AYS Digest 19/10: Still no Dubs Transfers

The EU-Turkey deal — a blueprint to control migration from Africa. EU plans to accelerate returns to Turkey. Relocation process still extremely slow. Some kids transferred to the UK under the Dublin Regulation but not a single child brought over under Dubs.

Photo by Calais Action

EU

The EU-Turkey deal, a blueprint to control migration from Africa

Several newspapers, including El País say EU officials are happy with the first results of migration partnership deals signed with Niger, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Mali and Senegal to reduce the flow of migrants to Europe. Reuters says the EU wants to persuade African states to take back their own citizens, adding that African officials are already coming to Italy to identify citizens who may try to conceal their identity to avoid being sent home.

EU to accelerate returns to Turkey

The Telegraph says draft conclusions from this week’s European Council summit show EU leaders will call for ‘further efforts to accelerate returns from the Greek Islands to Turkey’ and a major drive to enhance the ‘efficiency and speed of appeals’ of migrants who have claimed asylum in Greece. The communique will also call for member states to increase their support for Greece. Meanwhile, Turkey’s EU minister Celik tells Reuters Turkey could cancel its side of the EU-Turkey agreement if the EU keeps pressing Turkey to change its anti-terror laws while holding back on visa liberalization.

UK

Kids from Calais

After the arrival of unaccompanied minors to the UK on Monday, British tabloids started questioning the age of those arriving, with images of these kids splashed across their front page.

  • All are ‘Dublin’ kids have family over here and so have the right to be reunified with them and have their claims processed here under the terms of the Dublin 3 treaty. Not a single child has been brought over under Dubs- the ‘modern day Kindertransport’ aimed at protecting the most vulnerable.
  • There are girls in Calais but most are either with family (and so not eligible) or are Dubs kids - so with a few exceptions not in the current batch the Home Office are processing.
  • There are some very young kids covered under both Dubs and Dublin. None have come over because of Dubs and they weren’t allowed to photograph the Dublin ones.
  • So they have photographed teenage boys, on the cusp of manhood. And expressed horror that they look like teenaged boys on the cusp of manhood. Not just that - they are teenaged boys who have slept rough in the most hostile of environments for months. So of course they aren’t doe-eyed and smooth-skinned and vulnerable looking. That wore off along their horrific journey. (Also, as an aside, one ‘kid’ photographed was actually an adult interpreter)
  • By photographing and identifying these children and making horrible insinuations about them, the press have made them targets. Which is shocking. But what is more shocking is that members of parliament have joined in, calling for dental checks (which are ethically dubious and scientifically discredited).

Still no Dubs Transfers

Calais Action adds that children coming under Dublin protocols and children coming under the Dubs Amendment are two very different things — “Dublin children” have family in the UK and come to the country under “an existing system of transfer under EU asylum policy which can be activated when there is a relative in an EU country” while “Dubs” children are unaccompanied children without family in the UK and the system to take them from France and transfer them safely to the UK is still being built.

Photo by Calais Action
Photo by Help Refugees

Syria

Moaddamieh forcibly evacuated

Inhabitants of the Damascus suburb of Moaddamieh have been forcibly evacuated today, following a local truce which will return the district to the Syrian regime. Around 3,000 local rebel fighters and residents will leave their homes and head north to opposition-held Idlib province. Al Araby says the neighborhood has been besieged by regime forces since 2013, with residents enduring chemical attacks, barrel bombing, and starvation.

Photo provided by “Marvin Gate”

Iraq

Civilians flee Mosul area and cross into Syria

BBC reports on civilians crossing the border into Syria after fleeing the Mosul area, as the army attempts to retake the city from ISIL. Up to 1.5 million civilians and up to 5,000 IS fighters are thought to still be in Mosul, and the UN is preparing for what it fears could be the biggest man-made humanitarian crisis in recent times. According to Save the Children, 5,000 people have crossed the border into Syria in the last 10 days — the UN disputes these numbers and says its camp received 912 people in the last 24 hours.

Serbia

161 refugees transferred to Presevo

180 people were transferred from Presevo to the Bujanovac camp, but a small number of families are still in Presevo. 261 refugees, including 182 adult men, 78 unaccompanied boys and one unaccompanied girl arrived in Presevo from Northern Serbia, as Presevo seems to be transformed into a camp for single men and those who Serbia considers “economic migrants”.

Arrival of people from Northern Serbia to Presevo. Photo by a volunteer.

Hungary

Migszol updates FAQ on Serbian-Hungarian border

Migszol, the Migrant Solidarity Group of Hungary, has updated its website with a detailed FAQ on the Serbian-Hungarian border. It is available in English, Serbo-Croatian, French, Arabic, Russian and Turkish and Farsi.

France

23rd roundup in 80 days

The 23rd roundup of refugees since the 31rd of July took place today in Paris. Today, around 50 refugees were arrested, with many tents, sleeping bags, and personal belongings destroyed in the process.

Photo by Collectif La Chappelle Debout
Photo by Collectif La Chappelle Debout

80 refugees leave Calais for university

80 refugees, mostly from Sudan, have left Calais on Tuesday to start an intensive course to learn French. Interior Minister Cazeneuve said “after the initial training period, they can pursue a traditional university curriculum in the field of their choice”.

Italy

Baobab Experience need help

Baobab Experience in Rome continues to fight for the rights of refugees, even after being evicted by police from their center in via Cupa. They urgently need biscuits, blankets, and sleeping bags.

Photo by Baobab Experience

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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