AYS Daily Digest 30.09.17: Sick of Waiting Protests take place across Europe

Dentist needed in Beqaa, Lebanon // Nearly a dozen refugees kidnapped by Islamist militia after being deported from Turkey // Aegean hotspots growing more overcrowded by the day // AYS condemns lauding of refugee-hunting police dog // Tentless conglomeration of refugees in Dunkirk spotted // New paper studies the question of refugees’ money

Refugees protest in Athens as part of the ‘Sick of Waiting’ campaign. Photo AYS.


Sick of Waiting demonstration in Asturias, Spain.

This latest round of pan-European protests comes at a time when the situation for refugees looks more desperate than ever. Italy and Greece are completely inundated, their refugee-related infrastructure teetering as a result of the massive overcrowding. Meanwhile in Libya, increasing numbers of those who attempt to make the crossing to Europe are intercepted by militias who have taken up the role of the Libyan coastguard and jailed in unsanitary, if not to say outright dangerous conditions (heavily funded by the EU!). The violence is unceasing, the intransigence of several European states vis-a-vis refugees unfazed, and the deportations only seem to increase in volume. In times like these, those whose countries are actively participating in such anti-human policies cannot help but feel sickened. And so we stage protest after protest, in the hope that the powers that be hear our voices and decide to reconsider their dangerous politics.

Sick of Waiting demonstration in Rome, Italy.


Experienced dentist needed in Beqaa


Turkey deports 150 refugees to Syria, several reportedly abducted by Islamist militia

The KRG government has said that the refugees will be transferred to their native land, but for several of them it is already too late. At least nine of them have reportedly been captured by an Islamist militia. Kılıç reports that this was done by Jabhat al-Nusra, but al-Nusra no longer exists as an independent organization. Regardless of the responsible party, the kidnapped people will likely face harsh mistreatment at the hands of their captors. Thus, yet more victims of the inhumane EU-Turkey deal.


Spike in arrivals creates tensions in Aegean hotspots

With such rampant overcrowding and the problems of distributing resources that go along with it, tensions are often fraught, in particular between different ethnic groups. Multiple ethnically based riots have broken out in the hotspots, a sign of the strain on the islands’ infrastructure. These problems could of course be resolved with relative ease, as UNHCR and other organizations on the mainland have plenty of available housing. The limiting factor is the failure of the system to process applications in a timely manner.

Intervolve team brings planting boxes to hundreds of families

Schoolbox Project searches for new volunteers

The Schoolbox Project is now accepting applications for volunteers.

Calling all credentialed teachers, art therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, musicians, social work professionals, 1:1 educational aids , translators, sports coaches and basic volunteers who have experience with children! Current needs in Greece (near Andravida) with upcoming needs near Athens, on Lesvos, in Texas, U.S.A and in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

four week commitment
Meeting of above educational/experiential criteria
Ability to pass a criminal background check
Commitment to SBP mission and values, including our no photo policy
Must speak English
Additional requirements for Program Directors (stipend provided):
3 months required, 6 months preferred

Priority given to:
*those with trauma-informed care knowledge and experience, though online and in-person training and 24 hour support will be provided to you.
*those with refugee camp experience
*those with nature based education experience (permaculture, forest kindergartens, etc)
*those with Arabic or other relevant language skills
Please submit your information to volunteer@schoolboxproject.org

IOM posts guide for legal practitioners in Greece


AYS condemns ceremony honoring dog trained to capture refugees at the border

Lately the Croatian media have been writing about the medal of honor given to a dog named Candy for ‘exposing’ or ‘detecting’ ‘illegal’ immigrants at the Croatian border. We find that a number of things are teetering on the edge of common sense, far beyond the bounds of good taste and infinitely far from the principles of humanity and morals.

One of these things is the sharp pivot of the government from motions encouraging solidarity to inhumane measures that are spreading fear not only among the refugees, but among the local population as well. Is it possible that we have forgotten that only two years ago, hundreds of thousands of people were passing through Croatia, while today only dozens arrive? And should we remind ourselves that at the very beginning of the crisis there were no military helicopters, heartbeat detectors, or nearly as many police units at the border?

Indeed, in the first days of the crisis, the local inhabitants of Ilača, Bapska, Tovarnik and other villages at the border of Eastern Croatia were completely alone, at a time when thousands of unknown people were entering their villages. Instead of weapons and trained dogs, the locals responded with open houses and courtyards, bread with jam and butter, tea, opportunities for rest and comfort.

The recent actions of authorities, such as the use of military helicopters over the border as if over a war zone, and honoring dogs for the ‘detection’ of human beings are creating an atmosphere of fear among the local population of Nuštar and other places because they lead to the conclusion that there is an enemy force coming to our country, and not people who are looking for peace and safety.

Meanwhile, these moves are accompanied by a sharp turnaround in the government and media discourse, from portraying the solidarity of the Croatian people towards the starving, tired, and persecuted people. to boasting of manhunts for unarmed people — including the uncritical and uninformed media report about the police honoring Candy the dog for ‘detecting’ refugees.

On the other hand, the suffering of these people and their children who have no other choice than to seek refuge in our country, or to cross our country to a place where they will meet their families and friends.

By violating international and domestic legal provisions, Croatian police are violently and unlawfully returning to Serbia people who seeking international protection on Croatian territory. There are numerous reports, including one prepared by our organization, as well as by other international organizations such as the Doctors without Borders (MSF), the European Council for Refugees and Exiles, and even the UNHCR, of systematic push-backs of refugees from the country, beatings, deprivation of property, and intimidation that the Croatian police employ against human beings. Of course, this is least of all Candy’s responsibility, who is herself scared and hungry and who reached the Croatian border in search of shelter, at which point she was discovered and used by the police against the people and children who, just like she, are looking for shelter. It is sad and absurd to applaud the frightened dog, turning her into a mascot of the new Croatian anti-immigrant policy. We consider that her very honoring for ‘detecting’ refugees is morally and humanely inappropriate, while the uncritical reporting on this runs contrary to the fundamental postulates of the journalist’s profession.

We also believe that this is a slap in the face to the inhabitants of Ilača, Bapska, Tovarnik and other places in Eastern Slavonia, who, at the time when thousands of refugees were passing through our country, showed spontaneous hospitality, courage and compassion, while today it seems that as a state we are unable to deal with a few dozen unfortunate people who are looking to find a new, albeit temporary, home in our country.

An update on the situation in Porin


Hundreds sleep rough in Dunkirk


Mission Lifeline fundraising for its missions

Seefuchs has rescued five who had been at sea for 20 hours


Paper provides an in-depth analysis of refugees’ access to money, spending habits

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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