• The government undermines legality and the rule of law under the pretext of coronavirus

    In a statement the Minister of Interior appears perturbed by NGO accusations for violations of the law, European legislation and human rights of refugees and migrants, claiming that, with the compulsory “quarantine” of hundreds of refugees in congested detention centres, his ministry “does whatever is possible for providing housing, food and healthcare”, even for “illegal” refugees! As to the lack of basic infrastructures for safeguarding human decency, his response is that «additional sanitary units are being installed and the electricity supply is being increased”.

    However, the Minister of Interior does not respond to the accusations either as to flagrant violations of the Refugee Law and European legislation that primarily prohibit their detention, or as to the contempt of all recommendations and calls by international and European agencies. The Council of Europe (CoE) for example with the CoE Tookit calls on the member states to deal with the pandemic “in a way that respects the fundamental values of democracy, rule of law and human rights”, while the Commissioner for Human Rights of the CoE calls on member states to release migrants and asylum seekers in detention centres “to the maximum extent possible”.

    The new migration policy of the Minister is focused on detention of asylum seekers and their concentration at “Reception” Centres for asylum seekers in Pournara and Kofinou. The two Centers have been turned to closed detention centres, under unacceptable, inhuman and humiliating living conditions, depriving them of basic human rights and putting their health to danger and therefore that of society at large, while at the same time suspending the asylum application examination procedures. There is already a nurse diagnosed with coronavirus at the Menoyia Detention Centre for Irregular Migrants and police officers serving there have been put in quarantine. However, no measures have been taken for the protection of the detained refugees and migrants and none of them have been tested for coronavirus, despite the fact that we have been informed of cases of detainees with some symptoms. Contrary to common sense and in violation of the decrees of the Minister of Health for the prohibition of even small group gatherings, the Minister of Interior ordered the transfer of detainees from Menoyia to Pournara, detaining them in the spaces where some 700 people are being held, without any testing and risking their health and public health in general.

    In addition, the Minister of Interior does not explain that, in view of the lack over the years of a housing policy for refugees and migrants, “housing” for the detained asylum seekers is a tent or other similar rough structure, while for a section of migrants, especially those without papers, “housing” is simply a bed next to 5 or 10 other beds in a room in terrible repair but which carries a very steep rent. The same also applies to «medical care”, in the framework of which asylum seekers are limited to general hospitals of the area prior to GESY (General Health System), unable to register with a personal doctor and all that this entails, especially in the present conditions of coronavirus. For the majority of migrants, even those regularly paying their contribution to GESY for over a year now, continue to be excluded from registering with the system, which results in their being referred to a non-existent personal doctor when they apply to emergency departments.

    Conceding that the above measures have been taken in the absence of coronavirus cases among asylum seekers, the Minister claims that their compulsory transfer and detention at Pournara and Kofinou «was deemed necessary … because it was found that they did not comply with the restrictive measures». Without substantiating his allegations, the Minister proceeds to stigmatisation and arbitrary punitive treatment (deprivation of liberty) of migrants and refugees.

    By the same token, it was also deemed «necessary», and «reasonable» as per a “Fileleftheros” journalist», to use violence, excessive according to eyewitnesses, by the Special Traffic Squad «Ζ» of the police during the recent arrest of two migrants for not complying with the restrictive measures. In the framework of the toxic climate against migrant and refugee communities, shaped by the policy of the government and the Minister of Interior, including the use of the army with common patrols in old Nicosia, Squad “Z” appears to concentrate its action in the old city of Nicosia, targeting its racist rage at migrants and refugees and exhausting the frustrations of at least some of its members for demonstrating power and authority, through the use of verbal and physical violence as in the above arrest. Occasionally, the police are “accompanied” in this “work” by some journalists, who completely “by chance” happen to be present in some cases by the police and who are all too ready not only to exonerate but to also promote police actions with relevant photographs and articles.

    KISA reiterates its position that the policies and actions of the Minister of Interior and the government, both in terms of mass detention and the arbitrary suspension of the asylum procedures during the pandemic as well as in relation to the unequal access to the right to healthcare, constitute blatant violations of the Refugee Law, European legislation and international human rights law but they are also extremely dangerous for the health of asylum seekers and public health in general.

    KISA states that it fully appreciates the necessity to comply with the restrictive measures and that the small section of citizens, including migrants and refugees that violates the measures must be dealt with equally as all other citizens. The racist treatment, violence and stigmatisation of all the migrant and refugee population as potentially not complying with the measures and, therefore, as dangerous for public health, amounts to flagrant violations of the fundamental principles of equality, rule of law and human rights, undermining and shattering our country’s democracy and civilization.

    KISA deems as positive the interventions of both the UNHCR and the Commissioner for Administration and Human Rights but these must not be limited to general positions of the type “a report will be prepared” but they should posit in no uncertain terms the need for immediate measures for restoring legality and the rule of law. Neither the visit in the form of a “tour” by the Minister nor the provision of “200 more tents” will lead to changing the Ministry’s unlawful policy and violations.

    KISA has proceeded to legal measures, including before the European Court of Human Rights, as well as a report against the Ministry’s measures. At the same time, it calls on other civil society organisations, independent authorities and the competent parliamentary committees for immediate and dynamic interventions so as to fully restore the government’s compliance with legality and the rule of law.

    #Chypre #asile #migrations #coronavirus #covid-19 #réfugiés #rétention #détention_administrative #Pournara #Kofinou #Menoyia

    Ajouté à la métaliste:

  • Monitoring being pitched to fight Covid-19 was tested on refugees

    The pandemic has given a boost to controversial data-driven initiatives to track population movements

    In Italy, social media monitoring companies have been scouring Instagram to see who’s breaking the nationwide lockdown. In Israel, the government has made plans to “sift through geolocation data” collected by the Shin Bet intelligence agency and text people who have been in contact with an infected person. And in the UK, the government has asked mobile operators to share phone users’ aggregate location data to “help to predict broadly how the virus might move”.

    These efforts are just the most visible tip of a rapidly evolving industry combining the exploitation of data from the internet and mobile phones and the increasing number of sensors embedded on Earth and in space. Data scientists are intrigued by the new possibilities for behavioural prediction that such data offers. But they are also coming to terms with the complexity of actually using these data sets, and the ethical and practical problems that lurk within them.

    In the wake of the refugee crisis of 2015, tech companies and research consortiums pushed to develop projects using new data sources to predict movements of migrants into Europe. These ranged from broad efforts to extract intelligence from public social media profiles by hand, to more complex automated manipulation of big data sets through image recognition and machine learning. Two recent efforts have just been shut down, however, and others are yet to produce operational results.

    While IT companies and some areas of the humanitarian sector have applauded new possibilities, critics cite human rights concerns, or point to limitations in what such technological solutions can actually achieve.

    In September last year Frontex, the European border security agency, published a tender for “social media analysis services concerning irregular migration trends and forecasts”. The agency was offering the winning bidder up to €400,000 for “improved risk analysis regarding future irregular migratory movements” and support of Frontex’s anti-immigration operations.

    Frontex “wants to embrace” opportunities arising from the rapid growth of social media platforms, a contracting document outlined. The border agency believes that social media interactions drastically change the way people plan their routes, and thus examining would-be migrants’ online behaviour could help it get ahead of the curve, since these interactions typically occur “well before persons reach the external borders of the EU”.

    Frontex asked bidders to develop lists of key words that could be mined from platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. The winning company would produce a monthly report containing “predictive intelligence ... of irregular flows”.

    Early this year, however, Frontex cancelled the opportunity. It followed swiftly on from another shutdown; Frontex’s sister agency, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), had fallen foul of the European data protection watchdog, the EDPS, for searching social media content from would-be migrants.

    The EASO had been using the data to flag “shifts in asylum and migration routes, smuggling offers and the discourse among social media community users on key issues – flights, human trafficking and asylum systems/processes”. The search covered a broad range of languages, including Arabic, Pashto, Dari, Urdu, Tigrinya, Amharic, Edo, Pidgin English, Russian, Kurmanji Kurdish, Hausa and French.

    Although the EASO’s mission, as its name suggests, is centred around support for the asylum system, its reports were widely circulated, including to organisations that attempt to limit illegal immigration – Europol, Interpol, member states and Frontex itself.

    In shutting down the EASO’s social media monitoring project, the watchdog cited numerous concerns about process, the impact on fundamental rights and the lack of a legal basis for the work.

    “This processing operation concerns a vast number of social media users,” the EDPS pointed out. Because EASO’s reports are read by border security forces, there was a significant risk that data shared by asylum seekers to help others travel safely to Europe could instead be unfairly used against them without their knowledge.

    Social media monitoring “poses high risks to individuals’ rights and freedoms,” the regulator concluded in an assessment it delivered last November. “It involves the use of personal data in a way that goes beyond their initial purpose, their initial context of publication and in ways that individuals could not reasonably anticipate. This may have a chilling effect on people’s ability and willingness to express themselves and form relationships freely.”

    EASO told the Bureau that the ban had “negative consequences” on “the ability of EU member states to adapt the preparedness, and increase the effectiveness, of their asylum systems” and also noted a “potential harmful impact on the safety of migrants and asylum seekers”.

    Frontex said that its social media analysis tender was cancelled after new European border regulations came into force, but added that it was considering modifying the tender in response to these rules.

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    The two shutdowns represented a stumbling block for efforts to track population movements via new technologies and sources of data. But the public health crisis precipitated by the Covid-19 virus has brought such efforts abruptly to wider attention. In doing so it has cast a spotlight on a complex knot of issues. What information is personal, and legally protected? How does that protection work? What do concepts like anonymisation, privacy and consent mean in an age of big data?
    The shape of things to come

    International humanitarian organisations have long been interested in whether they can use nontraditional data sources to help plan disaster responses. As they often operate in inaccessible regions with little available or accurate official data about population sizes and movements, they can benefit from using new big data sources to estimate how many people are moving where. In particular, as well as using social media, recent efforts have sought to combine insights from mobile phones – a vital possession for a refugee or disaster survivor – with images generated by “Earth observation” satellites.

    “Mobiles, satellites and social media are the holy trinity of movement prediction,” said Linnet Taylor, professor at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society in the Netherlands, who has been studying the privacy implications of such new data sources. “It’s the shape of things to come.”

    As the devastating impact of the Syrian civil war worsened in 2015, Europe saw itself in crisis. Refugee movements dominated the headlines and while some countries, notably Germany, opened up to more arrivals than usual, others shut down. European agencies and tech companies started to team up with a new offering: a migration hotspot predictor.

    Controversially, they were importing a concept drawn from distant catastrophe zones into decision-making on what should happen within the borders of the EU.

    “Here’s the heart of the matter,” said Nathaniel Raymond, a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs who focuses on the security implications of information communication technologies for vulnerable populations. “In ungoverned frontier cases [European data protection law] doesn’t apply. Use of these technologies might be ethically safer there, and in any case it’s the only thing that is available. When you enter governed space, data volume and ease of manipulation go up. Putting this technology to work in the EU is a total inversion.”
    “Mobiles, satellites and social media are the holy trinity of movement prediction”

    Justin Ginnetti, head of data and analysis at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre in Switzerland, made a similar point. His organisation monitors movements to help humanitarian groups provide food, shelter and aid to those forced from their homes, but he casts a skeptical eye on governments using the same technology in the context of migration.

    “Many governments – within the EU and elsewhere – are very interested in these technologies, for reasons that are not the same as ours,” he told the Bureau. He called such technologies “a nuclear fly swatter,” adding: “The key question is: What problem are you really trying to solve with it? For many governments, it’s not preparing to ‘better respond to inflow of people’ – it’s raising red flags, to identify those en route and prevent them from arriving.”
    Eye in the sky

    A key player in marketing this concept was the European Space Agency (ESA) – an organisation based in Paris, with a major spaceport in French Guiana. The ESA’s pitch was to combine its space assets with other people’s data. “Could you be leveraging space technology and data for the benefit of life on Earth?” a recent presentation from the organisation on “disruptive smart technologies” asked. “We’ll work together to make your idea commercially viable.”

    By 2016, technologists at the ESA had spotted an opportunity. “Europe is being confronted with the most significant influxes of migrants and refugees in its history,” a presentation for their Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems Programme stated. “One burning issue is the lack of timely information on migration trends, flows and rates. Big data applications have been recognised as a potentially powerful tool.” It decided to assess how it could harness such data.

    The ESA reached out to various European agencies, including EASO and Frontex, to offer a stake in what it called “big data applications to boost preparedness and response to migration”. The space agency would fund initial feasibility stages, but wanted any operational work to be jointly funded.

    One such feasibility study was carried out by GMV, a privately owned tech group covering banking, defence, health, telecommunications and satellites. GMV announced in a press release in August 2017 that the study would “assess the added value of big data solutions in the migration sector, namely the reduction of safety risks for migrants, the enhancement of border controls, as well as prevention and response to security issues related with unexpected migration movements”. It would do this by integrating “multiple space assets” with other sources including mobile phones and social media.

    When contacted by the Bureau, a spokeswoman from GMV said that, contrary to the press release, “nothing in the feasibility study related to the enhancement of border controls”.

    In the same year, the technology multinational CGI teamed up with the Dutch Statistics Office to explore similar questions. They started by looking at data around asylum flows from Syria and at how satellite images and social media could indicate changes in migration patterns in Niger, a key route into Europe. Following this experiment, they approached EASO in October 2017. CGI’s presentation of the work noted that at the time EASO was looking for a social media analysis tool that could monitor Facebook groups, predict arrivals of migrants at EU borders, and determine the number of “hotspots” and migrant shelters. CGI pitched a combined project, co-funded by the ESA, to start in 2019 and expand to serve more organisations in 2020.
    The proposal was to identify “hotspot activities”, using phone data to group individuals “according to where they spend the night”

    The idea was called Migration Radar 2.0. The ESA wrote that “analysing social media data allows for better understanding of the behaviour and sentiments of crowds at a particular geographic location and a specific moment in time, which can be indicators of possible migration movements in the immediate future”. Combined with continuous monitoring from space, the result would be an “early warning system” that offered potential future movements and routes, “as well as information about the composition of people in terms of origin, age, gender”.

    Internal notes released by EASO to the Bureau show the sheer range of companies trying to get a slice of the action. The agency had considered offers of services not only from the ESA, GMV, the Dutch Statistics Office and CGI, but also from BIP, a consulting firm, the aerospace group Thales Alenia, the geoinformation specialist EGEOS and Vodafone.

    Some of the pitches were better received than others. An EASO analyst who took notes on the various proposals remarked that “most oversell a bit”. They went on: “Some claimed they could trace GSM [ie mobile networks] but then clarified they could do it for Venezuelans only, and maybe one or two countries in Africa.” Financial implications were not always clearly provided. On the other hand, the official noted, the ESA and its consortium would pay 80% of costs and “we can get collaboration on something we plan to do anyway”.

    The features on offer included automatic alerts, a social media timeline, sentiment analysis, “animated bubbles with asylum applications from countries of origin over time”, the detection and monitoring of smuggling sites, hotspot maps, change detection and border monitoring.

    The document notes a group of services available from Vodafone, for example, in the context of a proposed project to monitor asylum centres in Italy. The proposal was to identify “hotspot activities”, using phone data to group individuals either by nationality or “according to where they spend the night”, and also to test if their movements into the country from abroad could be back-tracked. A tentative estimate for the cost of a pilot project, spread over four municipalities, came to €250,000 – of which an unspecified amount was for “regulatory (privacy) issues”.

    Stumbling blocks

    Elsewhere, efforts to harness social media data for similar purposes were proving problematic. A September 2017 UN study tried to establish whether analysing social media posts, specifically on Twitter, “could provide insights into ... altered routes, or the conversations PoC [“persons of concern”] are having with service providers, including smugglers”. The hypothesis was that this could “better inform the orientation of resource allocations, and advocacy efforts” - but the study was unable to conclude either way, after failing to identify enough relevant data on Twitter.

    The ESA pressed ahead, with four feasibility studies concluding in 2018 and 2019. The Migration Radar project produced a dashboard that showcased the use of satellite imagery for automatically detecting changes in temporary settlement, as well as tools to analyse sentiment on social media. The prototype received positive reviews, its backers wrote, encouraging them to keep developing the product.

    CGI was effusive about the predictive power of its technology, which could automatically detect “groups of people, traces of trucks at unexpected places, tent camps, waste heaps and boats” while offering insight into “the sentiments of migrants at certain moments” and “information that is shared about routes and motives for taking certain routes”. Armed with this data, the company argued that it could create a service which could predict the possible outcomes of migration movements before they happened.

    The ESA’s other “big data applications” study had identified a demand among EU agencies and other potential customers for predictive analyses to ensure “preparedness” and alert systems for migration events. A package of services was proposed, using data drawn from social media and satellites.

    Both projects were slated to evolve into a second, operational phase. But this seems to have never become reality. CGI told the Bureau that “since the completion of the [Migration Radar] project, we have not carried out any extra activities in this domain”.

    The ESA told the Bureau that its studies had “confirmed the usefulness” of combining space technology and big data for monitoring migration movements. The agency added that its corporate partners were working on follow-on projects despite “internal delays”.

    EASO itself told the Bureau that it “took a decision not to get involved” in the various proposals it had received.

    Specialists found a “striking absence” of agreed upon core principles when using the new technologies

    But even as these efforts slowed, others have been pursuing similar goals. The European Commission’s Knowledge Centre on Migration and Demography has proposed a “Big Data for Migration Alliance” to address data access, security and ethics concerns. A new partnership between the ESA and GMV – “Bigmig" – aims to support “migration management and prevention” through a combination of satellite observation and machine-learning techniques (the company emphasised to the Bureau that its focus was humanitarian). And a consortium of universities and private sector partners – GMV among them – has just launched a €3 million EU-funded project, named Hummingbird, to improve predictions of migration patterns, including through analysing phone call records, satellite imagery and social media.

    At a conference in Berlin in October 2019, dozens of specialists from academia, government and the humanitarian sector debated the use of these new technologies for “forecasting human mobility in contexts of crises”. Their conclusions raised numerous red flags. They found a “striking absence” of agreed upon core principles. It was hard to balance the potential good with ethical concerns, because the most useful data tended to be more specific, leading to greater risks of misuse and even, in the worst case scenario, weaponisation of the data. Partnerships with corporations introduced transparency complications. Communication of predictive findings to decision makers, and particularly the “miscommunication of the scope and limitations associated with such findings”, was identified as a particular problem.

    The full consequences of relying on artificial intelligence and “employing large scale, automated, and combined analysis of datasets of different sources” to predict movements in a crisis could not be foreseen, the workshop report concluded. “Humanitarian and political actors who base their decisions on such analytics must therefore carefully reflect on the potential risks.”

    A fresh crisis

    Until recently, discussion of such risks remained mostly confined to scientific papers and NGO workshops. The Covid-19 pandemic has brought it crashing into the mainstream.

    Some see critical advantages to using call data records to trace movements and map the spread of the virus. “Using our mobile technology, we have the potential to build models that help to predict broadly how the virus might move,” an O2 spokesperson said in March. But others believe that it is too late for this to be useful. The UK’s chief scientific officer, Patrick Vallance, told a press conference in March that using this type of data “would have been a good idea in January”.

    Like the 2015 refugee crisis, the global emergency offers an opportunity for industry to get ahead of the curve with innovative uses of big data. At a summit in Downing Street on 11 March, Dominic Cummings asked tech firms “what [they] could bring to the table” to help the fight against Covid-19.

    Human rights advocates worry about the longer term effects of such efforts, however. “Right now, we’re seeing states around the world roll out powerful new surveillance measures and strike up hasty partnerships with tech companies,” Anna Bacciarelli, a technology researcher at Amnesty International, told the Bureau. “While states must act to protect people in this pandemic, it is vital that we ensure that invasive surveillance measures do not become normalised and permanent, beyond their emergency status.”

    More creative methods of surveillance and prediction are not necessarily answering the right question, others warn.

    “The single largest determinant of Covid-19 mortality is healthcare system capacity,” said Sean McDonald, a senior fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, who studied the use of phone data in the west African Ebola outbreak of 2014-5. “But governments are focusing on the pandemic as a problem of people management rather than a problem of building response capacity. More broadly, there is nowhere near enough proof that the science or math underlying the technologies being deployed meaningfully contribute to controlling the virus at all.”

    Legally, this type of data processing raises complicated questions. While European data protection law - the GDPR - generally prohibits processing of “special categories of personal data”, including ethnicity, beliefs, sexual orientation, biometrics and health, it allows such processing in a number of instances (among them public health emergencies). In the case of refugee movement prediction, there are signs that the law is cracking at the seams.
    “There is nowhere near enough proof that the science or math underlying the technologies being deployed meaningfully contribute to controlling the virus at all.”

    Under GDPR, researchers are supposed to make “impact assessments” of how their data processing can affect fundamental rights. If they find potential for concern they should consult their national information commissioner. There is no simple way to know whether such assessments have been produced, however, or whether they were thoroughly carried out.

    Researchers engaged with crunching mobile phone data point to anonymisation and aggregation as effective tools for ensuring privacy is maintained. But the solution is not straightforward, either technically or legally.

    “If telcos are using individual call records or location data to provide intel on the whereabouts, movements or activities of migrants and refugees, they still need a legal basis to use that data for that purpose in the first place – even if the final intelligence report itself does not contain any personal data,” said Ben Hayes, director of AWO, a data rights law firm and consultancy. “The more likely it is that the people concerned may be identified or affected, the more serious this matter becomes.”

    More broadly, experts worry that, faced with the potential of big data technology to illuminate movements of groups of people, the law’s provisions on privacy begin to seem outdated.

    “We’re paying more attention now to privacy under its traditional definition,” Nathaniel Raymond said. “But privacy is not the same as group legibility.” Simply put, while issues around the sensitivity of personal data can be obvious, the combinations of seemingly unrelated data that offer insights about what small groups of people are doing can be hard to foresee, and hard to mitigate. Raymond argues that the concept of privacy as enshrined in the newly minted data protection law is anachronistic. As he puts it, “GDPR is already dead, stuffed and mounted. We’re increasing vulnerability under the colour of law.”

    #cobaye #surveillance #réfugiés #covid-19 #coronavirus #test #smartphone #téléphones_portables #Frontex #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Shin_Bet #internet #big_data #droits_humains #réseaux_sociaux #intelligence_prédictive #European_Asylum_Support_Office (#EASO) #EDPS #protection_des_données #humanitaire #images_satellites #technologie #European_Space_Agency (#ESA) #GMV #CGI #Niger #Facebook #Migration_Radar_2.0 #early_warning_system #BIP #Thales_Alenia #EGEOS #complexe_militaro-industriel #Vodafone #GSM #Italie #twitter #détection #routes_migratoires #systèmes_d'alerte #satellites #Knowledge_Centre_on_Migration_and_Demography #Big_Data for_Migration_Alliance #Bigmig #machine-learning #Hummingbird #weaponisation_of_the_data #IA #intelligence_artificielle #données_personnelles

    ping @etraces @isskein @karine4 @reka

    signalé ici par @sinehebdo :

  • Mapping covid-19 impact in refugee camps

    Ce virus ne discrimine pas par la couleur de peau, le genre ou le statut. Toutefois, il est certain qu’il affectera dans des proportions plus grandes et des formes plus sévères les plus vulnérables d’entre nous – notamment les réfugiés et personnes déplacées – pour qui, en moyenne, l’accès aux soins, à l’information et les opportunités pour se protéger des ces conséquences socio-économiques sont moindres. C’est pourquoi nous avons décidé avec le soutien des membres de la communauté Techfugees de collaborer ensemble à distance afin de mesurer l’impact du coronavirus sur les communautés réfugiées et identifier les solutions existantes potentiellement prêtes à être déployées localement ou partagées.

    La plateforme collecte des #données quantitative et qualitative sur la manière dont le #coronavirus affecte les communautés réfugiées. D’abord d’un point de vue purement sanitaire & humanitaires, mais aussi capturant des données sur l’#impact_socio-économique et les atteintes aux droits de l’Homme. La plateforme fournit également un éventail de solutions existantes afin de venir en aide et de rendre plus autonome les personnes réfugiées. Ces données sont mise à jour de manière hebdomadaire.

    La carte/the map:

    Le fichier de données / the spreadsheet:

    #coronavirus #cartographie #cartographie_collaborative #cartographie_participative #techfugees #visualisation #camps #campements #réfugiés #asile #migrations #droits_humains #autonomie #camps_de_réfugiés

    via @isskein
    ping @reka @visionscarto @thomas_lacroix

  • Latest Tactic to Push Migrants From Europe ? A Private, Clandestine Fleet

    The government of Malta enlisted three privately owned fishing trawlers to intercept migrants in the Mediterranean, and force them back to a war zone, officials and a boat captain say.

    With the onset of the coronavirus, Malta announced that it was too overwhelmed to rescue migrants making the precarious crossing of the Mediterranean Sea, where the tiny island nation has been on the front line of the maritime migration route over the past decade.

    In secret, however, the Maltese authorities have worked hard to make sure no migrants actually reach the island.

    It dispatched a small fleet of private merchant vessels in April to intercept migrants at sea and return them by force to a war zone in Libya, according to information provided by the captain of one of the boats, a senior commander in the Libyan Coast Guard, and a former Maltese official involved in the episode.

    The three repurposed fishing trawlers are privately owned, but acted on the instructions of the Armed Forces of Malta, the captain and the others said.

    The clandestine operation, which some experts consider illegal under international law, is just the latest dubious measure taken by European countries in recent years to stem the migration from Africa and the Middle East that has sown political chaos in Europe and fueled a populist backlash.

    Since 2017, European states, led by Italy, have paid the Libyan government to return more migrants to Libya, hassled the private rescue organizations that try to bring them to Europe, and asked passing merchant vessels to intercept them before they enter European waters.

    But Malta’s latest tactic may be among the most egregious, maritime experts say, because it involved a designated flotilla of private vessels, based in a European port, that intercepted and expelled asylum seekers from international waters that fall within the responsibility of European coast guards.

    “Against a pattern of increased abuses against asylum seekers in recent years, this newest approach stands out,” said Itamar Mann, an expert in maritime and refugee law at the University of Haifa in Israel. “Its methods chillingly resemble organized crime, and indeed the operations of people smugglers, which European policymakers so adamantly denounce.”

    “The facts available raise serious concerns that we are seeing the emergence of a novel systematic pattern, such that may even put Maltese state officials in danger of criminal liability, at home or abroad,” Dr. Mann added.

    The Maltese government did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

    The activity was first documented on the evening of April 12, when three aging blue trawlers left the Grand Harbour in Valletta, the Maltese capital, within an hour of each other. The three boats — the Dar Al Salam 1, the Salve Regina and the Tremar — departed at the request of the Maltese authorities, according to the captain of the Tremar, Amer Abdelrazek.

    A former Maltese official, Neville Gafa, said he was enlisted by the government that same night to use his connections in Libya to ensure the safe passage of the first two boats to Libya.

    The boats did not submit paperwork to the immigration police, and switched off their satellite tracking devices soon after leaving port, maritime databases show.

    But their mission had already been determined, said Mr. Gafa, who said he had been asked by the Maltese prime minister’s chief of staff, Clyde Caruana, to help coordinate the operation. Mr. Caruana did not respond to requests for comment, but a government spokesman told The Times of Malta that Mr. Gafa had been asked to liaise with Libya on a separate matter that was unconnected to the episode.

    The trawlers were sent to intercept a migrant vessel attempting to reach Malta from Libya — and which had been issuing mayday calls for some 48 hours — and then return its passengers to Libya, Mr. Gafa said.

    The stricken migrant vessel was still in international waters, according to coordinates provided by the migrants by satellite phone to Alarm Phone, an independent hotline for shipwrecked refugees. But it had reached the area of jurisdiction of Malta’s armed forces, making it Malta’s responsibility under international maritime law to rescue its passengers and provide them with sanctuary.

    Two of the trawlers — the Dar Al Salam 1 and the Tremar — reached the migrant vessel early on April 14, guided by a Maltese military helicopter, Mr. Abdelrazek said. Several of the migrants had already drowned, according to testimony later gathered by Alarm Phone.

    The roughly 50 survivors were taken aboard the Dar Al Salam 1, Mr. Abdelrazek said.

    The Dar Al Salam 1 and the Salve Regina sailed to Tripoli on April 15, the former carrying the migrants and the latter carrying several tons of food and water, as a show of appreciation to the Libyan government, Mr. Abdelrazek and Mr. Gafa said. The Tremar waited in international waters, Mr. Abdelrazek said.

    The Maltese authorities told their Libyan counterparts that the Dar Al Salam 1 was in fact a Maltese vessel called the Maria Cristina, said Commodore Masoud Abdalsamad, who oversees international operations at the Libyan Coast Guard. To further obscure its identity, the boat’s crew had also painted over the ship’s name and flew a Maltese flag to confuse the Libyan Coast Guard.

    Though based physically in Malta and owned by a Maltese shipowner, the vessel is legally registered in Tobruk, a port in east Libya controlled by opponents of the authorities in Tripoli. The crew did not want to risk upsetting the Tripoli government by broadcasting its links to Tobruk, leading it to hide its name and home port, Mr. Abdelrazek said.

    After disembarking, the migrants were taken to a notorious detention center run by a pro-government militia, where migrants are routinely tortured, held for ransom or sold to other militias. The detention cells stand close to an arms depot, and the surrounding area was hit by shelling in December.

    Conditions at the detention center are “utterly appalling,” said Safa Msehli, a spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration, an arm of the United Nations. “People are caged in overcrowded hangars with barely any access to food or sanitation facilities.”

    “Many tell us of the abuse they endure and the inhumane ways in which they are exploited,’’ Ms. Msehli added. ‘‘Reports of migrants being used to load weapons, and the detention center’s proximity to a military facility, raise serious concerns over the safety of people detained there arbitrarily.”

    After departing Tripoli, the Dar Al Salam 1 turned its satellite identification system back on, and the boat resurfaced off the coast of Libya on the evening of April 15, data provided by Marine Traffic, a maritime database, shows.

    The owner of the Salve Regina, Dominic Tanti, declined to comment through an intermediary, and the owner of the Tremar, Yasser Aziz, did not return a message seeking comment.

    The owner of the Dar Al Salam 1, Carmelo Grech, did not to respond to multiple requests for comment sent by text, voice message and a letter hand-delivered to his apartment. But he has confirmed his boat’s involvement to a Maltese newspaper, and several outlets have already highlighted its role, including the Italian newspaper, Avvenire, and the Maltese blogger Manuel Delia.

    Mr. Grech and his boat have colorful histories, raising questions in Malta about why the government involved them in a state-led operation.

    Mr. Grech has previously recounted how he used the boat, then known as the Mae Yemanja, to bring supplies to Libyan rebels during the Libyan revolution in 2011. In 2012, court records show it was impounded after Mr. Grech was accused, though later acquitted, of smuggling contraband cigarettes from Libya to Malta.

    In 2015, Mr. Grech was detained by a Libyan faction for several days for what he later described as a misunderstanding over his visas.

    Maltese ship records obtained by The Times show that Mr. Grech canceled his boat’s registration in Malta last February, before repainting it to show it had been re-registered in Tobruk, for undisclosed reasons.

    Mr. Abdelrazek also has a criminal history, having been convicted in 2014 of forging documents, court records show.

    After appearing briefly in Malta last week, the Dar Al Salam 1 and the Salve Regina returned again to sea on Sunday.

    Their satellite trackers were once again switched off shortly afterward.

    #privatisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #contrôles_frontaliers #Malte #Méditerranée #push-backs #refoulement #refoulements #Libye


    Commentaire de @isskein via la mailing-list Migreurop :

    Depuis avril fonctionne une méthode pro-active : une #flotte_privée de 3 bateaux qui se chargent d’arrêter les bateaux de migrants et de les renvoyer vers la Libye.

    Un ancien officiel maltais, #Neville_Gafà, a été engagé par le Premier Ministre pour monter l’affaire avec ses contacts libyens

    il est entre autres responsable de la #tragédie_de_Pâques : le gouvernement a ignoré durant 48h un bateau qui se trouvait dans sles eaux internationales (mais dans la juridiction des Forces armées maltaises) , puis envoyé sa flotte privée, qui a pris à son bord 51 migrants dont 8 femmes et 3 enfants, à bord 5 cadavres ; 7 migrants s’étaient noyés auparavant. Ils ont été ramenés à Tripolii
    voir https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/the-faces-and-names-of-a-migration-tragedy.788723

    #mourir_en_mer #morts #décès

    Dans le mail reçu via la mailing-list Migreurop, Conni parle de #hotspot_mobile :

    Yesterday we got news from the Maltese media about a new strategy of the authorities to keep rescued migrants out: a floating hotspot on a cruise ship off their coast:


    via @isskein

    • Rappel de Sara Prestianni sur l’utilisation des #hotspots_mobiles en #Italie (via mailing-list Migreurop, 01.05.2020) :

      The “hotspot boat” is the same system , used by Italy from April 17 , only for migrants have been intercepted by ships flying foreign flags, as decided in the inter-ministerial decree of 7 April.
      On board of the ship “hotspot” Rubattino - positioned in front of Palermo - there are at this moment almost 200 migrants, of the two rescues carried out by the ships Alan Kurdi and Aita Mari. All of them were negative to the Covid test, but it is not clear how long they will have to stay on the ship and where they will be transferred (at the beginning of the procedure there was talk of a relocation to Germany).
      Yesterday the Guarantor for the Rights of Italian Prisoners, in his bulletin, expressed concern about the establishment of these “floating” hotspots.

      “The implementation of quarantine measures in extraordinary and exceptional places cannot lead to a situation of ’limbo’: migrant people are under the jurisdiction of the Italian State for the purposes of the health measures imposed on them, but at the same time they do not have the possibility - and for a period of time not indifferent - to exercise the rights that our country recognizes and protects. They cannot apply for asylum, they are not de facto - and at least temporarily - protected as victims of trafficking or unaccompanied foreign minors, nor can they have timely access to procedures for family reunification under the Dublin Regulation. - procedures which, moreover, have their own intrinsic deadlines.”
      The Guarantor also indicated that the experience of the ship “Rubattino” would not seem to remain an isolated case as the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport launched on 19 April a procedure for the chartering of vessels to be used for the assistance and health surveillance of migrants rescued at sea or arrived on the national territory as a result of autonomous boats.


      –-> sur les hotspots mobiles, voir aussi : https://seenthis.net/tag/hotspot_mobile

    • Abela admits coordinating private boats that returned migrants to Libya

      PM says Easter manoeuvre was a ’rescue’ not a pushback.

      Prime Minister Robert Abela has admitted commissioning a boat that returned migrants to war-torn Libya on Easter weekend but has insisted it was a rescue mission and not a pushback.

      A boat commissioned by Maltese authorities picked up a group of migrants in the search and rescue area earlier this month and returned them to the North African country.

      It is a crime under international law for states to return asylum seekers to a country where they are likely to face persecution.

      Speaking publicly about the controversy for the first time on Friday, Abela admitted the manoeuvre and defended the government’s actions.

      "There was no pushback,"he said.

      "There was a rescue of migrants. Had the Maltese government not coordinated, tens of lives would have died, because a [EU coastguard] Frontex plane just flew overhead and kept on going.

      “Malta’s ports are closed but it coordinated this rescue and ensured that the irregular migrants were taken to the port that was open.”

      The country, along with Italy, closed its ports, citing concerns about the spread of coronavirus.

      Former OPM official Neville Gafa claimed under oath this week that he had coordinated the pushback.

      Asked Gafa’s involvement, Abela said his only involvement was liaising with a contact he was claiming to have in Libya so that the rescue could be facilitated. He said Gafa was not paid or promised anything.

      Abela defended using a private boat, saying that a Search and Rescue convention stipulates the legal obligations of individual states that are not obliged to carry out the actual rescues but to coordinate such rescues.

      The obligations also state that countries can use their own assets or else send private assets to rescue boats in distress, he said.

      This week, Malta has commissioned a Captain Morgan tourist boat Europa II, to house migrants until a solution for their disembarkation is found.

      “We are ready to do anything to save lives. We have nothing to be ashamed of,” Abela said, adding that the cost for the Captain Morgan boat being used to temporarily house migrants outside Maltese waters will come from aid by the EU.

      “Malta’s position is clear and we know what our obligations are. We are going to remain firm on this. We are not a safe port and we cannot guarantee our resources for rescues.

      "We are duty bound to stick to this position. It is counterproductive to close port and airports to tourists but then open ports for irregular migrants. There are hundreds of thousands of people on the Libyan coast wanting to leave there and come to Lampedusa and Malta. We are obeying international rules,” he insisted.

      He said the migration problem should not be “Malta’s alone” and called for the EU to intervene.

      Earlier on Friday, Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo told Times of Malta that “the EU was responsible for a huge push back of migrants to Malta”.

      He said its failure to set up an effective and fair solidarity mechanism to share the burden of welcoming irregular migrants means that Malta had borne a huge burden over the years.

      He quoted a letter from a United Nations official to him in which he admitted that Europe needed to adopt a more principled migration policy that will serve European needs, that does not penalise those seeking to cross, and that does not leave countries like Malta, which are trying to do the right thing, on their own.

      “If we continue to fail, more people, Libyans and non-Libyans, will be compelled to seek safety on the European side” because of the ongoing war and the economic consequences of Covid-19.

      Bartolo said that in the first three months of the year, 3,600 irregular migrants left the Libyan coast through the Central Mediterranean route. This is over 400 per cent more than in the same period in 2019. Some 1,200 came to Malta.

      He said Malta’s centres were “overflowing” and there is no room for more migrants.


    • Malte a affrété des navires privés pour renvoyer les embarcations de migrants vers la Libye

      Une enquête du New York Times révèle que les autorités maltaises ont affrété, depuis le mois d’avril, une flotte de navires privés afin d’empêcher les migrants d ’atteindre l’île et les renvoyer en Libye. Selon plusieurs experts, cette action est illégale.

      En pleine pandémie de coronavirus, Malte fait tout pour empêcher les embarcations de migrants d’atteindre l’île. A tel point que le gouvernement a discrètement dépêché en avril une flotte de navires marchands privés pour intercepter les migrants et les renvoyer en Libye, a révélé une enquête du New York Times publiée jeudi 30 avril.

      Selon le quotidien américain - qui s’appuie sur les témoignages d’un capitaine de l’un de ces bateaux, commandant en chef des garde-côtes libyens, et d’un ancien responsable maltais impliqué dans l’opération - les trois chalutiers de pêche affrétés appartiennent à des particuliers mais ont agi sur les instructions des forces armées maltaises.
      Une opération sur ordre du Premier ministre maltais

      L’opération a été documentée pour la première fois dans la soirée du 12 avril, écrit le New York Times, quand trois chalutiers ont quitté le port de la Valette, la capitale maltaise, sur ordre des autorités. Un ancien responsable maltais, Neville Gafa, a déclaré qu’il avait été enrôlé par le gouvernement le soir même pour utiliser ses relations en Libye et assurer le passage en toute sécurité des deux premiers chalutiers vers les ports libyens.

      Le Dar As Salam 1 et le Tremar, ont ainsi été envoyés pour intercepter une embarcation de migrants présente dans les eaux maltaises - qui avait émis des appels de détresse depuis deux jours - afin de les renvoyer en Libye, a précisé Neville Gafa. A bord du canot, se trouvait cinq cadavres.

      Le 15 avril, l’Organisation internationale pour les migrations (OIM) avait pourtant affirmé que les migrants avaient été interceptés par un navire marchand puis remis à des garde-côtes qui les avaient alors amenés au port de Tripoli.

      Le troisième chalutier, le Salve Regina, a quant à lui navigué vers Tripoli le 15 avril, transportant plusieurs tonnes de nourriture et d’eau, en guise de remerciement au gouvernement libyen, assure au quotidien américain le capitaine du Tremar, Amer Abdelrazek.

      Devant la justice maltaise, à la suite de la plainte lancée par plusieurs ONG contre le Premier ministre sur sa responsabilité dans la mort des cinq migrants, Neville Gafa a déclaré sous serment qu’il avait agi sur ordre du cabinet du Premier ministre.

      Une opération illégale

      « Dans une tendance à l’augmentation des abus contre les demandeurs d’asile ces dernières années, cette nouvelle approche se démarque », déclare au New York Times Itamar Mann, expert en droit maritime et des réfugiés à l’université de Haïfa, en Israël. « Ces méthodes ressemblent de façon effrayante au crime organisé, aux opérations de passeurs, que les décideurs européens dénoncent avec tant de fermeté », continue le chercheur pour qui cette opération est illégale eu égard au droit international.

      En effet, comme écrit le quotidien américain, une flotte de navires privées, basée dans un port européen, qui intercepte et expulse des demandeurs d’asile des eaux internationales relèvent de la responsabilité des garde-côtes européens.

      Cette opération « pourrait mettre les fonctionnaires de l’Etat maltais en danger de responsabilité pénale, dans le pays ou à l’étranger », signale encore Itamar Mann.


  • Thailand’s outbreak spike exposes conditions in migrant detention centre

    On April 25, 42 migrant detainees in #Sadao ’s Immigration Detention Center (IDC) tested positive for #Covid – in a period where the government’s reported daily infection rates have descended into the single digits. But the falling numbers may raise false hopes – Sadao’s acting Immigration Police Chief Colonel General Mana Naktung told the press that the Covid-19 tests for the remaining 73 migrant detainees (of a total 115) were still pending.

    In early to mid-March, Singapore was in a similar place Thailand appears to be in now. Daily infection rates were in the single digits, there had been zero deaths – there was a pervasive sense of triumph, from a nation that never locked down yet had earned the “Gold Standard.” But by the end of March, infection rates soared above one thousand, linked to cases in migrant dormitories.

    “The crisis has laid bare the dizzyingly unequal conditions endured by Singapore’s army of 1 million imported, low-wage laborers who make up a largely invisible underclass in this wealthy nation,” wrote the LA Times.

    “The virus does not accept this apartheid-type of segregation,” said the vice president of Transient Workers Count Too, “and then you have an explosion.”

    The Thai government is less discriminatory in its exclusion – its ‘invisible underclass’ span indebted farmers who are unable to access the 5000-baht subsidy, indigenous people who fight their own forest fires, and sex workers who are ostracized by the legal apparatus. But few groups are as hidden – and as endangered – as migrant detainees in Thailand’s network of detention centers.

    There are 22 detention centers in Thailand, housing ‘illegal immigrants’ – a category that ranges from visitors who have overstayed a 90-day tourist visa, to asylum seekers and refugees. They are notorious for their overcrowding. In 2014, Amnesty reported that official regulations allow for cell sizes to be a minimum of 1.19 meters per person.

    Puttanee Kangkun of Fortify Rights says that the conditions in detention centers are even worse than in prisons. “The detention centers were meant for people to stay for 15 days, and then leave. But in Thailand, you stay there for years, and it’s not designed for that.” According to the Global Detention Project, the length of stay for detainees in Thailand has ranged from 3 days to 12 years, with asylum seekers and refugees in particular having been detained for periods of over 2 years as they wait for their cases to be processed.

    Bangkok’s IDC in #Suan_Phlu is the focal point for this notoriety, as the IDC with the highest number of detainees. Detainees and NGOs maintain that there are over one thousand detainees in the center, but government officials have fervently resisted sharing or confirming numbers.

    “It was so crowded some of us slept standing up, or in turns,” says a former Suan Phlu detainee, a Pakistani asylum seeker. “If you turn your legs, you will lose your space.” The detainees are separated by gender and perceived ethnicity – “Room 8 for the black people (คนดำ), Room 11 for the brown people (แขก),” the former detainee states matter-of-factly.

    Measures have been put in place to mitigate this, including the expansion of Sadao’s IDC with a new building, and the relocation of detainees in Bangkok’s Suan Phlu IDC to detention centers outside of Bangkok. With Covid-19, the IDCs have also banned visitors and volunteers. As with prisons, the governing belief among officials is that if detainees haven’t already contracted the virus, they are at no further risk.

    Puttanee says that the measures to reduce overcrowding have helped and believes that the government has been proactive in testing not just detainees but migrant workers in local communities.

    But she questions the logic that detainees are so isolated as to be safe from the virus. “The detention centers are spaces where people continually move in and out [as they are detained and let go]. It’s not yet clear yet who the 42 people got Covid from, but they were detained in February, and we don’t know how many people passed in and out of their detention cell from February to April, or if they stayed together all the time.”

    “If they received it from other detainees, then this is very concerning.”

    While officials maintain that they are conducting widespread testing in detention facilities, other healthcare provisions are limited. According to Suan Phlu’s IDC regulations, one doctor from the Department of Disease Control is meant to visit weekly. In reality, Puttanee and former detainees confirm that there is only one nurse, who works with an NGO.

    “There is a small clinic. But given the crowdedness of Suan Phlu, one nurse for one thousand people is not enough,” says Puttanee.

    Another former detainee, a Somali woman, recounts her traumatic experience of illness in Suan Phlu. She was suffering a high fever, throwing up and had multiple fainting spells. It was clear that medicine from the IDC’s nurse was not helping. “I was scared for my life, and I didn’t know if I would be able to see a doctor,” she recalls. Eventually a private donor intervened and agreed to both guarantee her bail and pay her medical bills at an external private hospital, but without such singular assistance, she fears she would not have survived.

    “Normally, it is very difficult to get out to seek medical assistance,” says Puttanee. She speaks of Fortify Rights’ own efforts to negotiate the release of a sick asylum seeker, but it took an entire year before she was let out to see a doctor.

    The IDC’s reluctance to send its detainees to hospitals is not just a function of security, but also of expense. On most occasions, the state has to shoulder the cost of treating a sick detainee. Officials have admitted to Puttanee that the Immigration Bureau is in debt in excess of one million baht to the police hospital, from paying for detainees’ medical care.

    Spotlight on detention centers

    With the Covid-19 spotlight on detention centers, officials are being much more careful – both in the medical care offered to detainees, and in the narrative framed around them.

    In the government’s address on April 25, Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) spokesperson Dr. Taweesin Visanuyothin assured the public that the detainees – mostly from Myanmar with some from Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia and Malaysia – would all receive proper treatment in accordance with humanitarian standards.

    Puttanee doesn’t believe that this is Thailand’s Singapore moment – for a start, Thailand’s detention centers are spread across the country, while Singapore’s over 300,000 migrant workers live in dormitories in close proximity.

    However, she has observed a similar outburst of racism and xenophobia in response to the alarming April 25 announcement.

    “Once it came out that those infected were foreigners, comments on social media and in Thai news were highly xenophobic. In a crisis like this, we’ve become more narrow-minded, as if your humanity is tied to your nationality.”

    She points out that the government has not tried to perpetuate these racist sentiments, and that Dr. Taweesin’s statement was a good signal to the public.

    In a moment when nativist sentiments are running high, navigating the fraught narrative on caring for immigrants is difficult. This, perhaps, is where the Singaporean government continues to fail, going so far as to separate their recorded cases between ‘imported’ and ‘local’. The People’s Action Party continually asserts the indivisible barrier between migrant workers and its citizens, even as the virus exposes this fallacy with devastating effect.

    Equally, the UNHCR writes: “Detention facilities are not walled off from society when it comes to such a highly contagious virus as COVID-19.”

    Hopefully April 25 was just a warning, and no more cases are discovered at Sadao. But it seems unlikely. Detainees are now an exceptionally vulnerable population – confined in tight spaces with little medical care, many without formal legal status anywhere in the world. They need as much attention, if not more, than others in Thailand’s ‘invisible underclass.’

    “The Thai government has been quite responsive,” says Puttanee, “but some of these detainees don’t need to be detained in the first place.”

    The UNHCR report recommends alternatives including the release of asylum seekers and refugees from detention. This has taken place in Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

    Covid-19 unfailingly points its fingers at the deepest rot in society – in Singapore, this is its institutionalized racism, in the United States, its neoliberal healthcare system. In Thailand, among other things, this is its detention centers. The government is currently responsive to the situation, but this responsiveness must not go away after the crisis.

    Save The Children and UNHCR have proposed multiple alternatives to Thailand’s indefinite and indiscriminate detention of migrants – many of whom are refugees and asylees. In June 2014, UNHCR developed a National Action Plan (NAP) in coordination with the Thai government, with its first goal being the end of child detention. Promises made on paper have, however, have not been put into action.

    From 2016 to 2017, the Thai government assured the UN Human Rights Council and the Obama Summit that there was a “no child detention policy.” In 2019, the government declared triumphally in Khaosod English that there were no children held in any of its immigration detention facilities – confirmed by Human Rights watch.

    But after the April 25 announcement, Police Chief Col Gen Mana Naktung revealed that there were children among the 115 migrants at Sadao.

    The rot in Thai detention facilities runs far deeper than 42 infected detainees – it is the systematic accumulation of decades of detainee mistreatment, in which they have been denied bail, access to medical care and humanitarian conditions of detention. Visitors to Suan Phlu only have to stand behind the wire fence separating detainees from the outside world to grasp how chilling, primitive and prison-like the centers feel.

    But Puttanee and others have highlighted clear progress in the last few years. Hopefully, the Covid-19 spotlight will accelerate this process in years to come.

    #Thaïlande #détention_administrative #rétention #asile #migrations #réfugiés #coronavirus

    ping @zhipeng_li

  • #Grèce : On se tourne vers les réfugiés pour faire face à la #crise_agricole

    Στροφή στους πρόσφυγες για την κρίση στη γεωργία

    Η πρώτη πράξη ένταξης στον παραγωγικό ιστό χιλιάδων προσφύγων που βρίσκονται στη χώρα μας πρόκειται να επιβεβαιωθεί σήμερα στη Βέροια σε μεγάλη σύσκεψη, στη διάρκεια της οποίας θα καθοριστούν οι λεπτομέρειες με τις οποίες οι πρόσφυγες θα πάρουν μέρος στη συλλογή φρούτων κυρίως στους νομούς Πέλλας και Ημαθίας.

    Με δεδομένο ότι η πανδημία έχει καθυστερήσει όλες τις άλλες λύσεις, δηλαδή τη μεταφορά εργατών γης κυρίως από την Αλβανία, οι πρόσφυγες που διαμένουν σε διάφορες δομές της Κεντρικής Μακεδονίας -και όχι μόνο- φαντάζουν αυτή την ώρα η μοναδική λύση καθώς στα χωράφια έχουν ξεκινήσει ήδη τα αραιώματα, ενώ ανελαστικές είναι οι ημερομηνίες εκκίνησης στη συλλογή των πρώιμων ποικιλιών. Ανελαστικός και ο αριθμός των εργατών που χρειάζονται και υπολογίζονται σε 7.000 άτομα.

    Οι άνθρωποι αυτοί είναι απαραίτητοι για να συλλεχθούν οι καρποί των φρούτων σε 193 χιλιάδες στρέμματα με συμπύρηνα ροδάκινα, 210 χιλιάδες στρέμματα με επιτραπέζια ροδάκινα και νεκταρίνια, 100 χιλιάδες στρέμματα με κεράσια και σε μερικές δεκάδες χιλιάδες στρέμματα με βερίκοκα και δαμάσκηνα.

    Ο μεγάλος όγκος της παραγωγής είναι φυσικά στους νομούς Πέλλας και Ημαθίας, χωρίς να παραγνωρίζεται η παραγωγή σε Πιερία και Λάρισα, ενώ στην Πιερία εργάτες γης θα χρειαστούν λίαν συντόμως και για τη σπορά του καπνού.

    « Αν τυχόν κάτι πάει στραβά, τότε », όπως λέει στην « Εφ.Συν. » ο πρόεδρος τις Διεπαγγελματικής Οργάνωσης Πυρηνοκάρπων και Αχλαδιών, Χρήστος Γιαννακάκης, « θα έχουμε μεγάλο πρόβλημα ».

    Σήμερα (Πέμπτη) θα γίνει σύσκεψη στη Βέροια στην οποία θα συμμετάσχουν οι μεγάλοι συνεταιρισμοί, δήμοι και ο Διεθνής Οργανισμός Μετανάστευσης (ΔΟΜ) για να λυθούν διαδικαστικά προβλήματα και καθυστερήσεις που προέκυψαν από την πανδημία.

    « Το σίγουρο είναι πως υπάρχει μεγάλο ενδιαφέρον από τον προσφυγικό κόσμο που βρίσκεται στις δομές της Βέροιας και της Αλεξάνδρειας, ωστόσο, επειδή αυτοί δεν επαρκούν, θα γίνουν κλήσεις για εργάτες στις δομές των Διαβατών, στη Μηλιά Πιερίας, σε δομές της Λάρισας κι αν χρειαστεί, ακόμη και της Αθήνας » μας λέει ο κ. Γιαννακάκης.

    Το σχέδιο αυτό ξεκίνησε από τις 11 Μαρτίου, όταν είχε πραγματοποιηθεί ευρεία σύσκεψη με τη συμμετοχή της Εθνικής Διεπαγγελματικής, του γ.γ. Μεταναστευτικής Πολιτικής, Υποδοχής και Ασύλου Πάτροκλου Γεωργιάδη, στελεχών του ΟΑΕΔ και του ΔΟΜ, αλλά και εκπροσώπων ΜΚΟ που δραστηριοποιούνται στις δομές προσφύγων.

    Τώρα, όπως λέει ο κ. Γιαννακάκης, ήδη υπάρχουν επιπλέον σκέψεις « να γίνει αξιοποίηση κάποιων από τους 12.000 πρόσφυγες που έχουν υποβάλει αίτηση στο πρόγραμμα “Ηλιος” (προβλέπει επιδότηση ενοικίου και αγορά οικοσκευής) ».

    « Σκεφτήκαμε να κάνουμε ό,τι έχουν κάνει και οι Γερμανοί, οι οποίοι μετέφεραν με πτήσεις τσάρτερ 40.000 εργάτες από τη Ρουμανία. Εμείς θα τους φέρουμε βέβαια με λεωφορεία. Τα μέτρα προστασίας μάς προβληματίζουν, διότι όσοι εργάτες έρθουν από την Αλβανία πρέπει πρώτα να κάνουν το τεστ για τον ιό. Εχουμε κάνει ήδη διερευνητικές επαφές με εργαστήρια στη Θεσσαλονίκη τα οποία μας είπαν ότι μπορούν να μας δώσουν αποτελέσματα μέσα σε 8 ώρες ».

    Με δεδομένο όμως ότι για το κόστος του τεστ η μικρότερη προσφορά που έχει δημοσιοποιηθεί μέχρι τώρα είναι γύρω στα 75 ευρώ έκαστο και με δεδομένο επίσης ότι το κόστος θα το επωμιστούν οι αγρότες, εύκολα γίνεται αντιληπτό ότι πρόκειται για ένα πολύ μεγάλο έξοδο.

    Φαίνεται επίσης ότι μέχρι στιγμής οι ντόπιοι δεν δείχνουν ενδιαφέρον για την εργασία αυτή, αφού στην εκδήλωση ενδιαφέροντος που οργάνωσε ο Δήμος Βέροιας ανταποκρίθηκαν μόλις 40 άτομα από την περιοχή. Το μεροκάματο είναι 30 ευρώ (μαζί με το εργόσημο), άρα καθαρά μένουν περί τα 25 ευρώ.

    Οπως σχολιάζει όμως ο Κρίτωνας Τσικλιάς, γεωπόνος και μέλος του αγροτικού τμήματος του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, « πρέπει να γίνει με σοβαρότητα και πρόγραμμα η πρόσκληση σε ανέργους των περιοχών που αντιμετωπίζουν πρόβλημα, δίνοντάς τους τη δυνατότητα να διατηρούν όλα τα επιδόματα και προνόμια που έχουν την περίοδο της ανεργίας, διότι ουσιαστικά δεν είναι διόλου ελκυστικό να μιλάμε για διακοπή ανεργίας και απασχόληση ολίγων ημερών ή 2-3 μηνών ».

    #agriculture #coronavirus #covid-19 #réfugiés #asile #migrations

    Traduction :

    Le premier pas pour que de milliers de réfugiés réintègrent le tissu productif de la Grèce, va être fait aujourd’hui à #Veria (au sud et à l’ouest de Salonique) lors d’une grande réunion, au cours de laquelle seront fixés les détails de la façon dont les réfugiés participeront à la récolte des fruits principalement dans les préfectures de #Pella et Imathia (à l’ouest de Salonique).

    Étant donné que la pandémie a retardé toutes les autres solutions, à savoir le transfert des travailleurs agricoles saisonniers principalement de l’Albanie, les réfugiés vivant dans diverses structures en Macédoine centrale - et pas seulement – semble être actuellement la seule réserve de mains d’œuvre car les dates de début de récolte des variétés précoces de #fruits ne sauraient être reportés. Le nombre de travailleurs nécessaires, estimé à 7 00 personnes, ne saurait être non plus réduit.

    Ces personnes sont nécessaires pour récolter les fruits dans 193 000 acres de #pêches concentrées, 210 000 acres de pêches de table et #nectarines, 100 000 acres de #cerises et dans quelques dizaines de milliers d’acres d’#abricots et de #prunes.

    Le grand volume de production se situe bien sûr dans les préfectures de #Pella et #Imathia, sans ignorer la production de #Pieria et #Larissa, tandis qu’à Pieria des travailleurs de terre seront nécessaires très prochainement pour semer le #tabac.

    « Si quelque chose ne va pas, alors », a-t-il déclaré à Ef.Syn. Christos Giannakakis, président de l’Organisation interprofessionnelle de cultivateurs de fruits à noyau et des #poires, « nous aurons un gros problème ».

    Aujourd’hui (jeudi), il y aura une réunion à Veria à laquelle participeront les principales coopératives, les municipalités concernées et l’Organisation internationale pour les migrantions (#OIM) afin de résoudre les problèmes de procédure et les retards dus à la pandémie.

    « Ce qui est certain, c’est qu’il y a un grand intérêt du monde des réfugiés dans les structures de Veria et d’Alexandrie, cependant, parce que ces réfugiés ne suffisent pas, il y aura des appels à des travailleurs dans les structures de Diavata, de Milia à Pieria, dans les structures de Larissa et si nécessaire , même à Athènes », explique M. Giannakakis.

    Ce plan a débuté le 11 mars, lors d’une réunion de grande envergure avec la participation de l’Interprofessionnel National, le secrétaire général. Politique d’immigration, accueil et asile Patroclus Georgiadis, cadres de l’OAED et de l’OIM, ainsi que des représentants d’ONG actives dans les structures de réfugiés.

    Maintenant, selon M. Giannakakis, il y a déjà des réflexions supplémentaires "pour profiter de certains parmi les 12 000 réfugiés qui ont fait une demande au programme « #Helios » (un programme d’OIM de soutien à l’intégration et qui offre entre autres une subvention pour le loyer et l’équipement en électroménagers : https://greece.iom.int/en/hellenic-integration-support-beneficiaries-international-protection-heli)."

    « Nous avons pensé faire ce que les Allemands ont fait, qui ont transporté 40 000 travailleurs de Roumanie sur des vols charters [à vrai dire 80.000 saisonniers ont été appelés à la rescousse pour sauver les mangeurs des asperges allemands, voir ici : https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2020/04/21/en-allemagne-pas-d-asperges-sans-roumains_1785811]. Bien entendu, nous, nous les amènerons en bus. Les mesures de protection nous préoccupent, car les travailleurs originaires d’#Albanie doivent d’abord passer le test du virus. Nous avons déjà établi des contacts qui permettent de sonder le terrain avec des laboratoires de Thessalonique qui nous ont dit qu’ils pouvaient nous donner des résultats dans les 8 heures ».

    Cependant, étant donné que le coût du test dans l’offre la plus basse, est d’environ 75 euros chacun, et étant donné que le coût sera supporté par les agriculteurs, il est facile de voir qu’il s’agirait d’une très grosse dépense pour les cultivateurs intéressés.

    Il semble également que jusqu’à présent, les habitants ne manifestent pas d’intérêt pour ce travail, puisque seulement 40 personnes de la région ont répondu à l’appel à des offres d’intérêt organisé par la municipalité de Veria. Le salaire journalier est de 30 euros et il ne reste qu’environ 25 euros net si on enlève les charges qui reviennent au salarié.


    Ajouté à cette métaliste :

    ping @luciebacon

  • Expérience partagée d’une phyto-épuration

    "Nous avions envie d’écrire cette brochure pour partager notre expérience de construction collective d’un système de phyto-épuration à l’Amassada en Aveyron au cours du printemps 2019. Aujourd’hui, on ne peut malheureusement plus en profiter puisqu’un bulldozer a du l’aplatir lors de la destruction des lieux en octobre 2019. L’idée, c’est de faire un retour d’expérience pratique et que cela puisse servir à d’autres qui auraient aussi envie d’installer une phyto-épuration là ou illes sont. Cette brochure ne traitera pas des normes « légales » ou autres pour une installation de ce type. Elle est destinée aux personnes souhaitant faire une phyto avec peu de moyen, de la récup’, pour les squats, occupations, lieux collectifs ..." #E

    / #Guides_pratiques, Infokiosque fantôme (...)


    • Nous avions commencé a faire un potager au printemps, et avions aussi construit une serre. Très vite, on se rend compte que l’eau va nous manquer, au vu de l’été sec qui s’annonce, et également que nous avions mal anticipé la récupération des eaux de pluie. L’Aveyron en été est en proie au manque d’eau, comme une grande majorité des départements français.

      Du coup, nous nous sommes dit qu’avec une phyto-épuration, nous pouvions récupérer facilement l’eau grise : l’eau provenant de la cuisine, non mélangée avec celle des toilettes, vu qu’on utilisait des toilettes seiches.

      En fait, ce problème très local nous vient de raisonnement plus globaux, en nous questionnant sur l’utilisation et le traitement de l’eau, Sur ce territoire en lutte, nous avions la possibilité d’expérimenter d’autres formes de vie et de mettre concrètement en pratique des idées, qui bien souvent n’en reste qu’a des idées, avec la volonté de s’inscrire sur le territoire où nous vivions, et d’y trouver une forme de cohérence. C’est-à-dire questionner nos consommations d’énergies et de ressources (eau, électricité, gestion des déchets, pollutions des sols ...).

      L’électricité ne vient pas de la prise, tout comme l’eau ne vient pas du robinet. Nous trouvons ces visions trop déconnectées de la réalite et nous voulions vivre en conscience du monde qui nous entoure.

    • Les "capsunari" les cueilleurs de fraise, ces travailleurs roumains que l’Europe s’arrache

      Convoités par Londres ou Berlin, ils partent malgré les aléas de la pandémie de coronavirus : aides à domicile ou cueilleurs de fruits roumains se retrouvent au centre de marchandages inédits nés des pénuries de main-d’oeuvre causées par la crise sanitaire.

      "Les saisonniers ne représentent qu’une minorité parmi les émigrants roumains, mais ces dernières semaines, ils sont devenus très visibles » , reconnaît auprès de l’AFP le sociologue Iulian Stanescu de l’Institut de recherches sur la qualité de la vie (ICCV).

      La diaspora roumaine compte environ 4 millions de personnes dans le monde, dont de nombreux informaticiens, médecins et autres diplômés, mais c’est pour les travailleurs les plus précaires et les moins qualifiés que les autorités d’Europe de l’Ouest se mobilisent.

      Malgré les interdictions de voyage en vigueur sur le continent, des dizaines de vols spéciaux ont été affrétés depuis le début de l’épidémie pour transporter la main-d’oeuvre roumaine et sauver les récoltes d’asperges et de fraises allemandes ou britanniques.

      Dernier exemple en date de négociations au sommet : Vienne tente de convaincre Bucarest de mettre en place une liaison ferroviaire hebdomadaire pour faciliter l’acheminement de milliers d’aides à domicile, employées auprès de seniors autrichiens qui ont besoin d’une assistance médicale jour et nuit.

      Exporter plutôt qu’insérer
      Cette pression nourrit des sentiments ambivalents chez les responsables roumains : crainte de voir des travailleurs mal protégés face aux risques de contamination et susceptibles de ramener le virus dans leur pays ; réalisme sur la nécessité économique de cette migration.

      Parfois raillés dans leur pays, où ils sont génériquement désignés comme "capsunari" (cueilleurs de fraises) , les émigrants représentent une source incontournable de transferts d’argent : l’année dernière ils ont envoyé à leurs familles 7,2 milliards de dollars (6,6 milliards d’euros), soit près d’un tiers de plus que les investissements directs étrangers attirés par la Roumanie.

      "Pour les décideurs roumains, quelle que soit leur orientation politique, il a toujours été plus simple d’exporter cette main-d’œuvre que de mettre en place des politiques antipauvreté pour lesquelles il faut dépenser de l’argent" , observe M. Stanescu.

      La transition du pays vers l’économie de marché a entraîné ces trois dernières décennies la fermeture de nombreuses usines héritées du régime communiste et l’effondrement des fermes d’Etat, laissant sur le bord de la route plusieurs millions de travailleurs.

      Du coup, cueillir pendant trois mois des fruits ou des légumes en Europe de l’Ouest permet à ces personnes de survivre pendant les neuf mois restants.

      "Pas le choix"
      "Nous partons parce que nous en avons besoin. Ce n’est pas facile pour nous" , a expliqué jeudi à l’AFP un saisonnier de 35 ans, Ionel, en partance de Bucarest par un vol spécial pour le Royaume-Uni.

      A ses côtés, dans le hall des départs de l’aéroport, des femmes et des hommes de tous âges qui passeront trois mois dans les vignes britanniques. Tous portent des masques, ont constaté des journalistes de l’AFP.

      "Je fais ça depuis longtemps, mais maintenant cela semble différent. Il y a un sentiment étrange. J’ai laissé mes enfants et mes parents à la maison" , ajoute Ionel.

      "Ce n’était pas une décision facile, mais je n’avais pas d’autre choix" , a déclaré Tinca, une jeune femme de 22 ans dont c’est la première saison à l’étranger.
      Selon plusieurs sites qui recrutent pour l’agriculture allemande, les saisonniers y sont payés 9,35 euros l’heure, pouvant tabler sur quelque 1300 euros par mois. En Roumanie, le salaire net moyen s’élève à 660 euros par mois.

      "Nous nous attendons à une hausse du nombre de candidats au départ car il sera encore plus difficile de joindre les deux bouts en #Roumanie" , pays de 19 millions d’habitants, indique à l’AFP Sergiu Marian, responsable de la société Christian Sallemaier qui recrute des #aides-soignantes.

      Alors que les médias évoquent des "abus" de la part d’employeurs peu scrupuleux et s’interrogent sur la prise en charge d’éventuels saisonniers contaminés par le Covid-19, certains critiquent le gouvernement libéral, accusé de permettre que des ressortissants roumains soient "traités tels des esclaves sur des plantations".

      La médiatrice roumaine des droits Renate Weber s’est inquiétée du sort des cueilleurs de fruits partis en Allemagne et a demandé à Berlin des "détails sur les conditions sanitaires et d’hébergement" qui leur sont réservées.

      Le député européen socialiste Victor Negrescu a appelé le médiateur européen à veiller au respect des droits de ses concitoyens. "Les saisonniers roumains ne sont pas des esclaves", a-t-il lancé. "La dignité humaine et la santé ne sont pas négociables".

      Intéressante, la justification économique de l’#esclavage et de la #déportation dans l’#union_européenne, l’#UE par l’#AFP, reproduite par la #RTBF.
      Heureusement, l’union européenne est en train d’annexer l’#Albanie.

  • « Pour les exilés, le confinement peut réveiller des images traumatiques »

    Si le suivi psychologique des exilés se poursuit notamment par téléphone, la psychologue Marie-Caroline Saglio-Yatzimirsky, qui reçoit ces patients, s’inquiète de l’aggravation de leur #solitude « déjà extrême ».

    #traumatisme #trauma #santé_mentale #asile #migrations #réfugiés #coronavirus #confinement #covid-19
    ping @isskein @karine4 @thomas_lacroix

  • Inequality and repression undermine democracy and market economy worldwide - Bertelsmann report

    Restricted freedom of expression, a gagged press or disempowered constitutional courts – as a rule, these are characteristics of autocracies. But our latest Transformation Index shows that the rule of law and political freedoms are also being eroded in an increasing number of democracies. The effects of the corona pandemic threaten to intensify these developments.
    According to the authors, the dismantling of the rule of law and civil liberties in once-stable democracies is striking. Examples of this are Hindu nationalism in India, right-wing populism in Brazil or the authoritarian course of EU member Hungary. The developments in these countries are representative of the increasing political polarization that is also shaking consolidated democracies.

    This is often accompanied by the suppression of opposition and ethnic or religious minorities. This is also the case in Turkey, which the authors classify as an autocracy for the first time due to massive restrictions on the freedom of the press, gross disregard for civil rights and the undermining of the separation of powers.



  • UN’s emergency relief coordinator Mark Lowcock - Briefing to the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in Syria


    Areas of particular concerninclude camps and other crowded areas of displacement, which typically has insufficient access to water and sanitation.
    At Al Hol Campin the north-east, an 80-bed isolation area is under construction and thermal screening has commenced.
    Over the past few weeks 135,000 people have returned to towns and villages in front-line areas outside of government control –mostgoing to Ariha and Atareb. Manyof those peopleare returning to find their previous homes destroyed. Essential services have also yetto be re-established.
    I turn now to Rukban camp, which has not been reached by a humanitarian convoy since September 2019. Informal commercial supply routes from Damascus and Dhumer were closed off in February, further disrupting the delivery of food, fuel and medical supplies into the camp. Jordanianborder restrictions related to COVID-19 since 18 Marchhave impacted medicalreferralsfrom Rukban without prior COVID-19 screening, which is unavailable in the camp.


  • First two COVID-19 cases confirmed in northeast Syria: Kurdish Administration - Kurdistan 24
    The Kurdish-led self-administration in northeast Syria has confirmed the first two coronavirus cases in the region after nearly one month and half of the lockdown, officials said on Wednesday.

    “A man and his wife tested positive for COVID-19, which are the first two cases registered in northeast Syria,” Dr. Jiwan Mustafa, head of the Health Authority in northeast Syria.


  • The other sad news arriving from Serbia concerns the boat which capsized on the Danube, on the Serbian-Romanian border. The boat was carrying 16 migrants from various countries and was piloted by 2 people-smugglers. Two persons drowned after the capsizing, eight were declared missing, and eight were saved.

    Reçu via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 29.04.2020

    PREVRNUO SE ČAMAC NA DUNAVU Na rumunskoj granici poginuo Srbin, za osmoro se traga

    Jedna osoba je poginula, a osam osoba se vode kao nestale nakon što se na Dunavu, na granici sa Srbijom i Rumunijom prevrnuo čamac.

    Prema izjavi rumunske policije, čamac se prevrnuo u noći između četvrtka i petka, nakon što su migranti napustili Srbiju, i to kada su putnici ustali, jer je voda počela da prodire u plovilo, prenosi “lavanguardia”.

    Šesnaest migranata iz raznih zemalja i dvojica osumnjičena za trafiking, srpske nacionalnosti, bili su na tom čamcu, kako prenose rumunski mediji.

    Spaseni su četvorica Sirijaca, dvojica Iračana, Jermen, Palestinac i Srbin, pre nego što je otkriveno da je jedan od putnika, takođe iz Sriije, mrtav.


    #décès #morts #mourir_aux_frontières #Balkans #asile #migrations #réfugiés #morts_aux_frontières #Danube #Serbie #Roumanie #fleuve #rivière


    Autres articles de presse sur l’événement:

    ping @isskein

    • Un muerto y 8 desaparecidos tras naufragar barca con refugiados en el Danubio

      Una persona ha muerto y otras ocho están desaparecidas tras naufragar una barca con refugiados en el tramo del río Danubio que bordea las fronteras de Rumanía y Serbia.

      Según explicó la Policía de Frontera rumana en un comunicado, la embarcación había salido de Serbia y volcó en la noche del jueves al viernes, al ponerse en pie los pasajeros en el momento en que empezó a entrar agua.

      En la embarcación viajaban 16 migrantes provenientes de diversos países y dos presuntos traficantes de personas de nacionalidad serbia, informó el canal de noticias rumano Realitatea Plus.

      La policía rumana logró rescatar con vida a nueve náufragos (cuatro sirios, dos iraquíes, un yemení, un palestino y un serbio) antes de hallar sin vida el cuerpo del fallecido, un ciudadano sirio.

      Las autoridades rumanas siguen buscando a las otras ocho personas desaparecidas.


  • Danas prijem prvih migranata u novi kamp Lipa

    Iako je Gradsko vijeće #Bihać prihvatilo Lipu kao novu lokaciju za smještaj migranata još u studenom prošle godine, vlasti u Bosni i Hercegovini su svoju suglasnost dale tek nakon proglašenja pandemije koronavirusa u BiH, kako bi se sa ulica krajiških gradova izmjestilo nekoliko tisuća migranata.

    Iako je prvo izmještanje migranata najavljeno još u ožujku, ipak do toga nije došlo. Prema zvaničnim najavama, danas se očekuje prijem prvih migranata u novi kamp Lipa, tako da se intenzivno radi na osposobljavanju kampa. Na ovoj lokaciji je postavljeno 50 šatora u koje bi trebalo biti smješteno 1000 migranata.

    ŠUHRET FAZLIĆ, gradonačelnik Bihaća

    “Odvija se projekat koji je sigurno na prostoru Balkana možda najveći građevinski poduhvat. Ko nije bio gore ne može znati šta se dešava. Gore je milionska investicij. Prije 15 dana gore je bila samo livada, sada gore se stvaraju kapaciteti za smještaj skoro 1000 migranata”, rekao je Fazlić.

    S obzirom na to da vlasti ne žele da se ponovi slika sa Vučjaka, otvaranje kampa Lipa kasni. Riješeno je pitanje struje, vode i odvodnje, još se čeka zeleno svjetlo od zdravstvenog sektora.

    Iz kantonalnog Zavoda za javno zdravstvo ističu da svaki dan dobijaju izvještaje od DRC-a i IOM-a o zdravstvenom stanju migranata koji se nalaze u prihvatnim centrima. Na ulazu u Lipu će se raditi trijaža migranata, a bit će osposobljen i karantin.

    Epidemiolog ZARINA MULABDIĆ, direktorica Zavoda za javno zdravstvo

    “Zadovoljni smo sa onim zatečenim gore. Samo treba da se još to do kraja provede, nešto u vezi infrastrukture što se treba nadopuniti. To će biti jedno sjajno rješenje, ni nalik na Vučjak, na koji sam ja dala negativno mišljenje kao epidemiolog”, kazala je Mulabdić.

    Lipa je prvenstveno namijenjena za prihvat migranata koji se nalaze na ulicama Bihaća i nemaju osnovne uvjete za život dostojan čovjeka.

    MUSTAFA RUŽNIĆ, premijer USK

    “Kapacitet je za sada 1000 migranata. Vidjet ćemo kako će se razvijati situacija. Vidjeli ste, to je jedan mali grad po svim standardima”, istakao je Ružnić.

    Еpidemiolog ZARINA MULABDIĆ, direktorica Zavoda za javno zdravstvo

    Cilj nam je da ovo što nam je na ulici stavimo na Lipu tako da imamo nadzor, dodala je Mulabdić.

    Iz Ministarstva unutrašnjih poslova Unsko-sanskog kantona kažu da su spremni za izmještanje migranata, kako onih s ulica Bihaća, tako i onih koji privremeni krov nad glavom nalaze u napuštenim objektima.

    NERMIN KLjAJIĆ, ministar unutrašnjih poslova USK

    “Na taj način ćemo ispoštovati odluku Vijeća ministara o apsolutnoj zabrani kretanja. Smatram da se nekih 400 do 500 migranata u ovoj sedmici može premjestiti gore na tu lokaciju, objasnio je Kljajić.

    Građani Bihaća su u samoizolaciji dok migranti čekajući svoje premještanje slobodno šetaju gradskim ulicama. Bez osnovnih higijenskih i zdravstvenih uvjeta, otvorena su prijetnja za širene pandemije koronavirusa.


    #Bosnie #asile #migrations #réfugiés #camps #route_des_Balkans #Balkans


    Commentaire via la mailing-list Inicijativa Dobrodosli, mail du 29.04.2020:

    Most of the funds used to finance the construction were awarded by the EU, while the camp will be run by the #IOM and the #DRC. The camp is situated 22km from the city of Bihać, without a connecting road, which would mean it is, in essence, isolated peripheral accommodation. In addition, there is no wastewater infrastructure, which in time will certainly begin to create certain problems for people living there.

    For a long while, BH has not been a good place for refugees and other migrants – as confirmed by this week’s news about the protest in #Bira (https://www.facebook.com/groups/144469886266984/permalink/548667525847216) and the letter signed by 70 persons from #Miral (https://www.facebook.com/transbalkanskasolidarnost/photos/a.121803256103331/130375228579467/?type=3&theater). These are reactions of people on the move to the hardships they have to suffer every day, and which are becoming unbearable. Meanwhile, police violence on the borders is not ceasing, continuing with equal levels of brutality and injustice (reprezent.ba/video-zivot-na-divlje-u-divljim-kampovima-velike-kladuse).

    #Danish_Refugee_Council #OIM #violences_policières #violence #isolement #périphérie #hébergement

  • Lebanon faces coronavirus, poverty, hunger - Info Migrants
    The Lebanese government has been able to contain the virus so far. Most of all, the strict protection measures affect people living in extreme poverty, and refugees. Their livelihoods and health are at stake.


  • Manifestations au Liban alors que le désespoir l’emporte sur le confinement - Middle East Eye VIDEO
    Une personne a été tuée à Tripoli lors d’affrontements entre forces de sécurité et manifestants en colère en raison du manque d’accès aux produits de première nécessité



  • Syria: Aid Restrictions Hinder Covid-19 Response - Human Rights Watch
    Restrictions on aid deliveries from Damascus and Iraq are preventing medical supplies and personnel needed to prevent, contain, and treat Covid-19 from reaching two million people in northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch said today. On April 17, 2020, the authorities in northeast Syria announced the first confirmed Covid-19-related death.

    As of late February, almost half of northeast Syria’s 4 million inhabitants needed humanitarian assistance, including 1.34 million – almost 500,000 of them displaced people – in nongovernment-held areas. According to the UN and interviews with aid agencies, half of the displaced do not have sufficient access to services including health care, water, sanitation, and shelter. About 70,000, including 44,000 children, live in abysmal conditions in camps that shelter mostly people displaced from territory previously held by the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. Aid agencies have developed a Covid-19 awareness campaign plan in camps and collective shelters.
    Many people live in dense urban centers, informal settlements, or overcrowded camps, making it nearly impossible to use the social distancing measures necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus


  • Antagonism and confusion undermine northeast Syria’s response to the coronavirus - Syria Direct
    The first death from COVID-19 in northeast Syria this month has brought to the fore the anticipated difficulties of containing and combating the pandemic in the divided country.


  • Rojava urgently needs COVID-19 aid - Green Left

    OVID-19 is spreading through the territory of two hostile regimes that border the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), home of the Rojava Revolution
    To its north, Turkey has 112,261 officially confirmed cases (more than Iran, the previous centre of the pandemic in the Middle East) and 2900 deaths as of April 28.

    The Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria has only reported 43 cases, but the Rojava Information Centre (RIC) says that coronavirus is “spreading throughout Syria, from Deir-ez-Zor to Damascus”.



  • Ces indésirables réfugiés syriens - Le monde diplomatique
    Accueillis à bras ouverts dès le début de la guerre civile qui ensanglante leur pays, les réfugiés syriens sont désormais dans le collimateur d’Ankara. Ébranlé par de récents déboires électoraux et incapable de rassurer sa population quant à sa capacité à faire face à l’épidémie de Covid-19, le régime de M. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan donne des gages à une opinion désormais hostile à leur présence.

    S’ils ont droit aux soins gratuits, Médecins du monde (MDM) a relevé que près d’un quart des réfugiés syriens dans les villes et plus de la moitié dans les zones rurales n’ont accès ni à un hôpital ni à l’un de ces nouveaux dispensaires de santé primaire récemment ouverts dans les régions à forte population syrienne (6). Au coût du transport pour s’y rendre s’ajoute l’obstacle de la langue ; et puis, il y a la peur d’être déportés en Syrie pour les quelque 200 000 clandestins qui ne disposent même pas de « protection temporaire ». Ou bien, enfin, la crainte d’être renvoyés dans leur ville d’enregistrement pour ceux partis à la recherche d’un travail ailleurs en Turquie.


  • Fundamental rights of refugees, asylum applicants and migrants at the European borders

    Council of Europe (CoE) and European Union (EU) Member States have an undeniablesovereign right to control the entry of non-nationals into their territory. While exercising border control, states have a duty to protect the fundamental rights of all people under their jurisdiction, regardless of their nationality and/or legal status. Under EU law, this includes providing access to asylum procedures. In recent weeks, states in Europe have taken measures to protect their borders to address public order, public health, or national security challenges. This note summarises some key safeguards of European law as they apply at the EU’s external borders, bearing in mind that relevant CoE instruments apply to all borders.

    #droits_fondamentaux #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Europe #EU #UE #non-refoulement #refoulement #refoulements #push-back #push-backs #expulsions_collectives #pandémie #épidémie #renvois #expulsions #vulnérabilité #enfants #MNA #mineurs_non_accompagnés #enfants_séparés #FRA

    ping @isskein @karine4