• Cities must act

    40,000 people are currently trapped on the Aegean islands, forced to live in overcrowded camps with limited medical services and inadequate sanitation.

    #Glasgow, sign this petition from @ActMust
    @ScotlandMustAct
    demanding relocation from the islands.

    https://twitter.com/scotrefcouncil/status/1253348493332267009

    #Ecosse #UK #villes-refuge #Glasgow #migrations #asile #réfugiés #Grèce #relocalisation #pétition

    –---

    Ajouté à la métaliste sur les villes-refuge :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/759145

    ping @isskein @karine4

    • #CitiesMustAct (qui fait partie de la #campagne #EuropeMustAct)

      #CitiesMustAct is a bold new campaign asking the citizens, councils and mayors of European towns and cities to pledge their support for the immediate relocation of asylum seekers on the Greek islands.

      In our previous campaigns we pushed for change on the EU level. From our interaction with EU leaders we have learned that they are hesitant or even unable to act because they believe that there is no broad support for helping refugees among European citizens. Let’s prove them wrong!

      On the 30th of March, the Mayor and citizens of Berlin pledged to take in 1,500 refugees. Now we are asking cities and towns across Europe to join Berlin in offering sanctuary to refugees in overcrowded camps on the Greek mainland and islands.

      As COVID-19 threatens a health crisis in densely overcrowded camps, we must act now to relieve pressure on these horrendous camps.

      Whilst cities may not have the legislative power to directly relocate refugees themselves, #CitiesMustAct will send a powerful message of citizen solidarity that governments and the EU can’t ignore!

      Join us in spreading the #CitiesMustAct campaign across Europe - join us today!


      http://www.europemustact.org/citiesmustact

    • Cities lobby EU to offer shelter to migrant children from Greece

      #Amsterdam, #Barcelona and #Leipzig among cities calling for action to ease humanitarian crisis

      Ten European cities have pledged shelter to unaccompanied migrant children living in desperate conditions on Greek island camps or near the Turkish border.

      Amsterdam, Barcelona and Leipzig are among the cities that have written to European Union leaders, saying they are ready to offer a home to vulnerable children to ease what they call a rapidly worsening humanitarian crisis in Greece.

      “We can provide these children with what they now so urgently need: to get out of there, to have a home, to be safe, to have access to medical care and to be looked after by dedicated people,” the letter states.

      But the cities can only make good on their pledge if national governments agree. Seven of the 10 local government signatories to the letter are in countries that have not volunteered to take in children under a relocation effort launched by the European commission in March.

      #Rutger_Groot_Wassink, Amsterdam’s deputy mayor for social affairs, said it was disappointing the Dutch government had declined to join the EU relocation scheme. He believes Dutch cities could house 500 children, with “30-35, maybe 40 children” being brought to Amsterdam.

      “It’s not that we can send a plane in and pick them up, because you need the permission of the national government. But we feel we are putting pressure on our national government, which has been reluctant to move on this issue,” he said.

      The Dutch government – a four-party liberal-centre-right coalition – has so far declined to join the EU relocation effort, despite requests by Groot Wassink, who is a member of the Green party.

      “It might have something to do with the political situation in the Netherlands, where there is a huge debate on refugees and migrants and the national government doesn’t want to be seen as refugee-friendly. From the perspective of some of the parties they feel that they do enough. They say they are helping Greece and of course there is help for Greece.”

      If the Dutch government lifted its opposition, Groot Wassink said transfers could happen fairly quickly, despite coronavirus restrictions. “If there is a will it can be done even pretty soon,” he said.

      Ten EU countries – Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Croatia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Luxembourg and Lithuania – have pledged to take in at least 1,600 lone children from the Greek islands, just under a third of the 5,500 unaccompanied minors estimated to be in Greece.

      So far, only a small number have been relocated: 12 to Luxembourg and 47 to Germany.

      The municipal intervention chimes with comments from the German Social Democrat MEP Brigit Sippel, who said earlier this month that she knew of “cities and German Länder who are ready … tomorrow, to do more”. The MEP said Germany’s federal government was moving too slowly and described the initial transfer of 47 children as “ridiculous”.

      Amsterdam, with Utrecht, organised the initiative through the Eurocities network, which brings together more than 140 of the continent’s largest municipalities, including 20 UK cities. The UK’s home secretary, Priti Patel, has refused calls to take in lone children from the Greek islands.

      Groot Wassink said solidarity went beyond the EU’s borders. He said: “You [the UK] are still part of Europe.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/24/cities-lobby-eu-to-offer-shelter-to-migrant-children-from-greece
      #Barcelone #îles #vulnérabilité #enfants #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés

    • Migrants and mayors are the unsung heroes of COVID-19. Here’s why

      - Some of the most pragmatic responses to COVID-19 have come from mayors and governors.
      - The skills and resourcefulness of refugees and migrants are also helping in the fight against the virus.
      - It’s time for international leaders to start following suit.

      In every crisis it is the poor, sick, disabled, homeless and displaced who suffer the most. The COVID-19 pandemic is no exception. Migrants and refugees, people who shed one life in search for another, are among the most at risk. This is because they are often confined to sub-standard and overcrowded homes, have limited access to information or services, lack the financial reserves to ride out isolation and face the burden of social stigma.

      Emergencies often bring out the best and the worst in societies. Some of the most enlightened responses are coming from the world’s governors and mayors. Local leaders and community groups from cities as diverse as #Atlanta, #Mogadishu (https://twitter.com/cantoobo/status/1245051780787994624?s=12) and #Sao_Paulo (https://www.docdroid.net/kSmLieL/covid19-pmsao-paulo-city-april01-pdf) are setting-up dedicated websites for migrants, emergency care and food distribution facilities, and even portable hand-washing stations for refugees and internally displaced people. Their actions stand in glaring contrast to national decision-makers, some of whom are looking for scapegoats.

      Mayors and city officials are also leading the charge when it comes to recovery. Global cities from #Bogotá (https://www.eltiempo.com/bogota/migrantes-en-epoca-de-coronavirus-en-bogota-se-avecina-una-crisis-478062) to #Barcelona (https://reliefweb.int/report/spain/barcelonas-show-solidarity-time-covid-19) are introducing measures to mitigate the devastating economic damages wrought by the lockdown. Some of them are neutralizing predatory landlords by placing moratoriums on rent hikes and evictions. Others are distributing food through schools and to people’s doorsteps as well as providing cash assistance to all residents, regardless of their immigration status.

      Cities were already in a tight spot before COVID-19. Many were facing serious deficits and tight budgets, and were routinely asked to do ‘more with less’. With lockdowns extended in many parts of the world, municipalities will need rapid financial support. This is especially true for lower-income cities in Africa, South Asia and Latin America where migrants, refugees and other vulnerable groups risk severe hunger and even starvation. They also risk being targeted if they try and flee. International aid donors will need to find ways to direct resources to cities and allow them sizeable discretion in how those funds are used.

      Philanthropic groups and city networks around the world are rapidly expanding their efforts to protect and assist migrants and refugees. Take the case of the #Open_Society_Foundations, which is ramping up assistance to New York City, Budapest and Milan to help them battle the pandemic while bolstering safety nets for the most marginal populations. Meanwhile, the #Clara_Lionel_and_Shawn_Carter_Foundations in the US have committed millions in grants to support undocumented workers in Los Angeles and New York (https://variety-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/variety.com/2020/music/news/rihanna-jay-z-foundations-donate-million-coronavirus-relief-1203550018/amp). And inter-city coalitions, like the #US_Conference_of-Mayors (https://www.usmayors.org/issues/covid-19) and #Eurocities (http://www.eurocities.eu/eurocities/documents/EUROCITIES-reaction-to-the-Covid-19-emergency-WSPO-BN9CHB), are also helping local authorities with practical advice about how to strengthen preparedness and response.

      The truth is that migrants and refugees are one of the most under-recognized assets in the fight against crises, including COVID-19. They are survivors. They frequently bring specialized skills to the table, including expertise in medicine, nursing, engineering and education. Some governments are catching on to this. Take the case of Portugal, which recently changed its national policies to grant all migrants and asylum seekers living there permanent residency, thus providing access to health services, social safety nets and the right to work. The city of #Buenos_Aires (https://www.lanacion.com.ar/sociedad/coronavirus-municipios-provincia-buenos-aires-sumaran-medicos-nid234657) authorized Venezuelan migrants with professional medical degrees to work in the Argentinean healthcare system. #New_York (https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20210-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating), #New_Jersey (https://www.nj.gov/governor/news/news/562020/20200401b.shtml) and others have cleared the way for immigrant doctors without US licenses to provide patient care during the current pandemic.

      There are several steps municipal governments, businesses and non-governmental organizations should take to minimize the impacts of COVID-19 on migrants and displaced people. For one, they need to clearly account for them in their response and recovery plans, including ensuring free access to healthy food and cash assistance. Next, they could strengthen migrant associations and allow qualified professionals to join the fight against infectious disease outbreaks. What is more, they could ensure access to basic services like housing, electricity, healthcare and education - and information about how to access them in multiple languages - as Portugal has done.

      Mayors are on the frontline of supporting migrants and refugees, often in the face of resistance from national authorities. Consider the experience of Los Angeles’s mayor, #Eric_Garcetti (https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/04/08/coronavirus-garcetti-relief-businesses-immigrants), who recently called on the US Congress to provide rapid relief to roughly 2.5 million undocumented immigrants in California. Or the mayor of Uganda’s capital #Kampala, #Erias_Lukwago (https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Opposition-gives-out-food-to-poor-despite-Museveni-ban/688334-5518340-hd23s8/index.html), who has resorted to distributing food himself to poor urban residents despite bans from the central government. At the same time, #Milan ’s mayor, #Giuseppe_Sala (https://www.corriere.it/economia/finanza/20_aprile_13/sala-sindaci-europei-alla-crisi-si-risponde-piu-solidarieta-attenzione-citt), wrote to the European Union to urgently request access to financial aid. These three mayors also lead the #Mayors_Migration_Council, a city coalition established to influence international migration policy and share resources (https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/e/2PACX-1vRqMtCR8xBONCjntcDmiKv0m4-omNzJxkEB2X2gMZ_uqLeiiQv-m2Pb9aZq4AlDvw/pub) with local leaders around the world.

      The truth is that refugees, asylum seekers and displaced people are not sitting idly by; in some cases they are the unsung heroes of the pandemic response. Far from being victims, migrants and displaced people reflect the best of what humanity has to offer. Despite countless adversities and untold suffering, they are often the first to step up and confront imminent threats, even giving their lives (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/08/world/europe/coronavirus-doctors-immigrants.html) in the process. The least we can all do is protect them and remove the obstacles in the way of letting them participate in pandemic response and recovery. Mayors have got this; it’s now time for national and international decision-makers to follow suit.

      https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/migrants-and-mayors-are-the-unsung-heroes-of-covid-19-heres-why
      #Mogadisho

      signalé par @thomas_lacroix

    • *Bologna: il Consiglio comunale per la regolarizzazione dei

      migranti irregolari*
      Il Consiglio Comunale di Bologna oggi ha approvato, con 18 voti favorevoli e 6 contrari, un ordine del giorno per ottenere un provvedimento di regolarizzazione dei migranti attualmente soggiornanti in territorio italiano in condizione di irregolarità originaria o sopravvenuta, con la massima tempestività, data l’emergenza sanitaria in corso.

      L’ordine del giorno è stato presentato dal consigliere Federico Martelloni (Coalizione civica) e firmato dai consiglieri Clancy (Coalizione civica), Frascaroli (Città comune), Palumbo (gruppo misto-Nessuno resti indietro), Errani, Persiano, Campaniello, Mazzoni, Li Calzi, Colombo (Partito Democratico), Bugani, Piazza, Foresti (Movimento 5 stelle). Ecco il testo :

      “Il Consiglio Comunale di Bologna, a fronte dello stato di emergenza sanitaria da Covid-19 in corso e delle misure assunte dal Governo nazionale e dalle Giunte locali per contrastarne la diffusione e limitarne l’impatto sulla popolazione attualmente presente sul territorio. Ritenuto che non trova spazio nell’odierno dibattito pubblico, segnato dalla predetta emergenza, l’esigenza di assumere provvedimenti che sanino la posizione dei migranti che soggiornano irregolarmente nel nostro Paese, tema oggetto dell’ordine del giorno votato il 23 dicembre 2019 dalla Camera dei Deputati in sede di approvazione della legge di bilancio, adottato col fine di produrre molteplici benefici per la collettività , a partire dal fatto che: a) si offrirebbe l’opportunità di vivere e lavorare legalmente nel nostro Paese a chi già si trova sul territorio ma che , senza titolo di soggiorno , è spesso costretto per sopravvivere a rivolgersi ai circuiti illeciti ; b) si andrebbe incontro ai tanti datori di lavoro che , bisognosi di personale, non possono assumere persone senza documenti , anche se già formati, e ricorrono al lavoro in nero ; c) si avrebbero maggiore contezza – e conseguentemente controllo – delle presenze sui nostri territori di alcune centinaia di migliaia di persone di cui poco o nulla si sa , e, conseguentemente, maggiore sicurezza per tutti.

      Dato atto chetale esigenza è stata ribadita, alla vigilia della dichiarazione dello stato di pandemia, dalla ministra dell’interno Lamorgese in data 15 gennaio 2020, in Risposta a interrogazione orale, confermando che “L’intenzione del Governo e del Ministero dell’Interno è quella di valutare le questioni poste all’ordine del giorno che richiamavo in premessa, nel quadro più generale di una complessiva rivisitazione delle diverse disposizioni che incidono sulle politiche migratorie e sulla condizione dello straniero in Italia” (resoconto stenografico della seduta della Camera dei Deputati del 15 gennaio 2020, pag. 22).Tenuto conto che il tema della regolarizzazione degli stranieri irregolarmente soggiornanti diventa ancor più rilevante e urgente nella contingenza che ci troviamo ad attraversare, come giustamente rimarcato nell’Appello per la sanatoria dei migranti irregolari al tempo dei Covid-19, elaborato e sottoscritto da centinaia di associazioni (visibile al seguente indirizzo: https://www.meltingpot.org/Appello-per-la-sanatoria-dei-migranti-irregolari-ai-tempi.html#nb1), atteso che alle buone ragioni della sanatoria si aggiungono , oggi, anche le esigenze di tutela della salute collettiva, compresa quella delle centinaia di migliaia di migranti privi del permesso di soggiorno, che non hanno accesso alla sanità pubblica. Considerato che l’Appello richiamato al punto che precede giustamente sottolinea che il migrante irregolare:-non è ovviamente iscritto al Sistema Sanitario Nazionale e di conseguenza non dispone di un medico di base, avendo diritto alle sole prestazioni sanitarie urgenti ;-non si rivolge alle strutture sanitarie nei casi di malattia lieve, mentre, nei casi più gravi non ha alternativa al presentarsi al pronto soccorso , il che contrasterebbe con tutti i protocolli adottati per contenere la diffusione del virus. – è costretto a soluzioni abitative di fortuna , in ambienti spesso degradati e insalubri, condivisi con altre persone .Considerato,in definitiva,che i soggetti “invisibili” sono per molti aspetti più esposti al contagio del virus e più di altri rischiano di subirne le conseguenze sia sanitarie, per la plausibile mancanza di un intervento tempestivo, sia sociali, per lo stigma cui rischiano di essere sottoposti a causa di responsabilità e inefficienze non loro ascrivibili .Assunto che iniziative di tal fatta sono all’ordine del giorno anche in altri paesi dell’Unione, avendo il governo del Portogallo già approvato una sanatoria per l’immediata regolarizzazione di tutti i migranti in attesa di permesso di soggiorno che avessero presentato domanda alla data di dichiarazione dell’emergenza Coronavirus, per consentirne l’accesso al sistema sanitario nazionale, all’apertura di conti correnti bancari; alle misure economiche straordinarie di protezione per persone e famiglie in condizioni di fragilità ; alla regolarizzazione dei rapporti di lavoro .Condivide l’urgenza di intercettare centinaia di migliaia di persone attualmente prive di un regolare permesso di soggiorno, per contenere il loro rischio di contrarre il virus; perché possano con tranquillità usufruire dei servizi della sanità pubblica nel caso di sintomatologia sospetta; perché non diventino loro malgrado veicolo di trasmissione del virus, con tutte le nefaste conseguenze che possono derivarne nei territori, incluso il territorio di Bologna.

      Invita il Sindaco e la Giunta a dare massima diffusione, anche attraverso i canali di comunicazione istituzionale, agli appelli e alle iniziative finalizzate ad ottenere un provvedimento di regolarizzazione dei migranti attualmente soggiornanti in territorio italiano in condizione d’irregolarità originaria o sopravvenuta .a farsi promotore, in tutte le sedi istituzionali, a partire dall’ANCI, delle iniziative volte a ottenere l’adozione di un provvedimento di regolarizzazione ed emersione degli stranieri irregolarmente soggiornanti, con la massima tempestività richiesta dell’emergenza sanitaria oggi in corso.

      https://www.pressenza.com/it/2020/04/bologna-il-consiglio-comunale-per-la-regolarizzazione-dei-migranti-irrego
      #Bologne #régularisation

  • Total en Ouganda: le tribunal judiciaire se déclare incompétent - Page 1 | Mediapart
    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/300120/total-en-ouganda-le-tribunal-judiciaire-se-declare-incompetent
    #survie

    La sauvegarde des droits humains relève-t-elle du commerce ? C’est ce que semble indiquer la décision rendue jeudi 30 janvier par le tribunal judiciaire de Nanterre (autrefois appelé TGI). Dans cette affaire portée contre le géant pétrolier Total, plusieurs ONG – les Amis de la Terre France, Survie, AFIEGO, CRED, NAPE/Amis de la Terre Ouganda et NAVODA – reprochaient à la multinationale de ne pas se plier à ses nouvelles obligations légales créées par la loi sur le devoir de vigilance des multinationales de 2017.

    Très exactement, les associations demandaient à Total de réviser son plan de vigilance et de revoir sa mise en œuvre effective concernant un méga-projet pétrolier dont il est l’opérateur principal en Ouganda. Total y travaille sur un vaste projet d’extraction de pétrole – plus de 400 puits sur six champs situés dans un parc national protégé – et le plus grand oléoduc « chauffé » du monde – 1 445 kilomètres pour apporter le pétrole jusqu’à l’océan Indien via la Tanzanie.

    Interrogé en mai 2019 sur le risque environnemental d’opérer dans cette réserve, le groupe Total assurait pouvoir laisser à son départ « un environnement dans un meilleur état que celui qu’il a trouvé ». « Les opérations couvriront moins de 0,1 % de la superficie du parc », ajoutait Total.

    L’Ouganda n’a estimé que récemment, en 2006, ses #réserves_pétrolières. Celles-ci s’élèvent à 1,7 milliard de barils au moins, ce qui pourrait classer le pays aux alentours de la 30e place des producteurs mondiaux. Ces réserves se trouvent cependant dans le parc national de Murchison Falls, grand de 4 000 km2.

    La loi relative au devoir de vigilance permet d’obliger une entreprise à respecter ses obligations, le cas échéant, sous astreinte. « Total pourrait ainsi être contraint de revoir son plan de vigilance afin de réellement prendre en compte les impacts des activités du groupe pétrolier sur les populations locales et l’environnement, estimaient les ONG en 2019. Le juge pourrait aussi exiger la mise en œuvre effective de mesures urgentes pour prévenir des violations ou des dommages imminents. »

    Mais c’est finalement une tout autre décision qui a été rendue jeudi. Le tribunal judiciaire s’est en effet rangé à la position défendue par Total à l’audience le 12 décembre dernier, à savoir que seul le tribunal correctionnel est compétent.

    Dans sa décision, le tribunal indique en effet que « la société #TOTAL SA soulève une exception d’incompétence au profit du tribunal de commerce de Nanterre. Elle considère que les actions relatives au plan de vigilance des sociétés commerciales se rattachant directement à la gestion d’une société commerciale, relèvent de la compétence exclusive du tribunal de commerce ». Total « considère que l’élaboration et l’adoption du plan de vigilance constituent des actes de gestion fondamentaux pour la société », ajoute le tribunal.

    Ce dernier a donc renvoyé l’affaire au tribunal de commerce. Au grand dam des associations, qui craignent notamment que la justice commerciale soit plus favorable aux entreprises. Pour Juliette Renaud, responsable de campagne sur la régulation des multinationales aux Amis de la Terre, « il ne s’agit pas ici d’une question relevant simplement de la gestion de l’entreprise comme l’a argumenté Total : il est absurde que des représentants d’#entreprises élus par leurs pairs soient les plus à même de juger d’une situation si grave où des vies et des #écosystèmes entiers sont menacés ! ».

    [...]

    Et de fait, sur place, la situation n’a pas été facile pour les militants depuis le dépôt de la plainte. De retour en #Ouganda après avoir témoigné en France le 12 décembre, Jealousy Mugisha, leader d’une des communautés ougandaises affectées par le #méga-projet #pétrolier, a été arrêté à l’aéroport et retenu près de 9 heures par les autorités avant d’être libéré. Jealousy Mugisha avait déjà subi de fortes #intimidations la semaine précédant sa venue en France, l’obligeant à se cacher à #Kampala pendant une semaine.

    Le 23 décembre, des hommes inconnus ont tenté de s’introduire une première fois chez Fred Mwesigwa, agriculteur et second témoin ougandais au procès, et une nouvelle fois la nuit suivante, en forçant les portes métalliques et les structures en bois de sa maison. N’étant pas parvenu à forcer les portes, ces hommes ont enfermé Fred Mwesigwa chez lui avec des cadenas. Après ces agressions, il a pu se réfugier dans un lieu tenu secret.

    [...]

    À cette heure, on ne sait même pas combien l’exploitation pétrolière est susceptible de rapporter à l’Ouganda, dont le PIB s’élevait en 2018 à 28,36 milliards de dollars (730 dollars par habitants) – à mettre en regard de la capitalisation boursière de Total, évaluée à 130 milliards d’euros environ début 2019. Le gouvernement ougandais affirme que 80 % des gains iront au pays, mais les ONG sont échaudées par un épisode précédent, lorsque les entreprises ont refusé de payer les taxes normalement dues à l’occasion de rachats de titres.

    Enfin, le #parc_national de #Murchison_Falls compte des espèces protégées et est classé en zone humide d’importance internationale, précieuse pour la conservation des oiseaux, connue pour abriter des espèces rares, vulnérables et menacées. Le parc dans son ensemble abrite plus de 500 espèces d’animaux – différentes antilopes, lions, éléphants, hippopotames, phacochères – dont certaines menacées, comme la girafe de Rothschild.

  • Halfway round the world by plane: Africa’s new migration route

    Migrants using traditional routes from Africa to Europe often fail to reach their destinations. Smugglers now offer new options, such as taking migrants to faraway countries by plane.
    In early July, Mexico’s authorities reported that the number of African migrants in the country had tripled. According to government figures, around 1,900 migrants, most of them from crisis-ridden countries like Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo, are now in Mexico. Their destination? The United States of America.
    The journey by plane of some of these migrants began halfway across the world in Uganda. In a garden bar in the Ugandan capital #Kampala sits a 23-year-old Eritrean man who could soon be one of them. For security reasons, he does not want to give his name. He fled the brutal military service in Eritrea last September. According to human rights organizations, military service in Eritrea can mean years of forced labor. “I do not believe that anything will change in Eritrea soon; on the contrary,” he said. Many young Eritreans see their futures overseas.


    https://www.dw.com/en/halfway-round-the-world-by-plane-africas-new-migration-route/a-49868809
    #Afrique #détour #détours #asile #migrations #réfugiés #routes_migratoires #itinéraires_migratoires #USA #Mexique #Etats-Unis #fermeture_des_frontières #Erythrée #Corne_de_l'Afrique #Ouganda #route_pacifique
    via @isskein
    ping @reka

    • Africa: At U.S.-Mexico Border, Africans Join Diversifying Migrant Community

      It took Julia and her two daughters five years to get from Kassai, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to a cot on the floor of a migrant shelter in Laredo, Texas, on a Sunday night in August 2019.

      First, it was four years in Angola. She saved money, she says, by working as a hairdresser.

      They flew to Ecuador. Took a bus and boat to Colombia. They spent 14 days crossing through Panama’s Darien Gap, lost part of the time in the dense jungle. Three weeks in Panama, then three more in Costa Rica while Julia recuperated from an illness. Then Nicaragua. Honduras. Guatemala.

      Finally, after a month of waiting in Acuña, on the U.S.-Mexico border, they stuck their feet in the sandy dirt along the southern bank of the Rio Grande. They were alone, and didn’t know how to swim.

      “We prayed first, then we got into the water,” Julia recalled. “My daughter was crying.”

      “‘Mom, I can’t…’” Julia remembers her pleading in chest-high water.

      Halfway across, she says, U.S. soldiers — possibly border agents — shouted to them: “‘Come, give us your hands.’“

      “I did,” Julia recalls, “and they took us out.”

      More families from afar

      Historically, the majority of people caught crossing into the southwest U.S. without authorization were single Mexican adults. In fiscal 2009, Mexicans accounted for 91.63% of border apprehensions, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

      But demographics of migrants and asylum-seekers crossing into the U.S. from Mexico are shifting in two significant ways: In the last decade, nationals of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras began migrating in greater numbers. In the same period, the number of Mexicans dropped.

      Then, in the last year, families became the top source of Southwest border migration. The Border Patrol apprehended 432,838 adults and children traveling in family units from October 2018 through July 2019, a 456% increase over the same period the previous fiscal year.

      To the surprise of longtime border agents, while the overwhelming majority of these families continue to be from Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, a small but growing proportion are from countries outside the Americas, nearly twice as much as two years ago.

      By the end of July this year, CBP data shows the agency had apprehended 63,470 people from countries other than those four, making up 8.35% of total apprehensions. In fiscal 2017, they were 4.3% of the total apprehended population.

      CBP does not release the breakdown of where detained migrants come from until after the end of the fiscal year in September. But anecdotes and preliminary data show an increasingly diverse group of migrants and asylum-seekers, including more than 1,600 African nationals from 36 countries, apprehended in one border sector alone.

      They are unprecedented numbers.

      Allen Vowell, an acting deputy patrol agent in charge with the U.S. Border Patrol in Eagle Pass, Texas, said the recent demographic changes are unlike any he has seen in two decades of working on the border.

      “I would say until this year, Africans — personally I’ve probably only seen a handful in over 20 years,” Vowell said.

      From Oct. 1, 2018, to Aug. 22, 2019, Del Rio sector agents apprehended 51,394 people, including 1,681 nationals of African countries. They are largely, like Julia, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola or Cameroon, according to sector officials.

      The arrival of sub-Saharan nationals — often Congolese, according to Del Rio Sector officials — posed new challenges. A lot of border agents are bilingual in English and Spanish. But when apprehending a group that primarily spoke French and Portuguese, the agents had to scramble for interpreters.

      While many migrants from the Northern Triangle have relatives in the U.S. as a point of contact or a destination, those from Africa are less likely to have those relationships.

      That means they are more likely to stay in migrant shelters in the U.S. or in Mexico for longer, waiting to figure out their next steps until their immigration court hearing.

      There is the political tumult in Venezuela, leading to the exodus of millions of people scattered throughout the region.

      The end of the “wet foot dry foot” policy with Cuba that allowed migrants who reached the shores of Florida to remain, Cubans who want to leave the island for the U.S. to take a more circuitous route.

      And then, to the surprise of Border Patrol agents, there arrived the large groups of sub-Saharan Africans, crossing through the Del Rio sector in Texas.

      The migrant trail goes beyond Africa.

      Ten years ago, CBP detained 99 Indians on the Southwest border. In 2018, it was 8,997.

      Similarly, Bangladeshi migrants didn’t figure into the top 20 countries among those apprehended at the border a decade ago. In 2019, there were 1,198.

      This week, a Bangladeshi man living in Mexico pleaded guilty to human smuggling charges.

      There are also the regional conflicts and tensions in Latin America and the Caribbean that are leading to a bigger number of migrants within the hemisphere arriving at the U.S-Mexico border, like Venezuela and Nicaragua. Haitians and Cubans continue to take the more circuitous route through Central America and up to the U.S., rather than travel by boat to Florida, where they risk being stopped by the U.S. Coast Guard before setting foot on land.

      Son’s death sends family on a dangerous journey

      Julia says she got tunnel vision after her teenage son was killed in DRC, en route to school one day in 2014 for reasons she still does not know or understand.

      She only knows that she received a call from the morgue. A truck dropped his body off there.

      He was 17. His name was George.

      She can’t go back to DRC, she says. It’s just not safe.

      “There, while you sleep, the thieves will come through the roof. They demand money, and if you don’t have money, they’ll rape your daughter,” she said.

      “When he died in 2014, I made up my mind that I would not stay.”

      They want to get to Buffalo, New York. They don’t have family in the U.S., Julia says, but some people they met on the road were headed there. Word was, there was work, at least.

      She had an immigration court hearing scheduled for the first week of August. She was still at the San Antonio shelter, two days before.

      They didn’t now how far from Texas it was, or how cold New York gets in winter. They weren’t worried about those things now. They just needed the bus fare to get there, and they had nothing left. No money. No phone.

      Ketsia, now 15, speaks Spanish, English and Italian with ease. Jemima, 9, is the best French speaker in the family. They didn’t fight while they’ve been on the road for the last five months, from Ecuador to San Antonio. Not much, at least, they giggle.

      “She’s strong. Very strong,” Ketsia says of her mother, in Spanish. “I saw a lot of women who left their kids behind in the jungle. She’s courageous. This path we’re on, isn’t for everyone. If you’re not strong, it’s very difficult.”

      “My dream is to arrive there, to New York. To get a job. To put the girls in school,” Julia responds.

      “I suffered a lot already,” she says, something she repeats without going into more detail. She has a tendency to stare off, lose herself in thought when the conversation nears the darker parts of their family history.

      “I don’t want my children to go through the same,” she says. “We suffered a lot. I don’t want that anymore for my children.”

      The shelter where they stayed does not track migrants after they’ve left, and for privacy and safety reasons, shelters do not share whether individuals are staying with them.

      Attempts by VOA to locate Julia, Ketsia and Jemima in the weeks following the interview were unsuccessful.

      https://allafrica.com/stories/201909020140.html

    • El naufragio de un grupo de africanos en Chiapas revela una nueva ruta migratoria por el Pacífico

      El accidente de una lancha en Tonalá deja un muerto y varios desaparecidos. Ante la presión policial en el sur de México, grupos de cameruneses optan por usar vías marítimas para llegar a EE UU.

      Tirado en la playa, entre el pasto y la orilla. La foto del cuerpo de Emmanuel Cheo Ngu, camerunés de 39 años, fallecido este viernes tras el naufragio de su embarcación en Ignacio Allende, municipio de Tonalá, ha vuelto a revivir las peores imágenes de la crisis migratoria que se vive en el sur de México. La nueva política migratoria puesta en marcha por Andrés Manuel López Obrador tras el chantaje de Estados Unidos, ha obligado a los nuevos grupos de migrantes atrapados en Tapachula, Chiapas, a buscar nuevas y peligrosas rutas en su intento de llegar a la frontera norte.

      A las 7.00 de la mañana, según pescadores de la zona, una embarcación con personas procedentes de Camerún comenzó a tambalearse hasta que todos cayeron al agua, de acuerdo a la investigación judicial. El portal AlertaChiapas y activistas en la zona consultados por este medio, afirmaron que el bote salió desde la costa de Guatemala o desde el sur del Estado de Chiapas, ya en México, con destino Oaxaca. Cuando llegaron los Grupos de Rescate consiguieron socorrer a 8 personas, 7 hombres y una mujer, que fueron trasladados al Hospital General de Tonalá. El cuerpo de Cheo Ngu fue encontrado tirado cerca de la orilla. Hasta el momento hay varias personas desaparecidas.

      La ruta por vía marítima que une la frontera de Guatemala con el istmo de Tehuantepec, en Oaxaca, es una opción cada vez más frecuente ante el aumento de detenciones y deportaciones por parte de la recién creada Guardia Nacional. Tradicionalmente los migrantes han utilizado las rutas terrestres, pero los traficantes de personas cada vez recurren más a esta ruta poco vigilada, más barata y con menos riesgos a ser detenido. Por una cantidad que oscila entre los 400 y 800 dólares —para los cubanos puede ser el doble— esta ruta permite a los centroamericanos avanzar desde Guatemala a Salina Cruz o Huatulco, en Oaxaca.

      Aunque la mayoría de los migrantes en México son de origen centroamericano, el flujo de personas procedentes de Camerún, República Democrática del Congo o Eritrea, ha ido en aumento. Los africanos se encuentran en un ‘limbo legal’ ya que no pueden ser repatriados y actualmente tienen la negativa del gobierno federal para recibir los trámites de salida para continuar su trayecto hacia Estados Unidos. En los últimos dos meses cientos de ellos permanecen varados en Tapachula (Chiapas). Algunos en la Estación Migratoria Siglo XXI, y otros en la calle, donde han mantenido protestas y enfrentamientos contra la policía y la Guardia Nacional por la situación que viven y la falta de respuestas.

      Luis García Villagran es activista por los derechos humanos en Tapachula. En llamada telefónica y aparentemente afectado, confirma que su versión dista mucho de la de las autoridades. “Hay una embarcación que sí ha llegado a su destino (Oaxaca) y que ni se ha nombrado, pero en la accidentada iban más personas de las que dice el informe oficial. Sé con seguridad que hay más personas desaparecidas. No solo hemos perdido a nuestro hermano Emmanuel”, zanja Villagran.

      https://elpais.com/internacional/2019/10/12/actualidad/1570833110_016901.html

  • Upholding the rights of urban refugees in Uganda

    Uganda is at the centre of current debate on urban refugees. The country’s Refugees Act 2006, which establishes refugees’ rights to live, work and own land in urban areas, has been hailed as exemplary and a global model for humanitarian responses. However, new evidence on refugee livelihoods in #Kampala suggests that the rights to work and move freely, and without fear, are often unmet in urban areas. In the absence of financial assistance, urban refugees often struggle to find gainful employment and report frequent cases of discrimination by both the Ugandan state and the public. This briefing outlines the barriers to upholding the rights of urban refugees in Uganda, and recommends ways in which these may be overcome.

    http://pubs.iied.org/17431IIED

    #urban_refugees #réfugiés_urbains #Ouganda #asile #migrations #réfugiés #liberté_de_mouvement #travail #droits #droit_au_travail #discriminations

  • Kampala State Of Mind

    Je suis rentré en mai 2016 de mon second voyage à #Kampala, #Ouganda. La dernière fois, en 2013, je crois que j’étais trop submergé par mon expérience pour être capable de coucher sur papier mes impressions. Mais à présent, trois ans plus tard, je comprends mieux ce que j’ai ressenti durant ces six semaines.
    J’ai entrepris mon premier voyage en 2013 avec mon ami Johannes Küng, avec qui je compose et écris des chansons de rap depuis 2010. Ce dernier entretient une relation particulière avec l’Ouganda : après y avoir travaillé comme volontaire dans un orphelinat en 2011, il a rencontré les membres du #Breakdance Project Uganda en 2012 lors d’un second voyage.


    http://www.jetdencre.ch/kampala-state-of-mind
    #danse #musique #art

  • #Pornography and #Photography
    http://africasacountry.com/2016/06/pornography-and-photography

    The Italian photojournalist Michele Siblioni documents nightlife in #Kampala, #Uganda mostly in the neighborhoods of Kansanga and Bunga: Strip clubs, bars and #Sex workers are his main subjects. Siblioni’s website features a video in which one of the women he photographed shows him a tattoo with the words “fuck it sexy” written across her thigh […]

    #CULTURE #Poverty_Porn

  • Free Yet Unaffordable: The Figures Behind Low Refugee Enrolment in Kampala

    In spite of the Ugandan government’s attempts to make affordable public education available to all refugees, approximately 10,000 refugee children between the ages of 6 and 13 in Kampala are not enrolled in formal primary education. A brief overview of Uganda’s policies regarding refugees and education would suggest enrolment to be far higher. Under the 2006 Refugee Act, refugees and asylum seekers have access to public and private education institutions across Uganda. Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary Education were implemented in 1997 and 2006 respectively to lower tuition costs to make education accessible to all. With the promise of universal primary and secondary education, it is a common assumption that the 45,615 urban refugees registered in #Kampala are free to access the numerous formal education institutions found throughout the city.

    http://urban-refugees.org/debate/free-unaffordable-figures-refugee-enrolment-kampala
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #Ouganda #urban_refugees #réfugiés_urbains #éducation #école #scolarisation

  • GeoGecko | Cold War Cartography: Kampala

    Did the Soviets have a plan to occupy Kampala? This map suggests they may have.

    http://geogecko.com/cold-war-cartography-kampala

    In the Cold War years, Africa was a battleground for the major powers seeking influence. Uganda was no exception. Obote’s leftist leanings resulted in the British backed Amin coming to power. Amin courted both sides and received extensive military support from the Soviets who kept up to 30 diplomats and 300 ‘military advisers’ in the country. The Peoples Republic of China had 30-40 Technical Assistants also in the country.

    #cartographie #manipulation #propagande #soviétisme #ex-urss #kampala

  • Kampala gets an #ART Biennale
    http://africasacountry.com/kampala-gets-an-art-biennale

    Billed erroneously in a local Ugandan newspaper as Africa’s first contemporary art biennale, the Kampala Art Biennale opened on 1 August showing mostly paintings of 45 artists from 13 African countries. Its main exhibition venues were the historical #Uganda Museum, as well as the Makerere Art Gallery, and Nommo Gallery. The biennale capitalized on marketing itself […]

    #Kampala_Biennale