AYS News 18/10: Calais eviction sprouts new “Jungles” across France

The Calais eviction will start on the October 24th, what does that mean for refugees? France has yet to build spaces where to receive the evicted refugees across the country, which will halt or slow down the current processing of asylum applications and the building of shelters for thousands of Paris homeless refugees. Will refugees be, once again, left in the cold and the mud?

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Credits: Alpkhan Photography

France

The Calais eviction will start on the October 24th, what does that mean for refugees?

Calais is the makeshift settlement in France’s northern port city is home to nearly 10,000 people who have mostly fled war and strife in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Africa with the ultimate goal of reaching Britain.

The Lille administrative court has rejected the call by 11 associations to suspend the camp’s eviction. French authorities plan to send 4,400 of Calais refugees to the so called “Welcome and orientation centres” (CAO) in the first two days of the eviction, which should start on the October 24th in the early morning.

Refugees will be registered near the “Jungle” and allocated to different CAOs according to their family status and nationality. Those who do not want to leave for CAOs will be brought to a “mobile police station”, where some could be notified with an “obligation to leave the French territory” (OQTF).

In the first two days, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Hauts-de-France and Grand-Est regions will each receive more than 500 refugees. Cities such as Marseille, Lyon and Lille will receive much less people than smaller towns. Refugees will also be received in Montpellier, Blois, Tours, Limoges, Nîmes and many other small villages.

The Calais eviction will fill all the existing CAOs, and this will in turn delay the building of a camp in Paris, as well as the processing of refugees’ asylum claims. This is horrific, seeing the already long lines in front of processing centres, where people start lining up at 5 p.m., spend the night in lines to possibly be able to be registered the following day.

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Refugees sleeping in front of the asylum processing centre.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has penned an opinion piece in the UK press urging Britain to step up its efforts to identify and resettle unaccompanied child migrants stranded in the Calais “Jungle” camp.

Cazeneuve’s article, published in The Guardian newspaper on Tuesday, comes just a day after more than a dozen teenagers were transferred to the UK from the sprawling camp.

“The French government has now decided to dismantle the Calais camp for good,” Cazeneuve wrote, adding that neither London nor Paris wanted “to leave people with the right to refugee status in the cold and the mud — women and children least of all”.

Syria

Russian and Syrian air forces halt air strikes on Aleppo for “humanitarian pause”

Russia and Syria have halted airstrikes on Aleppo to give both civilians and militants a chance to leave the city’s rebel-held eastern districts. Activists in eastern Aleppo confirmed that airstrikes have stopped.

Sikhs Set Up Free Bakery Near War Zone to Feed Fleeing Syrians

Sikhs are taking one of their traditions of religious hospitality to one of the most inhospitable places on Earth — five miles from the Syrian border in refugee camps for people fleeing that country’s civil war.

The UK group, Langar Aid, an organization that provides food and water to people in need, has set up a bakery that currently feeds 14,000 people a day.

Greece

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Suda camp, Chios island. Credits: Asa Sulima

Arrivals

  • Samos: 97
  • Megisti: 18

→ Total: 115

Since the EU-Turkey deal, Samos saw 3,719 new arrivals. 794 of refugees arrived since October 1st, which is the highest number of arrivals within a month so far. With a capacity of only 850 guests but now 2283 guests onsite, Samos will soon have a utilization of 300%.

Justice for two abused refugees may be served by the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights decided upon the interim measures request lodged yesterday on behalf of two disabled Syrians who had been refused urgent medical help in Turkey and in Greece while they were in detriment of health. Instead of being given medical attention, the two refugees were imprisoned for a month, or until registration was done by the police. They were detained in a Hotel in Chios under UNHCR responsibility, instead of having their life threatening conditions been dealt with by specialists.

The European Courth of Human Rights requested the Government, under Rule 54 § 2 (a), to submit the following information:
1. What is the applicants’ actual state of health?
2. Do they receive the necessary specialised medical care and treatment, taking into account their medical history? Does their medical care and treatment cover all their conditions? What is their treatment plan?

The Government was given 6 days to fully inform the Court. This case may expose many of the detrimental shortcomings as regards the medical treatment of refugees and we will continue informing you of the case’s outcome.

Another eviction of No Border Kitchen Lesvos coming up

This morning, police came by the No Border Kitchen Lesvos Social Center to announce the eviction of the place. According to the police, the organization will be evicted in 5 days. This eviction would be the 4th eviction of No Border Kitchen this year.

This is the message from their volunteers:

What will be destroyed will be not only a few tents on a windy beach but two months work of building a refuge and temporary home for all of us. We will not give up this place so easily! What they cannot destroy, and what they couldn’t destroy in any of the prior eviction is our solidarity and our rage towards the oppression and violence that the people seeking refuge in Europe face everyday on this Island. We were standing together in the last evictions and we didn’t give up. More than that we managed to build something new and beautiful every time they tried to stop us. We will also stand together this time, and we will not stay silent while the state is extending the repression towards refugees every day and trying to destroy all autonomous places refugees on this island build for themselves. We will continue to fight!

The eviction happens in the same time of the government deporting more and more people back to Turkey, in the same time of the disgusting deal with Afghanistan, in the same time of the erection of more and more walls in Europe and also in the same time of the destroying of other autonomous places like the Calais Jungle. While the Social Center might look like only a beach where people drink tea, its much more than that to all of us. Its a place for friendship, solidarity and resistance.

Katsikas camp refugees finally receiving containers

After spending months outdoors, refugees are finally receiving firm living spaces. Although they mean yet another temporary, band-aid solution, we are happy that refugees will have a firmer roof above their heads and some protection from the cold and rain.

Dirty Girls washing refugee blankets in Veria camp in Northern Greece

Refugees have been using these blankets for six months without having a place to wash them. Such blankets are the most fertile ground for spread of diseases and epidemics. Great job, Dirty Girls!

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Credits: Dirty Girls Of Lesvos Island

Elpida herb garden is growing and adding some nice flavours to refugee lives

The Elpida herb garden is a beautiful collaboration between residents and volunteers. Not only does it look beautiful at the entrance to Elpida, it also adds colour and taste to the food. Parsley is quickly being transformed into delicious tabbouleh, lemon balm and mint become tea, and sage finds it’s way into sauces and garnishings. The kitchen has never smelt this good, volunteers say.

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Credits: Together for Better Days
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Credits: Together for Better Days
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Credits: Together for Better Days

Doctors needed in Athens

Athens is in urgent need of specialists’ medical support by: doctor specialized in chondrosarcoma and malignant cancer, thorax surgeon, neurosurgeon, orthopedician, opthalmologist, diabetes type I specialist, endocrinologist. Please contact Electra Leda Koutra if you can help.

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Credits: Alpkhan Photography

Information on registration process in Greece in Arabic

Find here.

Serbia

Miksaliste camp numbers

  • Men 23
  • Women 29
  • Kids 342

→ Total 394

Croatia

More refugees try entering Europe through Bosnia and Herzegovina

Eight people from Syria, including 2 children, were arrested as they entered Croatia illegally and they all asked asylum in Croatia. But the interesting detail is that they came trough Bosnia and Herzegovina. Until now, only once, about a year ago, entrance of refugees from BiH was recorded by police, when 4 Kurdish citizens were arrested.

Due to mines remaining from the war, we wish to remind refugees that walking through that area without knowing the route is not advised.

Sweden

Hundreds of Swedish teachers have expressed anger at a new deal that could see pupils deported to Afghanistan

When the government signed a bilateral repatriation deal with Afghanistan earlier this month, Justice Minister Morgan Johansson hailed it as a “success for Sweden”. However, “We demand that Sweden not go ahead with deportations to Afghanistan,” teachers write.

“A few days ago one of our pupils received his deportation order. He is 15. In three years he will be deported to Afghanistan. He is far from alone and now risks spending years of his development at war, in refugee camps, underground, or on the run.”

With much of Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban, and institutional racism against Persian-speaking Hazaras commonplace, many of the young Afghans had never even set foot in their parents’ homeland, the teachers claim.

Instead many grew up in Iran, where they toiled as child workers without any rights.

“It would be shameful to deport children and youths en masse to Afghanistan. The government must immediately halt all such plans! What is a government even worth if if is incapable of protecting children in its own country and giving them hope for the future?”

Mediterranean

Deaths at sea remain high

Throughout the past six weeks numbers of rescued travellers in the Central Mediterranean Sea remained high. Approximately 24,141 people reached Italy through that part of the sea. While thousands were rescued, there were, once again, many fatalities. Besides the unknown number of deaths of those who simply disappear at sea, hundreds drowned on the 21st of September when their vessel capsized off Egypt. More than 300 deaths are already accounted for, but the death toll is likely to rise significantly as many remain missing.

General

New Phone App for Asylum Information

Our friends at RefugeeInfo have developed a free phone app which includes some of our information about the asylum procedure, news and useful contacts. Download it now from Google Play or the Apple App store. Be sure to update it regularly for the latest information. It is currently only available in English, Arabic and Farsi but should be available in other languages soon. Click on the link to download.

Project to support workers and volunteers in refugee aid

Four mobile teams, organized through cooperation between four different organizations, will be traveling to Romania, Germany, Spain and Serbia to hold and participate in activities, training and seminars to support workers and volunteers who work in refugee aid.

The program starts soon and will last until October 31st, 2018. iHo is looking for 10 participants who are in direct contact with asylum seekers and refugees , from professions such as linguistic and cultural mediators, social workers,educators, psychologists, health workers, and others. If you are interested in joining iHo team, please send us a mail to info@iHo.org.uk and tell them why!

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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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