industryterm:construction site

  • Parched Sa Pa tells farmers to suspend paddy cultivation

    To cope with a crippling water scarcity, the Sa Pa administration has instructed paddy farmers to stop irrigating their fields.

    Authorities in the resort town in the northern mountain province of #Lao_Cai have spoken with the 25 local farming families.

    One of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, the town has been suffering from a severe water shortage this month due to abnormally low rainfall.

    The available water can only serve a third of the 61,000 people in Sa Pa, Pham Hong Quang, CEO of the Lao Cai Water Supply Joint Stock Company, said.

    Sa Pa’s sole waterworks normally supplies 6,000 cubic meters a day with water drawn from five sources, but four of them are now dry.

    From the last remaining source, Suoi Ho 2, a stream and lake which yield 4,000 cubic meters a day, the town was able to use only half the water since rice farmers have been using the other half.

    “A water shortage this time of the year is a common story, but the situation is much more serious this year and it is likely to last longer than usual,” Quang said.

    Sa Pa has not received decent rains so far this year while tourists have come flocking, leading to higher demand for water, he added.

    Le Tan Phong, the town chairman, said authorities have negotiated to take the entire supply from Suoi Ho 2 for household use.

    “The 25 farming families will stop growing paddy and will be compensated later.”

    But officials have not clarified for how long the farmers need to stop work and how much compensation they will be paid.

    With water being saved from the rice fields, there will be enough to meet the demand of local people and businesses during the coming holidays, Phong said.

    Vietnam has a five-day holiday starting Saturday for Reunification Day, April 30, and Labor Day, May 1.

    Since early this month locals have had to buy water for daily use at the cost of VND300,000-500,000 ($13-22) per cubic meter.

    Hospitality businesses have been hit hardest.

    Pham Quoc Tuan, owner of a hotel in Sa Pa, said he has to spend VND1.5 million ($65) every day to buy water and has refused many bookings for the holidays because of the water shortage.

    “The cost of buying water has been rising but we have no choice because we have to maintain the prestige of our hotel. If the situation continues, we really don’t know what we will do.”

    Dinh Van Hung of another hotel near the town center told VnExpress International on Wednesday that his hotel has been buying water brought from outside the province for the last few days.

    “We had to refund two room bookings the other day due to the water shortage. We have faced this problem in previous years too, but this time it’s more severe.”

    Who’s to blame?

    Asking farmers to stop watering their fields is a temporary solution, Dao Trong Tu, director of the Center for Sustainable Development of Water Resources and Climate Change Adaptation based in Hanoi, said.

    It is Sa Pa’s tourism development plan that has caused the serious water shortage, he claimed.

    “Hotels have kept coming up in Sa Pa without any plans. A waterworks with a capacity of just 6,000 cubic meters a day cannot allow Sa Pa to serve millions of visitors a year.”

    His center is also studying the effects of hydropower plants built in the area on Sa Pa’s water supply, he said.

    “We cannot conclude anything yet, but we assume hydropower plants and the disappearance of upstream forests might affect the town’s water sources.”

    But Phong, the town chairman, disagreed with this, saying no power plant has been built on Sa Pa’s five major water sources.

    Lao Cai authorities are looking for investors to build another waterworks with a capacity of 15,000 cubic meters a day, he said, adding work is expected to start this year and finish next year.

    Sa Pa has 700 lodging facilities with almost 7,000 rooms, including hotels in its center and rental apartments on the outskirts.

    In the first three months this year it received 800,000 visitors, including 100,000 foreigners. Last year 2.5 million tourists came.

    In 2017 Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc had called for “careful development” of Sa Pa to preserve its nature and culture.

    Development must not “mess it up” and all it would take for Sa Pa to become an international tourism destination was preserving its “green forest and ethnic culture,” he had said.

    Lao Cai officials had earlier revealed plans for construction in the town by 2020, including a new administrative center, a high-end service complex, a park and an urban center to prepare to welcome four million visitors by then.

    The town, perched at 1,600 meters, or nearly one mile above sea level, is already under great threat from commercial tourism development. Large portions of the town look like a construction site, and a cable car system now runs to the top of Mount Fansipan.

    In its 2019 Global Risks Report, the World Economic Forum had listed water scarcity as one of the largest global risks over the next decade.

    https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/parched-sa-pa-tells-farmers-to-suspend-paddy-cultivation-3914851.html
    #riz #riziculture #Sapa #Vietnam #Sa_Pa #agriculture #eau #pénurie_d'eau #irrigation #tourisme #pluie #sécheresse #déforestation #développement

  • Uganda’s refugee policies: the history, the politics, the way forward

    Uganda’s refugee policy urgently needs an honest discussion, if sustainable solutions for both refugees and host communities are to be found, a new policy paper by International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) reveals.

    The paper, entitled Uganda’s refugee policies: the history, the politics, the way forward puts the “Ugandan model” in its historical and political context, shines a spotlight on its implementation gaps, and proposes recommendations for the way forward.

    Uganda has since 2013 opened its borders to hundreds of thousands of refugees from South Sudan, bringing the total number of refugees to more than one million. It has been praised for its positive steps on freedom of movement and access to work for refugees, going against the global grain. But generations of policy, this paper shows, have only entrenched the sole focus on refugee settlements and on repatriation as the only viable durable solution. Support to urban refugees and local integration have been largely overlooked.

    The Ugandan refugee crisis unfolded at the same time as the UN adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, and states committed to implement a Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). Uganda immediately seized this opportunity and adopted its own strategy to implement these principles. As the world looks to Uganda for best practices in refugee policy, and rightly so, it is vital to understand the gaps between rhetoric and reality, and the pitfalls of Uganda’s policy. This paper identifies the following challenges:

    There is a danger that the promotion of progressive refugee policies becomes more rhetoric than reality, creating a smoke-screen that squeezes out meaningful discussion about robust alternatives. Policy-making has come at the expense of real qualitative change on the ground.
    Refugees in urban areas continue to be largely excluded from any support due to an ongoing focus on refugee settlements, including through aid provision
    Local integration and access to citizenship have been virtually abandoned, leaving voluntary repatriation as the only solution on the table. Given the protracted crises in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, this remains unrealistic.
    Host communities remain unheard, with policy conversations largely taking place in Kampala and Geneva. Many Ugandans and refugees have neither the economic resources nor sufficient political leverage to influence the policies that are meant to benefit them.

    The policy paper proposes a number of recommendations to improve the Ugandan refugee model:

    First, international donors need to deliver on their promise of significant financial support.
    Second, repatriation cannot remain the only serious option on the table. There has to be renewed discussion on local integration with Uganda communities and a dramatic increase in resettlement to wealthier states across the globe.
    Third, local communities hosting refugees must be consulted and their voices incorporated in a more meaningful and systematic way, if tensions within and between communities are to be avoided.
    Fourth, in order to genuinely enhance refugee self-reliance, the myth of the “local settlement” needs to be debunked and recognized for what it is: the ongoing isolation of refugees and the utilization of humanitarian assistance to keep them isolated and dependent on aid.


    http://refugee-rights.org/uganda-refugee-policies-the-history-the-politics-the-way-forward
    #modèle_ougandais #Ouganda #asile #migrations #réfugiés

    Pour télécharger le #rapport:
    http://refugee-rights.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/IRRI-Uganda-policy-paper-October-2018-Paper.pdf

    • A New Deal for Refugees

      Global policies that aim to resettle and integrate displaced populations into local societies is providing a way forward.

      For many years now, groups that work with refugees have fought to put an end to the refugee camp. It’s finally starting to happen.

      Camps are a reasonable solution to temporary dislocation. But refugee crises can go on for decades. Millions of refugees have lived in their country of shelter for more than 30 years. Two-thirds of humanitarian assistance — intended for emergencies — is spent on crises that are more than eight years old.

      Camps are stagnant places. Refugees have access to water and medical care and are fed and educated, but are largely idle. “You keep people for 20 years in camps — don’t expect the next generation to be problem-free,” said Xavier Devictor, who advises the World Bank on refugee issues. “Keeping people in those conditions is not a good idea.” It’s also hard to imagine a better breeding ground for terrorists.

      “As long as the system is ‘we feed you,’ it’s always going to be too expensive for the international community to pay for,” Mr. Devictor said. It’s gotten more and more difficult for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to raise that money; in many crises, the refugee agency can barely keep people from starving. It’s even harder now as nations turn against foreigners — even as the number of people fleeing war and violence has reached a record high.

      At the end of last year, nearly 70 million people were either internally displaced in their own countries, or had crossed a border and become a refugee. That is the largest number of displaced in history — yes, more than at the end of World War II. The vast majority flee to neighboring countries — which can be just as badly off.

      Last year, the United States accepted about 30,000 refugees.

      Uganda, which is a global model for how it treats refugees, has one-seventh of America’s population and a tiny fraction of the wealth. Yet it took in 1,800 refugees per day between mid-2016 and mid-2017 from South Sudan alone. And that’s one of four neighbors whose people take refuge in Uganda.

      Bangladesh, already the world’s most crowded major nation, has accepted more than a million Rohingya fleeing ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. “If we can feed 160 million people, then (feeding) another 500,00-700,000 …. We can do it. We can share our food,” Shiekh Hasina, Bangladesh’s prime minister, said last year.

      Lebanon is host to approximately 1.5 million Syrian refugees, in addition to a half-million Palestinians, some of whom have been there for generations. One in three residents of Lebanon is a refugee.

      The refugee burden falls heavily on a few, poor countries, some of them at risk of destabilization, which can in turn produce more refugees. The rest of the world has been unwilling to share that burden.

      But something happened that could lead to real change: Beginning in 2015, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees crossed the Mediterranean in small boats and life rafts into Europe.

      Suddenly, wealthy European countries got interested in fixing a broken system: making it more financially viable, more dignified for refugees, and more palatable for host governments and communities.

      In September 2016, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously passed a resolution stating that all countries shared the responsibility of protecting refugees and supporting host countries. It also laid out a plan to move refugees out of camps into normal lives in their host nations.

      Donor countries agreed they would take more refugees and provide more long-term development aid to host countries: schools, hospitals, roads and job-creation measures that can help both refugees and the communities they settle in. “It looked at refugee crises as development opportunities, rather than a humanitarian risk to be managed,” said Marcus Skinner, a policy adviser at the International Rescue Committee.

      The General Assembly will vote on the specifics next month (whatever they come up with won’t be binding). The Trump administration pulled out of the United Nations’ Global Compact on Migration, but so far it has not opposed the refugee agreement.

      There’s a reason refugee camps exist: Host governments like them. Liberating refugees is a hard sell. In camps, refugees are the United Nations’ problem. Out of camps, refugees are the local governments’ problem. And they don’t want to do anything to make refugees comfortable or welcome.

      Bangladesh’s emergency response for the Rohingya has been staggeringly generous. But “emergency” is the key word. The government has resisted granting Rohingya schooling, work permits or free movement. It is telling Rohingya, in effect, “Don’t get any ideas about sticking around.”

      This attitude won’t deter the Rohingya from coming, and it won’t send them home more quickly. People flee across the closest border — often on foot — that allows them to keep their families alive. And they’ll stay until home becomes safe again. “It’s the simple practicality of finding the easiest way to refuge,” said Victor Odero, regional advocacy coordinator for East Africa and the Horn of Africa at the International Rescue Committee. “Any question of policies is a secondary matter.”

      So far, efforts to integrate refugees have had mixed success. The first experiment was a deal for Jordan, which was hosting 650,000 Syrian refugees, virtually none of whom were allowed to work. Jordan agreed to give them work permits. In exchange, it got grants, loans and trade concessions normally available only to the poorest countries.

      However, though the refugees have work permits, Jordan has put only a moderate number of them into jobs.

      Any agreement should include the views of refugees from the start — the Jordan Compact failed to do this. Aid should be conditioned upon the right things. The deal should have measured refugee jobs, instead of work permits. Analysts also said the benefits should have been targeted more precisely, to reach the areas with most refugees.

      To spread this kind of agreement to other nations, the World Bank established a $2 billion fund in July 2017. The money is available to very poor countries that host many refugees, such as Uganda and Bangladesh. In return, they must take steps to integrate refugees into society. The money will come as grants and zero interest loans with a 10-year grace period. Middle-income countries like Lebanon and Colombia would also be eligible for loans at favorable rates under a different fund.

      Over the last 50 years, only one developing country has granted refugees full rights. In Uganda, refugees can live normally. Instead of camps there are settlements, where refugees stay voluntarily because they get a plot of land. Refugees can work, live anywhere, send their children to school and use the local health services. The only thing they can’t do is become Ugandan citizens.

      Given the global hostility to refugees, it is remarkable that Ugandans still approve of these policies. “There have been flashes of social tension or violence between refugees and their hosts, mostly because of a scarcity of resources,” Mr. Odero said. “But they have not become widespread or protracted.”

      This is the model the United Nations wants the world to adopt. But it is imperiled even in Uganda — because it requires money that isn’t there.

      The new residents are mainly staying near the South Sudan border in Uganda’s north — one of the least developed parts of the country. Hospitals, schools, wells and roads were crumbling or nonexistent before, and now they must serve a million more people.

      Joël Boutroue, the head of the United Nations refugee agency in Uganda, said current humanitarian funding covered a quarter of what the crisis required. “At the moment, not even half of refugees go to primary school,” he said. “There are around 100 children per classroom.”

      Refugees are going without food, medical care and water. The plots of land they get have grown smaller and smaller.

      Uganda is doing everything right — except for a corruption scandal. It could really take advantage of the new plan to develop the refugee zone. That would not only help refugees, it would help their host communities. And it would alleviate growing opposition to rights for refugees. “The Ugandan government is under pressure from politicians who see the government giving favored treatment to refugees,” Mr. Boutroue said. “If we want to change the perception of refugees from recipients of aid to economic assets, we have to showcase that refugees bring development.”

      The World Bank has so far approved two projects — one for water and sanitation and one for city services such as roads and trash collection. But they haven’t gotten started yet.

      Mr. Devictor said that tackling long-term development issues was much slower than providing emergency aid. “The reality is that it will be confusing and confused for a little while,” he said. Water, for example, is trucked in to Uganda’s refugee settlements, as part of humanitarian aid. “That’s a huge cost,” he said. “But if we think this crisis is going to last for six more months, it makes sense. If it’s going to last longer, we should think about upgrading the water system.”

      Most refugee crises are not surprises, Mr. Devictor said. “If you look at a map, you can predict five or six crises that are going to produce refugees over the next few years.” It’s often the same places, over and over. That means developmental help could come in advance, minimizing the burden on the host. “Do we have to wait until people cross the border to realize we’re going to have an emergency?” he said.

      Well, we might. If politicians won’t respond to a crisis, it’s hard to imagine them deciding to plan ahead to avert one. Political commitment, or lack of it, always rules. The world’s new approach to refugees was born out of Europe’s panic about the Syrians on their doorstep. But no European politician is panicking about South Sudanese or Rohingya refugees — or most crises. They’re too far away. The danger is that the new approach will fall victim to the same political neglect that has crippled the old one.

      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/21/opinion/refugee-camps-integration.html

      #Ouganda #modèle_ougandais #réinstallation #intégration

      avec ce commentaire de #Jeff_Crisp sur twitter :

      “Camps are stagnant places. Refugees have access to water and medical care and are fed and educated, but are largely idle.”
      Has this prizewinning author actually been to a refugee camp?

      https://twitter.com/JFCrisp/status/1031892657117831168

    • Appreciating Uganda’s ‘open door’ policy for refugees

      While the rest of the world is nervous and choosing to take an emotional position on matters of forced migration and refugees, sometimes closing their doors in the face of people who are running from persecution, Uganda’s refugee policy and practice continues to be liberal, with an open door to all asylum seekers, writes Arthur Matsiko

      http://thisisafrica.me/appreciating-ugandas-open-door-policy-refugees

    • Ouganda. La générosité intéressée du pays le plus ouvert du monde aux réfugiés

      L’Ouganda est le pays qui accueille le plus de réfugiés. Un million de Sud-Soudanais fuyant la guerre s’y sont installés. Mais cette noble intention des autorités cache aussi des calculs moins avouables : l’arrivée massive de l’aide internationale encourage l’inaction et la #corruption.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/ouganda-la-generosite-interessee-du-pays-le-plus-ouvert-du-mo

    • Refugees in Uganda to benefit from Dubai-funded schools but issues remain at crowded settlement

      Dubai Cares is building three classrooms in a primary school at Ayilo II but the refugee settlement lacks a steady water supply, food and secondary schools, Roberta Pennington writes from Adjumani


      https://www.thenational.ae/uae/refugees-in-uganda-to-benefit-from-dubai-funded-schools-but-issues-remai

    • FUGA DAL SUD SUDAN. LUIS, L’UGANDA E QUEL PEZZO DI TERRA DONATA AI PROFUGHI

      Luis zappa, prepara dei fori per tirare su una casa in attesa di ritrovare la sua famiglia. Il terreno è una certezza, glielo ha consegnato il Governo ugandese. Il poterci vivere con i suoi cari non ancora. L’ultima volta li ha visti in Sud Sudan. Nel ritornare a casa sua moglie e i suoi otto figli non c’erano più. É sicuro si siano messi in cammino verso l’Uganda, così da quel giorno è iniziata la sua rincorsa. É certo che li ritroverà nella terra che ora lo ha accolto. Quella di Luis è una delle tante storie raccolte nei campi profughi del nord dell’Uganda, in una delle ultime missioni di Amref, in cui era presente anche Giusi Nicolini, già Sindaco di Lampedusa e Premio Unesco per la pace. 



      Modello Uganda? Dell’Uganda il mondo dice «campione di accoglienza». Accoglienza che sta sperimentando da mesi nei confronti dei profughi sud sudanesi, che scappano da uno dei Paesi più drammaticamente in crisi al mondo. Sono 4 milioni le persone che in Sud Sudan hanno dovuto lasciare le proprie case. Chi muovendosi verso altri Paesi e chi in altre regioni sud sudanesi. In questi ultimi tempi arrivano in Uganda anche persone che fuggono dalla Rep. Democratica del Congo.

      https://www.amref.it/2018_02_23_Fuga_dal_Sud_Sudan_Luis_lUganda_e_quel_pezzo_di_terra_donata_ai_pro

    • As Rich Nations Close the Door on Refugees, Uganda Welcomes Them

      President Trump is vowing to send the military to stop migrants trudging from Central America. Europe’s leaders are paying African nations to block migrants from crossing the Mediterranean — and detaining the ones who make it in filthy, overcrowded camps.

      But Solomon Osakan has a very different approach in this era of rising xenophobia. From his uncluttered desk in northwest Uganda, he manages one of the largest concentrations of refugees anywhere in the world: more than 400,000 people scattered across his rural district.

      He explained what he does with them: Refugees are allotted some land — enough to build a little house, do a little farming and “be self-sufficient,” said Mr. Osakan, a Ugandan civil servant. Here, he added, the refugees live in settlements, not camps — with no barbed wire, and no guards in sight.

      “You are free, and you can come and go as you want,” Mr. Osakan added.

      As many nations are securing their borders and turning refugees away, Uganda keeps welcoming them. And they keep coming, fleeing catastrophes from across this part of Africa.

      In all, Uganda has as many as 1.25 million refugees on its soil, perhaps more, making it one of the most welcoming countries in the world, according to the United Nations.

      And while Uganda’s government has made hosting refugees a core national policy, it works only because of the willingness of rural Ugandans to accept an influx of foreigners on their land and shoulder a big part of the burden.

      Uganda is not doing this without help. About $200 million in humanitarian aid to the country this year will largely pay to feed and care for the refugees. But they need places to live and small plots to farm, so villages across the nation’s north have agreed to carve up their communally owned land and share it with the refugees, often for many years at a time.

      “Our population was very few and our community agreed to loan the land,” said Charles Azamuke, 27, of his village’s decision in 2016 to accept refugees from South Sudan, which has been torn apart by civil war. “We are happy to have these people. We call them our brothers.”

      United Nations officials have pointed to Uganda for its “open border” policy. While the United States, a much more populous nation, has admitted more than three million refugees since 1975, the American government settles them in the country after they have first been thoroughly screened overseas.

      By contrast, Uganda has essentially opened its borders to refugees, rarely turning anyone away.

      Some older Ugandans explain that they, too, had been refugees once, forced from their homes during dictatorship and war. And because the government ensures that spending on refugees benefits Ugandans as well, younger residents spoke of how refugees offered them some unexpected opportunities.

      “I was a farmer. I used to dig,” Mr. Azamuke said. But after learning Arabic from refugees from South Sudan, he got a better job — as a translator at a new health clinic that serves the newcomers.

      His town, Ofua, is bisected by a dirt road, with the Ugandans living on the uphill side and the South Sudanese on the downhill side. The grass-thatched homes of the Ugandans look a bit larger and sturdier, but not much.

      As the sun began to set one recent afternoon, a group of men on the Ugandan side began to pass around a large plastic bottle of waragi, a home brew. On the South Sudanese side, the men were sober, gathered around a card game.

      On both sides, the men had nothing but tolerant words for one another. “Actually, we don’t have any problems with these people,” said Martin Okuonzi, a Ugandan farmer cleaning his fingernails with a razor blade.

      As the men lounged, the women and girls were still at work, preparing dinner, tending children, fetching water and gathering firewood. They explained that disputes did arise, especially as the two groups competed for limited resources like firewood.

      “We’ve been chased away,” said Agnes Ajonye, a 27-year-old refugee from South Sudan. “They say we are destroying their forests.”

      And disputes broke out at the well, where Ugandan women insist they should be allowed to skip ahead of refugees.

      “If we hadn’t given you the land you live on, wouldn’t you be dying in Sudan?” said Adili Chandia, a 62-year-old refugee, recounting the lecture she and others got from a frustrated Ugandan woman waiting in line.

      Ugandan officials often talk about the spirit of Pan-Africanism that motivates their approach to refugees. President Yoweri Museveni, an autocratic leader who has been in power for 32 years, says Uganda’s generosity can be traced to the precolonial days of warring kingdoms and succession disputes, when losing factions often fled to a new land.

      This history of flight and resettlement is embedded in some of the names of local groups around western Uganda, like Batagwenda, which means “the ones that could not continue traveling.”

      The government encourages the nation to go along with its policy by directing that 30 percent of foreign aid destined for refugees be spent in ways that benefit Ugandans nearby. So when money for refugees results in new schools, clinics and wells, Ugandans are more likely to welcome than resent them.

      For Mr. Museveni, hosting refugees has given him relevance and political capital abroad at a time when he would otherwise have little.

      A former guerrilla fighter who quickly stabilized much of his country, Mr. Museveni was once hailed as an example of new African leadership. He was relatively quick to confront the AIDS epidemic, and he invited back Ugandans of Indian and Pakistani descent who had been expelled during the brutal reign of Idi Amin in the 1970s.

      But his star has fallen considerably. He has clung to power for decades. His security forces have beaten political opponents. Freedom of assembly and expression are severely curtailed.

      Even so, Uganda’s openness toward refugees makes Mr. Museveni important to European nations, which are uneasy at the prospect of more than a million refugees heading for Europe.

      Other African nations also host a significant number of refugees, but recent polls show that Ugandans are more likely than their neighbors in Kenya or Tanzania to support land assistance or the right to work for refugees.

      Part of the reason is that Ugandans have fled their homes as well, first during the murderous reign of Mr. Amin, then during the period of retribution after his overthrow, and again during the 1990s and 2000s, when Joseph Kony, the guerrilla leader who terrorized northern Uganda, left a trail of kidnapped children and mutilated victims.

      Many Ugandans found refuge in what is today South Sudan. Mark Idraku, 57, was a teenager when he fled with his mother to the area. They received two acres of farmland, which helped support them until they returned home six years later.

      “When we were in exile in Sudan, they also helped us,” Mr. Idraku said. “Nobody ever asked for a single coin.”

      Mr. Idraku has since returned the favor, loaning three acres to a South Sudanese refugee named Queen Chandia, 37. Ms. Chandia said the land — along with additional plots other Ugandans allow her to farm — has made all the difference.

      Her homestead of thatched-roof huts teemed with children tending their chores, grinding nuts into paste and maize into meal. Ms. Chandia is the mother of a girl and two boys. But over the years, as violence hollowed out her home country, Ms. Chandia started taking in the orphaned children of relatives and friends. Now 22 children call her “mom.”

      A refugee for nearly her entire life, Ms. Chandia arrived in Uganda as a young girl nearly 30 years ago. For years, she worried about being expelled.
      Image

      “Maybe these Ugandans will change their minds on us,” she said, describing the thought that plagued her. Then one day the worry stopped.

      But Mr. Osakan, the administrator who oversees refugee affairs in the country’s extreme northwest, is anxious. There is an Ebola outbreak over the border in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mr. Osakan fears what might happen if — or when — a refugee turns up in Uganda with the dreaded illness.

      “It would destroy all the harmony between refugees and host communities,” he said, explaining that it would probably lead to calls to seal the border.

      For now, the border is very much open, although the number of refugees arriving has fallen significantly. In one of the newer settlements, many of the refugees came last year, fleeing an attack in a South Sudanese city. But some complained about receiving too little land, about a quarter acre per family, which is less than previous refugees had received.

      “Even if you have skills — in carpentry — you are not given a chance,” said one refugee, Simon Ludoru. He looked over his shoulder, to where a construction crew was building a nursery school. The schoolhouse would teach both local Ugandan and South Sudanese children together, but the workers were almost entirely Ugandan, he said.

      At the construction site, the general contractor, Sam Omongo, 50, said he had hired refugees for the job. “Oh, yes,” he exclaimed.

      How many?

      “Not a lot, actually,” he acknowledged. “I have about three.” Mr. Omongo called one over.

      “Are you a refugee?” Mr. Omongo asked the slight man.

      “No, I’m from Uganda,” he said softly. His name was Amos Chandiga, 28. He lived nearby and owned six acres of land, though he worked only four of them. He had lent the other two to a pair of refugees.

      “They asked me, and I gave it to them,” Mr. Chandiga explained. He patted his chest. “It comes from here, in my heart.”


      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/28/world/africa/uganda-refugees.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes

    • Uganda: a role model for refugee integration?

      Uganda hosts the largest refugee population in Africa and is, after Turkey and Pakistan, the third-largest refugee recipient country worldwide. Political and humanitarian actors have widely praised Ugandan refugee policies because of their progressive nature: In Uganda, in contrast to many other refugee-receiving countries, these are de jure allowed to work, to establish businesses, to access public services such as education, to move freely and have access to a plot of land. Moreover, Uganda is a pilot country of the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF). In this Working Paper the authors ascertain whether Uganda indeed can be taken as a role model for refugee integration, as largely portrayed in the media and the political discourse. They identify the challenges to livelihoods and integration to assess Uganda’s self-reliance and settlement approach and its aspiration towards providing refugees and Ugandan communities receiving refugees with opportunities for becoming self-reliant. Drawing on three months of field research in northern and southern Uganda from July to September of 2017 with a particular focus on South Sudanese refugees, the authors concentrate on three aspects: Access to land, employment and education, intra- and inter-group relations. The findings show that refugees in Uganda are far from self-reliant and socially integrated. Although in Uganda refugees are provided with land, the quality and size of the allocated plots is so poor that they cannot earn a living from agricultural production, which thus, rather impedes self-reliance. Inadequate infrastructure also hinders access to markets and employment opportunities. Even though most local communities have been welcoming to refugees, the sentiment has shifted recently in some areas, particularly where local communities that are often not better off than refugees feel that they have not benefitted from the presence of refugees....

      https://www.ssoar.info/ssoar/handle/document/62871

  • Where Donald Trump’s Border Wall Would Start - WSJ
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/where-donald-trumps-border-wall-would-start-1518085801

    ALAMO, Texas—Set on the winding Rio Grande, the Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge is home to 400 species of birds, an endangered wildcat and, if President Donald Trump gets his way, a towering border wall.

    The refuge has been identified by federal officials as the first construction site for Mr. Trump’s wall, if it gains funding from Congress. That’s not because the nature reserve is a particular hot spot of illegal crossing of either migrants or drugs, but because the federal government already owns the land.

    “It’s an easier starting point,” said Manuel Padilla Jr., the Border Patrol chief for the sector.

    #mur #mexique #états-unis #trump

  • Israel arrests Palestinian because Facebook translated ’good morning’ to ’attack them’ - Israel News - Haaretz.com
    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.818437

    The Israel Police mistakenly arrested a Palestinian worker last week because they relied on automatic translation software to translate a post he wrote on his Facebook page. The Palestinian was arrested after writing “good morning,” which was misinterpreted; no Arabic-speaking police officer read the post before the man’s arrest.
    The Facebook post that mistranslated ’good morning’ to ’hurt them’

    Last week, the man posted on his Facebook page a picture from the construction site where he works in the West Bank settlement of Beitar Ilit near Jerusalem. In the picture he is leaning against a bulldozer alongside the caption: “Good morning” in Arabic.

    The automatic translation service offered by Facebook uses its own proprietary algorithms. It translated “good morning” as “attack them” in Hebrew and “hurt them” in English.

    Arabic speakers explained that English transliteration used by Facebook is not an actual word in Arabic but could look like the verb “to hurt” – even though any Arabic speaker could clearly see the transliteration did not match the translation.

    But because of the mistaken translation the Judea and Samaria District police were notified of the post. The police officers were suspicious because the translation accompanied a picture of the man alongside the bulldozer, a vehicle that has been used in the past in hit-and-run terrorist attacks. They suspected he was threatening to carry out such an attack and the police arrested him. After he was questioned, the police realized their mistake and released the man after a few hours.

    The Judea and Samaria District police confirmed the details and said a mistake in translation was made, which led to the mistaken arrest. The police agreed the correct translation was “good morning.”

    The Palestinian man declined to speak with Haaretz. He removed the post from his Facebook page after the arrest.

    #palestine #israel #lost_in_translation

    (via Angry Arab)

  • Palestinians rebuild school dismantled by Israel last month in Jubbet al-Dhib
    Sept. 9, 2017 12:16 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 9, 2017 7:36 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?ID=779029

    BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinians in the village of Jubbet al-Dhib in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem rebuilt a school overnight on Friday that was dismantled in the village a day before the first day of school last month, which left some 64 students without a school to attend.

    ≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈

    Israeli forces surround rebuilt Palestinian school, sparking fears of coming demolition
    Sept. 9, 2017 7:35 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 9, 2017 8:05 P.M.)
    http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779041

    JUBBET AL-DHIB, BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces stormed the village of Jubbet al-Dhib in the occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem on Saturday evening, and surrounded a site where Palestinians have been rebuilding a school that was demolished by Israeli authorities last month.

    Employees from the Bethlehem office of the Palestinian education ministry and activists rebuilt five classrooms with concrete blocks overnight Friday, as Israeli soldiers fired tear gas canisters at them, witnesses told Ma’an at the time.

    Large numbers of military vehicles and forces from the Israeli army and the Israeli Civil Administration returned to the construction site Saturday evening and surrounded the school from three directions.

    Israeli forces then attempted to evict Palestinian activists and workers who were completing works at the school, firing tear gas, stun grenades, and gunshots toward the crowd.

    A state of tension prevailed at the site, for fear that Israeli authorities would destroy the school once again.

    • ’Challenge 5 School’ inaugurated in Jubbet al-Dhib, rebuilt after Israeli demolition
      Sept. 10, 2017 2:29 P.M. (Updated : Sept. 10, 2017 2:44 P.M.)
      http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=779043

      BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian Minister of Education Sabri Saydam inaugurated a school in the village of Jubbet al-Dhib in the southern occupied West Bank district of Bethlehem Sunday morning, after the school was dismantled by Israeli forces and rebuilt by Palestinians.

      Israeli forces seized mobile classrooms in the isolated village last month, the day before the first day of school. Activists and ministry employees rebuilt five classrooms overnight Friday.

      Israeli forces then stormed the village Saturday evening, surrounded the construction site, and attacked activists with tear gas, stun grenades, and bullets, sparking fears that Israeli authorities would destroy the school once again.

      A spokesperson for the Israeli Civil Administration told Ma’an that “work tools were confiscated” as a result of the raid, but that for now, the structures — deemed ‘illegal’ by Israel — have remained standing.

      The newly rebuilt school has been named “Challenge 5 School,” because it was the fifth school to be constructed by the ministry in areas threatened by Israeli settlement construction, according to the education ministry’s Bethlehem office and the Palestinian Committee Against the Wall and Settlements, which supervised Saturday morning’s inauguration.

  • Record Numbers Of Venezuelans Seek Asylum In The U.S. Amid Political Chaos

    Some 8,300 Venezuelans applied for U.S. asylum in the first three months of 2017, which, as the Associated Press points out, puts the country on track to nearly double its record 18,155 requests last year. Around one in every five U.S. applicants this fiscal year is Venezuelan, making Venezuela America’s leading source of asylum claimants for the first time, surpassing countries like China and Mexico.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/political-chaos-sends-record-number-of-venezuelans-fleeing-to-us_us_
    #asile #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_vénézuéliens #USA #Etats-Unis #Venezuela

    • Colombie : violence et afflux de réfugiés vénézuéliens préoccupent l’UE

      La Colombie est confrontée à deux « situations humanitaires », en raison de l’afflux de réfugiés fuyant « la crise au Venezuela » et d’"un nouveau cycle de violence" de divers groupes armés, a dénoncé le commissaire européen Christos Stylianides.

      https://www.courrierinternational.com/depeche/colombie-violence-et-afflux-de-refugies-venezueliens-preoccup
      #Colombie

    • Half a million and counting: Venezuelan exodus puts new strains on Colombian border town

      The sun is burning at the Colombian border town of Cúcuta. Red Cross workers attend to people with dehydration and fatigue as hundreds of Venezuelans line up to have their passports stamped, covering their heads with clothing and cardboard to fashion what shade they can.

      https://www.irinnews.org/feature/2018/03/07/half-million-and-counting-venezuelan-exodus-puts-new-strains-colombian-bor

    • Venezuelans flee to Colombia to escape economic meltdown

      The Simon Bolivar bridge has become symbolic of the mass exodus of migrants from Venezuela. The crossing is also just one piece in the complex puzzle facing Colombia, as it struggles to absorb the increasing number of migrants prompted by its neighbour’s economic and social meltdown.

      Up to 45,000 migrants cross on foot from Venezuela to Cúcuta every day. The Colombian city has become the last hope for many fleeing Venezuela’s crumbling economy. Already four million people, out of a population of 30 million, have fled Venezuela due to chronic shortages of food and medicine.

      http://www.euronews.com/2018/03/26/colombia-s-venezuelan-migrant-influx

    • Venezolanos en Colombia: una situación que se sale de las manos

      La crisis venezolana se transformó en un éxodo masivo sin precedentes, con un impacto hemisférico que apenas comienza. Brasil y Colombia, donde recae el mayor impacto, afrontan un año electoral en medio de la polarización política, que distrae la necesidad de enfrentarla con una visión conjunta, estratégica e integral.


      http://pacifista.co/venezolanos-en-colombia-crisis-opinion

      via @stesummi

    • Hungry, sick and increasingly desperate, thousands of Venezuelans are pouring into Colombia

      For evidence that the Venezuelan migrant crisis is overwhelming this Colombian border city, look no further than its largest hospital.

      The emergency room designed to serve 75 patients is likely to be crammed with 125 or more. Typically, two-thirds are impoverished Venezuelans with broken bones, infections, trauma injuries — and no insurance and little cash.

      “I’m here for medicine I take every three months or I die,” said Cesar Andrade, a 51-year-old retired army sergeant from Caracas. He had come to Cucuta’s Erasmo Meoz University Hospital for anti-malaria medication he can’t get in Venezuela. “I’m starting a new life in Colombia. The crisis back home has forced me to do it.”

      The huge increase in Venezuelan migrants fleeing their country’s economic crisis, failing healthcare system and repressive government is affecting the Cucuta metropolitan area more than any other in Colombia. It’s where 80% of all exiting Venezuelans headed for Colombia enter as foreigners.

      Despite turning away Venezuelans with cancer or chronic diseases, the hospital treated 1,200 migrant emergency patients last month, up from the handful of patients, mostly traffic collision victims, in March 2015, before the Venezuelan exodus started gathering steam.

      The hospital’s red ink is rising along with its caseload. The facility has run up debts of $5 million over the last three years to accommodate Venezuelans because the Colombian government is unable to reimburse it, said Juan Agustin Ramirez, director of the 500-bed hospital.

      “The government has ordered us to attend to Venezuelan patients but is not giving us the resources to pay for them,” Ramirez said. “The truth is, we feel abandoned. The moment could arrive when we will collapse.”

      An average of 35,000 people cross the Simon Bolivar International Bridge linking the two countries every day. About half return to the Venezuelan side after making purchases, conducting business or visiting family. But the rest stay in Cucuta at least temporarily or move on to the Colombian interior or other countries.

      For many Venezuelans, the first stop after crossing is the Divine Providence Cafeteria, an open-air soup kitchen a stone’s throw from the bridge. A Roman Catholic priest, Father Leonardo Mendoza, and volunteer staff serve some 1,500 meals daily. But it’s not enough.

      One recent day, lines stretched halfway around the block with Venezuelans, desperation and hunger etched on their faces. But some didn’t have the tickets that were handed out earlier in the day and were turned away.

      “Children come up to me and say, ’Father, I’m hungry.’ It’s heartbreaking. It’s the children’s testimony that inspires the charitable actions of all of us here,” Mendoza said.

      The precise number of Venezuelan migrants who are staying in Colombia is difficult to calculate because of the porousness of the 1,400-mile border, which has seven formal crossings. But estimates range as high as 800,000 arrivals over the last two years. At least 500,000 have gone on to the U.S., Spain, Brazil and other Latin American countries, officials here say.

      “Every day 40 buses each filled with 40 or more Venezuelans leave Cucuta, cross Colombia and go directly to Ecuador,” said Huber Plaza, a local delegate of the National Disasters Risk Management Agency. “They stay there or go on to Chile, Argentina or Peru, which seems to be the preferred destination these days.”

      Many arrive broke, hungry and in need of immediate medical attention. Over the last two years, North Santander province, where Cucuta is located, has vaccinated 58,000 Venezuelans for measles, diphtheria and other infectious diseases because only half of the arriving children have had the shots, said Nohora Barreto, a nurse with the provincial health department.

      On the day Andrade, the retired army sergeant, sought treatment, gurneys left little space in the crowded ward and hospital corridors, creating an obstacle course for nurses and doctors who shouted orders, handed out forms and began examinations.

      Andrade and many other patients stood amid the gurneys because all the chairs and beds were taken. Nearby, a pregnant woman in the early stages of labor groaned as she walked haltingly among the urgent care patients, supported by a male companion.

      Dionisio Sanchez, a 20-year-old Venezuelan laborer, sat on a gurney awaiting treatment for a severe cut he suffered on his hand at a Cucuta construction site. Amid the bustle, shouting and medical staff squeezing by, he stared ahead quietly, holding his hand wrapped in gauze and resigned to a long wait.

      “I’m lucky this didn’t happen to me back home,” Sanchez said. “Everyone is suffering a lot there. I didn’t want to leave, but hunger and other circumstances forced me to make the decision.”

      Signs of stress caused by the flood of migrants are abundant elsewhere in this city of 650,000. Schools are overcrowded, charitable organizations running kitchens and shelters are overwhelmed and police who chase vagrants and illegal street vendors from public spaces are outmanned.

      “We’ll clear 30 people from the park, but as soon as we leave, 60 more come to replace them,” said a helmeted policeman on night patrol with four comrades at downtown’s Santander Plaza. He expressed sympathy for the migrants and shook his head as he described the multitudes of homeless, saying it was impossible to control the tide.

      Sitting on a park bench nearby was Jesus Mora, a 21-year-old mechanic who arrived from Venezuela in March. He avoids sleeping in the park, he said, and looks for an alleyway or “someplace in the shadows where police won’t bother me.”

      “As long as they don’t think I’m selling drugs, I’m OK,” Mora said. “Tonight, I’m here to wait for a truck that brings around free food at this hour.” Mora said he is hoping to get a work permit. Meanwhile, he is hustling as best he can, recycling bottles, plastic and cardboard he scavenges on the street and in trash cans.

      Metropolitan Cucuta’s school system is bursting at the seams with migrant kids, who are given six-month renewable passes to attend school. Eduardo Berbesi, principal of the 1,400-student Frontera Educational Institute, a public K-12 school in Villa de Rosario that’s located a short distance from the Simon Bolivar International Bridge, says he has funds to give lunches to only 60% of his students. He blames the government for not coming through with money to finance the school’s 40% growth in enrollment since the crisis began in 2015.

      “The government tells us to receive the Venezuelan students but gives us nothing to pay for them,” Berbesi said.

      Having to refuse lunches to hungry students bothers him. “And it’s me the kids and their parents blame, not the state.”


      #Cucuta

      On a recent afternoon, every street corner in Cucuta seemed occupied with vendors selling bananas, candy, coffee, even rolls of aluminum foil.

      “If I sell 40 little cups of coffee, I earn enough to buy a kilo of rice and a little meat,” said Jesus Torres, 35, a Venezuelan who arrived last month. He was toting a shoulder bag of thermoses he had filled with coffee that morning to sell in plastic cups. “The situation is complicated here but still better than in Venezuela.”

      That evening, Leonardo Albornoz, 33, begged for coins at downtown stoplight as his wife and three children, ages 6 months to 8 years, looked on. He said he had been out of work in his native Merida for months but decided to leave for Colombia in April because his kids “were going to sleep hungry every night.”

      When the light turned red, Albornoz approached cars and buses stopped at the intersection to offer lollipops in exchange for handouts. About half of the drivers responded with a smile and some change. Several bus passengers passed him coins through open windows.

      From the sidewalk, his 8-year-old son, Kleiver, watched despondently. It was 9:30 pm — he had school the next morning and should have been sleeping, but Albornoz and his wife said they had no one to watch him or their other kids at the abandoned building where they were staying.

      “My story is a sad one like many others, but the drop that made my glass overflow was when the [Venezuelan] government confiscated my little plot of land where we could grow things,” Albornoz said.

      The increase in informal Venezuelan workers has pushed Cucuta’s unemployment rate to 16% compared with the 9% rate nationwide, Mayor Cesar Rojas said in an interview at City Hall. Although Colombians generally have welcomed their neighbors, he said, signs of resentment among jobless local residents is growing.

      “The national government isn’t sending us the resources to settle the debts, and now we have this economic crisis,” Rojas said. “With the situation in Venezuela worsening, the exodus can only increase.”

      The Colombian government admits it has been caught off guard by the dimensions — and costs — of the Venezuelan exodus, one of the largest of its kind in recent history, said Felipe Muñoz, who was named Venezuelan border manager by President Juan Manuel Santos in February.

      “This is a critical, complex and massive problem,” Muñoz said. “No country could have been prepared to receive the volume of migrants that we are receiving. In Latin America, it’s unheard of. We’re dealing with 10 times more people than those who left the Middle East for Europe last year.”

      In agreement is Jozef Merkx, Colombia representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, which is taking an active role in helping Colombia deal with the influx. Central America saw large migrant flows in the 1980s, but they were caused by armed conflicts, he said.

      “Venezuelans are leaving for different reasons, and the mixed nature of the displaced crisis is what makes it a unique exodus,” Merkx said during an interview in his Bogota office.

      Muñoz said Colombia feels a special obligation to help Venezuelans in need. In past decades, when the neighboring country’s oil-fueled economy needed more manpower than the local population could provide, hundreds of thousands of Colombians flooded in to work. Now the tables are turned.

      Colombia’s president has appealed to the international community for help. The U.S. government recently stepped up: The State Department announced Tuesday it was contributing $18.5 million “to support displaced Venezuelans in Colombia who have fled the crisis in their country.”

      Manuel Antolinez, director of the International Committee of the Red Cross’ 240-bed shelter for Venezuelans near the border in Villa de Rosario, said he expects the crisis to get worse before easing.

      “Our reading is that after the May 20 presidential election in Venezuela and the probable victory of President [Nicolas] Maduro, there will be increased dissatisfaction with the regime and more oppression against the opposition,” he said. “Living conditions will worsen.”

      Whatever its duration, the crisis is leading Ramirez, director of the Erasmo Meoz University Hospital, to stretch out payments to his suppliers from an average of 30 days to 90 days after billing. He hopes the government will come through with financial aid.

      “The collapse will happen when we can’t pay our employees,” he said. He fears that could happen soon.

      http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-venezuela-colombia-20180513-story.html

    • The Venezuelan Refugee Crisis : The View from Brazil

      Shadowing the Maduro regime’s widely condemned May 20 presidential election, Venezuela’s man-made humanitarian crisis continues to metastasize, forcing hundreds of thousands of families to flee to neighboring countries. While Colombia is bearing the brunt of the mass exodus of Venezuelans, Brazil is also facing an unprecedented influx. More than 40,000 refugees, including indigenous peoples, have crossed the border into Brazil since early 2017. The majority of these refugees have crossed into and remain in Roraima, Brazil’s poorest and most isolated state. While the Brazilian government is doing what it can to address the influx of refugees and mitigate the humanitarian risks for both the Venezuelans and local residents, much more needs to be done.


      As part of its continuing focus on the Venezuelan crisis, CSIS sent two researchers on a week-long visit to Brasilia and Roraima in early May. The team met with Brazilian federal government officials, international organizations, and civil society, in addition to assessing the situation on-the-ground at the Venezuela-Brazil border.

      https://www.csis.org/analysis/venezuelan-refugee-crisis-view-brazil
      #Boa_Vista #camps_de_réfugiés

    • Le Brésil mobilise son #armée à la frontière du Venezuela

      Le président brésilien Michel Temer a ordonné mardi soir par décret l’utilisation des forces armées pour « garantir la sécurité » dans l’Etat septentrional de Roraima, à la frontière avec le Venezuela.

      Depuis des mois, des milliers de réfugiés ont afflué dans cet Etat. « Je décrète l’envoi des forces armées pour garantir la loi et l’ordre dans l’Etat de Roraima du 29 août au 12 septembre », a annoncé le chef de l’Etat.

      Le but de la mesure est de « garantir la sécurité des citoyens mais aussi des immigrants vénézuéliens qui fuient leur pays ».
      Afflux trop important

      Plusieurs dizaines de milliers d’entre eux fuyant les troubles économiques et politiques de leur pays ont afflué ces dernières années dans l’Etat de Roraima, où les services sociaux sont submergés.

      Michel Temer a ajouté que la situation était « tragique ». Et le président brésilien de blâmer son homologue vénézuélien Nicolas Maduro : « La situation au Venezuela n’est plus un problème politique interne. C’est une menace pour l’harmonie de tout le continent », a déclaré le chef d’Etat dans un discours télévisé.

      https://www.rts.ch/info/monde/9806458-le-bresil-mobilise-son-armee-a-la-frontiere-du-venezuela.html

      #frontières #militarisation_des_frontières

    • The Exiles. A Trip to the Border Highlights Venezuela’s Devastating Humanitarian Crisis

      Never have I seen this more clearly than when I witnessed first-hand Venezuelans fleeing the devastating human rights, humanitarian, political, and economic crisis their government has created.

      Last July, I stood on the Simon Bolivar bridge that connects Cúcuta in Colombia with Táchira state in Venezuela and watched hundreds of people walk by in both directions all day long, under the blazing sun. A suitcase or two, the clothes on their back — other than that, many of those pouring over the border had nothing but memories of a life left behind.

      https://www.hrw.org/video-photos/interactive/2018/11/14/exiles-trip-border-highlights-venezuelas-devastating

    • Crises Colliding: The Mass Influx of Venezuelans into the Dangerous Fragility of Post-Peace Agreement Colombia

      Living under the government of President Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelans face political repression, extreme shortages of food and medicine, lack of social services, and economic collapse. Three million of them – or about 10 percent of the population – have fled the country.[1] The vast majority have sought refuge in the Americas, where host states are struggling with the unprecedented influx.
      Various actors have sought to respond to this rapidly emerging crisis. The UN set up the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform for Refugees and Migrants from Venezuela, introducing a new model for agency coordination across the region. This Regional Platform, co-led by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), has established a network of subsidiary National Platforms in the major host countries to coordinate the response on the ground. At the regional level, the Organization of American States (OAS) established a Working Group to Address the Regional Crisis of Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees. Latin American states have come together through the Quito Process – a series of diplomatic meetings designed to help coordinate the response of countries in the region to the crisis. Donors, including the United States, have provided bilateral assistance.


      https://www.refugeesinternational.org/reports/2019/1/10/crises-colliding-the-mass-influx-of-venezuelans-into-the-dang

      #rapport

  • Les smartphones « Samsung » : petite histoire de l’exploitation des employé-e-s dans le Sud-Est asiatique.

    Factory Riots Flare Up in Vietnam over Samsung’s Violence Against Workers — Goodelectronics
    http://goodelectronics.org/news-en/factory-riots-flare-up-in-vietnam-over-samsung2019s-violence-agains

    The riot is the latest manifestation of Samsung’s smoldering tensions with labor in Vietnam where it is now the largest foreign employer. In Jan. 2014, in a similar pattern local workers and South Korean security guards clashed at the construction site of a $3.2 billion Samsung Electronics plant in the Vietnamese province of Thai Nguyen, leaving 13 people injured.

    Since 2008, Samsung Group has invested a total of $17.3 billion in Vietnam. Samsung Display, a spinoff of Samsung Electronics, alone is investing a total of $6.5 billion in the country. Currently, more than 100,000 Vietnamese workers assemble close to 50 percent of Samsung mobile phones and 100 percent of high-end Galaxy smartphones.

    Apart from flashpoints like riots or violent clashes, little information is available about working conditions at Samsung factories in the Southeastern Asian country. However, the Galaxy 7 fiasco last year offered a sneak peek: Vietnamese workers had to assemble close to 7 million replacements for fire-prone Galaxy 7 handsets during the five days Harvest Moon holidays for the hasty recall that flopped.

    #browntech #exploitation #capitalisme (débridé)

  • UAE likely to be building a naval facility in Eritrea | IHS Jane’s 360 (article d’avril 2016)
    http://www.janes.com/article/59561/uae-likely-to-be-building-a-naval-facility-in-eritrea


    Satellite imagery (right) showing the new military camp and the construction of a new port facility at Assab airport in Eritrea on 4 March. Al Khatem, a dredger operated by the UAE’s National Marine Dredging Company, can be seen operating at the site. The image on the left shows the same area in 2013, before the development began. (2016 CNES/Astrium/GoogleEarth/IHS)

    The United Arab Emirates (UAE) appears to be constructing a new port next to Assab International Airport in Eritrea, which could become its first permanent military base in a foreign country.

    Satellite imagery shows rapid progress has been made since work began sometime after September 2015. A square of coastline measuring about 250x250 m has already been excavated and dredged, while a pier and/or breakwater is being constructed and already extends over 700 m from the original coastline.
    […]
    Eritrea has little need of a new port in the Assab area, given that the existing one 12 km to the southeast of the construction site was rarely visited until the UAE’s navy began to use it last year to support the country’s military operation in Yemen.

    IHS Jane’s has published satellite imagery showing most of the naval vessels at the existing port since 21 September 2015 have been Emirati landing ships. IHS Maritime & Trade data show that many of the commercial vessels that docked there over the same period came from the UAE’s naval base at Fujairah. This indicated that the UAE is using Assab as a logistics hub where supplies are transferred from commercial to naval vessels for onward shipment to Yemen.

    • L’info de février 2016 sur l’utilisation du port d’Assab.

      UAE naval vessels using Eritrea’s Assab port | IHS Jane’s 360
      http://www.janes.com/article/58194/uae-naval-vessels-using-eritrea-s-assab-port


      Airbus Defence and Space imagery shows various foreign-operated vessels berthed in the Eritrean port at Assab. (CNES 2015, Distribution Airbus DS/2016 IHS) 1569186

      The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navy is using the port of Assab in Eritrea, Airbus Defence and Space satellite imagery confirms.

      Landing ships that can be identified as UAE naval assets can be seen at the port in three separate satellite images.

      Taken on 5 February, the most recent image shows a landing ship that is approximately 80 m long and has a helicopter pad on its stern. This or a sister ship can also be seen at Assab in imagery taken on 21 September 2015.

      Although a ship matching this description has not previously been identified in open sources as being in service with any navy, the same vessel or a sister ship can be seen in Google Earth satellite imagery of the UAE’s new naval base in Dubai on two different dates.

      Another three landing ships can be seen at Assab in the 5 February imagery. One is approximately 60 m [check with Sean] in length and does not match any known to be operated by the UAE Navy, suggesting a second navy may also be using Assab.

      The other two are identical to the 64 m landing ships operated by the UAE. It is possible these are Kuwaiti naval vessels as Abu Dhabi Ship Building delivered two to Kuwait as well as three to the UAE.

      However, imagery taken on 7 November 2015 show three of the 64 m landing ships at Assab, meaning at least one must be operated by the UAE Navy. One of these landing ships can be seen in the 21 September image.

      The 7 November image also shows that the high-speed roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) catamaran Swift 1 (IMO: 9283928) was also present. This vessel operated by the US Military Sealift Command between 2003-2013. The website of its manufacturer, Incat, said in 2015 that it was being operated by the UAE’s National Marine Dredging Company.

  • Is Pakistan going to send Afghan refugees home?

    Daily scrutiny by police cracking down on Afghan refugees in Pakistan turned his three-kilometre commute to a construction site into a two-hour ordeal. It became untenable. So, instead of braving checkpoints and spot checks at work, Gul traded in his shovel for an awl.


    http://www.irinnews.org/news/2016/06/23/pakistan-going-send-afghan-refugees-home
    #réfugiés_afghans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Pakistan #renvoi #expulsion

  • The Albanian children imprisoned in their homes because of a 15th century death law
    written by Donatella Montrone

    Acts of vengeance cause the deaths of many thousands of people each year in northern Albania and keep similar numbers of children trapped in their homes for fear of reprisal. Award-winning photojournalist Guillaume Herbaut aims to show how the centuries-old tradition of Kanun is ruining the lives of entire generations of children, now illiterate, psychologically scarred and utterly without hope.

    “Emine was a peacemaker,” says Guillaume Herbaut. “His job was to pacify families at war.”

    But the families Emine sought to help were not in a warren, but living quiet lives in the north of Albania. Yet certain family members, the French photojournalist discovered, were shut away in their homes, never seeing the light of day for fear of reprisal by fellow Albanians – neighbours, former friends, even other family members – seeking revenge for being slighted, insulted, besmirched – or, in the extreme, the murder of one of their kin.

    “I was able to get in touch with some of the families affected by this tragedy through Emine,” Herbaut says. “But he was murdered a few months after I shot 2/7 Shkodra, the series of photographs I took in 2004.”

    Herbaut didn’t learn his craft in the traditional sense, at art college, putting theory into practice. Instead, it was more visceral.

    He was born and raised in the suburbs of Paris, in a block of flats perched on the edge of a highway opposite an industrial estate. “From my bedroom I could see the factories closing down, one after another,” he says. “They were later all torn down to make way for office blocks. So, for a long time my playground was a construction site and wasteland. My friends and I explored a lot – we used to go skating in the abandoned factories.”

    There was a municipal library in his building, and he’d spend hours in it, flipping through books. “I used to look for books that could open up the world to me,” he says. “I came across a photobook – a technical book. There was a picture in it of a woman jumping in the air from a suitcase. It was by Jacques-Henri Lartigue. I was 11 at the time and still remember it like it was yesterday. I was so struck by that image – I realised that a photo could stop time. So I asked my parents to lend me their camera. I think it was a little Kodak, plastic, black-and-white film, square format. I went out and I took my first pictures, then I had the film developed. When I saw the pictures, I thought, ‘they suck’. So I stopped taking pictures.”

    But at 16, in that very same library, he came across Robert Capa: Photographs, a retrospective photobook published in the mid-70s containing many unseen images by Capa. “It was a real shock. I thought: ‘This is what I want to do, witness the world through photography.’

    “I borrowed the book from the library and kept it for three years, studying it every day. In retrospect, I think I knew even at 11 what I wanted to do; I just didn’t know how to do it at the time. I took a few jobs in shops to earn money to pay for camera equipment and to finance trips. My schooling in #photography mainly came from the streets. Some of the first pictures I took were of homeless people, and then Croatia and Bosnia during the war. I learned a lot from the picture editors of different newspapers. They would give me real criticism.”

    Guillaume Herbaut is now one of his country’s most respected documentary photographers. Represented by #photo agency INSTITUTE., his work has been exhibited at Visa pour l’Image, Jeu de Paume gallery, PhotoEspaña and Bruce Silverstein Gallery in NY, among others.

    It was while reading Broken April by Booker Prize-winning author Ismail Kadare – a novel in which the protagonist is ordered to obey the mandate of the Kanun, an ancient Albanian creed which states one must avenge the death of his brother by killing his killer, and so becoming embroiled in a tit-for-tat death spiral where he becomes subject to reprisal for having killed his brother’s killer – that Herbaut became intrigued by this centuries-old law of the infernal eye-for-an-eye.

    “The #Kanun has existed since the 15th century,” Herbaut says. “It regulates daily life in Albania. Under Kanun, a party is duty-bound to seek revenge. The family of a murder victim has the right to avenge the victim by killing the murderer. But the family of the murderer who was killed through vengeance then has the right to retaliate, and so on. #Revenge between families can last several generations.

    “I’ve been to Albania twice, once to shoot 2/7 Shkodra, when Emine ‘the peacemaker’ introduced me to some of the families affected, and then I returned 10 years later to work on a different series. I thought I would take the opportunity to visit the families I had met a decade earlier. I found that the phenomenon of the vendetta was actually escalating. Children were also being affected; some were kept home from school for fear of being killed. So I decided to revisit this series. I want to show just how tragic vendettas are to families, to denounce the horror that is visited on so many children who are trapped in their homes for many years, illiterate and uneducated because they can’t go to school.”

    For more of Guillaume Herbaut’s work, visit his website._
    http://www.bjp-online.com/2015/07/the-albanian-children-imprisoned-in-their-homes-because-of-a-15th-centur

    #Albania

  • Gendarmerie forces intervene as Black Sea locals resist contentious new road construction - LOCAL
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/gendarmerie-forces-intervene-as-black-sea-locals-resist-contentio

    Turkish gendarmerie forces have intervened in a sit-in being held by a group of locals to hinder the construction of a road project in an upland area of the Black Sea province of Rize, with an elderly local woman standing out by saying the road should not be built as the citizens, who constitute the state, did not want it.

    The gendarmerie forces on July 11 forcibly took away several local people, assaulting and dragging them on the ground, as they stood before caterpillars in the Samistal pasture of Rize’s Çamlıhemşin district to prevent the construction of “The Green Road,” a 2,600-kilometer inroad project planned to connect the pastures of eight Black Sea provinces.

    As the locals of Rize made a tremendous effort to stop the already-begun construction with the help of commando forces, the footage of Havva Bekar, the outstanding figure who protested the demolition of the untouched forests by rebuking the security forces with a stick in her hand, was shared on the Internet by thousands.

    “We do not want this road. We are the people who constitute the state. The state is nothing without us,” said Bekar, in video footage taken at the construction site with gendarmerie forces waiting behind her on July 11.

  • Manmade peninsula under way in Istanbul - GREEN
    http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/manmade-peninsula-under-way-in-istanbul.aspx?pageID=238&nID=83349

    A 140,000-meter square manmade peninsula as large as ten football stadiums has plans to be constructed as a shoreline extension of Istanbul’s Ataköy neighborhood, which has ran out of space for new buildings.

    The Mega Marina will be made as an extension of the area known as the Ataköy Tourism Complex, which also contains the Galleria Shopping Mall, Sheraton Hotel, Ataköy Marina Hotel, Ataköy Marina and Ataköy Marina Park, and will be used as a marina for large cruisers.

    The process to fill the peninsula has already begun, with filling materials being carried by ships to the construction site because of heavy traffic on the road running along the construction site.

    The Bakırköy Municipality said there had been no official request filed at the municipality for a permit to fill the peninsula, adding they had been informed that the ongoing filling operation was for the breakwater.

    Ataköy Tourism Complex is currently under the administration of Dati-Mariners Ataköy Tourism and Construction Company, a company of Dati Holding that was founded by Şadan Kalkavan, Fuat Miras, Gündüz Kaptanoğlu, Eşref Cerrahoğlu and Metin Kalkavan.

    The owner of the area, however, is the State Housing Development Association (TOKİ).

    TOKİ and Dati Holding had previously eyed the land for construction licenses but the tender was canceled due to lack of sufficient participants.

    #Transformation_urbaine #Istanbul #Rivage #Gravats #TOKI

  • Immigration au #Qatar : la #kafala toujours en place malgré les promesses

    L’ONG Amnesty International publie ce jeudi un rapport pour rappeler au Qatar qu’il n’a pas tenu ses promesses en matière d’amélioration des droits des ouvriers, et notamment la réforme de la Kafala, ce système qui met tout employé à la merci de son employeur pour changer de travail, sortir du territoire…Une réforme annoncée il y a un an et qui n’a pas eu lieu.

    http://www.rfi.fr/moyen-orient/20150521-immigration-qatar-kafala-rapport-amnesty-travailleurs-migrants
    #migration #travail #exploitation

    • Will Migrant Domestic Workers in the Gulf Ever Be Safe From Abuse?

      Jahanara* had had enough. For a year, the Bangladeshi cook had been working 12 to 16 hours a day, eating only leftovers and sleeping on the kitchen floor of her employer’s Abu Dhabi home – all for half the salary she had been promised. She had to prepare four fresh meals a day for the eight-member family, who gave her little rest. She was tired, she had no phone and she was alone. So, in the summer of 2014, in the middle of the night after a long day’s work, she snuck out into the driveway, scaled the front gate and escaped.

      Jahanara ran along the road in the dark. She did not know where she was going. Eventually, a Pakistani taxi driver pulled over, and asked her if she had run away from her employer, and whether she needed help. She admitted she had no money, and no clue where she wanted to go. The driver gave her a ride, dropping her off in the neighboring emirate of Dubai, in the Deira neighborhood. There, he introduced her to Vijaya, an Indian woman in her late fifties who had been working in the Gulf for more than two decades.

      “It’s like I found family here in this strange land.”

      Vijaya gave the nervous young woman a meal of rice, dal and, as Jahanara still recalls, “a beautiful fish fry.” She arranged for Jahanara to rent half a room in her apartment and, within a week, had found her part-time housekeeping work in the homes of two expat families.

      Jahanara is a 31-year-old single woman from north Bangladesh, and Vijaya, 60, is a grandmother of eight from Mumbai, India. Jahanara speaks Bengali, while Vijaya speaks Telugu. Despite the differences in age and background, the two women have become close friends. They communicate in gestures and broken Urdu.

      “It’s like I found family here in this strange land,” Jahanara says.

      The younger woman now cleans four houses a day, and cooks dinner for a fifth, while the older woman works as a masseuse, giving traditional oil massages to mothers and babies.

      Jahanara’s experience in #Abu_Dhabi was not the first time she had been exploited as a domestic worker in the Gulf. She originally left Bangladesh six years ago, and has been home only once since then, when she ran away from abusive employers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the police deported her. She had no choice – under the much-criticized kafala system for legally employing migrant workers, a domestic worker is attached to a particular household that sponsors their visa. Employers often keep the worker’s passport to prevent their leaving, although this is illegal in most Gulf countries today.

      Under kafala, quitting a bad boss means losing your passport and vital work visa, and potentially being arrested or deported. This is why, the second time, Jahanara escaped in the dead of night. Now, she works outside official channels.

      “You earn at least three times more if you’re ‘khalli walli,’” Vijaya says, using a colloquial Arabic term for undocumented or freelance migrant workers. The name loosely translates as “take it or leave it.”

      “You get to sleep in your own house, you get paid on time and if your employer misbehaves, you can find a new one,” she says.

      “The Gulf needs us, but like a bad husband, it also exploits us.”

      Ever year, driven by poverty, family pressure, conflict or natural disasters back home, millions of women, mainly from developing countries, get on flights to the Gulf with their fingers crossed that they won’t be abused when they get there.

      It’s a dangerous trade-off, but one that can work out for some. When Jahanara and Vijaya describe their lives, the two women repeatedly weigh the possibility of financial empowerment against inadequate wages, routine abuse and vulnerability.

      By working for 23 years in Dubai and Muscat in Oman, Vijaya has funded the education of her three children, the construction of a house for her son in a Mumbai slum and the weddings of two daughters. She is overworked and underpaid, but she says that’s “normal.” As she sees it, it’s all part of working on the margins of one of the world’s most successful economies.

      “The Gulf needs us,” Vijaya says. “But like a bad husband, it also exploits us.”

      The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that there are 11.5 million migrant domestic workers around the world – 73 percent of them are women. In 2016, there were 3.77 million domestic workers in Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

      In a single household in these states, it’s common to find several domestic workers employed to do everything from cleaning and cooking, to guarding the home and tutoring the children.

      Unlike other sectors, the demand for domestic workers has been resilient to economic downturns. Estimated to be one of the world’s largest employers of domestic workers, Saudi Arabia hosts around 2.42 million. The majority of these workers (733,000) entered the country between 2016 and 2017, during its fiscal deficit. In 2017, domestic workers comprised a full 22 percent of Kuwait’s working age population. Oman has seen a threefold explosion in its domestic work sector since 2008. Overall, the GCC’s migrant domestic work sector has been growing at an annual average of 8.7 percent for the past decade.

      That growth is partly fueled by the increasing numbers of women entering the workforce. The percentage of Saudi Arabia’s adult female population in the formal labor force has risen from 18 percent to 22 percent over the past decade. In Qatar, the figure has jumped from 49 percent to 58 percent. And as more women go to work, there’s a growing need for others to take over the child and elderly care in their households. Experts call this transfer of care work from unpaid family members to paid workers from other countries the “global care chain.”

      A 2017 report, which examined the effect of changing demographics in the Gulf, found that dramatically decreased fertility – thanks to improved female education and later marriages – and greater numbers of the dependent elderly have resulted in an “increased trend for labour participation of ‘traditional’ informal care givers (usually women).”

      The enduring use of migrant domestic workers in the region is also a result of local traditions. For example, while Saudi Arabia was still the only country in the world that banned women from driving, there was a consistent need for male personal drivers, many coming from abroad. The ban was lifted in June 2018, but the demand for drivers is still high because many women don’t yet have licenses.

      “Without domestic workers, societies could not function here,” says Mohammed Abu Baker, a lawyer in Abu Dhabi and a UAE national. “I was brought up by many Indian nannies, at a time when Indians were our primary migrants. Now, I have a Pakistani driver, an Indonesian cook, an Indian cleaner, a Filipino home nurse and a Sri Lankan nanny. None of them speak Arabic, and they can hardly speak to each other, but they run my household like a well-oiled machine.”

      There is also demand from expatriate families, with dual wage earners looking for professional cleaning services, part-time cooks and full-time childcare workers.

      “When I came from Seattle with my husband, we were determined not to hire servants,” says Laura, a 35-year-old teacher in an American primary school in Abu Dhabi. “But after we got pregnant, and I got my teaching job, we had to get full-time help.”

      “My American guilt about hiring house help disappeared in months!” she says, as her Sri Lankan cook Frida quietly passes around home-baked cookies. “It is impossible to imagine these conveniences back home, at this price.”

      Laura says she pays minimum wage, and funds Frida’s medical insurance – “all as per law.” But she also knows that conveniences for women like her often come at a cost paid by women like Frida. As part of her local church’s “good Samaritan group” – as social workers must call themselves to avoid government scrutiny – Laura has helped fundraise medical and legal expenses for at least 40 abused migrant workers over the past two years.

      Living isolated in a house with limited mobility and no community, many domestic workers, especially women, are vulnerable to abuse. Afraid to lose their right to work, employees can endure a lot before running away, including serious sexual assault. Legal provisions do exist – in many countries, workers can file a criminal complaint against their employers, or approach labor courts for help. But often they are unaware of, or unable to access, the existing labor protections and resources.

      “I never believed the horror stories before, but when you meet woman after woman with bruises or unpaid wages, you start understanding that the same system that makes my life easier is actually broken,” Laura says.

      In 2007, Jayatri* made one of the hardest decisions of her life. She left her two young children at home in Sri Lanka, while the country was at war, to be with another family in Saudi Arabia.

      It was near the end of Sri Lanka’s protracted civil war and 22-year-old Jayatri had been struggling to support her family since her husband’s death in the war two years earlier. The 26-year conflict claimed the lives of tens of thousands of fathers, husbands, sons and brothers, forcing many Tamil women to take on the role of sole breadwinner for their families. But there are few job opportunities for women in a culture that still largely believes their place is in the home. Women who are single or widowed already face stigma, which only gets worse if they also try to find paying work in Sri Lanka.

      S. Senthurajah, executive director of SOND, an organization that raises awareness about safe migration, says that as a result, an increasing number of women are migrating from Sri Lanka to the Gulf. More than 160,000 Sri Lankan women leave home annually to work in other countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Malaysia, according to the International Organization for Migration.

      Senthurajah says recruitment agencies specifically target vulnerable female heads of households: widows, single and divorced women and women whose husbands are disabled or otherwise unable to work to support the family. Women like Jayatri.

      When a local recruitment agency approached her and offered her a job as a domestic worker in the Gulf, it was an opportunity she felt she couldn’t turn down. She traveled from Vavuniya, a town in the island’s north – which was then under the control of Tamil Tiger rebels – to Colombo, to undergo a few weeks of housekeeping training.

      She left her young children, a boy and a girl, with her mother. When she eventually arrived in Saudi Arabia, her passport was taken by the local recruitment agency and she was driven to her new home where there were 15 children to look after. From the start, she was abused.

      “I spent five months in that house being tortured, hit and with no proper food and no salary. I worked from 5 a.m. to midnight every day,” she says, not wanting to divulge any more details about how she was treated.

      “I just wanted to go home.”

      Jayatri complained repeatedly to the recruitment agency, who insisted that she’d signed a contract for two years and that there was no way out. She was eventually transferred to another home, but the situation there was just as bad: She worked 18 hours a day and was abused, again.

      “It was like jail,” she says.

      “I spent five months in that house being tortured, hit and with no proper food and no salary. I worked from 5 a.m. to midnight every day.”

      In 2009, Jayatri arrived back in northern Sri Lanka with nothing to show for what she had endured in Saudi Arabia. She was never paid for either job. She now works as a housemaid in Vavuniya earning $60 per month. It’s not enough.

      “This is the only opportunity I have,” she says. “There’s no support. There are so many difficulties here.”

      Jayatri’s traumatic time in Saudi Arabia is one of many stories of abuse that have come out of the country in recent years. While there are no reliable statistics on the number of migrant domestic workers who suffer abuse at the hands of their employers, Human Rights Watch says that each year the Saudi Ministry of Social Affairs and the embassies of source countries shelter thousands of domestic workers with complaints against their employers or recruiters.

      Excessive workload and unpaid wages are the most common complaints. But employers largely act with impunity, Senthurajah says.

      “It’s like a human slave sale,” Ravindra De Silva, cofounder of AFRIEL, an organization that works with returnee migrant workers in northern Sri Lanka, tells News Deeply.

      “Recruitment agencies have agents in different regions of the country and through those agents, they collect women as a group and send them. The agents know which families [to] pick easily – widows and those with financial difficulties,” he says.

      In 2016, a man turned up at Meera’s* mud-brick home on the outskirts of Jaffna, the capital of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province, offering her a job in the Gulf.

      “They told me I could earn well if I went abroad and that they could help me to look after my family,” she says.

      Within a few months of arriving in Saudi Arabia, Meera, 42, couldn’t keep up with the long hours and strenuous housework. She cooked and cleaned for 12 family members and rarely got a break.

      Her employer then became abusive.

      “He started beating me and put acid in my eyes,” she says. He also sexually assaulted her.

      But she endured the attacks and mistreatment, holding on to the hope of making enough money to secure her family’s future. After eight months, she went back home. She was never paid.

      Now Meera makes ends meet by working as a day laborer. “The agency keeps coming back, telling me how poor we are and that I should go back [to Saudi Arabia] for my children,” she says.

      “I’ll never go back again. I got nothing from it, [except] now I can’t see properly because of the acid in my eyes.”

      While thousands of women travel to a foreign country for work and end up exploited and abused, there are also those who make the journey and find what they were looking for: opportunity and self-reliance. Every day, more than 1,500 Nepalis leave the country for employment abroad, primarily in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, India and Malaysia. Of the estimated 2.5 million Nepalis working overseas, about 11 percent are female.

      Many women from South Asian countries who work in the Gulf send remittances home that are used to improve their family’s socio-economic status, covering the cost of education, health care, food and housing. In addition to financial remittances, the social remittances of female migrants in terms of skills, attitudes, ideas and knowledge can also have wide-ranging benefits, including contributing to economic development and gender equality back home.

      Kunan Gurung, project coordinator at Pourakhi Nepal, an organization focused on supporting female returnee migrants, says those who have “successful” migration journeys are often able to use their experiences abroad to challenge gender norms.

      “Our society is patriarchal and male-dominated, but the boundaries expand for women who return from the Gulf successfully because they have money and thus some power,” he says.

      “The women have left their village, taken a plane and have lived in the developed world. Such experiences leave them feeling empowered.”

      Gurung says many returning migrant workers invest their savings in their own businesses, from tailoring to chicken farms. But it can be difficult, because women often find that the skills they earned while working abroad can’t help them make money back home. To counter this, Pourakhi trains women in entrepreneurship to not only try to limit re-migration and keep families together but also to ensure women are equipped with tangible skills in the context of life in Nepal.

      But for the women in Nepal who, like Jayatri in Sri Lanka, return without having earned any money, deep-rooted stigma can block their chances to work and separate them from their families. Women who come home with nothing are looked at with suspicion and accused of being sexually active, Gurung says.

      “The reality is that women are not looked after in the Gulf, in most cases,” he says.

      In Kathmandu, Pourakhi runs an emergency shelter for returning female migrants. Every evening, staff wait at Kathmandu airport for flights landing from the Gulf. They approach returning migrants – women who stand out because of their conservative clothes and “the look on their faces” – and offer shelter, food and support.

      Of the 2,000 women they have housed over the last nine years, 42 have returned pregnant and 21 with children.

      “There are so many problems returnee migrants face. Most women don’t have contact with their families because their employer didn’t pay, or they have health issues or they’re pregnant,” says Krishna Gurung (no relation to Kunan), Pourakhi’s shelter manager.

      “They don’t reintegrate with their families. Their families don’t accept them.” Which could be the biggest tragedy of all. Because the chance to make life better for their families is what drives so many women to leave home in the first place.

      Realizing how crucial their workers are to the Gulf economies, major labor-sending countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh, India and the Philippines have been using both pressure and dialogue to improve conditions for their citizens.

      Over recent years, they have instituted a wide array of bans and restrictions, often linked to particularly horrifying cases of abuse. Nepal has banned women from working in the Gulf in 2016; the same year, India disallowed women under 30 from migrating to the Gulf. In 2013, Sri Lanka temporarily banned women from leaving the country for domestic work, citing abuse abroad and neglected families at home, and now requires a family background report before women can travel.

      The most high-profile diplomatic dispute over domestic workers unfolded between the Philippines and Kuwait this year. In January, the Philippines banned workers from going to Kuwait, and made the ban “permanent” in February after a 29-year-old Filipino maid, Joanna Demafelis, was found dead in a freezer in her employers’ abandoned apartment in Kuwait City.

      “Bans provide some political leverage for the sending country.”

      At the time, the Philippines’ firebrand president, Rodrigo Duterte, said he would “sell my soul to the devil” to get his citizens home from Kuwait to live comfortably back home. Thousands of Filipino citizens were repatriated through a voluntary return scheme in the first half of 2018, while Kuwait made overtures to Ethiopia to recruit more maids to replace the lost labor force. Duterte’s ban was eventually lifted in May, after Kuwait agreed to reform its migrant work sector, ending the seizure of passports and phones, and instituting a 24-hour hotline for abused workers.

      It’s well established that bans do not stop women from traveling to the Gulf to become domestic workers. Bandana Pattanaik, the international coordinator of the Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women, has criticized bans as being “patriarchal, limiting to female agency and also ending up encouraging illegal human smuggling.”

      But others point out that the international pressure generated by travel bans has had some effect, as in the case with the Philippines and Kuwait. “Bans provide some political leverage for the sending country,” says Kathmandu-based researcher Upasana Khadka. “But bans do not work as permanent solutions.”
      ATTEMPTS AT REFORM

      Today, after decades of criticism and campaigning around labor rights violations, the Gulf is seeing a slow shift toward building better policies for domestic workers.

      “In the past five years, five of the six GCC countries have started to adopt laws for the protection of migrant domestic workers for the very first time,” says Rothna Begum, women’s rights researcher for Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch.

      “The GCC countries have long cultivated the image of being luxurious economies meant for the good life,” Begum says. “This image is hard to maintain as labor exploitation comes to light. So, while they try to shut the reporting down, they have also been forced to address some of the issues raised by their critics.”

      Legal and institutional reforms have been announced in the domestic work sector in all GCC countries except Oman. These regulate and standardize contracts, mandate better living conditions, formalize recruitment, and plan rehabilitation and legal redress for abused workers.

      This gradual reform is due to international pressure and monitoring by human rights groups and international worker unions. After the 2014 crash in the oil economy, the sudden need for foreign investment exposed the GCC and the multinational companies doing business there to more global scrutiny.

      Countries in the Gulf are also hoping that the new national policies will attract more professional and skilled home workers. “Domestic work is a corrupt, messy sector. The host countries are trying to make it more professional,” says M. Bheem Reddy, vice president of the Hyderabad-based Migrant Rights Council, which engages with women workers from the southern districts of India.

      Many of the Gulf states are moving toward nationalization – creating more space for their own citizens in the private sector – this means they also want to regulate one of the fastest growing job sectors in the region. “This starts with dignity and proper pay for the existing migrant workers,” Reddy says.

      There have been attempts to develop a regional standard for domestic labor rights, with little success. In 2011, the ILO set standards on decent work and minimum protection through the landmark Domestic Workers Convention. All the GCC countries adopted the Convention, but none have ratified it, which means the rules are not binding.

      Instead, each Gulf country has taken its own steps to try to protect household workers who come from abroad.

      After reports of forced labor in the lead-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar faced a formal inquiry by the ILO if it didn’t put in place migrant labor protections. Under that pressure, in 2017, the country passed a law on domestic work. The law stipulates free health care, a regular monthly salary, maximum 10-hour work days, and three weeks’ severance pay. Later, it set a temporary minimum wage for migrant workers, at $200 a month.

      The UAE’s new reforms are motivated by the Gulf crisis – which has seen Qatar blockaded by its neighbors – as well as a desire to be seen as one of the more progressive GCC countries. The UAE had a draft law on domestic work since 2012, but only passed it in 2017, after Kuwait published its own law. The royal decree gives household workers a regular weekly day off, daily rest of at least 12 hours, access to a mobile phone, 30 days paid annual leave and the right to retain personal documents like passports. Most importantly, it has moved domestic work from the purview of the interior ministry to the labor ministry – a long-standing demand from rights advocates.

      The UAE has also become the first Gulf country to allow inspectors access to a household after securing a warrant from the prosecutor. This process would be triggered by a worker’s distress call or complaint, but it’s unclear if regular state inspections will also occur. Before this law, says Begum, the biggest obstacle to enforcing labor protection in domestic work was the inability for authorities to monitor the workspace of a cleaner or cook, because it is a private home, unlike a hotel or a construction site.

      The UAE has not followed Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in stipulating a minimum wage for domestic workers. But it has issued licenses for 40 Tadbeer Service Centers, which will replace recruitment agencies by the end of the year. Employers in the UAE will have to submit their requests for workers through these centers, which are run by private licensed agents but supervised by the Ministry of Human Resources. Each of the centers has accommodation for workers and can also sponsor their visas, freeing them up to take on part-time jobs while also catering to growing demand from UAE nationals and expats for legal part-timers.

      “You focus on the success stories you hear, and hope you’ll have that luck.”

      B. L. Surendranath, general secretary of the Immigration Protection Center in Hyderabad, India, visited some of these centers in Dubai earlier this year, on the invitation of the UAE human resources ministry. “I was pleasantly surprised at the well-thought-out ideas at the model Tadbeer Center,” he says. “Half the conflicts [between employer and worker] are because of miscommunication, which the center will sort out through conflict resolution counselors.”

      Saudi Arabia passed a labor law in 2015, but it didn’t extend to domestic work. Now, as unemployment among its nationals touches a high of 12.8 percent, its efforts to create more jobs include regulating the migrant workforce. The Saudi government has launched an electronic platform called Musaned to directly hire migrant domestic workers, cutting out recruitment agencies altogether. Women migrant workers will soon live in dormitories and hostels run by labor supply agencies, not the homes of their employers. The labor ministry has also launched a multi-language hotline for domestic workers to lodge complaints.

      Dhaka-based migrant rights activist Shakirul Islam, from Ovibashi Karmi Unnayan Programme, welcomes these changes, but remains circumspect. “Most women who return to Bangladesh from Saudi [Arabia] say that the revised laws have no impact on their lives,” he says. “My understanding is that the employers are not aware of the law on the one hand, and on the other, do not care about it.”

      Migrant rights activists, ILO officials, the governments of source countries and workers themselves are cautiously optimistic about the progressive direction of reforms in the Gulf. “But it is clear that none of the laws penalize employers of domestic workers for labor rights violations,” says Islam.

      Rights activists and reports from the ILO, U.N. and migrants’ rights forums have for decades repeated that full protection of domestic workers is impossible as long as GCC countries continue to have some form of the kafala sponsorship system.

      Saudi Arabia continues to require workers to secure an exit permit from their employers if they want to leave the country, while Qatar’s 2015 law to replace the kafala sponsorship system does not extend to domestic workers. Reddy of the Migrant Rights Council says the UAE’s attempt to tackle kafala by allowing Tadbeer Center agents to sponsor visas does not make agents accountable if they repeatedly send different workers to the same abusive employer.

      For now, it seems the women working on the margins of some of the richest economies in the world will remain vulnerable to abuse and exploitation from their employers. And as long as opportunities exist for them in the Gulf that they can’t find at home, thousands will come to fulfil the demand for domestic and care work, knowing they could be risking everything for little or no return.

      Jahanara says the only thing for women in her position to do is to take the chance and hope for the best.

      “You focus on the success stories you hear, and hope you’ll have that luck.”


      https://www.newsdeeply.com/refugees/articles/2018/08/31/will-migrant-domestic-workers-in-the-gulf-ever-be-safe-from-abuse-2

      #travail_domestique #migrations #pays_du_golfe

  • Les accidents de chantier au Koweit


    la mosquée de Sabah al Ahmed

    Rampant Corruption puts Kuwait’s 186,000 Construction Workers at risk | Migrant-Rights.org
    http://www.migrant-rights.org/2015/05/rampant-corruption-puts-kuwaits-186000-construction-workers-at-risk

    University City
    In addition to the deathly substandard working conditions in the Sabah al-Ahmed construction camps, several deaths also occurred at the construction site of Kuwait’s “University City” in the Shaddadiya area. The Kuwaiti government has spent 3.5 billion USD on the over-extended project. In June 2013, the construction site witnessed two extensive fires within days of each other. A third fire occurred in December 2014, damaging a four-story building. In 2012, one worker was killed and buried at the construction site “in a personal dispute” with another man. The year after, another murder occurred at Shaddadiya when a construction worker was found murdered with a wound in the head.

  • Archaeological discovery sheds light on ancient Kyiv
    http://www.kyivpost.com/guide/about-kyiv/archaeological-discovery-sheds-light-on-ancient-kyiv-383300.html

    When archaeologists performed a routine check on a construction site in central Kyiv in late February, they were astonished to discover a medieval street hidden seven meters underground.

    The remains of the wooden buildings that date back to Kyivan Rus were found at the mall construction site at Poshtova Square in the Podil neighborhood near the Dnipro River.

    The finding generated excitement among archaeologists and the general public.

    “Podil is very well studied, which is why everyone was very surprised when we first saw the fragments of the 12th century wooden fence and house," says Ivan Zotsenko, one of the archaeologists working on the spot.

    During the past three weeks, the team of nine archaeologists dug out several wooden fences, the foundation of a wooden house, coins, beads, pots and one amphora – all estimated to date back to the 11th-13th centuries.

    It looks like we dug out a fragment of a densely populated medieval street," says Zotsenko. “These findings demonstrate that people lived on the bank of Dnipro River already during Kyivan Rus times. It means that Kyiv territory was bigger than we used to think."

    Earlier, historians believed that the borders of ancient Kyiv ended on the modern Borychiv Tik Street, some 500 meters inland from Poshtova Ploshcha.


    Kiev 988-1240, reconstituée par N. Zakrevskiy dans un Atlas de 1887.
    Si je comprends bien, le lieu des fouilles est au pied de la colline dans le coin gauche de la berge plate du coin en bas à droite.

  • #Belo_Monte, Brazil: The tribes living in the shadow of a megadam | Environment | The Guardian
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/16/belo-monte-brazil-tribes-living-in-shadow-megadam

    Belo Monte is already an undeniable fact. The vast construction site is like something out of Mordor – an immense wall of stone, steel and concrete that towers above a blasted plain teeming with trucks, bulldozers and cranes. The turbine housings, which are half-complete, resemble the jagged ramparts of a fort. Here and there by the side of the road, felled trees are tied up in bundles, like captured prisoners. And as night falls, the usual Amazonian chorus of insects, frogs and birds is drowned out by engines, alarms and clanking earth movers.

    #grand_barrage #énergie #peuples_autochtones #pêche #biodiversité #forêt

  • #Syrian worker killed on #Lebanon construction site
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/syrian-worker-killed-lebanon-construction-site

    A Syrian worker was killed after a wall collapsed at a construction site in a Lebanese ski area, state media reported Friday. Lebanon’s National News Agency said three other Syrian #Workers were seriously injured in the accident which occurred late Thursday, and transferred to a local hospital. The accident took place in the town of Kfardebian, one of Lebanon’s most frequented destinations for skiers. The death comes one month after a 17-year-old Syrian was killed when the roof of a house he was helping restore collapsed in the town of Qortaba. read more

    #construction_sites #Labor

  • Qatar’s construction labourers face abuse: Amnesty International | GulfNews.com
    http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/qatar-s-construction-labourers-face-abuse-amnesty-international-1.1255916

    Qatar’s construction labourers face abuse: Amnesty International

    Report urges government to act and end these practices

    By Jumana Al Tamimi, Associate Editor
    Published: 01:01 November 18, 2013
    Gulf News

    Be the first to comment
    Share on twitter Share on facebook Share on email Share on print More Sharing Services 15

    Image Credit: AFP
    Migrant labourers at a construction site in Doha. The world’s spotlight will continue to shine on Qatar’s commitment to human rights in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup. Picture used for illustrative purposes.

    Dubai: Migrant construction workers are facing widespread abuse at the hands of their employers in Qatar’s construction sector, a report by Amnesty International concluded recently.

    The human rights watchdog has urged the government to end these practices by taking a series of actions.

    The report titled “The Dark Side of Migration: Spotlight on Qatar’s construction sector ahead of the World Cup,” released during a press conference in Doha last Sunday in the presence of senior officials from the watchdog, reveals widespread and routine abuse of migrant workers — in some cases amounting to “forced labour”.

    “It is simply inexcusable in one of the richest countries in the world, that so many migrant workers are being ruthlessly exploited, deprived of their pay and left struggling to survive,” Salil Shetty, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, said in a press statement, a copy of which was received by Gulf News.

    The 169-page report was based on interviews with workers, employers and government officials. The documented abuses include “non-payment of wages, harsh and dangerous working conditions, and shocking standards of accommodation”.

    Among the interviewed workers were Nepalese employed by a company that delivers “critical” supplies to a project associated with the planned Fifa headquarters for the 2022 World Cup spoke of labour abuses.
    Related Links

    Ambassador who called Qatar ‘open jail’ recalled
    Qatar ‘to act on World Cup labour violations’
    Qatar forum stresses foreign workers’ rights
    Rights watchdog flags workers’ issues in Qatar

    They said they were “treated like cattle”. Employees were working up to 12 hours a day and seven days a week, including during Qatar’s very hot summer months.

    Amnesty also interviewed “dozens of construction workers who were prevented from leaving the country for many months — leaving them trapped in Qatar with no way out”.

    “Construction companies and the Qatari authorities alike are failing migrant workers. Employers have displayed an appalling disregard for the basic human rights of migrant workers. Many are taking advantage of a permissive environment and lax enforcement of labour protections to exploit construction workers,” said Shetty.

    As Fifa World Cup 2022 stadia are being constructed, “the world’s spotlight will continue to shine on Qatar in the run-up to the 2022 World Cup offering the government a unique chance to demonstrate on a global stage that they are serious about their commitment to human rights and can act as a role model to the rest of the region,” added the head of Amnesty.

    The workers, many of whom come from South or Southeast Asia, are recruited at a “remarkable rate” to support the construction boom, and Qatar’s population is increasing at 20 people an hour, the official said. But many migrants “arrive in Qatar full of hopes, only to have these crushed soon after they arrive. There’s no time to delay — the government must act now to end this abuse”.

    The watchdog urges the government to enforce labour protections — which many employers flout routinely. It also called for an overhaul of the ‘sponsorship’ system, which leaves migrant workers unable to leave the country or change jobs without their employers’ permission.

    “Please tell me - is there any way to get out of here? ... We are going totally mad,” one Nepalese construction worker, unpaid for seven months and prevented from leaving Qatar for three months, told Amnesty officials.

    Amnesty contacted several major companies with regard to cases it had documented. It said “many expressed serious concerns about Amnesty International’s findings and some said that they had carried out investigations. One company said it had upgraded its inspection regime as a result”.

  • #Israel advancing construction plans for 3,360 new settler homes in West Bank
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/israel-advancing-construction-plans-3360-new-settler-homes-west-b

    Palestinian laborers work on a construction site in Ramat Shlomo, an illegal Israeli settlement in the mainly Palestinian eastern sector of Jerusalem, on October 30, 2013. (Photo: AFP - Gali Tibbon)

    Israel is planning to move ahead with another 3,360 new illegal settler homes in the West Bank, Haaretz newspaper reported on Thursday, quoting an MP from the ruling right-wing Likud party. Prime Minister Benjamin "Netanyahu’s government will begin advancing a series of (...)

    #illegal_settlements #Palestine #Top_News

  • #Qatar denies labor group inspectors access to #World_Cup sites
    http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/qatar-denies-labor-group-inspectors-access-world-cup-sites

    French unionist Gilles Letort, center, and members of the Building and Wood Worker’s International Federation (BWI) visit a construction site on October 9, 2013 in Doha as they inspect the situation of migrant workers in the 2022 football World Cup host, amid claims of severe exploitation. (Photo: AFP / Al-Watan Doha - Karim Jaafar)

    A delegation from an international labor federation inspecting the situation of migrant workers in the 2022 football World Cup host (...)

    #migrant_rights #Top_News

  • Kim Jong Un visits swimming pool complex and 3d movie theater | NK News – North Korea News

    Kim Jong Un looks at things...

    http://www.nknews.org/2013/09/kim-jong-un-visits-swimming-pool-complex-and-3d-movie-theater

    by Oliver Hotham , September 19, 2013

    Kim Jong Un toured the construction site of a major Pyongyang swimming complex on Tuesday – following a weekend visit to a new 3D movie theater and video games room – state media outlet the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

    Kim Jong Un was “delighted” with the “world-class swimming complex” and “underscored the need to scrupulously organize the work for successfully operating the complex from now as its construction has reached its final phase,” KCNA said.

    #corée_du_nord

  • Filmer l’arrestation des migrants sans-papiers

    Toews approved TV show filming B.C. immigration raids - British Columbia - CBC News

    Signalé par Elisabeth Vallet de la Chaire Raoul Dandurand à Montréal cet article inquiétant

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/03/16/bc-border-security-cbsa-agreement.html?cmp=rss

    Approval for a reality show production crew to film an immigration raid at a Vancouver construction site came directly from the federal government, documents obtained by a Vancouver woman show.

    Helesia Luke, who has a background in television production and now works with non-profits in Vancouver, was troubled by news of the immigration raid being filmed on Wednesday, so she asked the federal government for the production agreement.