Daily Digest 12/03/20: Cover-up of disappearing Vietnamese asylum seekers

Dutch government refusal to support unaccompanied children / fast-tracking of deportations in Cyrpus / IOMs €2,000 bribe / Frontex operations lack ‘proper legal basis’

Photo Credit: Jose Gomez Unsplash


Documents obtained by investigative journalist network Argos and Lost in Europe show that for over five years, the Dutch government have known that Vietnamese minors have been going missing from protected shelters.


Non-profit Stand by me Lesvos in partnership with Waves of Hope has created a Corona Awareness Team to operate in the Moria Camp. The team consists of Farsi, Arab, French, Somali and Dari speakers and teachers, pharmacists, with community leaders managing the program. The team will work in cooperation with Greek organisation Kitrinos and others who set up the medical emergency teams.

Photo Credit: Stand by me Lesvos

The Netherlands

The Dutch government have again confirmed their refusal to support vulnerable unaccompanied children being forced to ensure the brutality of the overcrowded and unsanitary conditions of the Greek refugee camps. Citing past agreements in which they previously accepted 1,750, Dutch officials said they are only prepared to do more if all 26 member states agree to take in their fair share. Despite the unwillingness by the central government to accept calls from refugee organizations to ‘show leadership and generosity’, the cities of Leiden, Amsterdam and The Hague announced that they are prepared to make beds available if necessary for unaccompanied children.


This week Cyprus has announced several new measures to curtail the growing number of migrants within the region.


EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson announced today that the IOM will offer migrants on the Greek islands €2,000 (five times the normal sum offered) to leave the island and return to their country of origin under the IOMs voluntary returns scheme. In a speech by the Commissioner following a meeting with the Greek Minister for Migration and Asylum, she announced that this new additional sum provided under voluntary return scheme will be only open for 1 month and be available for people who arrived before the 1st of January. Whilst tanding with the Greek minister she claimed that:


The recent announcement by Frontex to deploy reinforcements to Evros from March 11th has been deemed by some legal experts as lacking ‘proper legal basis’ due to the previous decision by Greece to suspend the reception of asylum applications for one month.


Yesterday, despite the ongoing instability and deteriorating security situation in the region, 39 asylum seekers arrived back in Afghanistan after being deported from Germany. Additionally, it’s also been reported that at least 2 Afghan asylum seekers are expected to be deported from Finland on Friday.


Local association in Tuzla have questioned the legitimacy of the most recent decision of the mayor to prohibit any food or NFI disruption newly arrived, people. Mirko Bakramovic, director of the association of the country of children Tuzla posted an open letter on Facebook pleading with the local authorities to reconsider the basis of an order prohibiting the distribution of food and water. Discussing the order, Bakramovi said that despite the concerns over Covid-19 international and domestic protection rules for children on the move should still be upheld and followed in Tuzla.


Following our reports yesterday on the deployment of two AYS volunteer to the region, we can provide new personal updates from the field. The two extracts below highlight the continued insecurity within the region, the growing police presence and the vulnerability of all people who are currently stuck there.

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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