon in Balerna and marched up to San Giovanni in Como, to commemorate the death of the young guy from Mali killed electrified on the train roof trying to cross the border. This barrier doesn’t allow hundreds of thousands of people to cross it, they are walls for human beings denying the necessary documentation. San Giovanni was chosen to represent both the institutions’ incompetency in managing the migrants flows, and the humanitarian efforts to fill this gap.
Further on the procession moved to Sant’Eusebio church, where people celebrated prayers in both Christian and Islamic rite. Two organizations from Switzerland, Senza Voce and Posti Liberi, participated too. Among the news spread, the one about the border’s stronger controls, which will send back any migrant coming from Italy. Moreover, activist Flavio Bogani reminded that Sant’Eusebio dormitory and “emergenza freddo” dormitories will be shut down in two weeks. Meanwhile, Combonians announce that a building at Caritas has been available for two months to host around 60 migrants, but the proposal has not been accepted yet.
The participants agreed on a common effort (Italy and Switzerland) to bury the border’s victim with dignity, asking Como and Balerna municipality to bear at least the burial costs.


According to volunteers on the ground, the number of displaced persons in/around Calais is increasing.

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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