• ‘I am like a prisoner again’ – Glasgow’s destitute Eritreans

    Some nights Ariam gets lucky. A friend lets him sleep on a couch or curled up in the corner of a bedroom floor.

    But most evenings he just walks. With a bag slung over his slight, mid-30s frame, the Eritrean traverses Glasgow’s crepuscular streets, shoulders pulled tight against the elements.

    Ariam, not his real name, walks because he has no place to go.

    “I do not sleep on the street. It is too cold. I just walk around all night,” he says when we meet in a Glasgow cafe. It is around midday and Ariam looks tired. Stubble cloaks his thin face. He speaks clear English in a low monotone, as if his batteries are drained.

    “I’ve stayed in every part of Glasgow. Here, there, everywhere. That’s the way I live,” he tells me.

    The Ferret met the Eritrean refugees in this report in Glasgow in 2016. Two years on, most are still living the same precarious existence today, outside the immigration system with no access to work or housing, and with no prospect of returning to a homeland where they would face prison – or worse – for desertion.

    Ariam did not always live like this. Like so many Eritreans he spent years in compulsory military service with no prospect of an end. Eritrean president Isaias Afwerki’s one-party state is one of the world’s most oppressive regimes, according to Human Rights Watch.

    I’ve stayed in every part of Glasgow. Here, there, everywhere. That’s the way I live.
    Ariam

    One day, while guarding Eritrea’s western border, Ariam managed to escape into Sudan. From there, often on foot, he reached Libya. A precarious £1,000 ride on an inflatable dingy with 27 others took him across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.

    Eventually he arrived in Dover. That was 2006.

    Once in the UK, Ariam was granted discretionary leave to remain, on humanitarian grounds. He moved to Glasgow shortly afterwards, and got a job at a warehouse and a flat in the East End.

    Life thousands of miles away from home was not easy but it was better than living in constant fear in Eritrea.

    In October 2015, Ariam reapplied to the Home Office for leave to remain. He had no reason to be worried. The system was cumbersome but he had been through it numerous times. However, this time his application was turned down. He was not entitled to work – or to draw any benefits.

    “I paid my taxes. Now they were telling me I couldn’t work, and they wouldn’t support me,” he says. “I risked my life to come to this country and now they abandoned me.”

    As he talks he takes a clear plastic envelope from his jacket pocket. Methodically he thumbs through the sheaf of documents inside; there are neatly ordered tax returns, Barclays bank statements, pages headed with the Home Office’s fussy shield of the Royal Arms crest. Among the paraphernalia of governance is a photocopied pamphlet: ‘Food Clothing Shelter Information Advice for Destitute Asylum Seekers’.

    After we have finished our coffees, Ariam and another Eritrean, Mike, take me to the East End, where they often sleep on the floor of an apartment complex that they lived in before their access to benefits was cut. The Barras slips past our taxi window. Then Celtic Park. “Paradise” declares a huge banner wrapped around the stadium. We keep driving. Five minutes later we arrive at a utilitarian block of flats clad in pebbledash. The building is perhaps only fifteen years old but already showing signs of age.

    “Here we are,” Ariam smiles. We are standing outside a janitor’s cupboard on the ground floor of the flats. Mike unfurls a mattress clandestinely stored inside. When the superintendent is away they sometimes sleep on the stairwell floor, in front of a plate glass window looking out onto a biscuit factory.

    Eritreans were the leading recipients of destitution grants from Scottish charity Refugee Survival Trust in 2015 and 2016. Destitute Eritreans in Scotland have received almost 300 survival grants over since 2014. Many of these were in and around Glasgow.

    Those The Ferret spoke to told a similar story. Having survived one of the most brutal regimes on the planet, many are barred from employment or benefits and forced to sleep in night shelters, on floors, or even in parks.

    “We are trapped here,” Ariam says as we walk back towards the city. “It is like we are prisoners of war here.”
    https://z4a4p3v5.stackpathcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/1S2C5880.jpg

    People have been fleeing Eritrea for Britain since the 1980s. For decades, the vast majority were granted asylum. But that changed in 2015 when the Home Office – then headed by Theresa May, who had pledged to radically reduce immigration – decided that Eritrea was no longer unsafe for refugees to return to.

    That year, Eritreans accounted for the largest group applying for asylum in the UK, with more than 3,700 applicants. But almost overnight the number of successful applications plummeted.

    In the first quarter of 2015 just under three-quarters of Eritrean applicants were approved. That figure fell to 34 per cent in the following three months.

    The Home Office was eventually forced to change its policy, and in 2016 – the last full year on record – the number of successful Eritrean asylum claims rose significantly.

    But there are still Eritreans in the UK who have found themselves living outside the system, with no formal status or right to accommodation or employment, trapped in what the British Government has called “a hostile environment” for immigrants.

    There is no evidence that Eritreans avoiding military service in Eritrea are thinking ‘I won’t go to the UK to avoid sleeping rough on the streets of Glasgow’.
    Simon Cox, immigration lawyer

    “The logic of the hostile environment policy is we hold these people hostage to deter others from coming. There is no evidence that this works,” says Simon Cox, a migration lawyer for the Open Society Justice Initiative.

    “There is no evidence that Eritreans avoiding military service in Eritrea are thinking ‘I won’t go to the UK to avoid sleeping rough on the streets of Glasgow’.”

    SNP MP Stuart McDonald says the Home Office has used a policy of “enforced destitution in order to try and make someone leave the UK” that is “barbaric and utterly inappropriate”.

    “It is a scandal these people are being forced to sleep in parks and bus shelters,” McDonald told the Ferret.

    The Home Office does not deport people back to Eritrea, such is the brutality of Isaias Afwerki’s one-party state.

    Afwerki led the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in a 30-year-long secessionist war with Ethiopia that culminated in independence, in 1993. Since then the president has overseen an increasingly brutal surveillance state.

    Eritreans as young as 13 or 14 are forced into sawa – indefinite national service – from which many never leave.

    Extrajudicial killings, torture, rape, and forced labour take place “on a scope and scale seldom witnessed elsewhere”, according to a damning 2015 United Nations report. Afwerki oversees “ruthless repression” and “pervasive state control”.

    No one knows for sure how many people live in Eritrea. Some put the population at three million. Others six. This disparity attests to the scale of migration in recent decades.

    A 2015 UN report found that Eritreans who fled the country illegally are regarded as “traitors” and frequently imprisoned if they return. “[They] are systematically ill-treated to the point of torture,” the UN said.

    The Home Office used to recognise the barbarity of the Eritrean regime. In 2008, six Eritreans athletes at the World Cross Country Championship in Edinburgh lodged claims for political asylum. All were granted. One of the runners, Tsegai Tewelde, went on to compete for Britain in the 2016 Olympics.

    But the British Government’s position on Eritrea abruptly changed not long after a high level diplomatic meeting in the Eritrean capital, Asmara. In December 2014, senior Eritrean government officials received a UK delegation led by James Sharp, the Foreign Office’s director of migration, and Rob Jones, the Home Office’s head of asylum and family policy.

    Soon afterwards, Theresa May’s Home Office radically changed its guidance on Eritrea. The scale of human rights abuse in Eritrea was less severe than previously thought, Home Office officials said. Forced military service was no longer indefinite; those who left the country illegally faced no consequences as long as they signed a ‘letter of apology’ and paid a ‘diaspora tax’ on money earned abroad. This controversial new assessment was based on a ‘flawed’ Danish report.

    Britain’s official guidance on Eritean was only junked when judges ruled that returning Eritreans faced serious harm. Subsequent internal documents revealed that the UK government downplayed the risk of human rights abuses in Eritrea to reduce asylum seeker numbers – despite doubts from its own experts.

    McDonald said that the Home Office’s “treatment of Eritrean asylum seekers has been disgraceful – clinging on to clearly unreliable country evidence that returns to Eritrea could be made safely, even when the international consensus and overwhelming evidence was to the opposite effect.

    “There can be little doubt that a good number among the 300 Eritreans forced to rely on survival grants were refused while the old guidance was in place and the Home Office should be looking again at their cases.”

    Even though the Home Office’s country guidance has been amended , the bureaucratic hurdles can prove insurmountable for Eritreans on the streets. There are so many meetings to attend, forms to fill in correctly, documents to present.

    “Once you become homeless it becomes almost impossible. You can’t keep your paper. The idea of keeping an appointment goes out the window,” says Simon Cox.

    This labyrinthine process has been cited as one reason for the unprecedented increase in homeless refugees in Scotland in recent years. In 2014-15, the Refugee Survival Trust gave out 336 grants. Last year it was more than 1,000 for the first time.

    “The amount that we spend on grants has increased by 586 per cent in just three years and we are concerned about how long we will be able to meet this soaring demand to meet the most basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our society,” says Zoë Holliday, a co-ordinator with the Refugee Survival Trust.

    More than half of those receiving grants were either submitting a fresh asylum claim or further submissions to support an existing claim. At this stage of the asylum process most refugees have no access to government support.

    “There is a huge need for reform of the asylum system so that fewer individuals and families fall through the many gaps in the system and find themselves destitute. There is also a need for more support to be available for those who do find themselves in this situation, because it is simply unacceptable that so many people find themselves reliant on small emergency grants from a small charity like ours, which is in turn reliant on small donations from individuals and foundations,” says Holliday.

    Owen Fenn, manager of Govan Community Project, a community-based organisation that works with migrants in Glasgow, says the Home Office’s “agenda continues to punish the most vulnerable in our society”.

    “People then either have to sign up to return to a country where they will probably be killed, sleep on the streets and survive on foodbanks, or start working in a black economy where they are at risk of abuse and, if caught, criminalisation,” Fenn added.

    A Home Office spokesperson said: “Failed asylum seekers or those who have departed from the asylum process who can return to their country of origin should do so.

    “The Home Office has no obligation and does not provide support for failed asylum seekers, unless there is a genuine obstacle to their departure.”

    David has never seen his only son, Esrom. The child, who will be twelve at his next birthday, lives with David’s wife in the Eritrean capital Asmara. It is a city David, not his real name fears he will never see again.

    When Esrom was born, David was living in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. He had deserted his post as an Eritrean border guard. “I left with two friends,” David recalls. “We knew the place, where the minefields were.” The three men snuck away quietly, avoiding the snipers that guard the border, before crossing at a river.

    On the other side of the border the men were picked by a rebel group fighting the Ethiopian government. One of his companions was the son of a former government minister who was arrested in a vicious 2001 crackdown and never seen again.

    After four days, the deserters were handed over to Ethiopian authorities who placed them in a refugee camp. From there David joined the familiar route for Eritrean exiles; through Sudan, on to Libya and then across the Mediterranean.

    “I was not mentally fit to join the army,” David says. It’s a surprising thing to hear; he is tall, and well-built and speaks with a quiet confidence. But after 15 years in National Service, earning as little as £2 a month, he had to escape.

    Most of those who escape Eritrea are deserters. Many are not as lucky as David.

    Then they were caught and brought back. The whole night they were beaten. All you could hear was their screams.
    David

    In 2016, a convoy of military trucks travelled through the capital, Asmara. A busload of National Service conscripts made a run for it. They were shot down in cold blood. Twenty-nine were killed or injured.

    David knows first hand the brutality of life in Eritrea. Scars line his face. “They beat me with sticks,” he tells me.

    Torture was frequent in the jail he was held in after an earlier, unsuccessful, escape attempt. “One night four people managed to run from the prison. They escaped for two weeks. Then they were caught and brought back. The whole night they were beaten. All you could hear was their screams.”

    Now in his 40s, David has lived in Glasgow for almost a decade. We meet across the street from the African Caribbean Centre on Osborne Street. The community venue closed in 2016 with unpaid debts totalling over £60,000.

    David and his Eritrean friends look wistfully across at the padlocked doors, chewing tobacco and sharing cigarettes. “We went there every day. Now we have nowhere to go,” he says.

    The rest of the group nod. “We used to spend all day there,” says another. Often they would meet other Africans in the centre who would give them a roof for the night. Now many spend their days in public libraries, seeking solace from the cold before the long night arrives and the night shelters open.

    David sleeps on a friend’s floor some nights; others he spends in a homeless shelter in Glasgow that he has to leave by 8am. His clothes are washed by an Eritrean friend whose asylum application is being processed.

    “We get nothing from the government. We live on the charity organisations for our daily meal,” he says.

    “You don’t say “next week I will do this”, you just live day-to-day. You are always depending on someone else.”

    David came to the UK because he had family here. “I thought it would be better.” Has it been, I ask? He shakes his head. “No.”

    The Eritrean diaspora is now spread right across the world. Glasgow has one of the largest communities in the UK, with an estimated 500 Eritreans dispersed across the city.

    “Eritreans keep a low profile in case the Eritrean government comes after them,” says Teklom Gebreindrias, a graduate of Glasgow Caledonian University who was granted asylum in the UK after escaping Eritrea in 2007.

    The Home Office has said that many Eritrean asylum applicants are bogus, made by other African nationals posing as Eritrean. But in a response to a Freedom of Information submitted by The Ferret, the Home Office said that data on so-called ‘nationality disputes’ is not collated and cannot be accessed without a manual investigation of all asylum cases.

    Another Eritrean, who we will call Moses, has given up appealing. He shows me an ID card. It looks very official, with the Westminster portcullis embossed beside his grainy photograph. Typed on the back in bold font is “FORBIDDEN FROM TAKING EMPLOYMENT”.

    Moses is thirty, tall and thin with piercing eyes. He absconded from the Eritrean army and arrived in the UK almost a decade ago. “I came here as a young man, now look at me.” His foot taps an impatient beat on the floor. He juggles a baseball cap between his broad hands. He grew up dreaming of becoming a mechanic. Now he spends his days killing time.

    “We are in a productive age but because we cannot work we are idle in this country. It affects your mental wellbeing.” His voice is rasping, and angry. “I used to be a normal person, but now I have depression. It is not easy to live for ten years without any support.”

    Moses has slept rough in Queen’s Park on Glasgow’s Southside. “People just stare at you but they do nothing.”

    For Moses the dream of a new life in the UK – a dream he risked sniper fire for, almost drowned in the Mediterranean Sea for, spent countless nights locked up in Home Office detention centres for – is dead.

    “I don’t want to stay in this country. It has ruined my life. There is nothing worse. We were living a miserable life in Eritrea. Now we are living a miserable life here.”

    https://theferret.scot/glasgows-destitute-eritreans

    #réfugiés #réfugiés_érythréens #Erythrée #Ecosse #UK #asile #migrations #déboutés

  • Department of Education criticised for secretly sharing children’s data

    Information commissioner acts after complaint that data is used for immigration enforcement.
    The UK’s privacy regulator has criticised the Department for Education (DfE) for secretly sharing children’s personal data with the Home Office, triggering fears it could be used for immigration enforcement as part of the government’s hostile environment policy.

    Acting on a complaint by the campaigning organisation, Against Borders for Children (ABC), the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) ruled that the DfE had failed to comply fully with its data protection obligations and may face further regulatory action.

    Pupil data is routinely collected by schools, according to the human rights organisation Liberty, representing the complainant, but teachers and parents were unaware in this case that the children’s information could be shared with immigration enforcement and result in their families being deported.

    In a letter to Liberty, seen by the Guardian, the ICO says its investigations team is now considering whether to take further action against the DfE for “wide ranging and serious concerns” highlighted in this case and in response to further concerns raised by “a number of other sources”.

    The ICO only upheld part of the complaint, but its letter said concerns raised had “highlighted deficiencies in the processing of pupil personal data by the DfE”, adding: “Our view is that the DfE is failing to comply fully with its data protection obligations, primarily in the areas of transparency and accountability, where there are far reaching issues, impacting a huge number of individuals in a variety of ways.”

    According to Liberty, the complaint arose out of events which followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding in June 2015, by which the DfE agreed to pass the personal details of up to 1,500 school children to the Home Office each month as part of a policy to create a hostile environment for migrants.

    Parents and campaigners became concerned the following year when the DfE asked schools to start collecting data on children’s nationality and country of birth. This resulted in a mass boycott by families who were worried it might be used for immigration enforcement.

    Following legal action brought in April 2018 by ABC, again represented by Liberty, the DfE announced it would no longer ask schools to collect nationality and country of birth data but, according to Liberty, the DfE’s actions left many parents afraid to send their children to school.

    Liberty lawyer Lara ten Caten said: “Data sharing is just one part of the government’s discredited hostile environment which has left people too afraid to do things like send their children to school, report crime or seek medical help. It’s time to redesign our immigration system so it respects people’s rights and treats everyone with dignity.”

    Liberty called on the DfE to delete children’s nationality and country of birth data that had been collected and urged all political parties to make manifesto commitments to introduce a data firewall which separated public services from immigration enforcement.

    The ABC’s Kojo Kyerewaa said: “The ICO decision has shown that the DfE cannot be trusted with children’s personal data. Without public debate or clear notification, schools have been covertly incorporated as part of Home Office immigration enforcement. These checks have put vulnerable children in further danger as parents are taken away via immigration detention and forced removals.”

    The DfE, unable to respond because of general election purdah constraints, referred to answers to earlier parliamentary questions, which said the department collected data on the nationality and country of birth of pupils via the school census between autumn 2016 and summer 2018.

    “The Home Office can only request information from the Department for Education for immigration enforcement purposes in circumstances where they have clear evidence a child may be at risk or there is evidence of illegal activity, including illegal immigration,” it said.

    An ICO spokesperson said: “As a non-departmental government body, the ICO has to consider its responsibilities during the pre-election period. Our regulatory work continues as usual but we will not be commenting publicly on every issue raised during the general election. We will, however, be closely monitoring how personal data is being used during political campaigning and making sure that all parties and campaigns are aware of their responsibilities under data protection and direct marketing laws.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2019/nov/12/department-of-education-criticised-for-secretly-sharing-childrens-data

    #école #enfants #enfance #surveillance #données #migrations #réfugiés #asile #sans-papiers #renvois #expulsions
    ping @etraces

  • Ruling allowing Serco to evict asylum seekers sets ‘dangerous precedent’

    Campaigners are warning that a “dangerous precedent” has been set by a “brutal” ruling from Scotland’s highest court that evicting asylum seekers by changing their locks is lawful.

    The judgement means an estimated 150 people in Glasgow can now be evicted. The Inner House of the Court of Session rejected an appeal by Govan Law Centre and upheld an earlier court verdict in favour of the multinational housing provider, Serco.

    Most of those affected have had their pleas for asylum refused and have no right to public funds. They now face street homelessness even though they may working on appeals to Home Office decisions to deport them. Serco claimed it could now evict up to 20 people per week.

    Lawyers, including those from the Scottish Human Rights Commission, said they had “serious” concerns that the judgement meant the rights of vulnerable people living in Scotland would be breached.

    The court found that because Serco is a private organisation, it does not have to meet human rights obligations. The company lost its Home Office contract to house asylum seekers in Glasgow to the Mears Group in September.

    If the court had found in Govan Law Centre’s favour, Serco would have been forced to get a court order before making each eviction, giving asylum seekers greater protection. The company has previously sought court orders in some cases.

    At a press conference held by Govan Law Centre, which was representing clients in the case, those living in Serco accommodation and facing eviction spoke about their fears of ending up on the streets in the depths of winter.

    Campaigners said they had deep concerns for clients and were frustrated that many of those facing eviction are still fighting appeals. People can spend years in the asylum system, falling in and out of destitution and their right to accommodation, before their right to protection is recognised.

    Lorna Walker, instructing solicitor for Govan Law Centre, said: “To lose your home and become street homeless, especially when you have no right to public funds, is one of the worst things that could happen to a human being.

    “It is our position that without a court of law the outcome can be catastrophic. We are deeply concerned that it is held that the human rights act does not extend far enough to protect this most vulnerable group of people from being evicted.”

    Khadija Anwar, from Kenya, spoke of her shock and confusion following the decision. She and her husband, Muhammad, from Pakistan, are facing eviction from their Serco flat after having their case refused. Now in their seventies, they have been destitute for five months, relying on support from Positive Action in Housing, food banks and other charities.

    “Both of us are very tired,” she said. “I am struggling with arthritis and vertigo and my husband has heart problems, dementia problems. It’s very difficult.”

    She added: “Already I can’t bear this cold, even inside the house. How can they do this? Do they think we can stay out on the street in this cold? I’m so worried about my husband, my loving husband. This is not the stage where we can leave [the UK] without each other.”

    Robina Qureshi, chief executive of Positive Action on Housing, said: “What the court has done is legally institute a form of housing apartheid in Glasgow where one section of our community have their housing and human rights upheld, yet another can be dragged from their homes and on to the streets without recourse to public funds, to work or any form of support.

    “What does an eviction without due process look like? Where are the police, where are the sheriffs officers? Serco and other private housing companies now have carte blanche. They have the freedom to do this. What we have seen that people are enduring destitution for years and finally getting leave to remain.

    “But the fight does not stop here. And we are ready for it.”

    Positive Action on Housing is hoping to find additional capacity in its rooms for refugees programme, where volunteer hosts offer someone a bed. But Qureshi acknowledged it was not a perfect set-up, claiming people should be able to build their lives without the support of charity.

    Currently the only other option is the Glasgow Night Shelter for Destitute Asylum Seekers, which has space for about 20 men but is often full. The Glasgow Winter Shelter will not open until December.

    Govan Law Centre is currently consulting with clients. But it may appeal to the UK Supreme Court, while the Scottish Human Rights Commission, which intervened in the case, confirmed it is also considering further legal action.

    Judith Robertson, chair of the commission, said: “We have serious concerns about the implications of this ruling, both for the people directly affected and for the protection of human rights more broadly.

    “The court’s finding that Serco is not acting as a public authority in this context, and therefore is not bound by human rights legal obligations, has profound consequences for how people’s rights are protected when public services are delivered by private providers.

    “Governments should not be able to divest themselves of their human rights obligations by outsourcing the provision of public services.”

    Fiona McPhail, Shelter Scotland’s principle solicitor, agreed the decision was “deeply concerning”. She added: “It’s the state that has the statutory obligation to accommodate asylum seekers. If by privatising those services, the state can avoid its obligations under human rights law, this sets a dangerous precedent.”

    Glasgow City Council has recently made cuts of over £3m to existing homeless services. Shelter Scotland is taking the council to court for failing to meet its duty to accommodate homeless people.

    https://theferret.scot/serco-judgement-evictions-glasgow-lock-change
    #SDF #sans-abrisme #sans-abri #Ecosse #asile #migrations #réfugiés #UK #privatisation #serco #hébergement #logement

    • Lock change evictions ruled lawful

      Refugee Survival Trust fears a humanitarian crisis on Glasgow’s streets, as lock change evictions of asylum seekers approved by Court of Session.

      A humanitarian catastrophe created by the UK Home Office and Serco, its former housing contractor, will force hundreds of vulnerable asylum seekers onto the streets of #Glasgow, warns the Refugee Survival Trust.

      This follows a ruling by the Court of Session, which found Serco’s controversial ‘lock change’ eviction policy to be lawful. This ruling will see people who are fleeing war and persecution evicted from their homes and forced onto the city’s streets into destitution.

      Cath McGee, Destitute Asylum Seeker Service Manager at the Refugee Survival Trust said, “We’ve been hearing from asylum seekers living under enormous stress who have told us that they are terrified of losing the roof over their head in the harsh winter months. We now fear a humanitarian crisis on Glasgow’s streets involving hundreds of already vulnerable people who have no other means to support themselves as they cannot work or claim benefits.”

      “These people have nowhere else to go. They are not permitted to access homeless services so throwing them out of their homes onto the streets will place them at enormous risk. They have fled war and persecution and are seeking asylum in Scotland. Now they will be forced to fight for their daily survival.”

      “With their basic right to shelter taken from them they won’t have a postal address to collect important letters related to their asylum case. Nor will they be in a position to seek legal advice or gather new evidence to support a fresh asylum claim to help them stay in the UK.”

      Scots housing law prevents Scottish families from being evicted without a court order. The Refugee Survival Trust, a charity that leads the Destitute Asylum Seeker Service in Glasgow and provides practical support including small emergency cash grants to asylum seekers facing destitution, says this should apply to everyone in Scotland, regardless of their immigration status.
      “Vulnerable people seeking asylum should be afforded the same housing rights as Scottish families. We should not tolerate a system that treats people seeking international protection in this brutal way,” said Ms McGee.

      In September 2019, the #Mears_Group took over the contract to provide housing to asylum seekers in Glasgow. The Group is yet to give a formal undertaking that it won’t force asylum seekers into homelessness and destitution.

      “We’re calling on the Mears Group to make a public commitment that they won’t pursue lock change evictions to forcibly remove vulnerable people seeking asylum here in Scotland from their homes,” added Ms McGee.

      https://www.rst.org.uk/archives/3232

    • Disappointing decision on Serco lock changes

      Today the Court of Session found in favour of Serco in a test case for asylum seeker lock changes.

      Our Principal Solicitor Fiona McPhail commented:

      “This decision is deeply disappointing news for all those directly affected.

      “We now face a situation where around 300 people will be at risk of summary eviction, with no right to homeless assistance or no right to work to earn their own income to cover rent, meaning there is a high risk they will end up on the streets of Glasgow.

      “Our clients are continuing to progress their asylum claims and cannot return to their country of origin.

      “The finding that Serco is not a public authority and therefore does not need to comply with the Human Rights Act or the Equality Act is deeply concerning. It’s the state that has the statutory obligation to accommodate asylum seekers - if by privatising those services, the state can avoid its obligations under human rights and equalities law, this sets a dangerous precedent.

      Gordon MacRae, Assistant Director for Communications and Policy, Shelter Scotland said:

      “At Shelter Scotland we think there are both moral and legal cases to be heard. It is morally repugnant to force anyone out of their home with nowhere for them to go. Public bodies must not stand by while people face winter on the streets.

      “Shelter Scotland exist to protect everyone’s housing rights no matter their circumstances. We will continue to do what we can protect those whose rights are denied. “

      Fiona McPhail added:

      “The Court appears to have placed some emphasis on the type of case it was- and the fact that it was not a judicial review. Hopefully the solicitors in this case will reflect on these observations, as judicial review proceedings were raised by another party and have been put on hold whilst this case has been taken as the lead case.”

      https://scotland.shelter.org.uk/news/november_2019/disappointing_decision_on_serco_lock_changes

  • Le #Bangladesh veut-il noyer ses #réfugiés_rohingyas ?

    Confronté à la présence sur son territoire d’un million de réfugiés musulmans chassés de Birmanie par les crimes massifs de l’armée et des milices bouddhistes, Dacca envisage d’en transférer 100 000 sur une île prison, dans le golfe du Bengale, menacée d’inondation par la mousson. Ce projet vient relancer les interrogations sur le rôle controversé de l’Organisation des Nations unies en #Birmanie.
    Dans les semaines qui viennent, le gouvernement du Bangladesh pourrait transférer plusieurs milliers de réfugiés rohingyas, chassés de Birmanie entre 2012 et 2017, dans une #île du #golfe_du_Bengale menacée de submersion et tenue pour « inhabitable » par les ONG locales. Préparé depuis des mois par le ministère de la gestion des catastrophes et des secours et par la Commission d’aide et de rapatriement des réfugiés, ce #transfert, qui devrait dans un premier temps concerner 350 familles – soit près de 1 500 personnes – puis s’étendre à 7 000 personnes, devrait par la suite être imposé à près de 100 000 réfugiés.

    Selon les agences des Nations unies – Haut-Commissariat aux réfugiés (HCR) et Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) –, plus de 950 000 s’entassent aujourd’hui au Bangladesh dans plusieurs camps de la région de #Cox’s_Bazar, près de la frontière birmane. Près de 710 000 membres de cette minorité musulmane de Birmanie, ostracisée par le gouvernement de #Naypidaw, sont arrivés depuis août 2017, victimes du #nettoyage_ethnique déclenché par l’armée avec l’appui des milices villageoises bouddhistes.

    Les #baraquements sur #pilotis déjà construits par le gouvernement bangladais sur l’#île de #Bhasan_Char, à une heure de bateau de la terre ferme la plus proche, dans le #delta_du_Meghna, sont destinés à héberger plus de 92 000 personnes. En principe, les réfugiés désignés pour ce premier transfert doivent être volontaires.

    C’est en tout cas ce que les autorités du Bangladesh ont indiqué aux agences des Nations unies en charge des réfugiés rohingyas. Mais l’ONG régionale Fortify Rights, qui a interrogé, dans trois camps de réfugiés différents, quatorze personnes dont les noms figurent sur la liste des premiers transférables, a constaté qu’en réalité, aucune d’entre elles n’avait été consultée.

    « Dans notre camp, a déclaré aux enquêteurs de Fortify Rights l’un des délégués non élus des réfugiés chargé des relations avec l’administration locale, aucune famille n’accepte d’être transférée dans cette île. Les gens ont peur d’aller vivre là-bas. Ils disent que c’est une île flottante. » « Île qui flotte », c’est d’ailleurs ce que signifie Bhasan Char dans la langue locale.

    Les réfractaires n’ont pas tort. Apparue seulement depuis une vingtaine d’années, cette île, constituée d’alluvions du #Meghna, qui réunit les eaux du Gange et du Brahmapoutre, émerge à peine des eaux. Partiellement couverte de forêt, elle est restée inhabitée depuis son apparition en raison de sa vulnérabilité à la mousson et aux cyclones, fréquents dans cette région de la mi-avril à début novembre. Cyclones d’autant plus redoutés et destructeurs que l’altitude moyenne du Bangladesh ne dépasse pas 12 mètres. Selon les travaux des hydrologues locaux, la moitié du pays serait d’ailleurs submergée si le niveau des eaux montait seulement d’un mètre.

    « Ce projet est inhumain, a confié aux journalistes du Bangla Tribune, un officier de la marine du Bangladesh stationné dans l’île, dont l’accès est interdit par l’armée. Même la marée haute submerge aujourd’hui une partie de l’île. En novembre1970, le cyclone Bhola n’a fait aucun survivant sur l’île voisine de Nijhum Dwip. Et Bhasan Char est encore plus bas sur l’eau que Nijhum Dwip. » « Un grand nombre de questions demeurent sans réponses, observait, après une visite sur place en janvier dernier, la psychologue coréenne Yanghee Lee, rapporteure spéciale de l’ONU pour la situation des droits de l’homme en Birmanie. Mais la question principale demeure de savoir si cette île est véritablement habitable. »

    « Chaque année, pendant la mousson, ont confié aux enquêteurs de Human Rights Watch les habitants de l’île voisine de Hatiya, une partie de Bhasan Char est érodée par l’eau. Nous n’osons même pas y mettre les pieds. Comment des milliers de Rohingyas pourraient-ils y vivre ? » Par ailleurs, la navigation dans les parages de l’île est jugée si dangereuse, par temps incertain, que les pêcheurs du delta hésitent à s’y aventurer. Les reporters d’un journal local ont dû attendre six jours avant que la météo devienne favorable et qu’un volontaire accepte de les embarquer.

    À toutes ces objections des ONG, d’une partie de la presse locale et de plusieurs agences des Nations unies, le gouvernement bangladais répond que rien n’a été négligé. Une digue, haute de près de trois mètres et longue de 13 km, a été érigée autour de l’enclave de 6,7 km² affectée à l’hébergement des Rohingyas. Chacune des 120 unités de logement du complexe comprend douze bâtiments sur pilotis, une mare et un abri en béton destiné à héberger 23 familles en cas de cyclone et à recevoir les réserves de produits alimentaires. Conçus, selon les architectes, pour résister à des vents de 260 km/h, les abris pourront aussi être utilisés comme salles de classe, centres communautaires et dispensaires.

    Construit en parpaings, chaque bâtiment d’habitation contient, sous un toit de tôle métallique, seize chambres de 3,5 m sur 4 m, huit W.-C., deux douches et deux cuisines collectives. Destinées à héberger des familles de quatre personnes, les chambres s’ouvrent sur une coursive par une porte et une fenêtre à barreaux. Un réseau de collecte de l’eau de pluie, des panneaux solaires et des générateurs de biogaz sont également prévus. Des postes de police assureront la sécurité et 120 caméras de surveillance seront installées par la marine.

    Compte tenu des conditions de navigation très difficiles dans l’estuaire de la Meghna et du statut militarisé de l’île, la liberté de mouvement des réfugiés comme leur aptitude à assurer leur subsistance seront réduites à néant. « Bhasan Char sera l’équivalent d’une prison », estimait en mars dernier Brad Adams, directeur pour l’Asie de Human Rights Watch.
    Aung San Suu Kyi n’a pas soulevé un sourcil

    Aucun hôpital n’est prévu sur l’île. En cas d’urgence, les malades ou les blessés devront être transférés vers l’hôpital de l’île de Hatiya, à une heure de bateau lorsque le temps le permet. Faute de production locale, la quasi-totalité de l’alimentation devra être acheminée depuis le continent. La densité de population de ce complexe dont les blocs, disposés sur un plan orthogonal, sont séparés par d’étroites allées rectilignes, dépassera, lorsqu’il sera totalement occupé, 65 000 habitants au kilomètre carré, soit six fois celle du cœur de New York.

    On le voit, ce « paradis pour les Rohingyas », selon le principal architecte du projet, Ahmed Mukta, qui partage son activité entre Dacca et Londres, tient davantage du cauchemar concentrationnaire submersible que du tremplin vers une nouvelle vie pour les réfugiés birmans du Bangladesh. Ce n’est pourtant pas faute de temps et de réflexion sur la nature et la gestion du complexe. L’idée de transférer les réfugiés birmans sur Bhasan Char circulait depuis 2015 parmi les responsables birmans. À ce moment, leur nombre ne dépassait pas 250 000.

    Alimentés depuis 1990 par un chapelet de flambées de haine anti-musulmanes que le pouvoir birman tolérait quand il ne les allumait pas lui-même, plusieurs camps s’étaient créés dans la région de Cox’s Bazar pour accueillir les réfugiés chassés par la terreur ou contraints à l’exil par leur statut spécial. Musulmans dans un pays en écrasante majorité bouddhiste, les Rohingyas se sentent depuis toujours, selon l’ONU, « privés de leurs droits politiques, marginalisés économiquement et discriminés au motif de leur origine ethnique ».

    Le projet s’était apparemment endormi au fond d’un tiroir lorsqu’en août 2017, après la véritable campagne de nettoyage ethnique déclenchée par Tatmadaw (l’armée birmane) et ses milices, près de 740 000 Rohingyas ont fui précipitamment l’État de Rakhine, (autrefois appelé Arakan) où ils vivaient pour se réfugier de l’autre côté de la frontière, au Bangladesh, auprès de leurs frères, exilés parfois depuis plus de vingt-cinq ans. En quelques jours, le nombre de Rohingyas dans le district de Cox’s Bazar a atteint un million de personnes et le camp de réfugiés de Kutupalong est devenu le plus peuplé de la planète.

    Nourrie par divers trafics, par le prosélytisme des émissaires islamistes, par la présence de gangs criminels et par l’activisme des agents de l’Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) à la recherche de recrues pour combattre l’armée birmane, une insécurité, rapidement jugée incontrôlable par les autorités locales, s’est installée dans la région. Insécurité qui a contribué à aggraver les tensions entre les réfugiés et la population locale qui reproche aux Rohingyas de voler les petits boulots – employés de restaurant, livreurs, conducteurs de pousse-pousse – en soudoyant les policiers et en acceptant des salaires inférieurs, alors qu’ils ne sont officiellement pas autorisés à travailler.

    Cette situation est d’autant plus inacceptable pour le gouvernement de Dacca que Cox’s Bazar et sa plage de 120 km constituent l’une des rares attractions touristiques du pays.

    Pour mettre un terme à ce chaos, le gouvernement de Dacca a d’abord compté sur une campagne de retours volontaires et ordonnés des Rohingyas en Birmanie. Il y a un an, 2 200 d’entre eux avaient ainsi été placés sur une liste de rapatriement. Tentative vaine : faute d’obtenir des garanties de sécurité et de liberté du gouvernement birman, aucun réfugié n’a accepté de rentrer. Le même refus a été opposé aux autorités en août dernier lorsqu’une deuxième liste de 3 500 réfugiés a été proposée. Selon les chiffres fournis par le gouvernement birman lui-même, 31 réfugiés seulement sont rentrés du Bangladesh entre mai 2018 et mai 2019.

    Les conditions, le plus souvent atroces, dans lesquelles les Rohingyas ont été contraints de fuir en août 2017 et ce qu’ils soupçonnent de ce qui les attendrait au retour expliquent largement ces refus. Selon le rapport de la Mission d’établissement des faits de l’ONU remis au Conseil des droits de l’homme le 8 août 2019 [on peut le lire ici], les Rohingyas ont été victimes, un an plus tôt, de multiples « crimes de droit international, y compris des crimes de génocide, des crimes contre l’humanité et des crimes de guerre ».

    Selon ce document, « la responsabilité de l’État [birman – ndlr] est engagée au regard de l’interdiction des crimes de génocide et des crimes contre l’humanité, ainsi que d’autres violations du droit international des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire ».

    Le rapport précise que « la mission a établi une liste confidentielle de personnes soupçonnées d’avoir participé à des crimes de droit international, y compris des crimes de génocide, des crimes contre l’humanité et des crimes de guerre, dans les États de Rakhine, kachin et shan depuis 2011. Cette liste […] contient plus d’une centaine de noms, parmi lesquels ceux de membres et de commandants de la Tatmadaw, de la police, de la police des frontières et des autres forces de sécurité, y compris de fonctionnaires de l’administration pénitentiaire, ainsi que les noms de représentants des autorités civiles, au niveau des districts, des États et du pays, de personnes privées et de membres de groupes armés non étatiques. […] La liste mentionne aussi un grand nombre d’entités avec lesquelles les auteurs présumés de violations étaient liés, notamment certaines unités des forces de sécurité, des groupes armés non étatiques et des entreprises ».

    On comprend dans ces conditions que, rien n’ayant changé depuis cet été sanglant en Birmanie où Aung San Suu Kyi, prix Nobel de la paix 1991, n’a pas levé un sourcil devant ces crimes, les Rohingyas préfèrent l’incertain chaos de leur statut de réfugiés à la certitude d’un retour à la terreur. Et refusent le rapatriement. Ce qui a conduit, début 2018, la première ministre bangladaise Sheikh Hasina à sortir de son tiroir le projet de transfert, en sommeil depuis 2015, pour le mettre en œuvre « en priorité ».

    Près de 300 millions de dollars ont été investis par Dacca dans ce projet, destiné dans un premier temps à réduire la population des camps où la situation est la plus tendue. Selon le représentant du gouvernement à Cox’s Bazar, Kamal Hossain, les opérations de transfert pourraient commencer « fin novembre ou début décembre ».

    Au cours d’une récente réunion à Dacca entre des représentants du ministère des affaires étrangères du Bangladesh et des responsables des Nations unies, les officiels bangladais auraient « conseillé » à leurs interlocuteurs d’inclure Bhasan Char dans le plan de financement de l’ONU pour 2020, sans quoi le gouvernement de Dacca pourrait ne pas approuver ce plan. Les responsables des Nations unies à Dacca ont refusé de confirmer ou démentir, mais plusieurs d’entre eux, s’exprimant officieusement, ont indiqué qu’ils étaient soumis « à une forte pression pour endosser le projet de Bhasan Char ».

    Interrogé sur la possibilité d’organiser le transfert des réfugiés sans l’aval des Nations unies, le ministre bangladais des affaires étrangères Abul Kalam Abdul Momen a répondu : « Oui, c’est possible, nous pouvons le faire. » La première ministre, de son côté, a été plus prudente. En octobre, elle se contentait de répéter que son administration ne prendrait sa décision qu’après avoir consulté les Nations unies et les autres partenaires internationaux du Bangladesh.

    L’un de ces partenaires, dont l’aide en matière d’assistance humanitaire est précieuse pour Dacca, vient de donner son avis. Lors d’une intervention fin octobre à la Chambre des représentants, Alice G. Wells, secrétaire adjointe du bureau de l’Asie du Sud et du Centre au Département d’État, a demandé au gouvernement du Bangladesh d’ajourner tout transfert de réfugiés vers Bhasan Char jusqu’à ce qu’un groupe d’experts indépendants détermine si c’est un lieu approprié. Washington ayant versé depuis août 2017 669 millions de dollars d’aide à Dacca, on peut imaginer que cette suggestion sera entendue.
    Les « défaillances systémiques » de l’ONU

    Les Nations unies sont pour l’instant discrètes sur ce dossier. On sait seulement qu’une délégation doit se rendre sur l’île les jours prochains. Il est vrai que face à ce qui s’est passé ces dernières années en Birmanie, et surtout face à la question des Rohingyas, la position de l’ONU n’a pas toujours été claire et son action a longtemps manqué de lucidité et d’efficacité. C’est le moins qu’on puisse dire.

    Certes l’actuel secrétaire général, António Guterres, a réagi rapidement et vigoureusement au sanglant nettoyage ethnique qui venait de commencer en Birmanie en adressant dès le 2 septembre 2017 une lettre au Conseil de sécurité dans laquelle il demandait un « effort concerté » pour empêcher l’escalade de la crise dans l’État de Rakhine, d’où 400 000 Rohingyas avaient déjà fui pour échapper aux atrocités.

    Mais il n’a pu obtenir de réaction rapide et efficace du Conseil. Il a fallu discuter deux semaines pour obtenir une réunion et 38 jours de plus pour obtenir une déclaration officielle de pure forme. Quant à obtenir l’envoi sur place d’une équipe d’observateurs de l’ONU en mesure de constater et dénoncer l’usage de la violence, il en était moins question que jamais : la Birmanie s’y opposait et son allié et protecteur chinois, membre du Conseil et détenteur du droit de veto, soutenait la position du gouvernement birman. Et personne, pour des raisons diverses, ne voulait s’en prendre à Pékin sur ce terrain.

    En l’occurrence, l’indifférence des États membres, peu mobilisés par le massacre de Rohingyas, venait s’ajouter aux divisions et différences de vues qui caractérisaient la bureaucratie de l’ONU dans cette affaire. Divergences qui expliquaient largement l’indifférence et la passivité de l’organisation depuis la campagne anti-Rohingyas de 2012 jusqu’au nettoyage ethnique sanglant de 2017.

    Incarnation de cette indifférence et de cette passivité, c’est-à-dire de la priorité que le système des Nations unies en Birmanie accordait aux considérations politiques et économiques sur la sécurité et les besoins humanitaires des Rohingyas, Renata Lok-Dessallien, la représentante de l’ONU en Birmanie depuis 2014, a quitté ses fonctions en octobre 2017, discrètement appelée par New York à d’autres fonctions, en dépit des réticences du gouvernement birman. Mais il était clair, à l’intérieur de l’organisation, qu’elle n’était pas la seule responsable de cette dérive désastreuse.

    Dans un rapport de 36 pages, commandé début 2018 par le secrétaire général et remis en mai dernier, l’économiste et diplomate guatémaltèque Gert Rosenthal, chargé de réaliser un diagnostic de l’action de l’ONU en Birmanie entre 2010 et 2018, constate qu’en effet, l’organisation n’a pas été à son meilleur pendant les années qui ont précédé le nettoyage ethnique d’août 2017 au cours duquel 7 000 Rohingyas au moins ont été tués, plus de 700 000 contraints à l’exil, des centaines de milliers d’autres chassés de leurs villages incendiés et enfermés dans des camps, le tout dans un climat de violence et de haine extrême [le rapport – en anglais – peut être lu ici].

    Selon Gert Rosenthal, qui constate des « défaillances systémiques » au sein de l’ONU, nombre d’agents des Nations unies ont été influencés ou déroutés par l’attitude de Aung San Suu Kyi, icône du combat pour la démocratie devenue, après les élections de 2015, l’alliée, l’otage et la caution des militaires et du clergé bouddhiste. C’est-à-dire la complice, par son silence, des crimes commis en 2017. Mais l’auteur du rapport pointe surtout la difficulté, pour les agences de l’ONU sur place, à choisir entre deux stratégies.

    L’une est la « diplomatie tranquille » qui vise à préserver dans la durée la présence et l’action, même limitée, de l’organisation au prix d’une certaine discrétion sur les obligations humanitaires et les droits de l’homme. L’autre est le « plaidoyer sans concession » qui entend faire respecter les obligations internationales par le pays hôte et implique éventuellement l’usage de mesures « intrusives », telles que des sanctions ou la menace de fermer l’accès du pays aux marchés internationaux, aux investissements et au tourisme.

    À première vue, entre ces deux options, le secrétaire général de l’ONU a fait son choix. Après une visite à Cox’s Bazar, en juillet 2018, il affirmait qu’à ses yeux, « les Rohingyas ont toujours été l’un des peuples, sinon le peuple le plus discriminé du monde, sans la moindre reconnaissance de ses droits les plus élémentaires, à commencer par le droit à la citoyenneté dans son propre pays, le Myanmar [la Birmanie] ».

    Il reste à vérifier aujourd’hui si, face à la menace brandie par Dacca de transférer jusqu’à 100 000 réfugiés rohingyas sur une île concentrationnaire et submersible, les Nations unies, c’est-à-dire le système onusien, mais aussi les États membres, choisiront le « plaidoyer sans concession » ou la « diplomatie tranquille ».

    https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/international/131119/le-bangladesh-veut-il-noyer-ses-refugies-rohingyas?onglet=full

    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #rohingyas #Bangladesh #camps_de_réfugiés

    ping @reka

  • 08.11.2019, décès d’un réfugié syrien à la frontière entre la Slovénie et l’Italie

    L’8 novembre un ragazzo siriano di vent’anni è stato ritrovato senza vita nei boschi della Slovenia. Come tanti prima di lui, come tanti dopo di lui, provava ad attraversare la frontiera, percorrendo una rotta che non è mai stata chiusa, nonostante l’accordo con il presidente turco Recep Tayyip Erdoğan costato all’Unione europea sei miliardi di euro nel 2016 e malgrado la costruzione del muro tra Ungheria e Serbia voluto dal premier ungherese Viktor Orbán nel 2015. Il ragazzo siriano aveva vent’anni e voleva raggiungere i suoi due fratelli, emigrati anni prima in Germania. Si è perso nei boschi, in autunno, per sfuggire ai controlli della polizia slovena e croata lungo i sentieri che attraversano il confine.

    Lo stesso giorno trentacinque persone sono state fermate nella stessa zona, tra Croazia e Bosnia, e rimandate indietro in quella che si è trasformata nella frontiera orientale dell’Europa, proprio nelle stesse ore in cui in tutti i paesi del vecchio mondo si celebrava il trentesimo anniversario della caduta del muro di Berlino. “Non si è trattato di una fatalità”, afferma Gianfranco Schiavone del Consorzio italiano di solidarietà (Ics) di Trieste, membro dell’Associazione studi giuridici sull’immigrazione (Asgi). “Ma è la manifestazione di una situazione drammatica che riguarda migliaia di profughi lungo la rotta dei Balcani. Quella morte si aggiunge ad altre avvenute negli ultimi anni lungo questa rotta”, continua Schiavone, secondo cui gli arrivi in Italia dalla rotta dei Balcani sono bassi, ma costanti.

    https://www.internazionale.it/reportage/annalisa-camilli/2019/11/12/trieste-frontiera-muro
    #décès #mort #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières_sud-alpine #Slovénie #Italie #frontières

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur les morts à la frontière sud-alpine :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/758646

  • La Cour suprême américaine prête à mettre fin aux rêves des #Dreamers ?

    La justice américaine doit décider si le gouvernement Trump peut supprimer un programme gouvernemental qui protège 700 000 jeunes immigrés entrés illégalement aux États-Unis alors qu’ils étaient enfants.

    https://www.courrierinternational.com/article/justice-la-cour-supreme-americaine-prete-mettre-fin-aux-reves
    #terminologie #migrations #mots #vocabulaire #réfugiés #asile

    Un nouveau mot, @sinehebdo : #Dreamers !

  • Denmark starts border checks at crossings to Sweden

    Danish police on Tuesday began performing border checks at the country’s crossings with Sweden, moves that followed a series of shootings and explosions around Copenhagen that Danish authorities say were carried out by people crossing the waterway between the Scandinavian neighbors.

    The checks were conducted on trains and vehicles crossing the Oresund Bridge over the narrow waterway that separates Copenhagen, Denmark’s largest city, and Malmo, Sweden’s third-largest city. Checks were also carried out at ferry ports.

    Police spokesman Jens Jespersen told The Associated Press that officers at the Oresund Bridge vehicle checkpoint had “a particular focus on cross-border crime involving explosives, weapons and drugs.” He also said authorities were stopping cars to have “a peak at who is inside.”

    “It gives us a pretty good picture of who is coming over,” he said.

    For years, Danes and Swedes have been able to cross without needing a passport. Now a passport is needed for Swedes entering Denmark — at least for the next six months.

    That requirement and the checkpoints come after violence that includes 13 explosions in Copenhagen since February, as well as a shooting in June that killed two Swedish citizens.

    The spiraling violence is believed to be gang related, stemming from disputes over drugs, money, protection and retaliation. An estimated 200 people in Malmo belong to about a dozen gangs.

    On Saturday, a shooting in Malmo killed a 15-year-old boy and critically wounded another. Police said the teenagers who were shot were well-known to authorities in Malmo and officials vowed to crack down even further on organized crime. No one has been arrested.

    Lilian Gustavsson, a 67-year-old Swedish woman who was about to embark on the train to Malmo from Copenhagen’s international airport, said she understood why the Danes were carrying out the checks.

    “I believe this will mean a little travel delay for everyone,” she said. “I fear we might get stuck, but better that than having criminals crossing.”

    As part of Monday’s checks, all vehicles coming from Sweden on the Orseund Bridge were led to a rest area on the Danish side. They then went through a large white tent where officers checked the driver, passengers and the car. Police scanned vehicle license plates, Jespersen said, “so if a (vehicle) is known in the system, we can pull it aside.”

    During the roughly four-hour check Monday, no one was pulled aside, he said. He declined to give details as to when police would carry out further checks but said “a good guess would be two or three times a week.”

    https://apnews.com/45659f17ec2e44eb8160ec4efeb10c21
    #fermeture_des_frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Schengen (fin de -) #frontières #Danemark #Suède #migrations #asile #réfugiés

    ping @reka

  • Italy counts the cost of its brain drain

    The young and talented are leaving the country in search of professional opportunities.

    Every summer I spend a delicious stint in Maremma on the coast of Tuscany with a law professor and a magistrate from Florence with whom I have been friends for 30 years. It’s all pine clusters, azure waters, and melon and parma picnics. It is the perfect life, evidence to many Italians that their country is the most beautiful place on earth in which to live.

    But new 2018 emigration data reveals that it is also a place people are leaving in droves. Nearly 10 per cent of Italian nationals live overseas, and emigration rates are rising. Even worse, most of the leavers in recent years, are educated professionals in the prime of their working life. Although the Italian economy has recovered since the financial and eurozone crises, that hasn’t added up to optimism for the future. Quite the opposite.

    My friends Chiara and Francesco, both in their late 40s, have prestigious public sector posts. Competition for such jobs for life is fierce in a still unstable economic climate. Chiara has scaled the academic hierarchy and would like to reach the top rank, full professor, and change universities. She has taught in a city several hours away from Florence for 15 years. Switching would be bureaucratic and fraught with favouritism towards her local rivals, but she believes it is within her reach. The younger Italians she teaches, however, don’t have even that hope.

    “The most talented young students are all fleeing academic careers,” she says. “They know the career path is incredibly long. There is no money for research funding or doctorates. Even if you’re brilliant and get national accreditation to teach in a university, it’s rare that a tenure job will open.”

    Waiting used to be part of the Italian middle-class’s caricature of itself. But something has shifted since 2008 and is accelerating. Confidence in any prospect of change is diminishing, reinforced by disillusionment with politics and the government. Italian universities are among the country’s most sclerotic institutions. But the rest of the public sector is also in need of renewal, and the situation is worsening as the populist coalition government undoes recent reforms.

    Of the more than 5m Italians currently living abroad, most of them left in the past 10 years. While half of all emigrants are from Italy’s much poorer southern region, the number of northerners leaving the country’s much wealthier industrial provinces has more than doubled, and is growing every year. While Sicily was the top source of emigrants in 2007, last year Lombardy and Veneto, home to Venice, led the list of provinces with the highest number of departures. Yet Lombardy and Milan within it are the province and the city with Italy’s highest salaries.

    There are few other places where the contrast is so stark between the enviable quality of life and the expectation of professional and personal prospects. For many Italian emigrants, the decision to leave is less about poverty or unemployment than about the growing conviction that it’s not a place where the well-educated and ambitious can build a successful life. By contrast, a recent survey shows that a third of Spanish leavers said they were moving because they were unemployed, more than were seeking to advance professionally or try new experiences. Nearly half of Italian leavers in the same survey cited better business opportunities or education as their reason for departure.

    In 2017, one-third of the Italian citizens who moved abroad had university degrees, up 41.8 per cent since 2013.

    Chiara’s two sons are still in primary school, but she is already grappling with conflicting instincts. She and Francesco have gone beyond deploring the dire state of national politics and the ambient decadence — a national sport in Italy that’s always coexisted with a pleasant inertia and even a certain pride in endurance through dysfunction — to wanting a different future for their children.

    Chiara wishes she could reproduce the close knit Florentine family in which she grew up. But she believes that she would be condemning her children to small choices and smaller lives if she didn’t start seeding them with the idea that they will need to leave mamma and Italy behind.

    https://www.ft.com/content/dc95fcc0-009d-11ea-b7bc-f3fa4e77dd47?desktop=true
    #brain_drain #émigration #Italie #migrants_italiens #brain-drain #migrations #jeunes

    ajouté à cette métaliste sur l’émigration d’Italiens :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/762801

  • The two contrasting sides of German refugee policy

    ‘They try to integrate some people while really try to get rid of others.’

    Four years after Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the doors to around one million refugees and asylum seekers, Germany continues to mull over the long-term consequences of its great welcome. It still grapples with fundamental questions about how refugees should integrate and, for the tens of thousands of asylum seekers whose futures remain in limbo, who should be allowed to stay and who will be returned home?

    Mohammad Zarzorie, a Syrian engineer, counts himself a success story. After fleeing to Germany via Greece and the Balkans in 2015, he received his refugee status within months, quickly learned to speak German, and through an employment fair soon found his job at a chromium plating manufacturer on the outskirts of Munich.

    Two years later, his wife followed him, and although a housing crisis means they must live in an apartment attached to the factory, he has found peace and contentment here in the industrial heartland of Bavaria, in southern Germany.

    “From a land that’s under war to (there) being nothing difficult for you to start your life in another safe country, it wasn’t difficult for me,” says Zarzorie, a university teaching assistant before conflict erupted in Syria.

    “There was no challenge,” Zarzorie says. “Here in Germany they have this benefits system. They help you a lot to start integrating with society.”

    Returning to the engineering work he was pursuing in Syria has been the foundation on which he has built a new life, and he eagerly wants more Syrians in Germany to enter employment. “I think they must (work) because you can’t start your life if you don’t work,” he says.

    But not all new arrivals to Germany share his good fortune and have the opportunity to work.

    Bavaria, Zarzorie’s new home, is consistently one of the most conservative and anti-migrant states in Germany. It has deported more than 1,700 people so far this year, and drawn severe criticism from human rights groups for continuing to send hundreds of migrants to Afghanistan, which no other German state considers a safe country for return.

    “The image is deliberately created that refugees do not want to work, or are inactive, and this increases resentment against refugees.”

    “Sometimes you need to make things clear to people who are naive and confused and think that migration is nothing more than making things a bit more multicultural,” Bavaria’s Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said in August. “Asylum law applies, but we cannot accept everyone. Because that overburdens us.”

    “It’s paradoxical,” says Gülseren Demirel, responsible for migration and integration for the Bavarian Green Party, which opposes Herrmann’s Christian Social Union. “The Bavarian economy is strong and also offers jobs that can’t be staffed. The chambers of commerce and civil society groups try to integrate the refugees, but the political conditions do not allow this.

    “The consequence is that refugees are not allowed to work and can’t develop any perspectives,” she adds. “The image is deliberately created that refugees do not want to work, or are inactive, and this increases resentment against refugees.”
    Rejected, but ‘tolerated’

    Bringing new arrivals into the workforce has been the cornerstone of Germany’s integration efforts since 2015.

    The benefits are two-fold: they can become self-dependent and assimilate socially, while at the same time plugging the country’s severe labour shortage, which has left almost 1.4 million positions vacant and will require 250,000 immigrants per year to address.

    The results have exceeded expectations. Around 36 percent of refugees between 15 and 60 – around 380,000 to 400,000 people – are now in employment, according to Germany’s Institute for Employment Research, which expects that number to rise to around 40 percent before the end of the year. While many remain in low-wage work as cleaners or security personnel, half are in skilled professions.

    But around a quarter of a million migrants who have had their asylum cases rejected remain in the country, despite being required to leave. Of these, 191,000 have been granted a ‘toleration’ – a temporary status meaning their deportation has been postponed for reasons such as illness, family ties to a person with residency, or a lack of travel documents.

    Around 11,500 failed asylum seekers were deported in the first half of this year – a slight decline on 2018. But the possibility of deportation remains a very real fear for those with ‘tolerations’, which are usually provided on a rolling basis, lasting only a few weeks or months at a time.

    Even if they attempt to find work and learn the language, they often find themselves subject to arbitrary decisions at the hands of Germany’s formidable bureaucracy.

    The decision on whether to grant asylum is made at a national level, but once a person’s claim has been rejected what follows is largely determined by state or local administrations, which are granted wide discretion, leading to wildly divergent situations depending on where a person is located.

    “(Local offices) often decide whether you can get a work permit, and you need a work permit for getting an apprenticeship permit, which then is very often the way for consolidating your right to stay,” explains Simon Sperling, a researcher at the University of Osnabruck’s Institute of Migration Research and Intercultural Studies.
    ‘It’s not how I was before’

    Like Zarzorie, Johnson Nsiah, from Ghana, also arrived in Germany after crossing the Mediterranean in 2015. He was sent to live in Kempten, a large town in Bavaria around two hours drive west of Munich.

    After fleeing his home when a local dispute threatened his life, he crossed the Sahara to Libya, where he worked as a builder and painter for two years. There, he met Julia*, a Nigerian woman, and helped her escape from her abusive employer. The employer then threatened to kill them both, forcing them to pay for space aboard an inflatable boat, which was intercepted by an Italian navy ship that brought them to Europe.

    The couple are now married. Julia, along with their two children – a four-year-old born in Italy and a two-year old born in Kempten – have the right to remain in Germany, but Nsiah’s asylum claim has been rejected and he is required to leave the country.

    Because of his family, Nsiah has been granted a ‘toleration’, in the form of a paper slip, valid for six months, which fixes the boundaries of his life. It does not permit him to work, travel outside Bavaria, or live outside the apartment block in which his family resides – a former mental hospital repurposed to house over 100 asylum seekers and refugees.

    The local administrative office has demanded Nsiah return to Ghana to obtain a passport, which he says is financially impossible and would amount to a death sentence due to the continued threats made against him. The restrictions have put a heavy toll on his mental and physical health. Stress has contributed to painful migraines that caused him to drop out of language classes.

    “It’s not how I was before,” he says, gesturing towards the hearing aids protruding from both his ears. “Because of stress, all those things, they make me like this.”

    Nsiah believes his many years of experience should easily lead to a job in construction or painting, and it angers him that that he is limited to cleaning the apartment building for 60c an hour while other Ghanaians he met in 2015 have been working freely in Hamburg and Stuttgart for years.
    Separation by nationality

    In June, the German parliament approved a raft of new asylum laws, including some measures to strengthen the rights of rejected asylum seekers in steady jobs, but also others that lengthened maximum stays in detention centres and streamlined deportations.

    For Sperling, the origins of this contradictory approach date back to 2015, when German authorities quietly began to separate arrivals based on their nationality, which greatly influences their chances of a successful asylum application.

    “The politics is very ambivalent in this sense: they try to integrate some people while really try to get rid of others.”

    Syrians, Iraqis, and Eritreans were all deemed to have good prospects and shuffled quickly into courses to help them integrate and find work. Others, especially those from West Africa and the Balkans, had a less favourable outlook, and so received minimal assistance.

    “Germany invested in language courses and things like that, but at the same time also really pushed forward to isolate and disintegrate certain groups, especially people who are said to not have have good prospects to stay,” he says.

    “The politics is very ambivalent in this sense: they try to integrate some people while really try to get rid of others.”

    But while some have undeniably built new lives of great promise, the lives of many of those 2015 arrivals remain in limbo.

    On the street, Nsiah says, Germans have racially abused him and berated him for refusing to work, a bitter irony not lost on him.

    “It’s not our fault. No refugee here doesn’t want to work,” he says, his voice smarting.

    “The only thing I need to be happy... (is) to work and take care of my family, to live with my family, because my wife doesn’t have anybody and I cannot leave her alone with these children.”
    The two extremes

    The local immigration office in Bavaria has shown a reluctance to grant permits for work or to access to three-year apprenticeships, which if pursued by someone like Nsiah would almost certainly lead to a job offer and a secure residence permit.

    It also frequently imposes restrictions on movement with breaches punishable by heavy fines. An Iraqi man in Kempten showed The New Humanitarian a picture of his seriously ill wife lying on a hospital bed in Saxony, whom he cannot visit because his pass restricts him to Bavaria; while an Iranian man said that for eight years his pass did not permit him to stray beyond the town boundary.

    Moving to another district or state might be beneficial, but these onerous stipulations, combined with a chronic shortage of rental accommodation throughout Bavaria, make it nearly impossible for those on low or non-existent incomes.

    Zarzorie, meanwhile, hopes to find his own house in Munich, raise children and finish the master’s degree he first embarked upon in Aleppo.

    There is still adjusting to do, to what he calls the different “life-cycle” in Munich. Unlike his memories of Syria, in which cafés and streets buzzed with chatter until the early hours of the morning, the boulevards here fall quiet long before midnight.

    That’s why he’s drawn most evenings to Marienplatz, a square in the city’s old quarter where its historic town hall overlooks modern cafes and restaurants, and the crowds stay out late enough that it almost reminds him of home.

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news-feature/2019/11/11/German-refugee-integration-policy
    #Allemagne #intégration #asile #migrations #réfugiés #renvois #machine_à_expulser #politique_d'asile #réfugiés_syriens #catégorisation #nationalité #réfugiés_irakiens #réfugiés_érythréens #réfugiés_afghans #renvois #expulsion

    ping @_kg_

  • A #Riace

    In Calabria è un paese che sa sperare bene,
    un sindaco capace di capire con il cuore,
    un bel giorno ai paesani così prese a parlare: amici,
    amici miei ascoltatemi sentite bene a me,
    questo paese è morto cosi non si va avanti,
    sono partiti tutti partono i migranti,
    mancano le stagioni mancano i quattrini,
    mancano le braccia mancano i contadini,
    partono i Narduzzi, Capace, Natofini, Toscale, Caffitta, Capotonno,
    stiamo andando a fondo,stiamo andando a fondo.

    Le vecchie case vuote da far male io non voglio più vederle,
    venitemi ad aiutare persino i vecchi al bar non sanno cosa fare,
    hanno perso il compagno per il loro tresette,
    mi guardano spaesati, qua male si mette,
    siamo soli, qua non c’è più vita,
    siamo soli qua non si va più avanti,
    è arrivato il giorno il momento del coraggio
    per i nostri giovani chiudere e partire,
    chiudere e scappare, chiudere e migrare, oppure?

    Quelle case abbandonate, si vecchie sbeccolate,
    ma, potrebbero essere aggiustate
    Io li ho visti i migranti belli giovani e tanti,
    forti ammassati nei campi senza un avvenire
    Loro un aiuto a noi lo potremmo dare, e loro a noi
    venite migranti, non è più l’ora di migrare,
    questa è l’ora di abitare, venite,
    vi scegliete una casa ve la riparate
    ed è vostra per sempre, questa è una promessa
    è il sindaco che vi parla, venite,
    noi diamo una casa a voi, e voi ridate un paese a noi..
    Silenzio

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=hH5l-EM3z-g

    source : https://www.ildeposito.org/canti/riace

    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #chanson #musique #Mimmo_Lucano #Italie #SPRAR #accueil #solidarité #Giovanna_Marini

    ping @sinehebdo

  • Exposed : Malta’s secret migrant deal with Libya

    OPM’s Neville Gafà acts as intermediary in agreement

    Malta has secretly negotiated an agreement with Libya that sees the Armed Forces of Malta coordinating with the Libyan coastguard to intercept migrants headed towards the island and returned to the war-torn North African country.

    The agreement for “mutual cooperation” was struck between members of the AFM and the Libyan coastguard, with government official Neville Gafà acting as an intermediary.

    Mr Gafà, who works out of the OPM in an undisclosed position, has faced repeated allegations of bribery linked to the issuing of medical visas to Libyan nationals, claims he denies.

    He has come under fire for posing as a “special envoy of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat” during meetings with the Libyan government and was exposed as having held a meeting with a Libyan militia leader who ran extortion rackets and a private detention centre, where former regime officials and sympathisers were held.

    In one such meeting, held on June 18, Mr Gafà sat in on talks with the Libyan deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq, attended by Colonel Clinton O’Neill, head of plans and intelligence at the AFM.

    The meeting was led by Malta’s new ambassador to Libya, Charles Saliba.

    However, a senior government source told The Sunday Times of Malta that talks between Mr Gafà, the AFM and the Libyan authorities, on the subject of cooperation, first started around a year ago.

    “We reached what you could call an understanding with the Libyans. When there is a vessel heading towards our waters, the AFM coordinates with the Libyans who pick them up and take them back to Libya before they come into our waters and become our responsibility,” the source said.

    He added that had the agreement not been reached with Libya then the island would have been “drowning in migrants” by now.

    A spokesman for the Prime Minister said last night that bilateral meetings on various sectors are held on a regular basis and Malta always acts in accordance with applicable international laws and conventions.

    “The EU is actively advocating in favour of compliance with instructions of competent authorities and against the obstruction of operations of the Libyan EU-funded and trained coastguard to help support migration management and fight smuggling.”

    The search and rescue areas form part of high seas where foreign military assets have every right to investigate any illegal activity departing from their coast, the spokesman added.

    Without an agreement, the island would have been ‘drowning in migrants’ by now

    “In the past months, Malta has continued to welcome on a humanitarian basis migrants and asylum seekers, even when not legally obliged to do so, in a spirit of cooperation with other European states and solidarity with migrants.”

    The OPM did not respond to a question asking whether in at least one instance the Libyan coast guard had entered Malta’s search and rescue area or whether it recognises Libya as a safe port. In a tweet on one such particular incident, which took place on October 18, Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR’s special envoy for the Central Mediterranean, said he believes the case may have constituted a violation of maritime law.

    “The problem is that the migrants were disembarked in Libya. That’s certainly a violation of maritime laws. It’s clear that Libya isn’t a safe port,” he said.

    A spokesman for UNHCR office in Rome said they had reached out to the Maltese authorities for an explanation and were still waiting for the relevant information to be handed over.

    The list of accusations against Libya’s coastguard is long: human rights violations, including torture, hindering rescue operations of volunteer rescue groups, and ties to smuggling gangs are but a few.

    This picture taken on October 1 shows rescued migrants sitting on a pier next to a Libyan coast guardship in the town of Khoms, 120 kilometres east of the capital.

    The government source however, justified the deal, saying it followed a similar understanding reached between the Libyan and Italian governments.

    It also tallied with the EU’s highly-criticised position of supporting the Libyan authorities, he said.

    The number of migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean from Libya declined dramatically over the past years, from almost 120,000 migrants in 2017 to around 23,000 in 2018. So far this year, the number of migrants arriving from Libya diminished even further.

    While Malta received few or no migrants at the height of the migration crisis in the Central Mediterranean between 2014 and 2017 when Italy was in charge of the rescue effort and accepted the disembarkation of virtually all migrants rescued, the tide turned around 2018 when a right-wing government was elected in Italy.

    During the past two years, the Italian government effectively closed the country’s ports to humanitarian search and rescue operations, and scaled down its rescue operations, re-routing hundreds of migrants towards Malta.

    In September, the EU extended its anti-migrant-smuggling mission along the Libyan Mediterranean coast, by six months. However, actual naval operations by the EU remain halted, with the mandate now mainly consisting of air support and training Libya’s ill-equipped coastguard.

    Human rights groups have repeatedly called on the EU to stop its policy of allowing migrants to be returned to Libya, where they face hellish conditions in detention centres, according to UN organisations.

    Mr Cochetel insists there is no safe port in Libya for migrant arrivals.

    https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/exposed-maltas-secret-migrant-deal-with-libya.748800
    #Malte #externalisation #frontières #asile #migrations #Libye #accord

    Ajouté à ce fil de discussion :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/705401

    • Malta Has Deal With Libya Coastguard Over Migrant Interceptions: Report

      Malta’s armed forces have started cooperating with Libya’s coastguard to turn back migrant boats heading into Malta’s search and rescue zone, a newspaper reported on Sunday, citing a secret government deal.

      The government declined to comment directly on the report in the Sunday Times of Malta, but told Reuters the Mediterranean state had been working with the Libyan coastguard for many years and always operated within the law.

      Under the terms of the deal, when a migrant boat is spotted sailing toward Malta, the island’s armed forces seek the intervention of the Libyan coastguard to intercept them before they enter Malta’s territorial waters, the paper said.

      Non-governmental organizations have denounced previous deals by which Italy has directed the Libyan coastguard to pick up migrant boats in Libyan territorial waters, saying refugees face torture and abuse in the lawless north African country.

      The Malta deal appears to go a step further by encouraging the Libyan coastguard to intervene beyond its own coastal waters, which extend some 22.2 km (14 miles) from its shore, and into the broad search-and-rescue zone operated by Malta.

      “Search and rescue areas are not areas where the coastal state exercises sovereignty or has jurisdiction, but areas forming part of high seas where foreign military assets have every right to investigate any illegal activity departing from their coast,” the Maltese government said.

      Malta has taken in several hundred migrants in recent months, but almost always from charity rescue ships that had picked them up in the central Mediterranean. There have been few reports of migrant boats reaching the island autonomously.

      In a sign of growing cooperation between Valletta and the Tripoli-based Libyan government, Malta seized in September a shipment of unofficial Libyan currency believed to have been destined for rebel military strongman Khalifa Haftar.

      Two containers packed full of the recently introduced currency, printed in Russia, were discovered when the ship carrying the money stopped in Malta, local media reported earlier this month.

      The Customs Department did not announce the find at the time and has made no subsequent comment on the operation.

      https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2019/11/10/world/europe/10reuters-europe-migrants-malta.html

  • Un migrant est mort dans la nuit à #Calais

    G.O avait 27 ans. Il était nigérian. Il est mort d’une #intoxication au monoxyde de carbone, confirme la préfecture du Pas-de-Calais à « l’Obs ». Il avait posé sa tente depuis quelques semaines seulement aux abords de l’ancienne jungle.

    https://www.nouvelobs.com/migrants/20191101.OBS20594/un-migrant-est-mort-dans-la-nuit-a-calais.html
    #décès #morts #France #migrations #asile #réfugiés #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_Europe

  • Briefing: How will Greece’s new asylum law affect refugees?

    ‘There’s no justification for what we’re seeing.’

    Nearly 44,000 asylum seekers have crossed the Aegean Sea from Turkey to the Greek islands so far this year, compared to fewer than 32,500 in all of 2018 – an annual increase of more than 30 percent, but still far below 2015 and 2016 levels.

    In response, the Greek government passed a new asylum law on Thursday, 31 October aimed at speeding up procedures and facilitating the return of more people to Turkey under the terms of the EU-Turkey deal signed in March 2016 to curb migration across the Aegean.

    Greece’s right-wing New Democracy government, which took office in July, argues that faster procedures will allow refugees to integrate more smoothly into Greek society and accelerate the return to Turkey of people whose asylum claims are rejected.

    But human rights organisations say the new law will result in major rights violations, making it more difficult for people to access protection, leaving thousands in limbo, and doing nothing to improve the situation for almost 100,000 refugees and migrants in Greece.

    Already, tens of thousands of people are living in dismal conditions on the Greek islands, which the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic, called “explosive” following a recent visit.

    It’s unclear what the new legislation will do, if anything, to alleviate the humanitarian crisis on the islands, and it is likely to only make conditions worse for asylum seekers in Greece overall. Refugee advocates expect the new law to be challenged in the European Court of Human Rights.
    Why a new asylum law now?

    It has been more than three years since the height of the migration crisis in the Aegean, when one million people crossed the sea from Turkey to Greece between March 2015 and March 2016.

    But even with dramatically fewer people crossing, those who do arrive now often remain in Greece due to the closure of borders along migration routes to northern Europe.

    There are now more than 96,500 refugees and migrants in Greece, according to the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR.

    The refugee issue has become a major political battlefield between the government and the far-right opposition, and nationalist and racist attitudes are rising in Greece, according to a Pew Research report from last year.

    “It’s not 2015 anymore where we had one million people arriving.”

    In the past few months, there have been weekly protests in rural Greece against refugee relocation where protestors express fears of an “ongoing invasion” and the “Islamisation” of the country.

    “The government is now under fire even from members of its own party because during the election campaign it promised it would solve the issue,” said Marina Rigou, a professor of journalism and new media at the University of Athens. “The media are also fuelling the situation further by constantly reporting on increased arrivals, even though they’re much lower than those in 2015.”

    Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has vowed to protect Greek and EU borders and increase deportations. Following elections in July, his new government, which campaigned on a “law and order” platform, closed the Ministry of Migration and transferred responsibility for the issue to the Ministry of Civil Protection: the police.

    The government is arguing that the majority of people arriving in Greece are economic migrants who should be deported and that Greece is no longer facing a refugee crisis.

    According to UNHCR, however, 85 percent of people arriving are from Afghanistan, Syria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, or other countries experiencing violent conflict.

    Women and children account for 56 percent of arrivals over the past two years, with the majority of children under the age of 12. Minors travelling without their families account for two out of every 10 people who have arrived.

    “Waves of immigrants and refugees besiege countries,” Mitsotakis said at an event in October. “Democratic rules of order and rights require reprocessing.”
    What are conditions like for new arrivals?

    There are currently 34,000 asylum seekers on the Greek islands, where new arrivals are required to stay during the course of the asylum process. Under the terms of the EU-Turkey deal, asylum seekers can only be considered for readmission to Turkey from the islands. Once they are transferred to the mainland, asylum seekers who have their claims rejected have to be deported to their countries of origin, which isn’t possible in many cases.

    As a result, reception facilities on the islands are dramatically over capacity and living conditions are horrendous.

    Apostolos Veizis, director of medical operational support in Greece for Médecins Sans Frontières, told The New Humanitarian that there’s one toilet for every 300 people on Samos and one shower for every 506 people at Moria, the camp on Lesvos.

    MSF has observed a sharp deterioration in mental health among asylum seekers due to the inhumane conditions on the islands. The medical charity says it has seen a 40 percent increase in the number of cases compared to summer 2018, including dozens of attempted suicides and self-harm incidents, many involving children.

    “There’s no justification for what we’re seeing,” said Veizis. “It’s not 2015 anymore where we had one million people arriving. After the EU-Turkey deal, the islands are in a situation that I’ve never seen in my 20 years with MSF.”
    How has access to healthcare changed?

    In July, the Greek government cut access to public healthcare for newly arrived asylum seekers, leaving people with chronic illnesses to have to pay privately or rely on help from NGOs. The move also meant children weren’t able to be immunised – a requirement for them to be able to enrol in schools.

    Under the new law, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been removed from the vulnerability criteria considered during the asylum process – the government says it believes people falsely claim to have PTSD to increase their chances of receiving a positive decision.

    “The removal of PTSD from the list of vulnerability… will just prevent patients from receiving the appropriate medical and social support needed, while they won’t receive a fair treatment in their asylum claim either,” Veizis says.

    Victims of torture now need to have their cases certified by doctors who are part of Greece’s public health system, despite the fact that asylum seekers no longer have access to healthcare and, from 2020, will only be able to access emergency care.

    MSF and METAdrasi, a Greek NGO, have trained personnel to provide these certifications for years. But the new law doesn’t recognise certifications issued by anyone outside of the public health system. “There’s a lack of trained medical staff in public hospitals to conduct the vulnerability screening on the Greek islands,” explained Veizis.

    Currently, there are two doctors at Moria for around 14,000 people and one doctor on Samos for 6,000 people.
    What do the new asylum procedures look like?

    Under the new law, Greek police and army personnel can conduct asylum interviews, which were previously done only by the Greek Asylum Service or the European Asylum Support Office, known by the acronym EASO.

    Rights groups are worried that police and army personnel aren’t trained and don’t have an adequate understanding of international protection law. There have also been dozens of reports of the Greek police and army pushing back asylum seekers at the country’s land and sea borders and committing other abuses.

    “This is a serious backward step that will compromise the impartiality of the asylum procedure,” said Eirini Gaitanou, Amnesty International’s Greece campaigner.

    The new law also makes the process of appealing a rejection more difficult. Asylum seekers will need to provide complicated legal documents to find out why they were turned down, and they have no access to free legal counsel from the state to navigate the process.

    Under the previous system, the committees hearing appeals to rejected asylum claims were composed of two Greek judges and an independent expert trained by UNHCR. Now, the committees will only be made up of one or two judges – a change that UNHCR and the Greek Bar Association warn will create further delays and make more of a backlog.

    The new law also allows for the detention of asylum seekers who have their claims rejected or who are having them reevaluated. This may end up in people being held in detention for more than 18 months, according to rights groups, even though this is unconstitutional in Greece.

    And if an asylum seeker is deemed not to be cooperating with authorities, even for something as simple as moving to a different area or camp than the one they are assigned to, their case will be automatically suspended, according to Gaitanou from Amnesty International.

    “This is a serious backward step that will compromise the impartiality of the asylum procedure.”

    Authorities are drawing up a list of third countries considered to be safe for people to be returned to, which they say will speed up the asylum process.

    To open up spots for newcomers, once an asylum seeker’s application is accepted, they will have a maximum of four months to leave the refugee camp they are living in and will then have to find accommodation on their own.

    Unemployment in Greece is still at 17 percent, and UNHCR, MSF, and other organisations predict that this measure will dramatically increase the number of homeless refugees, placing thousands of people in precarious situations.

    Critics and refugee rights advocates have long complained about the lack of integration programmes in Greece to help newcomers learn the language and find a job.
    What lies ahead?

    The EU-Turkey deal, the agreement underlying the situation for refugees in Greece, is set to expire at the end of 2019. A new agreement is currently being negotiated.

    The EU commissioner for migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, visited Turkey at the beginning of October, along with the French and German interior ministers. Avramopoulos said that Turkey had reassured them that it is determined to continue implementing the EU-Turkey agreement.

    “We also passed on the message that the financing of the UN and IOM (International Organisation for Migration) programmes will continue in order for Turkey to keep the four million refugees there,” Avramopoulos told the Greek parliament mid-October, adding that if tensions on the Turkish-Syrian border escalate people living their could be forced to migrate to Europe.

    Meanwhile, the Greek government is pushing for some changes to the current deal.

    Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis has called for asylum seekers from any country to be eligible for return to Turkey from anywhere in Greece, instead of just Syrians on the islands. “Otherwise,” Chrisochoidis said, “Moria will continue stigmatising Europe.”

    https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news/2019/11/04/Greece-new-asylum-law-refugees
    #loi #loi_sur_l'asile #Grèce #asile #migrations #réfugiés

  • La mise en danger de la #santé des #étrangers pour servir une #politique_migratoire !

    Réaction des associations aux annonces faites par le Premier ministre ce matin sur l’accès aux soins des personnes étrangères.

    Le Premier ministre a annoncé ce matin plusieurs mesures remettant en cause les dispositifs d’accès aux soins des personnes étrangères vulnérables. Ces annonces représentent des reculs sans précédent pour l’accès aux soins de ces personnes.

    Les demandeurs d’asile sont directement pris pour cible. Alors qu’ils arrivent souvent en France fragilisés physiquement et psychologiquement à cause d’un parcours migratoire difficile, le Gouvernement décide de les fragiliser davantage et de compliquer encore plus leur accès aux soins. Aucun gouvernement n’avait osé aller aussi loin !

    L’instauration d’un délai de carence de 3 mois à partir de l’entrée sur le territoire français pour pouvoir bénéficier de la sécurité sociale (PUMa) vient d’être confirmée. Cette mesure va aggraver l’état de santé de ces personnes. Cela entraînerait également des prises en charge à un stade plus avancé de leur pathologie qui devra être traitée par les Urgences, déjà saturées.

    Par ailleurs mettre fin à l’accès aux soins des personnes faisant l’objet d’une obligation de quitter le territoire (OQTF) aura pour conséquence de laisser de nombreuses personnes à la rue sans droits, aggravant leur précarisation.

    L’AME (Aide médicale d’Etat) est, elle aussi, dans le viseur du Gouvernement. Alors que ce système est déjà complexe et entraîne de nombreux retards de soins, les mesures annoncées vont venir renforcer ces entraves aux soins avec une complexification administrative et une mise sous pression supplémentaire, des PASS (Permanences d’accès aux soins de santé), des hôpitaux dont les Urgences, des CPAM, des travailleurs sociaux et des associations.

    Parmi ces mesures, l’introduction d’une obligation d’entente préalable pour certains soins couverts par l’AME (validation par un médecin du besoin de soins pour sa prise en charge effective) et la modification de la condition de résidence en condition de résidence irrégulière sont des reculs importants qui rajoutent des difficultés déjà réelles à la prise en charge médicale des personnes en situation irrégulière.

    En s’attaquant à ces systèmes, le Gouvernement va accroître le nombre de renoncements aux soins, déjà très importants chez ces personnes. Ces mesures vont impacter la santé de ces personnes vulnérables et vont reporter la charge du soin sur les hôpitaux en particulier les Urgences et les PASS, et alourdir les démarches administratives déjà compliquées.

    Cette complexité des démarches se traduirait notamment par l’obligation pour toute personne demandant l’AME de se présenter physiquement lors de l’enregistrement de leur dossier auprès des CPAM. Cette mesure va venir engorger les guichets de ces caisses, qui n’ont pas les moyens d’accueillir toutes les personnes.

    C’est pourquoi nos 10 associations demandent au Gouvernement de renoncer à son projet d’instauration d’un délai de carence pour l’accès aux soins des demandeurs d’asile et de mise en place de nouvelles entraves à l’ouverture des droits AME pour les étrangers en situation irrégulière. Nous appelons également les parlementaires à se mobiliser dès demain pour faire barrage à ce recul sans précédent pour l’accès aux soins de personnes vulnérables.

    https://www.lacimade.org/presse/la-mise-en-danger-de-la-sante-des-etrangers-pour-servir-une-politique-migr
    #migrations #asile #réfugiés #France #accès_aux_soins #vulnérabilité #délai_de_carence #sécurité_sociale #PUMa #AME #PASS #urgences #santé

    • Plan immigration : « On est choqué, c’est la 1ère fois qu’un gouvernement s’en prend à l’accès à la santé des demandeurs d’asile »

      Le gouvernement français a annoncé mercredi de nouvelles mesures censées repenser l’accueil des migrants en France. Parmi les objectifs avancés, celui de « reprendre le contrôle sur la politique migratoire » ou encore de lutter contre « les abus » dans le secteur de la santé, avec notamment l’instauration d’un délai de carence pour les demandeurs d’asile. Or, pour Médecins du Monde et la Cimade, en durcissant les conditions d’accès aux soins, le gouvernement se risque à une politique « dangereuse » qui cible des personnes « en grand besoin ».

      Le Premier ministre Edouard Philippe a égrené mercredi 6 novembre une vingtaine de mesures pour « améliorer (la) politique d’immigration, d’asile et d’intégration ». Outre la mise en place de quotas d’immigrés pour certains emplois, l’ouverture de nouveaux centres de rétention administrative ou la volonté de réduire le délai de l’instruction de l’asile, le gouvernement met l’accent sur « les dévoiements et les abus » en matière de soins et propose une série des réformes pour y remédier.

      Or, pour plusieurs associations comme Médecin du Monde, les mesures annoncées en terme d’accès à la santé des personnes étrangères en France « représentent des reculs sans précédent ». Dans un communiqué paru mercredi 6 novembre, dix organisations dénoncent en premier lieu l’instauration d’un délai de carence de trois mois pour l’accès à la protection universelle maladie (PUMa) des demandeurs d’asile. Jusqu’à présent, ces personnes pouvaient bénéficier d’une protection santé dès lors que leur demande d’asile était en cours d’examen.

      « On est choqué, on est outré : c’est la première fois qu’un gouvernement s’en prend à l’accès à la santé des demandeurs d’asile », s’alarme Carine Rolland, médecin généraliste et membre du conseil d’administration de l’association Médecins du Monde, jointe par InfoMigrants.

      « Il n’y a aucune logique médicale, de santé publique ou économique »

      « Ces personnes arrivent après un parcours très éprouvant, très difficile. C’est la Libye, c’est la Méditerranée. Et puis, c’est l’indignité de l’accueil en France, où plus d’un demandeur d’asile sur deux n’est pas logé en CADA et se retrouve dans des campements infâmes, sur des trottoirs : il faut imaginer ce quotidien. Ils sont épuisés physiquement et psychologiquement, ce sont des personnes en grand besoin », précise-t-elle. D’autant que, selon Carine Rolland, le délai est déjà long pour que les demandeurs d’asile aient accès aux soins : « Le temps qu’ils soient enregistrés à une plateforme, les SPADA, qu’on prenne leurs empreintes en préfecture, puis qu’ils reçoivent une attestation et qu’après ils voient un médecin, c’est déjà trois à six mois ! »

      Toujours dans leur communiqué, les associations rappellent que ces mesures ne feront que « reporter la charge du soin sur les hôpitaux en particulier les urgences et les PASS ». « Il n’y a aucune logique médicale, de santé publique ou économique car les personnes arriveront encore plus malades dans les hôpitaux et cela coûtera encore plus cher de les soigner. Si on considère que, sur notre territoire, des personnes ne doivent plus avoir accès aux soins, c’est très dangereux. La seule raison est politique, on instrumentalise le migrant, et on précarise encore plus ces personnes », ajoute Carine Rolland.

      Le Conseil national de l’Ordre des médecins a également publié un texte jeudi 7 novembre, indiquant que ce délai de carence « interroge sur le principe de solidarité qui est le fondement même de notre pays et de notre système de santé ». « Les médecins – qui ont fait le serment de protéger toutes les personnes, sans aucune discrimination, si elles sont affaiblies, vulnérables ou menacées dans leur intégrité ou leur dignité – ont besoin d’explications. Seront-ils contraints, demain, de refuser de soigner cette population ? », poursuit le Conseil, qui se dit « préoccupé ».

      La période pendant laquelle une personne continue de bénéficier de la protection maladie après la perte du droit au séjour est elle réduite : les déboutés du droit d’asile verront leur accès à la PUMa passer de 12 mois actuellement à 6 mois. Pour les personnes faisant l’objet d’une OQTF, l’accès aux soins sera immédiatement interrompu.

      « Les personnes qui migrent ne le font pas pour des raisons médicales »

      Ces mesures gouvernementales s’appuient notamment sur un rapport des inspections générales des affaires sociales et des finances rendu public le 5 novembre. Il évoque, entre autres, la « croissance rapide du nombre des demandes d’asile [...] en provenance de pays sûrs, parmi lesquels l’Albanie et la Géorgie », qui pose « la question du dévoiement du dispositif ». En clair, certains demandeurs d’asile souhaiteraient « uniquement bénéficier de soins gratuits en France » - sans que l’ampleur du phénomène ne soit chiffrée dans le rapport.

      « C’est faux, les personnes qui migrent ne le font pas pour des raisons médicales, ou alors c’est à la marge. Ce n’est étayé par aucune donnée », s’agace Carine Rolland.

      « On fait payer à tous les demandeurs d’asile une faute, encore une fois même pas documentée, de quelques personnes », abonde Cyrille de Billy, secrétaire général de la Cimade, également joint par InfoMigrants. « En plus, avec cette notion de ’pays sûrs’, on fait tout pour dire que certaines personnes ne sont pas légitimes à demander l’asile ».

      #PLF2020 adopté par @AssembleeNat avec les amendements @gouvernementFR

      Des contrôles renforcés pour les bénéficiaires de l’AME

      S’il n’est pas question de supprimer l’Aide Médicale d’État (AME), le dispositif réservé aux sans-papiers régulièrement au cœur de controverses, elle fera toutefois l’objet de plus importants contrôles. Un délai de trois mois de résidence en France à partir de l’expiration du visa ou du titre de séjour sera requis avant l’obtention de l’AME. Il s’agit d’éviter que des personnes venues en France en tant que touristes puissent profiter du système de santé ensuite, c’est-à-dire faire du « tourisme médical ».

      La demande d’AME devra encore être présentée sur comparution physique du demandeur dans une Caisse primaire d’assurance maladie (CPAM), ou « par l’intermédiaire d’un hôpital ou d’une permanence d’accès aux soins de santé (PASS) ». Pour Cyrille de Billy, cela s’inscrit dans la même veine que les autres décisions : « on complique l’accès déjà difficile aux soins et va accroître encore plus le nombre de renoncements aux soins ». « On est à l’ère de la dématérialisation, il y a de moins en moins d’accueil public et là, on demande à des personnes d’aller physiquement déposer leur dossier : c’est discriminatoire », affirme de son côté Carine Rolland.

      Enfin, les soins considérés comme non-urgents devront être validés avant par la Sécurité sociale pour lutter contre les fraudes. Les prestations concernées sont, par exemple, la pose de prothèses, l’opération de la cataracte ou encore les soins de kinésithérapie. « On demande aux agents de la sécurité sociale d’être des acteurs du contrôle de la politique migratoire française, comme s’ils étaient une préfecture. Les CPAM ne sont pas des antennes du ministère de l’Intérieur ! », note encore Carine Rolland.

      Dans un communiqué publié le 7 novembre, la Cimade explique par ailleurs que ces décisions censées combattre la « fraude à l’aide médicale d’État » ne sont pas accompagnées des chiffres existants à ce sujet. En effet, en 2018, un rapport du Sénat avait souligné que seuls 38 cas de fraude avaient été détectés, sur plus de 300 000 bénéficiaires de l’AME, soit 0,01%.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20692/plan-immigration-on-est-choque-c-est-la-1ere-fois-qu-un-gouvernement-s

  • Réfugiés en #Turquie : évaluation de l’utilisation des #fonds de l’#UE et de la coopération avec Ankara

    Les députés évalueront mercredi la situation des #réfugiés_syriens en Turquie et les résultats du #soutien_financier fourni par l’UE au gouvernement turc.

    Des représentants de la Commission européenne informeront les députés des commissions des libertés civiles, des affaires étrangères et du développement avant de participer à un débat. Ils se concentreront sur la facilité de l’UE en faveur des réfugiés en Turquie, mise en place en 2015 pour aider les autorités turques à venir en aide aux réfugiés sur leur territoire. Elle dispose d’un #budget total de six milliards d’euros à distribuer au plus tard en 2025.

    Sur les 5,6 millions de réfugiés syriens dans le monde, près de 3,7 millions seraient en Turquie, selon les données du HCR.

    #Accord_UE-Turquie et situation en Grèce

    Les députés de la commission des libertés civiles débattront également de la mise en œuvre de la déclaration UE-Turquie, l’accord conclu par les dirigeants européens avec le gouvernement turc en mars 2016 pour mettre un terme au flux de réfugiés en direction des îles grecques.

    Ils échangeront dans un premier temps avec #Michalis_Chrisochoidis, le ministre grec en charge de la protection des citoyens. Les conséquences de l’accord ainsi que la situation dans les #îles grecques feront ensuite l’objet d’une discussion avec des représentants de la Commission européenne, de l’Agence des droits fondamentaux de l’UE, du Bureau européen d’appui en matière d’asile et de Médecins sans frontières.

    DATE : mercredi 6 novembre, de 9h à 12h30

    LIEU : Parlement européen, Bruxelles, bâtiment Paul-Henri Spaak, salle 3C50

    https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/fr/press-room/20191104IPR65732/refugies-en-turquie-evaluation-de-l-utilisation-des-fonds-de-l-ue
    #réfugiés #asile #migrations #EU #accord_UE-Turquie #aide_financière #financement #catastrophe_humanitaire #crise_humanitaire #externalisation #hotspot

    –-------------

    Ici le lien vers la vidéo de la deuxième partie de la séance : https://www.europarl.europa.eu/ep-live/fr/committees/video?event=20191106-1000-COMMITTEE-LIBE

    Vous pouvez y voir l’intervention d’MSF sur le deal avec la Turquie et la situation en Grèce à la min 11:55.
    #suicide #santé_mentale #violences_sexuelles #santé #enfants #mineurs #enfance #surpopulation #toilettes #vulnérabilité #accès_aux_soins

    • Pour la #Cour_européenne_des_droits_de_l’Homme, tout va bien dans les hotspots grecs

      La Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme vient de rejeter pour l’essentiel la requête dont l’avaient saisie, le 16 juin 2016, 51 personnes de nationalités afghane, syrienne et palestinienne - parmi lesquelles de nombreux mineurs -, maintenues de force dans une situation de détresse extrême dans le hotspot de #Chios, en Grèce [1].

      Les 51 requérant.es, soutenu.es par nos associations*, avaient été identifié.es lors d’une mission d’observation du Gisti dans les hotspots grecs au mois de mai 2016 [2]. Privées de liberté et retenues dans l’île de Chios devenue, comme celles de #Lesbos, #Leros, #Samos et #Kos, une prison à ciel ouvert depuis la mise en œuvre de la #Déclaration_UE-Turquie du 20 mars 2016, les personnes concernées invoquaient la violation de plusieurs dispositions de la Convention européenne des droits de l’Homme [3].

      Dans leur requête étaient abondamment et précisément documentés l’insuffisance et le caractère inadapté de la nourriture, les conditions matérielles parfois très dangereuses (tentes mal fixées, serpents, chaleur, promiscuité, etc.), les grandes difficultés d’accès aux soins, l’absence de prise en charge des personnes les plus vulnérables - femmes enceintes, enfants en bas âge, mineurs isolés -, aggravées par le contexte de privation de liberté qui caractérise la situation dans les hotspots, mais aussi l’arbitraire administratif, particulièrement anxiogène du fait de la menace permanente d’un renvoi vers la Turquie.

      La seule violation retenue par la Cour concerne l’impossibilité pour les requérant.es de former des recours effectifs contre les décisions ordonnant leur expulsion ou leur maintien en détention, du fait du manque d’informations accessibles sur le droit au recours et de l’absence, dans l’île de Chios, de tribunal susceptible de recevoir un tel recours.

      Pour le reste, il aura fallu plus de trois ans à la Cour européenne des droits de l’Homme pour juger que la plainte des 51 de Chios n’est pas fondée. Son argumentation se décline en plusieurs volets :

      s’agissant du traitement des personnes mineures, elle reprend à son compte les dénégations du gouvernement grec pour conclure qu’elle n’est « pas convaincue que les autorités n’ont pas fait tout ce que l’on pouvait raisonnablement attendre d’elles pour répondre à l’obligation de prise en charge et de protection » ;

      elle reconnaît qu’il a pu y avoir des problèmes liés à l’accès aux soins médicaux, à la mauvaise qualité de la nourriture et de l’eau et au manque d’informations sur les droits et d’assistance juridique, mais les relativise en rappelant que « l’arrivée massive de migrants avait créé pour les autorités grecques des difficultés de caractère organisationnel, logistique et structurel » et relève qu’en l’absence de détails individualisés (pour chaque requérant.e), elle « ne saurait conclure que les conditions de détention des requérants [y ayant séjourné] constituaient un traitement inhumain et dégradant » ;

      s’agissant de la surpopulation et de la promiscuité, elle n’en écarte pas la réalité – tout en relevant que les requérant.es n’ont « pas indiqué le nombre de mètres carrés dans les conteneurs » – mais pondère son appréciation des risques que cette situation entraîne en précisant que la durée de détention « stricte » n’a pas dépassé trente jours, délai dans lequel « le seuil de gravité requis pour que [cette détention] soit qualifiée de traitement inhumain ou dégradant n’avait pas été atteint ».

      *

      L’appréciation faite par la Cour de la situation de privation de liberté invoquée par les requérant.es est en effet au cœur de sa décision, puisqu’elle s’en sert pour relativiser toutes les violations des droits qu’elles et ils ont subies. C’est ainsi que, sans contester les très mauvaises conditions matérielles qui prévalaient au camp de Vial, elle (se) rassure en précisant qu’il s’agit d’« une structure semi-ouverte, ce qui permettait aux occupants de quitter le centre toute la journée et d’y revenir le soir ». De même, « à supposer qu’il y eut à un moment ou à un autre un problème de surpopulation » au camp de Souda, elle estime « ce camp a toujours été une structure ouverte, fait de nature à atténuer beaucoup les nuisances éventuelles liées à la surpopulation » [4].

      Autrement dit, peu importe, pour la Cour EDH, que des personnes soient contraintes de subir les conditions de vie infrahumaines des camps insalubres du hotspot de Chios, dès lors qu’elles peuvent en sortir. Et peu importe qu’une fois hors de ces camps, elles n’aient d’autre solution que d’y revenir, puisqu’elles n’y sont pas officiellement « détenues ». Qu’importe, en effet, puisque comme dans le reste de « l’archipel des camps » de la mer Égée [5], c’est toute l’île de Chios qu’elles n’ont pas le droit de quitter et qui est donc leur prison.

      En relayant, dans sa décision, l’habillage formel donné par les autorités grecques et l’Union européenne au mécanisme des hotspots, la Cour EDH prend la responsabilité d’abandonner les victimes et conforte l’hypocrisie d’une politique inhumaine qui enferme les exilé.es quand elle devrait les accueillir.

      Contexte

      Depuis trois ans, des dizaines de milliers de personnes sont confinées dans les cinq hotspots de la mer Égée par l’Union européenne, qui finance la Grèce afin qu’elle joue le rôle de garde-frontière de l’Europe.

      Dès leur création, des associations grecques et des ONG, mais aussi des instances européennes et internationales comme, le Haut-Commissariat de l’ONU pour les réfugiés (HCR), le rapporteur spécial de l’ONU pour les droits de l’Homme des migrants, le Comité de prévention de la torture du Conseil de l’Europe, l’Agence de l’UE pour les droits fondamentaux, n’ont cessé d’alerter sur les nombreuses violations de droits qui sont commises dans les hotspots grecs : des conditions d’accueil marquées par la surpopulation, l’insécurité, l’insalubrité et le manque d’hygiène, des violences sexuelles, des atteintes répétées aux droits de l’enfant, le défaut de prise en compte des situations de vulnérabilité, un accès à l’information et aux droits entravé ou inexistant, le déni du droit d’asile. On ne compte plus les témoignages, rapports et enquêtes qui confirment la réalité et l’actualité des situations dramatiques engendrées par ces violations, dont la presse se fait périodiquement l’écho.

      http://www.migreurop.org/article2939.html?lang=fr
      #CEDH

  • Mort de neuf migrants après un #naufrage au large de l’île espagnole de #Lanzarote

    Neuf migrants ont été retrouvés morts au large de Lanzarote après le naufrage de leur embarcation prise dans une forte houle alors qu’ils tentaient de rejoindre cette île des Canaries. Deux autres personnes sont toujours portées disparues.

    Neuf migrants sont morts après le naufrage au large de l’île espagnole de Lanzarote, aux Canaries, de leur embarcation renversée par de fortes vagues, ont indiqué jeudi 7 novembre les autorités de l’archipel. Deux autres migrants sont toujours portés disparus.

    Ce bilan s’est alourdi jeudi après la découverte de quatre nouveaux corps, ont indiqué les autorités locales. Mercredi, cinq corps avaient été retrouvés « en dépit des difficultés dues à la forte houle, responsable du renversement de l’embarcation", avait expliqué l’administration locale de Lanzarote, dans un communiqué.

    "Il y a neuf personnes décédées, en plus des quatre secourues en vie", a indiqué à l’AFP un porte-parole du gouvernement local de Lanzarote, île située au large des côtes marocaines, dans l’océan Atlantique. "Selon certains survivants, quinze personnes étaient à bord de l’embarcation et les services d’urgence continuent de fouiller la zone", a ajouté le porte-parole.

    Les recherches se poursuivaient jeudi avec deux hélicoptères et plusieurs bateaux, en dépit des conditions météorologiques très difficiles "avec des vagues de quatre ou cinq mètres", avait plutôt affirmé Isidoro Blanco, porte-parole des services d’urgence de Lanzarote.

    Selon le récit des rescapés, la quinzaine de personnes aurait pris la mer vendredi. Aucune information n’a été donnée sur leur pays d’origine ni leur identité.

    Selon les chiffres publiés par l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) de l’ONU, au moins 80 personnes sont mortes ou portées disparues, après avoir tenté de parvenir aux Canaries depuis le nord-ouest de l’Afrique en 2019.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20690/mort-de-neuf-migrants-apres-un-naufrage-au-large-de-l-ile-espagnole-de
    #décès #migrations #réfugiés #Lanzarote #Atlantique #océan_atlantique #mourir_en_mer #Canaries #routes_migratoires #itinéraires_migratoires #route_atlantique

    • La côte atlantique, nouveau point de départ de jeunes marocains

      Ces dernières semaines, plusieurs embarcations transportant des jeunes marocains sont parties des villes de Salé, Casablanca, ou encore Safi, pour rejoindre le sud de l’Espagne ou les Canaries. Pour Ali Zoubeidi, docteur en droit public, spécialiste dans le trafic illicite de migrants au Maroc, les départs depuis ces villes situées sur la côte atlantique du pays sont nouveaux, et révèlent le désarroi d’une jeunesse qui, faute de perspectives, se tourne vers un « eldorado » européen.
      Entre fin septembre et début octobre, les corps de 16 personnes ont été repêchés au large de Casablanca, au nord-ouest du Maroc. Les victimes, tous de jeunes marocains, étaient montées à bord d’une embarcation pneumatique, espérant rejoindre le sud de l’Espagne par l’océan Atlantique. Sur la soixantaine de personnes qui se trouvaient à bord, seules trois ont survécu.

      Quelques semaines plus tard, une vidéo publiée sur les réseaux sociaux fait le tour de la presse marocaine. Elle montre Anouar Boukharsa, un sportif marocain détenteur de plusieurs prix de taekwondo régionaux et nationaux, lancer sa médaille à la mer depuis un bateau de fortune en direction des Canaries. Parti de la plage de Souira, au sud de la ville de Safi, avec une dizaine de jeunes marocains comme lui originaires de la région, il est arrivé le 23 octobre à Lanzarote, une île de l’archipel espagnol, après quatre jours de voyage.

      Si le Maroc est devenu ces dernières années une route migratoire majeure, avec des départs s’organisant le plus souvent depuis la côte méditerranéenne, ces deux événements illustrent la présence d’autres points de départ se situant du côté Atlantique. Ali Zoubeidi, docteur en droit public spécialiste dans le trafic illicite de migrants au Maroc, travaille sur l’émergence de ces nouvelles traversées. Il répond aux questions de la rédaction d’InfoMigrants.

      Les départs depuis la côte atlantique du Maroc sont-ils nouveaux ?

      La route atlantique depuis le sud du pays en direction des Canaries avait déjà été réactivée, avec des points de départ dans la région de Tiznit, ou près de Dakhla. On connaissait déjà aussi la route du nord, avec des embarcations qui partent des villes d’Asilah ou de Larache, sur la côte atlantique, pour rejoindre la mer Méditerranée puis le sud de l’Espagne.

      Mais ce que l’on voit émerger maintenant, et c’est très récent, ce sont des points de départ dans le centre, à partir de villes comme Safi - d’où est parti le champion de taekwondo - pour aller aux Canaries, ou de Salé et de Casablanca pour rejoindre la Méditerranée et ensuite le sud de l’Espagne. Ce sont des trajets de plusieurs jours, très dangereux, à bord d’embarcations de pêche traditionnelles ou de bateaux pneumatiques qui sont mis à l’eau sur des plages sauvages, par exemple à Souira, au sud de Safi.

      Les points de départ au sud concernent à la fois des Marocains et des migrants originaires d’Afrique subsaharienne. Ces derniers se retrouvent pour certains au sud du pays après avoir été refoulés du nord par les autorités. [Les autorités marocaines avaient commencé en août 2018 à refouler de force des migrants vers le sud du pays afin de les « soustraire aux réseaux mafieux » du nord, NDLR.]

      Au centre, depuis Safi, Salé, ce sont surtout de jeunes marocains qui partent vers l’Europe.

      Comment expliquer ces départs de jeunes marocains ?

      Même s’il n’y a pas encore de chiffres et données précises sur les départs depuis ces nouvelles zones, ce que l’on observe, c’est vraiment le désespoir de la jeunesse marocaine. Ce sont souvent des jeunes qui décident de quitter le pays en trouvant l’issue la plus proche pour atteindre l’Europe, « l’eldorado ». Dans les vidéos qui sont apparues ces dernières semaines, on a vu plusieurs personnes originaires de Safi partir du sud de leur ville, dont des sportifs. Certains jettent à l’eau leurs médailles, d’autres leurs diplômes. C’est révélateur d’une absence de perspectives pour la jeunesse marocaine, tant au niveau économique, de la santé, qu’au niveau sportif et culturel. Ils savent qu’ils peuvent mourir pendant le trajet, mais ils ne se posent pas la question de ce qu’il pourra ensuite se passer une fois en Espagne.

      C’est vraiment présenté comme une aventure, un challenge entre jeunes. Ce sont aussi des jeunes qui souffrent de l’absence de voie légale d’immigration. Ils se voient refuser des visas pour des raisons économiques, même quand il s’agit pour eux simplement de faire du tourisme ou d’effectuer un déplacement temporaire. Et puis, il y a la mise en scène. On fait des vidéos pendant le passage irrégulier, on se vante pour montrer qu’on y arrive, on fait des dédicaces à sa famille, ses amis : c’est le moment où l’on peut dire « j’ai réussi quelque chose ». Et cela devient un facteur d’attraction pour d’autres. C’est aussi de la publicité dont se servent ensuite les réseaux mafieux.

      Comment s’organisent ces départs ? Quels sont les dangers ?

      Je dirais qu’il y a vraiment des réseaux criminels impliqués dans environ 85% des cas. Le reste étant des amateurs qui s’auto-organisent. Je soulignerais aussi l’importance de la communauté locale, des gens qui habitent sur la côte : dans les quartiers populaires, des pêcheurs sont impliqués. Il y a également des opportunistes, qui n’y connaissent rien, qui prennent contact avec des jeunes via les réseaux sociaux et les arnaquent. Début septembre, pour le cas du naufrage au large de Casablanca d’une embarcation qui se dirigeait vers le sud de l’Espagne, il s’agissait clairement d’une arnaque. Il est extrêmement compliqué de rejoindre les côtes espagnoles depuis Casablanca.

      Il y a également eu le cas de migrants qui avaient été mis dans une embarcation et emmenés d’une côte marocaine à une autre. On leur avait dit de rester cachés pour ne pas être repérés. Au-delà des arnaques, ce sont des routes très dangereuses, autant lorsqu’on part du centre vers les Canaries que du centre vers le sud de l’Espagne. Et, souvent, les jeunes qui partent n’ont pas le réflexe de penser à des numéros de secours qu’ils pourraient appeler en cas de détresse.

      La vidéo du champion de taekwondo, et deux jours avant la photo d’un ancien footballeur lors de sa traversée, sont des signaux d’alarme pour le pays. Le Maroc renforce ses capacités et forme des acteurs à lutter contre ces départs et ces réseaux. Mais il faudra aussi des programmes pour travailler sur les causes profondes qui poussent ces jeunes à partir.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20425/la-cote-atlantique-nouveau-point-de-depart-de-jeunes-marocains

      #migrants_marocains #jeunes #jeunesse #Asilah #Larache #Salé #Casablanca #Safi

  • CEDH | La Suisse violerait la Convention en renvoyant un Afghan chrétien
    https://asile.ch/2019/11/07/cedh-la-suisse-violerait-la-convention-en-renvoyant-un-afghan-chretien

    La Cour Européenne des droits de l’Homme a rendu un arrêt le 05.11.2019 qui reconnaît que la Suisse violerait l’article 3 de la Convention en renvoyant un ressortissant afghan converti au christianisme. Dans l’ Affaire A.A. c. Suisse (Requête n° 32218/17) , la CourEDH relève que, selon de nombreux documents internationaux sur la situation en Afghanistan, […]

  • Refugee stories could do more harm than good

    The pressure of storytelling can leave refugees feeling tokenised and disempowered.

    Ever since I was forced to leave Syria five years ago, I have been sharing my personal story in the hope of raising awareness about the human rights violations in my home country. My experience of storytelling has been both positive and disappointing. On the one hand, it has enabled me to make connections with several supportive individuals who made me feel welcome. But on the other hand, the way that refugees are expected to share and curate their stories can do more harm than good.

    Last year, I was approached by a prominent TV news network to discuss US airstrikes in Syria. I saw the invitation as an opportunity to share my academic perspective as the topic was closely related to what I was researching as part of my doctoral degree at the time. The interview proceeded with personal questions focused on my life in Syria. As I was not being asked about the airstrikes, I requested to share my view and they agreed.

    A few days later, the reporter emailed with me the news clip of their coverage of the strikes. The clip started with a brief summary of what happened. I was then featured for a few seconds, half in tears and conspicuously traumatised while mentioning the loss of my brother and father. The clip then continued with a white Australian observer who gave his “objective” and scholarly analysis of the situation. While the journalist apologised for the “heavy editing”, this humiliating experience taught me that despite my background as a citizen journalist and an academic, for some I will forever be a traumatised Syrian refugee whose primary role is to evoke sympathy and tears.

    Many organisations that work with refugees and asylum seekers also fall into this trap. While most of these organisations are well-meaning and do not directly coerce refugees to share their stories, there is often an expectation that refugees owe the wider public their stories. Thus, the expectation of sharing one’s story can transform into an obligation. I realised this when I politely declined an invitation to share my story from an institution that supported me in the past. Instead of the usual understanding response, a senior staff member at the institution said he was “very disappointed” that I could not save a few minutes of my time to help with their outreach work given what they have done for me.

    Although refugees are free to choose the content of their stories, there is an expectation that they should include some details about their past in order to “move the audience” and inspire sympathy. In preparation for refugee events, some organisers send a list of prompt questions to refugee speakers about their life in their home country, their reasons for leaving, the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them. There is an implicit narrative logic to the questions: ‘tragedy’ to ‘success’, ‘hell’ to ‘paradise’.

    “The curated form of storytelling prevalent nowadays tends to marginalise or oversimplify.”

    Some might claim that sharing refugee stories helps to raise awareness about important issues and generate positive social change by inspiring people and helping them better relate to the experiences of refugees and asylum seekers. Of course, personal stories contribute to achieving these goals. However, the curated form of storytelling prevalent nowadays tends to marginalise or oversimplify the complex context surrounding these stories.

    While many refugees inspire others with their perseverance and resilience, their trauma and their stories should not be packaged in order to inspire. Refugees are not objects or vehicles of inspiration and sympathy. By repeatedly requesting refugees to share stories of why they have sought refuge, we essentialise their identities. People with disabilities face similar objectification when people treat their very existence and ability to lead their lives as inspiring.

    The whole paradigm of using stories to raise awareness and change hearts and minds warrants further research. In my experience, the main audience of refugee narratives are people who support refugees already and tend to perceive these stories as a powerful demonstration of resilience and contribution to society. But we should be aware that the fetishisation of success stories can ignore the painful reality that for many refugees, surviving and adapting to a new life outside of their home country is often overwhelming, difficult and painful.

    “Empowering refugees does not have to come through emphasising their heartbreaking stories.”

    It is critical that refugees and the institutions that work closely with them are cognisant of the potential risks of sharing painful details of refugee stories. Because many refugees may feel obliged to accept requests of their supporters, being aware of the power imbalance is critical. People also need to recognise that refugees and asylum seekers have agency, and respect their right to determine how and when they share their stories. Empowering refugees does not have to come through emphasising their heartbreaking stories. Resisting the urge to ask refugees about their past life in their home country can be difficult, especially given their unique first-hand accounts. And while many refugees do not mind sharing their perspectives, we need to be careful not to trigger painful memories.

    Once they are resettled, most refugees try to move on with their lives, focus on their families, establish new careers and contribute to the society that has taken them in. How many stories do we hear about the challenges of young people adapting to a completely new education system? The difficulty of finding employment? The joy of discovery in a new country? If we are genuinely interested in supporting refugees, then we should focus on stories about their present and future, not just their past.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/refugee-stories-could-do-more-harm-good
    #témoignage #storytelling #réfugiés #migrations #empowerment #disempowerment #personnification #humiliation #victimisation #obligation #émotions #narrative #dépolitisation #essentialisation #histoires #risques #présent #passé

    ping @karine4

  • Il corpo senza vita di #Ousmane_Keita, un #bracciante 22enne originario della Costa d’Avorio, è stato ritrova con un paio di cesoie conficcate in gola nelle campagne di Rosarno. Condoglianze e vicinanza ai familiari. Chiediamo piena luce su questa vicenda.

    https://twitter.com/aboubakar_soum/status/1192190798063951873

    #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_europe #exploitation #décès #mort #asile #migrations #réfugiés #travail #Rosarno #Italie #Calabre

  • The Eritrean National Service. Servitude for “the common good” and the Youth Exodus

    Gives voice to the conscripts who are forced to serve indefinitely without remuneration under the ENS in a powerful critical survey of its effect from the #Liberation_Struggle to today.

    The #Eritrean_National_Service (ENS) lies at the core of the post-independence state, not only supplying its military, but affecting every aspect of the country’s economy, its social services, its public sector and its politics. Over half the workforce are forcibly enrolled into it by the government, driving the country’s youth to escape national service by seeking employment and asylum elsewhere. Yet how did the ENS, which began during the 1961-91 liberation struggle as part of the idea of the “common good” - in which individual interests were sacrificed in pursuit of the grand scheme of independence and the country’s development - degenerate into forced labour and a modern form of slavery? And why, when Eritrea no longer faces existential threat, does the government continue to demand such service from its citizens?
    This book provides for the first time an in-depth and critical scrutiny of the ENS’s achievements and failures and its overarching impact on the social fabric of Eritrea. The author discusses the historical backdrop to the ENS and the rationales underlying it; its goals and objectives; its transformative effects, as well as its impact on the country’s defence capability, national unity, national identity construction and nation-building. He also analyses the extent to which the national service functions as an effective mechanism of transmitting the core values of the liberation struggle to the conscripts and through them to the rest of country’s population. Finally, the book assesses whether the core aims and objectives of the ENS proclaimed by various governments have been or are in the process of being accomplished and, drawing on the testimony of the hitherto voiceless conscripts themselves, its impact on their lives and livelihoods.


    https://boydellandbrewer.com/the-eritrean-national-service-hb.html
    #livre #service_national #émigration #asile #migrations #réfugiés #Erythrée #Gaim_Kibreab

    • Le même auteur a écrit aussi cet article :
      Sexual Violence in the Eritrean National Service

      Claims of sexual violence against female conscripts by military commanders abound in the Eritrean national service (ENS). Hitherto there has been no attempt to subject these claims to rigorous empirical scrutiny. This article is a partial attempt to fill the gap. Using data collected through snowball sampling from 190 deserters (51 females and 139 males) in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, South Africa, Kenya and Sweden, supplemented by data from systematically selected key informants, it examines the extent to which female conscripts serving in the ENS are subjected to sexual violence and harassment by their commanders. The extensive data based on the perceptions and experiences of respondents who served on average about six years before deserting; imply that sexual abuse is rampant in the ENS

      https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/8701z
      #viol #culture_du_viol #violences_sexuelles

  • Domestic violence has been recognised as a valid reason for granting asylum.

    Last month, the Constitutional Court in Croatia issued a historic decision of major importance to all women seeking international protection in Croatia because of domestic violence in the countries from which they had to flee. With this decision, domestic violence has been recognised as a valid reason for granting asylum (https://www.jutarnji.hr/vijesti/hrvatska/kljucna-promjena-za-imigrantice-zbog-slucaja-zlostavljane-zene-iz-iraka-ustavni-sud-donio-je-povijesnu-odluku-obiteljsko-nasilje-razlog-je-za-azil/9531485). In deciding the case of an Iraqi woman who was denied asylum, who testified about severe violence and abuse by male family members in her home country, the Constitutional Court unanimously found that the Ministry of the Interior, the Administrative Court and the High Administrative Court had violated her human rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights. They upheld her case and overturned the judgments in question, returning her case for retrial and opening the door to a possible change in asylum practices.

    Reçu via Inicijativa dobrodosli, mail du 06.11.2019.

    #violence_domestique #asile #migrations #réfugiés #femmes #Croatie #justice

  • Vivere

    Il dono di Selma ha salvato tre vite. Lei era una profuga palestinese di 49 anni, scappata col marito e due figli adolescenti dalla Siria dilaniata dalla guerra. Il passaggio in Egitto, l’avventuroso viaggio con altri migranti su un barcone condotto da scafisti, i soccorsi della Guardia costiera italiana che la trovano in fin di vita al largo di Siracusa. Inutili i disperati tentativi di salvarla: Selma muore. E il marito insieme ai figli, grazie alla mediazione di un medico nefrologo palestinese che lavora nell’ospedale della città siciliana, decide: “Facciamo ciò che è giusto”. Gli organi della donna vengono donati a tre italiani, da tempo in attesa di trapianto. Per Selma e i familiari l’Italia doveva essere solo una tappa: erano diretti in Svezia, dove vive e lavora il figlio maggiore. Lei si è fermata in Sicilia, è stata sepolta a Malta: ma la sua morte ha permesso ad altre vite di continuare.


    https://www.fandangoeditore.it/shop/marchi-editoriali/coconino-press/dokumenta/vivere

    #transplantation_d'organes #BD #livre #bande_dessinée #don #vie #don_d'organes #Ugo_Bertotti #migrations #réfugiés #réfugiés_syriens

  • Letters to the world from Moria hotspot

    The first letter :

    “Put yourself in our shoes! We are not safe in Moria. We didn’t escape from our homelands to stay hidden and trapped. We didn’t pass the borders and played with our lifes to live in fear and danger.

    Put yourself in our shoes! Can you live in a place , that you can not walk alone even when you just want to go the toilette. Can you live in a place, where there are hundreds of unaccompanied minors that no one can stop attempting suicides. That no one stops them from drinking.

    No one can go out after 9:00 pm because the thieves will steal anything you have and if you don’t give them what they want, they will hurt you. We should go to the police? We went alot and they just tell that we should find the thief by ourselves. They say: ‘We can not do anything for you.’ In a camp of 14.000 refugees you won’t see anyone to protect us anywhere even at midnight. Two days ago there was a big fight, but util it finished no one came for help. Many tents burned. When the people went to complain, no one cared and and even the police told us: ‘This is your own problem.’

    In this situation the first thing that comes to my mind to tell you is, we didn’t come here to Europe for money, and not for becoming a European citizen. It was just to breathe a day in peace.

    Instead, hundreds of minors here became addicted, but no one cares.

    Five human beings burned, but no one cares.

    Thousands of children didn’t undergo vaccination, but no one cares.

    I am writing to you to share and I am hoping for change…”

    http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2019/10/23/letter-to-the-world-1-from-moria-hotspot

    Les 3 autres sur le site infomobile :
    http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2019/10/27/letter-to-the-world-from-moria-no-2
    http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2019/10/27/letter-to-the-world-from-moria-no-3
    http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2019/10/27/letter-to-the-world-from-moria-no-4

    Et la traduction en italien des lettres sur le site Meltingpot :
    https://www.meltingpot.org/Lettera-al-mondo-dal-campo-profughi-di-Moria-sull-isola.html

    #Moria #lettre #lettres #asile #migrations #hotspot #réfugiés #Grèce #îles #témoignage

  • No Go World. How Fear Is Redrawing Our Maps and Infecting Our Politics

    War-torn deserts, jihadist killings, trucks weighted down with contraband and migrants—from the Afghan-Pakistan borderlands to the Sahara, images of danger depict a new world disorder on the global margins. With vivid detail, #Ruben_Andersson traverses this terrain to provide a startling new understanding of what is happening in remote “danger zones.” Instead of buying into apocalyptic visions, Andersson takes aim at how Western states and international organizations conduct military, aid, and border interventions in a dangerously myopic fashion, further disconnecting the world’s rich and poor. Using drones, proxy forces, border reinforcement, and outsourced aid, risk-obsessed powers are helping to remap the world into zones of insecurity and danger. The result is a vision of chaos crashing into fortified borders, with national and global politics riven by fear. Andersson contends that we must reconnect and snap out of this dangerous spiral, which affects us whether we live in Texas or Timbuktu. Only by developing a new cartography of hope can we move beyond the political geography of fear that haunts us.

    https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520294608/no-go-world
    #livre #peur #géographie_politique #marges #désordre #inégalités #pauvres #riches #pauvreté #richesse #drones #fermeture_des_frontières #insécurité #danger #chaos #militarisation_des_frontières #espoir
    ping @cede @karine4 @isskein