AYS Digest 29/8: Despite seeds of support sprouting, time ticks on.

Women’s health in focus on Chios. Solidarity after Notara 26 attacks. More peaceful protests in Softex. September asylum schedule released. Plans to send refugee children to school in Greece. Calais administrator seeks to give “Jungle” residents more flexible application options.

Artwork from Greece by Razan Issa. Photo Courtesy of Through Refugee Eyes

Many of the stories featured in today’s digest showcase the results of hard work, patience, and collaboration between groups and refugees and camp residents. Although these stories provide flickers of hope amidst a bleak outlook, let them not lull us into complacency, but rather spur us on to action, serving as inspiration for the strength we possess together.

GENERAL

- Turkey hosts 3 million refugees, 2.7 of them from Syria. The agreement with the EU calls for Brussels to pay Ankara €6 billion to support them, as well as the relocation of one migrant from Turkey for each irregular migrant sent back to Turkey after arriving in Greece. So far, only 1,152 migrants have been relocated to Europe.
- Greece: 162,730 people entered [in 2016], but about 58 thousand are stuck in the country. Many of them are seeking asylum in Northern Europe.
- Italy: of the 105,000 people who have entered the country, so far only 961 are hosted in a second European country as refugees with rights to asylum.
- Germany: After hundreds of thousands were accommodated in 2015, a further 238,424 people have entered the country from January to the end of July 2016, at an average rate of 16 thousand per month.
- Austria: 80,000 people entered the country in 2015. A limit of 37,500 has been set for 2016.
- Serbia: After the closure of the border with Hungary, it is estimated that 4,400 people are stuck in Serbia. One thousand of them are awaiting responses to their asylum applications.
- France: The main issue is the camp in Calais, where according to officials 6,901 migrants are waiting for the opportunity to head to the UK. The number according to NGOs, however, is 9 thousand.

YEMEN

SYRIA

Two UN agencies have partnered with the Syria Trust charity, an organisation started and chaired by President Assad’s wife, Asma, spending a total of $8.5m. The first lady is under both US and EU sanctions.

The UN’s tortured history with neutrality in conflicts is nothing new; however, this report raises doubts about the effectiveness of humanitarian measures if the organization is simultaneously supporting combatant factions.

GREECE

Yesterday I slept in Lagadikia camp. After 45 days of sleeping in a house I felt so happy sleeping in tent again, I felt more strong and energy came back to me, don’t think our main priority is where we are sleeping. For these 45 days I was sleeping in a house and they were sleeping in tents but we were in the same boat, both of us waiting. I was feeling bad that I’m staying in an apartment while others are still in tents, because of that I was always around the camps, trying to sleep there, and that’s the reason that made me sleep there yesterday.
I’d like to say that we don’t care about the place where we sleep, that we don’t care about what kind of food we get or what kind of tent we have, the thing we care about is the time. Just the time!!
Think about it and imagine your hours slipping away from you without being able to do anything, staying in camp without school, without work, without a life… And imagine all you can do is wait.

— Abdulazez Dukhan, Through Refugee Eyes

Over 8,000 refugee children will get to attend school

“We will continue to stay, and we will continue to say” Photo Credit: Abood Midilji

September Appointment Dates Released

285 people arrived in Lesvos today

Women’s empowerment in Chios

In other news, the Athena Centre for Women managed by Action from Switzerland is collaborating with Women and Health Alliance International (WAHA) and UNHCR to carry out a Women’s and Sexual Health education program. These programs are vital for women’s empowerment and for ensuring that women and familieremain safe, whatever the circumstances.

Notara 26

Notara 26 Support Demonstration. Photo Credit: Κατάληψη Στέγης Προσφύγων/Μεταναστών Νοταρά 26

Below is the full statement detailing the attack on the squat as well as the reaction to this attack.

The message remains clear: Notara 26 will stand.

Softex

The text reads: “Peaceful sit ins in Greece, 1/9/2016” Photo: Ahmad Hamed

In conjunction with these artworks, they held a protest:

We have the right to live like humans the right of our children and women be safe to Allaah and humiliating death threats every day from rodents, snakes and my brothers got to promise relief to, but the demand for a single to open the border !!!!!!!!! Everyone who does this publication communication and interaction to reach the floor of the Department of asylum and we are sure they know now that the great sit-[in] and demands strict … after today’s peaceful [action]. Alaasam God bless you all
1/9/2016.

It is unclear if these demands will fall on uncaring ears, but no one can claim that the refugees are voiceless against their situation.

Volunteer offers criticism and possible solutions

ITALY

In Ventimiglia, the situation at the receiving centre for refugees managed by Red Cross is calm.

More than 200 migrants have suddenly left Como San Giovanni railway station last night.

The procedures to build a new camp at the end of Via Regina continue. It will be ready by the end of September, consisting of 50 containers to house a total of 300 people. There will be toilets, showers, and a health clinic, and meals will be served. Authorities may open the camp before construction has fully concluded, in order to redirect migrants from the Como San Giovanni station.

Claudio Marro, from the Papa Giovanni XXIII Society, states that playing football allows participants to interact across the cultural barriers.

Support from volunteers proved fundamental in organizing the championship, as well providing lunch and transportation for the nearly 300 people who attended the event.

SWITZERLAND

GERMANY

Most of these minors are between 14 and 17, and, according to the BKA, it’s assumed that in most cases lack any criminal background. As the BKA explained further, minors often leave to visit relatives and friends in other German cities or abroad. Upon their arrival, however, authorities are not informed of the children’s change in location. Furthermore, many children are registered multiplied times, either after moving to a new location, or merely due to discrepancies in the spelling of their names.

This news comes as Germany is in the midst of revising last year’s estimate of 1.1 million total arrivals. The German government is assessing these figures in order to account for double registrations, as well as cases that did not meet the formal requirements for asylum. Additionally, the German government pointed out that around 40% of those who have arrived have work experience, despite lacking formal vocational training. These skills will prove crucial to the economic aspect of their eventual integration into German society.

Photo Credit: Through refugee eyes

FRANCE

THE UNITED STATES

On Sunday, the US Ambassador to Jordan announced that the United States has satisfied its target of resettling 10,000 Syrian refugees in the 2016 fiscal year. Most of these refugees come from established camps in Jordan and Lebanon. It is hoped that the United States will not stop at this number and will help to relieve the mounting pressure exerted on other countries from the global refugee crisis.

On average, the United State resettles 80,000 refugees per year.

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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