AYS Daily News Digest 20/12: Afghans in France facing deportation to Croatia

Attorneys try to stop the disputable practice, which Austria and Slovenia have already been criticized for. The forgotten children of Calais: unaccompanied minors leave facilities in despair trying to get to UK and reunite with their families. The circle of the street camps in Paris. 19 Syrians deported from Greece to Turkey. Samos and mainland volunteers need your support. Five refugees drown in the Aegen Sea. New integration project launched in Treviso, Italy. Sicily faced massive increase of new arrivals in 2016. Centre for Peace Studies calls out for demonstration in Zagreb on Thursday.

Nowhere to go, no place so stay. Refugees in Belgrade. Credits: Igor Čoko

Feature: Disputable practice


The forgotten children of Calais

In the reception centres in France they seem to be left alone. “ Children were self-harming with lighters and razors, were hunger striking and threatening suicide. […] In 11 out of 12 of the centres I visited, children received no psychological support”, Benjamin Hunter reports. They often don’t receive information on their cases and are lacking on legal support. He is aware of minors, who have already left the facilities, sleeping in the wild, trying to find their own way to finally reach their families.

The rough streets of Paris. Credits: Calais Action

Meanwhile Tim Farron, Leader of the British Liberal Democrats,

There are still many refugees arriving in France every day, and they are now on the streets of Paris, but the “official” camp at Porte de la Chapelle holds only a few hundred for a few nights —there after they would be set back on the streets again. Volunteers are working hard to help those in need but police hostility and resident antipathy towards refugees mean that it is an uphill battle.

A few weeks ago, the widely published clearances of the street camps around Stalingrad was held to provide another solution — but in the interim, more people have arrived and another camp at St Denis built up itself again. Last week this camp was again evicted meaning that refugees are now scattered around the city once more. This cycle of evict, scatter, growth of a new camp and eviction again will be repeated ad infinitum unless the authorities could finally recognize the scale of the issue and arrange correct facilities to help receiving and processing asylum claims.

Many refugees, including minors, with places in the CAOs across France, have lost hope and chosen to head to the freezing Paris streets rather than stay in places where there seems to be no future. Without an overall long-term solution it is difficult to see a light at the end of this tunnel. Paris is very much in emergency mode. It is impossible to build up any of the services and at least small amount of stability that Calais briefly had.

Visit in Paris. Credits: Calais Action

AYS was also informed by volunteers in Paris, refugees called them for help. They said they had been taken to an empty military bases four or five hours away from Paris after they were promised by officials to be taken to a more permanent accommodation where they have better conditions, lawyers, option to ask for asylum. One man apparently had to walk for hours until he got to the next village where he could get a bus back to Paris. After the Eviction of St. Denis some refugees were taken to gyms and other centers and now they have been taken away from there to these isolated places. We will try to provide more information the following days.


Deportations to Turkey continue

Since the deal the number of new arrivals has massively decreased, but they indeed continue. Volunteers reported 32 new arrivals (19 men, eight women and five children) at the north coast of Lesvos and 42 on Chios. On Lesvos three medical cases were reported. Authorities until noon registered 81 new arrivals on Lesvos and 20 on other islands, make a total of 101.

On Lesvos No Border Kitchen is inviting everyone for Chapati right next to the former site of Better Days for Moria on 24th December. For more information, see their Facebook event.

Hellenic Coast Guard tows the vessel to Skala Sikaminea. Credits: Philippa Kempson

Samos saw many arrivals in October and November. To offical capacity is 850, currently some 2400 refugees are in fact on the island at the moment. Volunteers on the ground try to support them with the most crucial items. To continue their work, they are in need of international support. You can help them by sending money, sending goods or come on your own and work with them. For more information please check their website.

On the mainland the team “Refugee Biriyani & Bananas” is looking for support. Following the hunger strike against the very poor food quality delivered by the catering in Serres, a Yezidi camp in Northern Greece, they intend to provide meals. In ten hotels they want to distribute 145 food bundles. They also tried to send food to the camp but were denied access. If you can support them to distribute the meals, please message them on Facebook.

Also the Notara26 squat in Athens is asking for help. With fundraising and donations they try to winterize and heat the house. If you have ideas or want to support them, get in touch with them on Facebook.



Meanwhile several thousand people, Red Cross says 25.000 since Thursday, have been succesfully evacuated from Eastern Aleppo. AFP reporter Maya Gebeily quotes Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, that the evacuation should be finished in “one or two days”. But we want to stress, that reportedly the people will be transferred to the rebel held area of Idlib. During the last weeks bombings there were increasing, too. We are concerned, the survivors of Aleppo will be just moved to another hell.


Credits: Talking Hands — Con le mani mi racconto

Over 9,000 migrants have landed in Sardinia in 2016,

In Palermo, 25,000 migrants have landed between 2015 and 2016. Of these, 2,066 were unaccompanied minors. Palermo’s prefect Antonello De Miro reports.

In Como 68 people were sleeping in the rough streets last night with temperatures at zero degree. Rifugio Do Guanella is another structure in Como which opened the doors to everybody, Friday to Wednesday, offering showers, tea and rest. Don Leonello Bigelli manages a house full of migrants and homeless, who look for some clothes or sign in for a shower. The idea comes from Bigelli’s experience in Milan Central Station; his supervisors asked him to support the tragic situation in Como, while Afghan and Pakistani migrants walking along from the Balkan route.

Credits: Como senza frontiere

By 7th January, the tensile structure in Lucca (in Tagliate) cannot host more than 150 people, 50 less than the ones it is hosting now. This is part of a plan between the municipality and the Red Cross, to relieve the effort of the hub. By 7th January, the exceeding migrants will be relocated in other structures and the setting down of one of the present tents. By the end of March 2017, only 100 migrants will be hosted in the tensile structure, and a second tent will be dismissed. The whole territory is currently hosting 217 people, proably rising to 225 by national policy (reaching 2.5% as established by the law).


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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