• Border line : a journey through the Irish heart of the Brexit crisis – video | UK news | The Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/video/2019/dec/09/the-irish-border-line-a-journey-along-edge-of-brexit-crisis-video

    Un joli reportage de 15 minutes sur la frontière entre l’Ulster et l’Irlande au prisme du Brexit

    In the weeks leading up to the general election triggered by the Brexit crisis, Phoebe Greenwood and Ekaterina Ochagavia have driven the length of the border that has proved one of the most contentious issues in the Brexit debate. We hear from the people living along it, and what they think is at stake in the election

    Phoebe Greenwood Ekaterina Ochagavia , Mick Browne, James Armstrong, Marina Costa and Katie Lamborn, Source: The Guardian

    Mon 9 Dec 2019

    #irlande #irlande_du_nord #royaume-uni #brexit #frontières

  • In an obliterated landscape, war-weary Ukrainians hope peace summit ends fighting | CBC News
    https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/in-an-obliterated-landscape-war-weary-ukrainians-hope-peace-summit-ends-fighting

    With Ukraine and Russia set to begin crucial peace talks on Monday to try to end the long war in Eastern Ukraine, desperate civilians near the front lines are praying the diplomacy amounts to something.

    “We aren’t needed by Ukraine or Russia. Donbass is completely destroyed,” said Svetlana Rizhkova, who lives in Zaitseve, a village just a few kilometres from the contact line between Ukrainian government troops and Russian-backed separatists.

    “I just hope they stop the shooting,” she told a CBC News crew who visited her at her home.

    #ukraine #russie

  • EU net migration continues to decline as UK heads towards the general election, but impact of manifesto promises on migration can’t be predicted

    Today’s data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) (https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/populationandmigration/internationalmigration/bulletins/migrationstatisticsquarterlyreport/november2019) show that EU net migration had continued to decline, reaching the lowest level since before EU enlargement, as the UK heads towards the general election, the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said today.

    Today’s data suggest that net migration of EU citizens in the year ending June 2019 was 48,000, 78% below the pre-referendum peak of 218,000 in 2015. In separate population estimates also published today, Poland lost its place as the top country of birth for migrants living in the UK (although the difference between Poland, at 827,000 residents in YE June 2019, was not statistically different for figures from India, at 837,000).

    Non-EU net migration was broadly stable at 229,000 in the year ending June 2019, after steady increases since 2013. This makes non-EU considerably higher than EU net migration, although the precise contribution of EU vs. non-EU to the total remains uncertain due to problems identified in the data (see editor’s notes, below).

    Madeleine Sumption, Director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford said: “EU net migration has fallen dramatically since before the referendum, and is now at its lowest level since before EU enlargement. The reasons for this will include things like the lower value of the pound making the UK less attractive, improving economic prospects in EU countries of origin, and potentially the political uncertainty of the prolonged Brexit process.”

    There has been much discussion of migration policies outlined by the main political parties as the general election approaches. The Conservatives and the Brexit party have committed to ending free movement and introducing an “Australian style” points based system, the features of which are yet to be announced; Labour has signalled that it would consider free movement as part of a negotiations on the future UK-EU relationship, while the Liberal Democrats have promised to end the Brexit process and maintain free movement.

    Sumption added: “What will happen to migration in the coming years is highly uncertain, regardless of which party is power. It’s easy to imagine that migration policies are the only things that affect migration, but in reality, policies act more like a filter than a tap. The state of the economy, demand for workers by UK employers, conditions in countries of origin can have a big impact on migration, in some cases even more than changes in policy. That’s one reason why we’ve seen such a big drop in EU migration since 2016, despite the fact that policy has not yet changed at all.”

    Currently, the relatively low levels of EU net migration mean that restricting free movement now would be expected to have a much smaller impact on overall migration levels than it would have done in the past. However, this will not always be the case. EU migration has fluctuated up and down over time, and there is no reason to assume this would not continue to happen if the UK were to maintain free movement in the future. Recently revised ONS figures suggest that EU net migration made up a majority of the total from YE June 2013 to YE June 2016.

    https://migrationobservatory.ox.ac.uk/press/eu-net-migration-continues-to-decline-as-uk-heads-towards
    #migrations #Brexit #UK #Angleterre #statistiques #chiffres #citoyens_européens #migrants_européens

  • The contract on Corbyn
    Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. His real sin is to fight against injustice in the world, including the version Israel perpetrates
    Gideon Levy Nov 28, 2019
    https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-the-contract-on-corbyn-1.8192769

    The Jewish establishment in Britain and the Israeli propaganda machine have taken out a contract on the leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn. The contract was taken out a long time ago, and it was clear that the closer Corbyn came to being elected prime minister, the harsher the conflict would get.

    On Tuesday it reached its climax in an article by the chief rabbi of Britain, Ephraim Mirvis, in an article in The Times. Mirvis has decided that the anxiety of British Jews over Corbyn is justified and he is not fit to be prime minister. He called on Jews not to vote for Labour in the election on December 12.

    Born in South Africa and a graduate of Har Etzion Yeshiva in the settlement of Alon Shvut, Mirvis is the voice of British Jewry. In Capetown, Johannesburg and Har Etzion, he should have learned what apartheid was and why one should fight it. His parents did so, but one doubts that he learned the moral lesson from the regions of disenfranchisement in which he lived in South Africa and the West Bank.

    As opposed to the horrid Corbyn, Mirvis sees nothing wrong with the continued occupation; he does not identify with the struggle for Palestinian freedom, and he doesn’t sense the similarity between the South Africa of his childhood, Har Etzion of his youth and Israel of 2019. That is the real reason that he rejects Corbyn. The Jews of Britain also want a prime minister who supports Israel – that is, supports the occupation. A prime minister who is critical of Israel is to them an exemplar of the new anti-Semitism.

    Corbyn is not an anti-Semite. He never was. His real sin is his staunch position against injustice in the world, including the version Israel perpetrates. Today this is anti-Semitism. The Hungarian Viktor Orban, the Austrian Freedom Party and the extreme right in Europe are not the danger to Jews. Corbyn is the enemy. The new and efficient strategy of Israel and the Zionist establishment brands every seeker of justice as an anti-Semite, and any criticism of Israel as hatred of Jews. Corbyn is a victim of this strategy, which threatens to paralyze and silence Europe with regard to Israel.

    British Jewry might not be faking its anxiety, but it is certainly magnifying the danger. There is anti-Semitism, though less that what is presented, certainly on the left. About half of British Jews are considering fleeing if Corbyn is elected. Let them flee. The survey that showed this could actually encourage anti-Semitism: Are the Jews of Britain conditionally British? To whom is their loyalty?

    The future of all British Jews is much more secure than the future of any Palestinian living under the occupation, and even more secure than that of any Arab living in Israel. Jews are persecuted and are victims of discrimination and racism less so than the Palestinians in the Israel they hold dear. Moreover, Islamophobia in Europe is more common than anti-Semitism, but people talk about it less.

    Mirvis presents no evidence of Corbyn’s anti-Semitism. It sufficed for him to note the fact that Corbyn described as “friends” those who “endorse the murder of Jews” – a reference to Corbyn’s comments on Hezbollah and Hamas. Corbyn is indeed a very harsh critic of the occupation, supports the boycott and compares the closure of Gaza with the siege of Stalingrad and Leningrad. These are anti-Israeli positions, but not necessarily anti-Semitic. The Jews of Britain are blurring this difference as are many Jews throughout the world, intentionally. One can (and should) be a harsh critic of Israel without being anti-Semitic.

    If the Jews of Britain and their chief rabbi were more honest and courageous, they would ask themselves: Isn’t Israel’s brutal occupation policy the strongest motive for anti-Semitism today? There is anti-Semitism, it must be fought, but it must also be recognized that Israel supplies it an abundance of excuses and motives.

    The Jews and Israel’s true friends should hope that Corbyn is elected. He is a statesman who can change international discourse about the occupation and the struggle against it. He is a ray of hope for a different world and a different Israel – and what more could we want.

    #Jeremy_Corbyn

  • The Guardian view on university strikes: a battle for the soul of the campus

    The market model in higher education has created an intellectual precariat who are right to fight back.

    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/df26bbee42d6d108c24bbfa5e2e7f11f645a1511/0_20_3000_1800/master/3000.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=7e84391bcc6ef8f2cc69da

    In his classic work The Idea of a University, the recently canonised St John Henry Newman described the core goal of higher education as “the cultivation of the intellect, as an end which may reasonably be pursued for its own sake”. Most of the lecturers who began just over a week of strike action on Monday will have entered academia hoping to play their part in that noble enterprise. Instead they find themselves in the vanguard of perhaps the most concerted and widespread wave of industrial action that our university campuses have known.

    In February and March last year, staff at 65 universities voted to strike over changes to their pensions, which could have seen many lose considerable sums in retirement. That ongoing dispute is part of the explanation why lecturers are back on the picket line. But this year they are also protesting in large numbers at stagnating pay, insecure contracts, and an ever-growing workload driven by often unachievable targets. An argument that began on the arcane territory of pensions investment has morphed into a full-blown challenge to a marketisation process that has, over the last decade, transformed university life for those who study in it and those who teach in it.

    From 2010 onwards, student tuition fees, introduced by Labour in 1998, became the chosen vehicle for an ideological revolution on campus. Tripling the cap to £9,000, David Cameron’s coalition government launched the era of the student consumer, tasked with shopping around for the best education deal. Universities, faced with huge cuts in funding from Westminster, responded accordingly by diverting huge resources into marketing and upmarket student accommodation. An architecture of competition was built, as limits on student numbers were lifted, pitting institutions against each other via a new bureaucracy of audits, assessments and satisfaction surveys.

    The new emphasis on student experience was overdue and welcome; it gave undergraduates power and voice. But the perverse consequences of the marketisation process have become familiar. Huge levels of student debt built up, to be paid back at exorbitant interest rates by either the student or the taxpayer; a new breed of vice-chancellor emerged, aping the language and drawing the salary of a business CEO, and attended by a court of financial managers and marketing experts. There was a huge diversion of resources to sometimes risky investment in real estate.

    In this brave new world, the almost forgotten fall-guys have been the academics whose job it is to deliver “the product”. According to research by the University and College Union, average academic pay has fallen by 17% in real terms since 2009, as investment priorities have been diverted elsewhere. An intellectual precariat has come of age, made up of millennials who stumble from year to year on temporary contracts, often part-time, wondering where the next teaching gig is coming from. The drive to keep student numbers buoyant has led to relentless micro-management of academic performance, much of it driven by questionable assumptions such as those of the teaching excellence framework, which a recent study found constructed “excellence” as the development of employability in students.

    The world of our universities has become anxious, tense and, for many, chronically insecure. A YouGov poll found that four out of 10 academics had considered leaving the sector as a result of health pressures. In a sector intended to promote the life of the mind, this does not seem to be a good way to do business. So far these strikes have received an encouraging level of support from students, some of whom have reportedly been warned by university authorities to stay away from picket lines. Overturning the wrong-headed priorities of our universities would certainly have the support of St John Henry Newman.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/25/the-guardian-view-on-university-strikes-a-battle-for-the-soul-of-the-ca

    #grève #UK #Angleterre #université #précarité #travail #retraite #néolibéralisme #néo-libéralisme #taxes_universitaires #compétition #marchandisation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Eventually he arrived in Dover. That was 2006.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Lock change evictions ruled lawful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Disappointing decision on Serco lock changes

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

      Our Principal Solicitor Fiona McPhail commented:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Fiona McPhail added:

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

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

    • #Glasgow faces homeless crisis with asylum seeker evictions

      With temperatures plunging, night shelters scramble to deal with fallout after court ruled to allow ‘lock-change evictions’.

      Asylum seekers in Glasgow are facing the prospect of sleeping on the streets in freezing conditions when the wave of “lock-change evictions” – held off for nearly 18 months by public protests and legal challenges – finally begins in earnest over the next fortnight, with the only available night shelter already full to capacity and frontline workers desperately scrambling to secure more emergency accommodation.

      Earlier this month, Scotland’s highest court upheld a ruling that Serco, which claims it has been “demonised” over its controversial policy of changing the locks on the homes of refused asylum seekers, did not contravene Scottish housing law or human rights legislation. The private housing provider now plans to evict 20 people a week.
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      Annika Joy, who manages the Glasgow night shelter for destitute asylum seekers, is blunt about the prospects of avoiding a homelessness crisis across the city, where temperatures plummeted to below zero last week. “We don’t have any slack,” she says. “We have 24 beds here, booked to capacity every night. We believe there are already 150 asylum seekers at any time who are making survival decisions, perhaps being forced to sell sex or labour for accommodation, or sofa surfing. Now we estimate that another 150 people will be evicted by Serco over the winter.”

      Joy is painfully aware of how basic the shelter’s provisions are. There are no showers in the building, nor sufficient secure space where guests can store possessions. Without enough power for a catering cooker, the hot breakfasts and dinners provided with donated food are made on a minimal four-ring hob. In the bunk room itself, colourful blankets and sheets are draped around beds. It looks like a children’s sleepover party, but these are adult males desperately trying to create privacy among strangers, many of whom suffer from insomnia or night terrors.

      Refused asylum seekers in the UK find themselves in an almost uniquely unsupported position, with no right to homeless assistance or to work to provide for themselves.

      Graham O’Neill of the Scottish Refugee Council says many of those initially refused have their claims accepted on appeal – 55% according to most recent figures. A quarter of those Serco planned to evict when it first announced its lock-change policy in July 2018 have since returned to Section Four homelessness support.

      For O’Neill, there is a deep frustration that many of those still facing eviction are waiting weeks for decisions that should be made within days, or have fresh asylum claims ready but aren’t allowed to lodge them because of Home Office bureaucracy. “They are facing street homelessness, when actually in law they have an entitlement to support.”

      Joy says that a longer-term solution is needed across the city: “These are not people who will need a bed for a few nights until they have their lives sorted out, and we won’t end homelessness in Glasgow without a proper plan for asylum seekers.”

      The city is already facing a winter crisis, with demands for the council night shelter to open early because of freezing temperatures, while last month Shelter Scotland launched a judicial review that claims Glasgow city council has illegally denied temporary accommodation to homeless applicants.

      With this in mind, campaigners are working together with local housing associations and charities who have spare rooms, and in discussion with Glasgow’s city council and the Scottish government – who are limited because they are not legally allowed to directly fund accommodation for over-stayers - to put together a critical mass of long-term accommodation.

      The plan is to offer accommodation along with wraparound legal and health support, which can also serve the women who make up one in five of those facing eviction and who currently have nowhere to go.

      Robina Qureshi, director of Positive Action in Housing, which has been supporting a number of those anticipating eviction, emphasises the long-term psychological toll of the lock-change policy, saying: “People are very frightened about the prospect of being turfed onto the street at any time.”

      Joy emphasises how much living circumstances impact on people’s capacity to access support. “It’s striking how many rights our guests who have been refused by the Home Office have. When people are less anxious about where they are going to spend the night, when they have the encouragement to open up about their experiences, we often discover new information that can help their claims.”

      https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/nov/27/glasgow-faces-homeless-crisis-with-asylum-seeker-evictions-set-to-begin

  • Anti-semitism bandwagon rolled out again
    11 November 2019 – Jonathan Cook
    https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2019-11-11/antisemitism-smears-corbyn
    www.jonathan-cook.net/images/default/jc_fb.jpg

    For a few months over the summer the British corporate media largely lost interest in smearing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn as an anti-semite. Maybe they had begun to worry that the constant drum-beat of the past three years was deadening the public’s sensitivity to such claims.

    But an election is now weeks away, and the anti-semitism smear bandwagon is being rolled out once again.

    Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle (who also writes for the Tory-loving Mail, Express, Sun and Telegraph newspapers) has yet again been terrifying readers as best he can, implying not so subtly that voting for Labour might risk a genocide of British Jews. After several years of painting Corbyn – preposterously – as some kind of unkempt, grey-bearded leader of a British Gestapo-in-the-making, Pollard spent the past few days highlighting in the corporate media the predictable results of the latest survey of Jewish public opinion. It suggests that a growing number of Jews are considering leaving Britain if Corbyn manages to oust Boris Johnson from power.

    That we have reached the point where so many British Jews have been persuaded that Corbyn’s vocal criticism of Israel’s oppression of Palestinians means his entire party is infected with a supposed hatred of Jews needs some explaining. It is something I have been trying to do regularly, and in real time, as life has been breathed into these various slurs, both by a corporate media that detests the fairer society a Corbyn party promises and by an Israel lobby that identifies so closely with Israel that it has completely dehumanised Palestinians, to the extent that the crimes against them can be entirely overlooked – treated as no more significant than stepping on an ant.

    In the figure of Pollard, we have a journalist who merges both outlooks, typified in this extraordinary tweet last year that at the time stunned even some of his followers but has now become a staple of the campaign against Corbyn and his democratic socialist politics. Efforts by the left to highlight the class war waged by an elite that’s been sucking the life out of the British economy to enrich itself have been maliciously recharacterised by Pollard and other rightwing journalists (some of whom ensconced themselves in the Labour party during Tony Blair’s rule) as an attack on Jews. But it is not the left that conflates the corporate elite with Jews, it is rightwing journalists like Pollard. (...)

  • Impeachment inquiry transcripts reveal shock and concern over Trump plot | US news | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/04/impeachment-inquiry-transcripts-reveal-shock-and-concern-over-trump-plo
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/ebe401d5f55ef3749849b74990664ddfd4e48e6a/0_157_4711_2827/master/4711.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    Two senior American diplomats warned congressional investigators a White House plot to manufacture political dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine had undermined US national security interests and shredded faith among foreign service personnel, according to transcripts released on Monday by committees pursuing an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.

    #impeachment #US #Ukraine #Trump

  • Germany wants asylum seekers assessed before reaching Europe

    The German interior minister #Horst_Seehofer has called for a new European migration system which would see asylum applications decided outside Europe’s borders.

    Germany has called on the European Union to change its approach to asylum applications. The interior minister, Horst #Seehofer, said on Tuesday that applicants should undergo initial assessment at Europe’s external borders and be sent home from there as well.

    “We have to realize that the Dublin system has failed,” Seehofer told the interior ministers of France, Italy, Poland, Spain, and the United Kingdom at a meeting of the so-called #G6 group in the southern German city of Munich on Tuesday.

    The Dublin regulation refers to European Union rules which state that the EU country in which a person seeking asylum first sets foot should handle the asylum application.

    External processing

    “(This) system cannot be the basis for the EU’s future asylum policy,” Seehofer said. “We need a new philosophy that starts at the external borders.”


    https://twitter.com/BMI_Bund/status/1189152116176248832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

    “Our proposition: Effective protection of Europe’s external borders, where we check whether someone has a need for protection or has to be returned immediately. This means we need a unified set of rules.”

    Under Seehofer’s proposal, only asylum seekers with prospects for receiving protection in Europe should be distributed among a group of willing EU countries. Their asylum issues would then be addressed there.

    If the initial assessment at the European external borders is negative, the EU border agency Frontex should return the asylum seeker to his or her home country.

    Most support Seehofer

    The EU migration commissioner, Dimitris Avrampoulos, who also attended the G6 meeting, welcomed the proposal and called the discussions “constructive”. He said most of the G6 ministers supported Seehofer.


    https://twitter.com/Avramopoulos/status/1188870575877492736?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E11

    Seehofer also wants to bring forward a planned strengthening of the European border agency, Frontex. Officials in Brussels on Wednesday approved plans to deploy 10,000 uniformed border guards and officers across the EU by 2027, the AFP news agency reports.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/en/post/20480/germany-wants-asylum-seekers-assessed-before-reaching-europe
    #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #externalisation #asile #migrations #réfugiés #procédure_d'asile

    Je répète ici les mots de Seehofer, car on va probablement encore et encore les réutiliser...

    “We have to realize that the Dublin system has failed, (...) (This) system cannot be the basis for the EU’s future asylum policy,” Seehofer said. “We need a new philosophy that starts at the external borders. (...) Our proposition: Effective protection of Europe’s external borders, where we check whether someone has a need for protection or has to be returned immediately. This means we need a unified set of rules.”

    –-----------

    Ceci est à mettre en lien aussi avec le même genre de proposition (celle d’une externalisation non seulement des #contrôles_frontaliers, mais aussi de la #procédure_d'asile, et du #tri et de la #catégorisation) de #Macron en 2017 :
    Macron veut « identifier » les demandeurs d’asile au #Tchad et au Niger
    https://seenthis.net/messages/704970
    #France #hub

    –-------

    Mais Macron lui-même n’avait rien inventé... C’était une proposition qui arrivait de l’#Angleterre de #Tony_Blair :

    The idea of establishing reception centres in third countries, however, is not new. It was first suggested, unsuccessfully, by Tony Blair in 2003 [https://www.theguardian.com/society/2003/feb/05/asylum.immigrationasylumandrefugees] It was then taken over by the former German Interior Minister Otto Schily in 2005,[ “German Interior Ministry, Effektiver Schutz für Flüchtlinge, wirkungsvolle Bekämpfung illegaler Migration – Überlegungen des Bundesministers des Innern zur Einrichtung einer EU-Aufnahmeeinrichtung in Nordafrika 9 September 2005.”] who proposed to establish asylum centres in North Africa, and more recently Italy. The original 2003 Blair proposal was that any third-country national who sought asylum in the EU would be returned immediately to a centre in a third country where his or her application would be considered.

    https://www.ceps.eu/ceps-publications/offshore-processing-asylum-applications-out-sight-out-mind
    #UK

    v. aussi :
    https://seenthis.net/messages/704970#message704974
    #Transit_Processing_Centres (#TPCs) #UK

    ping @_kg_ @isskein @karine4 @visionscarto

    • Austrian Presidency document: “a new, better protection system under which no applications for asylum are filed on EU territory”

      A crude paper authored by the Austrian Presidency of the Council of the EU and circulated to other Member States’s security officials refers disparagingly to “regions that are characterised by patriarchal, anti-freedom and/or backward-looking religious attitudes” and calls for “a halt to illegal migration to Europe” and the “development of a new, better protection system under which no applications for asylum are filed on EU territory,” with some minor exceptions.

      See: Austrian Presidency: Informal Meeting of COSI, Vienna, Austria, 2-3 July 2018: Strengthening EU External Border Protection and a Crisis-Resistant EU Asylum System (https://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/EU-austria-Informal-Meeting-%20COSI.pdf)

      The document was produced for an ’Informal Meeting of COSI’ (the Council of the EU’s Standing Committee on Operational Cooperation on Internal Security) which took place on 2 and 3 July in Vienna, and the proposals it contains were the subject of numerous subsequent press articles - with the Austrian President one of the many who criticised the government’s ultra-hardline approach.

      See: Austrian president criticises government’s asylum proposals (The Local, https://www.thelocal.at/20180715/austrian-president-criticises-governments-asylum-proposals); Austrian proposal requires asylum seekers to apply outside EU: Profil (Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-migrants-austria/austrian-proposal-requires-asylum-seekers-to-apply-outside-eu-profil-idUSKB); Right of asylum: Austria’s unsettling proposals to member states (EurActiv, https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/right-of-asylum-austrias-unsettling-proposals-to-member-states)

      Some of the proposals were also discussed at an informal meeting of the EU’s interior ministers on Friday 13 July, where the topic of “return centres” (http://statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/eu-ciuncil-returns.htm) was also raised. The Luxembourg interior minister Jean Asselborn reportedly said that such an idea “shouldn’t be discussed by civilized Europeans.” See: No firm EU agreement on Austrian proposals for reducing migration (The Local, https://www.thelocal.at/20180713/no-firm-eu-agreement-on-austrian-proposals-for-reducing-migration)

      The Austrian Presidency paper proposes:

      "2.1. By 2020

      By 2020 the following goals could be defined:

      Saving as many human lives as possible;
      Clear strengthening of the legal framework and the operational capabilities of FRONTEX with respect to its two main tasks: support in protecting the Union’s external border and in the field of return;
      Increasing countering and destruction of people smugglers’ and human traffickers‘ business models;
      Significant reduction in illegal migration;
      More sustainable and more effective return measures as well as establishment of instruments that foster third countries’ willingness to cooperate on all relevant aspects, including the fight against people smuggling, providing protection and readmission;
      Development of a holistic concept for a forward-looking migration policy (in the spirit of a “whole of government approach“) and a future European protection system in cooperation with third countries that is supported by all and does not overburden all those involved – neither in terms of resources nor with regard to the fundamental rights and freedoms they uphold.

      2.2. By 2025

      By 2025 the following goals could be realised:

      Full control of the EU’s external borders and their comprehensive protection have been ensured.
      The new, better European protection system has been implemented across the EU in cooperation with third countries; important goals could include:
      no incentives anymore to get into boats, thus putting an end to smuggled persons dying in the Mediterranean;
      smart help and assistance for those in real need of protection, i.e. provided primarily in the respective region;
      asylum in Europe is granted only to those who respect European values and the fundamental rights and freedoms upheld in the EU;
      no overburdening of the EU Member States’ capabilities;
      lower long-term costs;
      prevention of secondary migration.
      Based on these principles, the EU Member States have returned to a consensual European border protection and asylum policy.”

      And includes the following statements, amongst others:

      “...more and more Member States are open to exploring a new approach. Under the working title “Future European Protection System” (FEPS) and based on an Austrian initiative, a complete paradigm shift in EU asylum policy has been under consideration at senior officials’ level for some time now. The findings are considered in the “Vienna Process” in the context of which the topic of external border protection is also dealt with. A number of EU Member States, the EU Commission and external experts contribute towards further reflections and deliberations on these two important topics.”

      “...ultimately, there is no effective EU external border protection in place against illegal migration and the existing EU asylum system does not enable an early distinction between those who are in need of protection and those who are not.”

      “Disembarkment following rescue at sea as a rule only takes place in EU Member States. This means that apprehensions at sea not only remain ineffective (non-refoulement, examination of applications for asylum), but are exploited in people smugglers’ business models.”

      “Due to factors related to their background as well as their poor perspectives, they [smuggled migrants] repeatedly have considerable problems with living in free societies or even reject them. Among them are a large number of barely or poorly educated young men who have travelled to Europe alone. Many of these are particularly susceptible to ideologies that are hostile to freedom and/or are prone to turning to crime.

      As a result of the prevailing weaknesses in the fields of external border protection and asylum, it is to be expected that the negative consequences of past and current policies will continue to be felt for many years to come. As experience with immigration from regions that are characterised by patriarchal, anti-freedom and/or backward-looking religious attitudes has shown, problems related to integration, safety and security may even increase significantly over several generations.”

      See: Austrian Presidency: Informal Meeting of COSI, Vienna, Austria, 2-3 July 2018: Strengthening EU External Border Protection and a Crisis-Resistant EU Asylum System (pdf)

      https://www.statewatch.org/news/2018/jul/eu-austrian-pres-asylum-paper.htm

      #Autriche

    • Germany proposed a new automatic relocation scheme for asylum seekers (https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-sets-out-plan-for-automatic-relocation-of-asylum-seekers), according to which requests for international protection would be evaluated at the external borders of the European Union. The proposal was presented last week to EU member states, with the aim of making progress in the reforming of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), ahead of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second part of next year. The document proposes the initial evaluation of cases at EU’s external borders, a new regime for determining which member state is responsible for the further processing of the application, and measures to prevent asylum seekers’ migration from one member state to another. The proposal that initial assessments of all cases should be made at the external borders is very problematic, since it determines that “clearly false and unfounded” requests would be denied immediately at the external border, as well as the fact that measures including restricting freedom of movement could be used in such proceedings. Moreover, the question of what would be the exact procedure of determining which states are responsible for processing applications for asylum also arises. According to the German plan, the key role in this would be reserved for European Asylum Support Office (EASO), which the Commission already proposes to transform into the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), that would then decide which member state is responsible for the further processing of applications. This decision would be based on factors such as the size of the population of the member state, their GDP and so on.

      Reçu via Inicijativa dobrodosli, mail du 04.11.2019.

  • #Calais : huit migrants, dont des enfants, trouvés en hypothermie dans un camion frigorifique

    Tôt ce dimanche 27 octobre, la Border Force britannique a trouvé huit migrants en état d’#hypothermie dans un #camion_frigorifique, au terminal ferry du port de Calais. Parmi eux, deux enfants en bas âge.


    https://www.lavoixdunord.fr/657776/article/2019-10-27/calais-dix-migrants-dont-des-enfants-trouves-en-hypothermie-dans-un-cam

    #asile #migrations #frontières #France #Angleterre #UK #camion #décès #morts #mourir_aux_frontières #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_européenne

    –---------

    Mise à jour du 29.10.2019...
    Je pense que les 8 personnes qui ont été retrouvées dans le camion ne sont pas mortes (ouf !) :

    Huit migrants afghans, dont quatre mineurs ont été hospitalisés à Calais après avoir été retrouvés dimanche 27 octobre en état de « légère hypothermie » dans un camion frigorifique dans le port de cette ville du Pas-de-Calais.

    https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20418/une-trentaine-de-migrants-decouverts-dans-des-camions-en-belgique-et-a

    • Une trentaine de migrants découverts dans des camions en Belgique et à Calais

      Quelque 28 migrants, dont des mineurs, ont été retrouvés depuis samedi dans plusieurs camions en partance de Calais et du nord de la Belgique vers le Royaume-Uni. La plupart sont Afghans, Irakiens et Érythréens. L’un des transporteurs avait caché les migrants sous un trappe verrouillée, derrière des poulets surgelés.

      Huit migrants afghans, dont quatre mineurs ont été hospitalisés à Calais après avoir été retrouvés dimanche 27 octobre en état de « légère hypothermie » dans un camion frigorifique dans le port de cette ville du Pas-de-Calais.

      Ils étaient cachés derrière des poulets surgelés, dans le double fond de la cellule frigorifique qui se trouvait sous une trappe.

      Ils ne pouvaient pas s’échapper en cas de problème

      La trappe était verrouillée de l’extérieur, un dispositif extrêmement dangereux puisque les personnes transportées ne pouvaient pas s’échapper seules en cas de problème.

      La semaine dernière, trente-neuf migrants vietnamiens sont morts piégés dans des conditions similaires, dans un camion frigorifique dont le conteneur était arrivé de Zeebruges jusqu’à Londres.

      Dimanche, le petit camion de 3,5 tonnes qui transportait les migrants afghans, a été contrôlé au moment d’embarquer sur un ferry à destination du Royaume-Uni. « Tout le contenant n’était pas rempli, ce qui prouve bien que ce n’était pas un véritable transport de marchandises », a indiqué une source judiciaire.

      Vingt migrants découverts à bord de deux camions en Belgique

      La veille, vingt migrants ont été découverts dans deux camions en route pour le Royaume-Uni depuis la Belgique. Ils ont tous été retrouvés en bonne santé.

      Le premier véhicule transportait onze personnes, dont des femmes et des enfants d’origine africaine, a priori érythréenne, a précisé le parquet du Limbourg. Le chauffeur a découvert ces passagers clandestins lors d’un arrêt technique dans un garage de Saint-Trond, situé à proximité de la frontière avec l’Allemagne (environ 65 km à l’est de Bruxelles).

      Par ailleurs, la police a trouvé samedi matin neuf hommes se disant de nationalité irakienne. Ils étaient cachés dans un camion qui circulait sur une voie rapide à Bruges en direction du port de #Zeebruges, a indiqué le parquet de Flandre occidentale. Les policiers sont intervenus après avoir été avertis de la présence de migrants dans ce camion.

      https://www.infomigrants.net/fr/post/20418/une-trentaine-de-migrants-decouverts-dans-des-camions-en-belgique-et-a

  • Après la mort de deux migrants dans la Manche, les associations alertent sur cette nouvelle route migratoire

    Pour la première fois, les corps de deux migrants ont été retrouvés lundi sur une plage du #Touquet, dans le #Pas-de-Calais. Un drame qui souligne l’augmentation préoccupante du nombre d’exilés qui tentent de rejoindre les côtes britanniques par la #voie_maritime.

    Les dépouilles de deux Irakiens ont été retrouvées lundi sur une plage du Touquet, dans le Pas-de-Calais. Ils avaient 17 et 22 ans. Ces jeunes hommes auraient tenté de traverser la Manche pour rejoindre le Royaume-Uni, selon les premiers éléments recueillis par la préfecture. Une petite embarcation semi-rigide a en effet été retrouvée à proximité. Ce drame porterait donc à quatre le nombre de migrants morts en tentant de rejoindre les côtes anglaises par la voie maritime.

    Le 9 août, une Iranienne de 30 ans avait perdu la vie après être tombée d’un bateau surchargé. Le 23 août, le corps d’un Irakien avait été retrouvé au large de Zeebruges, en Belgique. Il pourrait s’agir d’un homme repéré par les secours français en train de tenter la traversée à la nage. Des morts prévisibles, selon les associations d’aide aux migrants. Depuis 2018, elles alertent régulièrement sur l’augmentation des traversées clandestines de la Manche.
    Les traversées ont plus que doublé entre 2018 et 2019

    Depuis le début de l’année 2019, la préfecture maritime de la Manche et de la mer du Nord, contactée par le JDD, a dénombré 206 cas de tentatives ou de traversées. Soit environ 2.000 migrants. Lundi matin encore, huit migrants ont été secourus sur une plage près de Calais, selon le parquet de Boulogne-sur-Mer.

    Rien à voir avec les chiffres en Méditerranée où 69.962 personnes ont gagné l’Europe en bateau cette année, d’après les données de l’UNHCR au 14 octobre 2019. Et 1.071 y ont laissé leur vie ou sont portés disparus.

    Il n’empêche. Si la plupart des candidats à l’immigration continuent de tenter de se faufiler dans un camion (souvent en risquant leur vie, 4 personnes étant décédées en 2018 selon la Cimade), de plus en plus d’entre eux choisissent la voie maritime. Le phénomène a été repéré pour la première fois par les autorités en 2016 et connaît, depuis, une croissance exponentielle. Cette année-là, 23 tentatives ou traversées sont comptabilisées par la préfecture maritime. Puis 12 cas en 2017 et… 78 en 2018, impliquant 586 migrants. En 2019, ce chiffre a donc plus que doublé, et l’année n’est pas finie.
    Une bouée avec des bouteilles en plastique

    Une nouvelle route migratoire d’autant plus préoccupante qu’elle est extrêmement dangereuse. Car la Manche est « une autoroute de la mer », rappelle la préfecture maritime, « 25% du trafic maritime international passe par le détroit du Pas-de-Calais ». Et de comparer cette traversée au fait de franchir une voie express de nuit et à pied.

    Les exilés doivent naviguer de nuit entre ferrys et cargos, avec bien souvent des embarcations de fortune et un matériel de sauvetage insuffisant. L’Irakien repêché fin août près de Zeebruges portait une ceinture de flottaison bricolée avec des bouteilles en plastique.

    A ces difficultés, il faut ajouter les courants forts et les températures glaciales. A bord, les passagers se retrouvent vite trempés, risquant l’hypothermie. Et s’ils tombent, leurs chances de s’en sortir se réduisent drastiquement. Les conditions météorologiques ne semblent pas dissuader les départs : la préfecture a enregistré un pic à l’hiver 2018, la pire période pour naviguer.
    1.200 migrants auraient réussi la traversée, selon les médias britanniques

    Alors, pourquoi prendre ce risque, au péril de sa vie ? "Parce que certains réussissent, avance Antoine Nehr, coordinateur de l’antenne d’Utopia 56 à Calais, « c’est un mélange de désespoir et d’espoir ». La préfecture maritime ne communique aucun chiffre sur le nombre de migrants ayant réussi à atteindre les cotes anglaises mais, côté britannique, la BBC, citant le ministère de l’Intérieur estime que plus de 1.200 personnes ont réussi la traversée cette année, dont 336 en août.

    Autre facteur explicatif, selon ces associatifs : les conditions de vie toujours plus dures sur place. Depuis le démantèlement en 2016 de la « jungle » de Calais, « la politique est d’empêcher toute fixation, explique Antoine Nehr d’Utopia 56. Il y a des démantèlements des campements de fortune tous les deux jours, les forêts sont coupées pour empêcher de créer des lieux de vie, les tentes ou matériels sont jetés ». Ce qui pousserait les exilés à vouloir à tout prix parvenir au Royaume-Uni.
    Plus de contrôles et plus de risques

    « Ça ne va pas s’arrêter ! », prévient Claire Millot, secrétaire générale de l’association Salam, à l’AFP. « Parce que les conditions à Calais et Grande-Synthe sont épouvantables, avec des démantèlements réguliers, ils sont prêts à tout pour passer. » Pour elle, « ils ne sont pas prêts à entendre ce qu’on pourrait leur dire car ils sont déterminés. »

    En fait, les migrants prennent de plus en plus de risques, en camions ou par bateaux. C’est en tout cas ce qu’observent les associations interrogées. « Les contrôles se sont renforcés sur le littoral nord entre Calais et Grande-Synthe, raconte Antoine Nehr au JDD. Il y a de plus en plus de murs, de barrières. » Il ajoute que ces personnes sont souvent « des déboutés du droit d’asile, en fin de parcours, qui n’ont plus d’autre choix et tentent le tout pour le tout ». En 2019, les contrôles ont également été accrus en mer et sur les côtes. Conséquence : « On observe qu’ils partent de plus loin et sur des canots surchargés », déclare Antoine Nehr.

    Même constat pour Eva Ottavy, responsable des questions internationales à la Cimade. « Les camions n’ont plus le droit de s’arrêter dans les parkings entre Arras et Calais, indique-t-elle au JDD, pour éviter que les migrants n’y grimpent. Alors ils partent plus en amont sur la route ou prennent la mer. » Pour elle, « le renforcement des contrôles ne fait que déplacer les routes migratoires ». Tous craignent que d’autres drames soient passés sous les radars.

    https://www.lejdd.fr/Societe/apres-la-mort-de-deux-migrants-dans-la-manche-les-associations-alertent-sur-ce
    #route_migratoire #asile #migrations #réfugiés #France #Angleterre #UK #Calais #parcours_migratoire #décès #mort #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_Europe #frontières

  • #Camion_de_la_honte : les 39 victimes sont chinoises

    L’enquête semble se diriger vers un nouveau drame d’esclavage moderne, avec la révélation de la nationalité chinoise des 39 victimes, 8 femmes et 31 hommes.

    Ils n’ont pas encore de noms, d’âge et encore moins de sépultures. Mais on sait déjà que leur voyage cauchemardesque a commencé loin, très loin, à l’autre bout du monde. Les 39 personnes retrouvées sans vie dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi dans le conteneur d’un camion réfrigéré sur une zone industrielle de l’Essex, à l’est de l’Angleterre, venaient de Chine. Il y avait 8 femmes, dont une très jeune adulte, et 31 hommes, a confirmé jeudi la police d’Essex.

    L’ambassade de Chine au Royaume-Uni a immédiatement réagi. « C’est avec un cœur lourd que nous lisons ces informations », a tweeté un porte-parole en indiquant « travailler avec la police pour éclaircir et confirmer la situation ». Ce n’est pas la première fois, sans doute pas la dernière, que des Chinois sont les victimes d’un drame de l’esclavage moderne au Royaume-Uni, les otages de gangs ultra-organisés, aux ramifications mondiales, des triades chinoises aux réseaux criminels d’Europe centrale et à ceux d’Europe occidentale. Ces criminels vendent, très cher et sans scrupule, la promesse d’un eldorado qui n’existe pas.

    L’enquête le confirmera, mais la National Crime Agency (NCA), qui travaille en coordination avec la police de l’Essex et celle d’Irlande du Nord d’où est originaire le chauffeur du camion, a indiqué chercher à identifier « des groupes de crime organisé qui pourraient avoir joué un rôle » dans cette tragédie. La garde à vue du chauffeur, un homme de 25 ans, a été prolongée de vingt-quatre heures et des perquisitions étaient en cours dans trois résidences en Irlande du Nord, dans le comté d’Armagh. Selon le Daily Mail, qui cite un proche, le jeune homme aurait lui-même prévenu les secours après avoir ouvert l’arrière du camion pour y récupérer des papiers. La police n’a pas confirmé ces informations.
    En 2000, 58 Chinois retrouvés morts dans un camion

    Le 18 juin 2000 déjà, 58 Chinois avaient été retrouvés morts asphyxiés à l’arrière d’un camion, dans le port de Douvres. Seules 2 personnes avaient survécu. Grâce à elles, le périple infernal des victimes avait été retracé. Partis de la province chinoise de Fujian, sur le littoral du sud-est de la Chine, en face de l’île de Taiwan, ils avaient pris un avion depuis Pékin, avec leurs passeports légaux, jusqu’à Belgrade en Yougoslavie.

    Des passeports volés, coréens pour la plupart, leur avaient alors été fournis. De Belgrade, ils avaient été acheminés par petits groupes dans des camionnettes vers la Hongrie, puis l’Autriche et la France. De là, ils avaient pris un train vers les Pays-Bas où ils avaient été « cueillis » par la branche européenne du gang de trafiquants, à Rotterdam. Enfermés à 60 dans un camion, dont le sas de ventilation avait été fermé, avec seulement quatre seaux d’eau, ils étaient morts étouffés lors de la traversée de Zeebruges en Belgique à Douvres. Le chauffeur, un Néerlandais, et une interprète chinoise, le contact des immigrés au Royaume-Uni, avaient été condamnés respectivement à seize et six ans de prison.
    « On coule »

    C’est aussi de la province de Fujian que venaient la plupart des 23 immigrés illégaux chinois, retrouvés noyés quatre ans plus tard, le 5 février 2004, dans la baie de Morecambe, dans le Lincolnshire (nord-ouest de l’Angleterre). Ils avaient été embauchés pour pêcher à marée basse des coques. Payés la misérable somme de 5 pounds (6 euros) pour 25 kg de coquillages. Cette baie est immense, sujette à de grands mouvements de marée. Les Chinois ne parlaient pas ou très peu anglais, ne connaissaient pas le coin, le danger de l’eau montante.

    C’était l’hiver, ils étaient à pied d’œuvre dans la soirée, dans l’obscurité. Un pêcheur chinois avait donné l’alerte en appelant les secours sur son téléphone portable et en criant, dans un anglais approximatif : « On coule, on coule dans l’eau, beaucoup, beaucoup, on coule dans l’eau. » 23 personnes s’étaient noyées. Le crâne d’une femme avait été rejeté sur la plage six ans plus tard. Le corps d’une des victimes n’a jamais été retrouvé.

    Un seul homme, Li Hua, a survécu. Dix ans plus tard, en 2014, il se confiait à la BBC. « Il faisait un noir d’encre et j’étais terrifié. Je me suis dit que je n’avais plus qu’à me laisser mourir et puis, je ne sais pas, une vague m’a retourné… J’étais seul et soudain, un hélicoptère m’a repéré. » Son témoignage avait permis la condamnation d’un trafiquant, Lin Liang Ren, à quatorze ans de prison. Pour éviter toutes représailles, Li Hua avait été placé sous la protection spéciale du gouvernement britannique. « Nous sommes tous venus ici pour la même raison. Nous avons laissé derrière nous nos familles pour construire une vie meilleure. Et tous ont disparu d’un coup, juste comme ça. J’ai juste eu de la chance. »
    L’identification de chacun « pourrait prendre du temps »

    Jeudi en milieu de journée, le camion et ses 39 victimes étaient dissimulés dans un hangar du port de Tilbury Docks, à quelques centaines de mètres de là où le conteneur a été débarqué mardi dans la nuit en provenance de Zeebruges. Les autorités belges ont précisé que le conteneur était arrivé dans le port ce même mardi, à 14h29, avant d’être embarqué sur un ferry dans la soirée. Pour le moment, les enquêteurs ne savent pas à quel moment, ni où exactement les victimes ont été enfermées dans le conteneur.

    A l’abri des regards, les médecins légistes ont entrepris la lourde tâche d’examiner les corps un à un pour déterminer les causes du décès. Ensuite, les autorités tenteront « d’établir l’identité de chacun, une opération qui pourrait prendre du temps », a précisé la police. Alors, ces âmes auront peut-être enfin un nom, un visage et quelqu’un pour les pleurer, loin très loin de ce triste hangar.

    https://www.liberation.fr/planete/2019/10/24/camion-de-la-honte-les-39-victimes-sont-chinoises_1759507

    –-> On sait depuis que probablement les victimes ne sont pas chinoises, mais vietnamiennes...

    #UK #Angleterre #Essex #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Manche #La_Manche #22_octobre_2019 #camion #décès #morts #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_Europe

    • #Pham_Thi_Trà_My

      “Mi dispiace mamma. Il mio viaggio all’estero non è riuscito. Mamma ti voglio tanto bene!
      Sto morendo perché non riesco a respirare …
      Vengo da Nghen, Can Loc, Ha Tinh, Vietnam …
      Mi dispiace, mamma.”

      Questo è l’ultimo, straziante, SMS che una ragazza ventiseienne vietnamita, di nome Pham Thi Trà My ha inviato, presumibilmente dall’interno del TIR dell’orrore, martedì scorso, 22 Ottobre 2019.

      Un messaggio carico di disperazione, un ultimo pensiero per la persona a lei più cara, la mamma.

      La sua mamma.

      E’ drammatico questo messaggio, perché ci fa comprendere che quei 39 migranti asiatici hanno sentito giungere la loro morte; ne hanno sofferto; hanno pensato; hanno avuto tutto il tempo per comprendere che la loro fine si andava, inesorabilmente, avvicinando.

      E tutto questo è terribile. Terribile. Terribile.

      Non sopporto più questa disumanità, non sopporto chi continua a dire aiutiamoli a casa loro, non sopporto chi continua a gioire (ma come cazzo si fa a gioire?) di questi tragici eventi.

      Io, lo dico francamente, sto imparando ad odiare!

      Ad odiare voi indifferenti, voi complici, voi misera gente che vi girate dall’altra parte.

      Ci state riuscendo.

      State riuscendo a trasformarmi, piano piano.

      State riuscendo a trasmettermi il vostro odio ma, sappiate, lo utilizzerò solo contro voi.

      Contro voi che pensate di essere gli unici ad avere diritto alla vita e spero, per questo, un giorno siate puniti!

      Perdonaci, se puoi, Pham Thi Trà My…


      https://eliminiamolapostrofo.wordpress.com/2019/10/25/pham-thi-tra-my
      #migrants_vietnamiens #Vietnam #22_octobre_2019

    • Essex lorry deaths: Vietnamese families fear relatives among dead

      At least six of the 39 people found dead in a lorry trailer in Essex may have been from Vietnam.

      The BBC knows of six Vietnamese families who fear their relatives are among the victims.

      They include Pham Thi Tra My, 26, who has not been heard from since she sent text messages on Tuesday saying she could not breathe.

      A man was earlier arrested at Stansted Airport on suspicion of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people.

      The 48-year-old from Northern Ireland is the fourth person to be arrested in connection with the investigation.

      Two people from Warrington are being held on suspicion of manslaughter and conspiracy to traffic people and the lorry driver is in custody on suspicion of murder.

      Ms Tra My’s brother, Pham Ngoc Tuan, said some of the £30,000 charge for getting his sister to the UK had been paid to people smugglers and her last-known location had been Belgium.

      The smugglers are understood to have returned money to some families.

      Meanwhile, relatives of Nguyen Dinh Luong, 20, have also said they fear he is among the 39 victims.

      Ms Tra My’s brother told the BBC: "My sister went missing on 23 October on the way from Vietnam to the UK and we couldn’t contact her. We are concerned she may be in that trailer.

      “We are asking the British police to help investigate so that my sister can be returned to the family.”

      The last message received from Ms Tra My was at 22:30 BST on Tuesday - two hours before the trailer arrived at the Purfleet terminal from Zeebrugge in Belgium.

      Her family have shared texts she sent to her parents which translated read: "I am really, really sorry, Mum and Dad, my trip to a foreign land has failed.

      “I am dying, I can’t breathe. I love you very much Mum and Dad. I am sorry, Mother.”

      Ms Tra My’s brother told the BBC her journey to the UK had begun on 3 October. She had told the family not to contact her because “the organisers” did not allow her to receive calls.

      “She flew to China and stayed there for a couple days, then left for France,” he said.

      “She called us when she reached each destination. The first attempt she made to cross the border to the UK was 19 October, but she got caught and turned back. I don’t know for sure from which port.”

      The BBC has passed details of Ms Tra My, who is from Nghen town in Can Loc district of Ha Tinh province area of Vietnam, to Essex Police, along with details of other people claiming to have information.

      The BBC also knows of two other Vietnamese nationals who are missing - a 26-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman.

      The brother of the 19-year-old said his sister called him at 07:20 Belgian local time (06:20 BST) on Tuesday, saying she was getting into a container and was turning off her phone to avoid detection.

      He has not heard from her since.

      He said a people smuggler returned money to the family overnight, and the family of the 26-year-old who she was travelling with also received money back.

      A spokesman from the Vietnamese Embassy in London confirmed they had been in contact with Essex police since Thursday.

      They said Vietnamese families had appealed to them for help finding out if their relatives were among the victims but added they had not yet received any official confirmation.

      The victims of the trailer were 31 men and eight women and Essex Police initially said they were all believed to be Chinese.

      They were found at an industrial estate in Grays at 01:40 BST on Wednesday.

      At a press conference on Friday evening Deputy Chief Constable Pippa Mills said the force was working with the National Crime Agency, the Home Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Border Force and Immigration Enforcement.

      She said she would not be drawn on any further detail about the nationalities of the victims until formal identification processes had taken place.

      “We gave an initial steer on Thursday on nationality, however, this is now a developing picture,” she said.

      Police have confirmed the scene at Waterglade Industrial Estate in Eastern Avenue was closed on Friday.

      Essex Police also urged anyone fearing their loved ones may have been in the lorry to get in touch.

      “I can’t begin to comprehend what some of you must be going through right now. You have my assurance that Essex Police will be working tirelessly to understand the whole picture to this absolute tragedy,” said Det Ch Con Mills.

      She also urged anyone living illegally in the UK who may have information to come forward, without fear of criminal action being taken against them.

      GPS data shows the refrigerated container trailer crossed back and forth between the UK and Europe in the days before it was found.

      It was leased from the company Global Trailer Rentals on 15 October. The company said it was “entirely unaware that the trailer was to be used in the manner in which it appears to have been”.

      Essex Police said the tractor unit (the front part of the lorry) had entered the UK via Holyhead - an Irish Sea port in Wales - on Sunday 20 October, having travelled over from Dublin.

      Police believe the tractor unit collected the trailer in Purfleet on the River Thames and left the port shortly after 01:05 on Thursday. Police were called to the industrial park where the bodies were discovered about half an hour later.

      Temperatures in refrigerated units can be as low as -25C (-13F). The lorry now is at a secure site in Essex.

      A spokesman for the UN International Organization for Migration said the discovery of bodies in Essex did not necessarily indicate a major shift in migration patterns.

      “These are the kind of random crimes that occur every day in the world somewhere,” he said. “They get huge attention when they do but they don’t necessarily indicate a big shift in migration or patterns in any place in particular. It’s just the condition of what happens when this many people are engaging this many criminal groups to reach a destination, which of course we deplore.”

      Detectives are still questioning the lorry driver, Mo Robinson, of County Armagh in Northern Ireland, on suspicion of murder. He was arrested on Wednesday.

      Two other people were also earlier arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

      The man and woman, both 38, from Warrington, Cheshire, are also being held on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people.

      Police officers were seen at the couple’s home address in Warrington, with a police van and two squad cars parked outside.

      Sources say the GPS data shows it left Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland on 15 October before crossing over to Northern Ireland and then returning south to Dublin
      From Dublin, it crossed over to Holyhead in Wales overnight on 16 October
      That evening, it travelled to continental Europe from Dover to Calais in France
      Between 17 and 22 October, it moved between various cities in Belgium and France, including Dunkirk, Bruges and Lille
      On 22 October, it made its final crossing from #Zeebrugge to #Purfleet

      https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-50185788

    • *Essex lorry deaths: The Vietnamese risking it all to get to the

      UK*

      An hour’s drive inland from the French coast, a dozen Vietnamese men nurse tea over a smoking campfire, as they wait for a phone call from the man they call “the boss”. An Afghan man, they say, who opens trailers in the lorry-park nearby and shuts them inside.

      Duc paid €30,000 ($33,200; £25,000) for a prepaid journey from Vietnam to London - via Russia, Poland, Germany and France. It was organised, he says, by a Vietnamese contact back home.

      “I have some Vietnamese friends in UK, who will help me find jobs when I get there,” he told me. “These friends help me get on lorries or container trucks to go across the border.”

      Security is much less tight in the nearby lorry park than around the ports further north. But few people here have managed to get past the border controls.

      We were told there is a two-tier system in operation here; that those who pay more for their passage to Britain don’t have to chance their luck in the lorries outside, but use this base as a transit camp before being escorted on the final leg of their journey.

      A Vietnamese smuggler, interviewed by a French paper several years ago, reportedly described three levels of package. The top level allowed migrants to ride in the lorry cab and sleep in hotels. The lowest level was nicknamed “air”, or more cynically “CO2” - a reference to the lack of air in some trailers.

      A local volunteer in the camp told us that they’d seen Vietnamese and British men visiting migrants here in a Mercedes. And that once migrants arrived in the UK, some went to work in cannabis farms, after which all communication stopped.

      Duc tells me he needs a job in the UK to pay back the loan for his journey.

      “We can do anything,” he says, “construction work, nail bars, restaurants or other jobs.”

      A report by one of France’s biggest charities described smugglers telling Vietnamese migrants that refrigerated lorries gave them more chance of avoiding detection, and giving each of them an aluminium bag to put over their heads while passing through scanners at the border.

      No one here had heard about the 39 people found dead this week.

      This journey is about freedom, one said.

      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50190199

    • More Vietnamese families fear relatives are among the 39 UK truck victims

      Two Vietnamese families have said they are scared relatives may be among the dead. Both of the suspected victims come from Ha Tinh, an impoverished province where many of the country’s illegal migrants come from.

      More Vietnamese families came forward Saturday saying their relatives may be among the 39 people found dead in a container truck east of London.

      Police initially believed all victims were Chinese but later announced this may not be accurate and that investigations were still a “developing picture.”

      At least two Vietnamese families have now said they are worried their relatives, who may have been carrying falsified Chinese passports, are among the dead.

      The Vietnamese Embassy in London said Friday it contacted police about a missing woman believed to be one of the dead after a family in Vietnam informed them about their daughter who had been missing since the lorry was found.

      The Embassy said it was working with British authorities over the case, Vietnamese media reported.

      Up to 10 of the victims may have originally come from Vietnam, according to unconfirmed reports. The BBC reported it had been in contact with six Vietnamese families, all who believe their relatives are among the 39 victims found in Grays, Essex on Wednesday.

      Read more: Opinion: It’s time to end human trafficking

      ’Something unexpected happened’

      The father of a 20-year-old Vietnamese man said he is scared his son is among the dead. He told the Associated Press that he had not been able to reach his son Nguyen Dinh Luong since last week.

      “He often called home but I haven’t been able to reach him since the last time we talked last week,” Nguyen Dinh Gia said. “I told him that he could go to anywhere he wants as long as it’s safe. He shouldn’t be worry about money, I’ll take care of it.”

      Gia said his son left home in Ha Tinh province, central Vietnam, to work in Russia in 2017 then on to Ukraine. He arrived in Germany in April 2019 before making his way to France. He had been living in France illegally since 2018.

      The 20-year-old told his family he wanted to go to the United Kingdom (UK), and that he would pay £11,000 (€12,700). Last week, he told his father he wanted to join a group in Paris that was trying to enter England.

      Several days ago, his father received a call from a Vietnamese man saying, “Please have some some sympathy, something unexpected happened,” Gia told AFP.

      “I fell to the ground when I heard that,” Gia said. “It seemed that he was in the truck with the accident, all of them dead.”

      The family said they shared the information with Vietnamese authorities.

      Read more: Opinion: EU’s immigration policy is stuck in a rut

      ’I’m dying because I can’t breathe’

      Hoa Nghiem, a human rights activist from Vietnamese civic network, Human Rights Space, said on Friday one of the victims may have been 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra My.

      Tra My had sent a text message to her mother saying she was struggling to breathe at around the same time as the truck was en route from Belgium to the UK.

      “I’m so sorry mom and dad....My journey abroad doesn’t succeed,” she wrote. “Mom, I love you and dad very much. I’m dying because I can’t breathe .... Mom, I’m so sorry,” she said in a message confirmed by her brother Pham Manh Cuong.

      Cuong had received a message from his sister on Wednesday saying, “Please try to work hard to pay the debt for mummy, my dear.”

      No confirmation

      Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing Friday in Beijing that Britain has not officially confirmed the identities or nationalities of the victims. She added that China is also working with Belgium police since the shipping container in which the bodies were found was sent from England to the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.

      “The police said that they were urgently carrying out the verification work and the identities of the victims cannot be confirmed at present,” said Tong Xuejun, a Chinese consular official in London.

      Both suspected victims come from the impoverished province of Ha Tinh where many of the country’s illegal migrants come from. Many who try to reach the UK end up working in nail salons or cannabis farms.

      https://www.dw.com/en/more-vietnamese-families-fear-relatives-are-among-the-39-uk-truck-victims/a-50997473

    • Vietnamese woman suspected killed in UK truck disaster

      A father has reported to Vietnamese authorities that his 26-year-old daughter may have been one of the 39 found dead in a container truck in England.

      #Pham_Van_Thin, of Can Loc District in the central Ha Tinh Province, sent a letter Friday to the People’s Committee of Nghen Town, saying his daughter was likely one of the 39 people found dead in a container truck in the Waterglade Industrial Park, Grays Town.

      “My daughter, Pham Thi Tra My, left Vietnam on October 3, 2019, then travelled to China, France and England,” Thin wrote in the letter, which had My’s photo attached. She was described as 1.5 meters tall and weighing around 46 kilograms.

      Thin asked the Nghen People’s Committee to verify that he is My’s father, in order to initiate legal procedures to identify and bring his daughter’s body back to Vietnam.

      At his home in Nghen Town, Thin’s family members confirmed that he had indeed submitted an application to the authorities to verify that My was missing, but refused to provide further information on her overseas travel.

      The Nghen Town People’s Committee has passed on Thin’s letter to the Can Loc District’s Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, which, in turn, will report to authorities with jurisdiction over the matter, said Bui Viet Hung, Vice Chairman of the committee.

      “Thin’s family has three children, of which My is the youngest. My had worked overseas in Japan for three years, and only last month completed procedures to go to China,” Hung said.

      A senior official of the Ha Tinh Provincial Department of Foreign Affairs, who did not wish to be named, said Friday afternoon that he had received a phone call from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department asking to verify the case of a Vietnamese worker from Ha Tinh Province suspected missing in the UK.

      The Ha Tinh Provincial Department of Foreign Affairs has contacted authorities of Can Loc District, where a person has allegedly been reported missing, to verify the information.

      According to an authorized source, My had used an emigration ring led by a resident of Nghe An Province to go to China. After getting there, she obtained forged Chinese citizenship documents and left for Europe.

      One of My’s relatives has reportedly contacted the Vietnamese Association in the U.K., a non-profit organization, to request their assistance in bringing her body home.

      In the early hours of Wednesday morning, U.K. emergency services discovered the bodies of 38 adults and one teenager, suspected immigrants, after being alerted that there were people in a refrigerated container truck at the Waterglade Industrial Park in Grays, Essex County, east of London.

      Staff of the Chinese Embassy in London have arrived at the scene to help police verify whether the victims were Chinese citizens.

      Three people, including truck driver, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to traffic people and manslaughter, the British police said on Friday, the first indication from officials that the deaths were linked to human smuggling.

      In 2000, 58 Chinese migrants were found dead in a refrigerated truck in Dover, Britain’s busiest port. The authorities said they had asphyxiated in the container, in which cooling and ventilation were switched off.

      https://e.vnexpress.net/news/news/vietnamese-woman-suspected-killed-in-uk-truck-disaster-4002594.html


    • https://www.facebook.com/ndt105/posts/10218065950232006

      Traduction et commentaire d’une étudiante de mon master, vietnamienne :

      He said: "It is possible that all 39 “Chinese-like-people” who were suffocated in the car in the UK were Vietnamese. Even the majority of them are probably Nghe An-Ha Tinh by participating in a smuggling transfer service. If they send a message to their family, the family will pay about 1 billion VND (35.000£) for the Vietnamese smugglers. If they NEVER text again, it looks like family members get a refund for the deposit. A terrible contract."
      The photos are captured in a Facebook group for recruiting and supporting Vietnamese in a foreign country (maybe England, I’m not sure). People are posting information of their relatives who left at the same time with the lorry and didn’t contact anymore. All of them were born in 1999, 2000 and from Ha Tinh, Nghe Anh (2 poor cities in the center of Vietnam). The last photo is a message of a woman saying that she has people in contact with the invesgators and there are already 20 people identified as Vietnamese.

    • Majority of 39 UK truck victims likely from Vietnam - priest

      YEN THANH, Vietnam (Reuters) - The majority of the 39 people found dead in the back of a truck near London were likely from Vietnam, a community leader from the rural, rice-growing community where many of the victims are believed to have come from told Reuters on Saturday.

      The discovery of the bodies - 38 adults and one teenager - was made on Wednesday after emergency services were alerted to people in a truck container on an industrial site in Grays, about 32km (20 miles) east of central London.

      Police have said they believe the dead were Chinese but Beijing said the nationalities had not yet been confirmed. Chinese and Vietnamese officials are now both working closely with British police, their respective embassies have said.

      Father Anthony Dang Huu Nam, a catholic priest in the remote town of Yen Thanh in northern-central Vietnam’s Nghe An province, 300km (180 miles) south of Hanoi, said he was liaising with family members of the victims.

      “The whole district is covered in sorrow,” Nam said, as prayers for the dead rang out over loudspeakers throughout the misty, rain-soaked town on Saturday.

      “I’m still collecting contact details for all the victim’s families, and will hold a ceremony to pray for them tonight.”

      “This is a catastrophe for our community.”

      Nam said families told him they knew relatives were travelling to the UK at the time and had been unable to contact their loved ones.

      Vietnam’s foreign ministry said in a statement on Saturday that it had instructed its London embassy to assist British police with the identification of victims.

      The ministry did not respond to a request for further comment regarding the nationalities of the dead.

      Essex Police declined to elaborate as to how they first identified the dead as Chinese.
      ‘BEAUTIFUL DAY’

      In Yen Thanh, Nghe An province, dozens of worried relatives of 19-year-old Bui Thi Nhung gathered in the family’s small courtyard home where her worried mother has been unable to rise from her bed.

      “She said she was in France and on the way to the UK, where she has friends and relatives,” said Nhung’s cousin, Hoang Thi Linh.

      “We are waiting and hoping it’s not her among the victims, but it’s very likely. We pray for her everyday. There were two people from my village travelling in that group”.

      In comments under a photo uploaded to Nhung’s Facebook account on Monday, two days before the doomed truck was discovered, one friend asked how her journey was going.

      “Not good,” Nhung replied. “Almost spring,” she said, using a term in Vietnamese meaning she had almost reached her destination.

      Other photos on her account show her sightseeing in Brussels on Oct. 18.

      “Such a beautiful day,” Nhung posted.

      Nghe An is one of Vietnam’s poorest provinces, and home to many victims of human trafficking who end up in Europe, according to a March report by the Pacific Links Foundation, a U.S.-based anti-trafficking organisation.

      Other victims are believed to come from the neighbouring province of Ha Tinh, Nam said, where in the first eight months of this year, 41,790 people left looking for work elsewhere, including overseas, according to state media.

      The province was ravaged by one of Vietnam’s worst environmental disasters in 2016 when a steel mill owned by Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics contaminated coastal waters, devastating local fishing and tourism industries and sparking widespread protests.

      Another suspected victim from Ha Tinh, 26-year-old Pham Thi Tra My, had sent a text message to her mother saying she could not breathe at about the time the truck container was en route from Belgium to Britain.

      “That girl who said in her message that she couldn’t breathe in the truck? Her parents can’t breathe here at home,” Nam said.

      https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-bodies/majority-of-39-uk-truck-victims-likely-from-vietnam-priest-idUKKBN1X503M

    • « Désolée maman, je suis en train de mourir, je ne peux plus respirer » : les SMS déchirants d’une jeune victime à l’agonie dans le camion de l’Essex

      La jeune vietnamienne Pham Thi Tra My, 26 ans, avait parcouru la Chine puis la France dans ses tentatives pour atteindre la Grande Bretagne. Son périple se terminera dans le camion de Mo Robinson, comme celui de 38 autres ressortissants asiatiques.


      https://www.sudinfo.be/id148457/article/2019-10-25/desolee-maman-je-suis-en-train-de-mourir-je-ne-peux-plus-respirer-les-sms

    • UK police: man arrested in Ireland is of interest in truck death investigation

      British police said a man arrested in Dublin on Saturday is a person of interest in their investigation into the deaths of 39 people who were found in a truck container.

      “A man arrested by the Garda at Dublin Port on Saturday 26 October is a person of interest in our murder investigation regarding the 39 people found dead in a lorry in Purfleet on Wednesday 23 October,” Essex Police said.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-bodies-ireland-idUSKBN1X70FX

    • The 39 people who died in the lorry were victims. Why does the law treat them as criminals?

      As long as the justice system is focused on immigration status, not on ending modern-day slavery, desperate people will suffer.

      What leads someone down the route where they find themselves locked into the back of a lorry, a beating heart in a metal box? What choices – or lack of them – have led someone to be reduced to a piece of human cargo? Can anyone who read the story of the 39 bodies found in the back of a lorry last week not feel the visceral terror of that cold, dark death and wonder at how we live in a world where a business model exists that thrives off this level of human desperation?

      At the moment it is unclear whether this tragedy is the work of smuggling gangs – who are in a transactional arrangement with the people they are moving from place to place – or human traffickers, who are exploiting and profiting from their human cargo. In the end, does it even matter? Both are looking to profit from the very human desire to not only survive but to thrive. Across the world, trafficking and smuggling gangs are flogging promises and dreams and then using fear – of pain, of the authorities, of their debts, of their failure – to make vast amounts of money in the knowledge that they’re unlikely to get caught, and in the certainty that their victims are expendable.

      One Vietnamese teenager I interviewed last year had, like last week’s victims, crossed the Channel in the back of a lorry. He described the experience to me: the pain of the jolting metal that tore into his skin; the stench of other silent bodies he was pressed up against; the poisonous diesel fumes; and the hunger and thirst that gnawed at his insides.

      His journey towards that point had begun with a childhood of crippling and monotonous poverty and the belief that the only way to escape and honour his filial responsibility to provide for his parents was to follow the promise of work in the UK. He embarked on an overland journey across Europe where he was smuggled from safe house to safe house, fell under the control of criminal gangs and was raped, beaten and brutalised. By the time he reached France, he was told he had to pay back £20,000 – an amount he couldn’t even comprehend. His parents would be the ones who would suffer if he didn’t pay them back.

      By his point his life was not in his hands. A chain of events had been set in motion that he had no control over. There was no way back: his only future was one where his sole reason for survival was to pay off his debts. He ended up being trafficked into a cannabis farm in Derbyshire.

      In the eyes of the law there is a distinction between illegal work and modern slavery – with the former you are a criminal, and the latter a victim – but in reality the line is not so clearly defined. Many who are here to work move between the two. Across the UK, thousands end up being exploited and unpaid in our restaurants, car washes, agricultural fields, care homes, hotels and nail bars – visible but unseen.

      Official statistics say up to 15,000 people are trapped in a form of modern slavery in the UK – although those working on the frontline believe this figure to be a huge underestimate. Our government says that with the 2015 Modern Slavery Act it is a global leader in cracking down on this practice, yet prosecutions remain low. In 2017-18 there were only 185 convictions for slavery and trafficking crimes – a fraction of the cases reported to the authorities.

      Crucially, prosecutions require victims to come forward and testify. Yet their immigration status is often considered more of a priority than their exploitation. Traffickers tell their victims if they go to the police they will be arrested and detained, and more often than not they’re right. Recent research found over 500 victims of trafficking were arrested and sent to immigration detention centres last year. Even though police guidance tells officers how to identify cases of modern slavery, Vietnamese children found in nail bars or cannabis farms are still routinely arrested, charged and detained.

      Even those who are recognised as victims of trafficking by the authorities are in for a rough ride. The government’s national referral mechanism, the framework for identifying and protecting victims of slavery, is sometimes considered by victims to be as traumatising as their trafficking. They can find themselves trapped in a legal limbo in a complex and under-resourced system for years at a time. And in the end victims are probably going to be removed back to the country where they were trafficked: according to the government’s own figures only 12% of victims of slavery are granted discretionary leave to remain.

      All of this matters because it creates an environment in which the business of exploiting the desperation of human beings can thrive. Where the gangs know that British people will pay £8 in cash for a pedicure, or to get our car hand washed, without thinking too much about why. It’s a business model where people can be exploited for profit over and over again with the near certainty that in the end it will be the victim who the system comes down upon, for making the journey in the first place.

      In 2004 the death of 23 Chinese cockle pickers in Morecambe Bay was a moment of reckoning – a human tragedy that, for many people, raised the spectre of modern slavery in the UK for the first time. Today, 15 years later, maybe these 39 deaths might do the same and remind us that our only chance of beating the business in flogging human lives is to try to understand how people come to be locked inside the backs of lorries in the first place.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/29/39-people-lorry-victims-law-criminals-immigration-slavery?CMP=share_btn

    • En route vers le Royaume-Uni, enquête de terrain auprès des migrants vietnamiens

      #France_terre_d'asile a réalisé une enquête de terrain auprès des migrants vietnamiens en transit dans le département du Pas-de-Calais, dans le cadre du projet d’aide aux victimes de traite des êtres humains mené par l’association.

      L’étude analyse les parcours migratoires de ces migrants, les raisons de leur départ, leurs profils, leurs relations avec les réseaux de passeurs, les moyens d’emprise et de coercition exercés sur eux et leurs besoins afin d’améliorer leur accompagnement en France et en Europe.

      https://www.france-terre-asile.org/toutes-nos-publications/details/1/209-en-route-vers-le-royaume-uni,-enqu%C3%AAte-de-terrain-aupr%C
      #rapport

    • Precarious journeys: Mapping vulnerabilities of victims of trafficking from Vietnam to Europe

      New research by ECPAT UK, Anti-Slavery International and Pacific Links Foundation traces the journeys made by Vietnamese children and adults migrating irregularly from Vietnam to the UK via Europe. The report, Precarious Journeys: Mapping Vulnerabilities of Victims of Trafficking from Vietnam to Europe, finds that the governments of countries on key trafficking routes routinely fail to protect Vietnamese children from trafficking, leaving them vulnerable to continued exploitation and abuse.


      https://www.ecpat.org.uk/precarious-journeys

    • Vietnamese migrants are not ‘lured’ by traffickers. They just want a better future

      The risks are known and won’t deter people. There will be more deaths in lorries unless Britain changes its immigration policy.

      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/05ed4f7268ba39f63a3d283434f6a7c153c96150/0_0_3600_2160/master/3600.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=479e7dd01a75bb999e8d74

      Thirty-nine bodies found in the back of a refrigerated lorry in an Essex industrial park. Apart from shock and rage, this tragic news feels like deja vu. Almost two decades ago, in 2000, 58 Chinese people were found suffocated to death in Dover, in similar horrific circumstances. Those men and women banged on doors and screamed for their lives, the only two survivors revealed. The tragic deaths left families behind and communities back in Fujian province devastated.

      Today, many of the 39 people, eight women and 31 men, are believed to have come from Vietnam, as families there desperately look for their missing loved ones.
      The 39 people who died in the lorry were victims. Why does the law treat them as criminals?
      Annie Kelly
      Read more

      I also felt deja vu listening to the response from British politicians and media. “Stop evil human traffickers”; “Stop international criminal networks”. I heard such phrases two decades ago from the home secretary, Jack Straw, and today his successor, Priti Patel, repeats the sentiment. While formal identification of the victims continues, Vietnamese people have mostly been portrayed as “unaware” trafficking victims sent to fill the nail bars and cannabis factories – as having no agency of their own and no control over their migratory decisions.

      In reality, the Vietnamese young men and women who choose to travel on these dangerous routes only do so when they cannot come to Britain in formal ways. Having no alternatives, they contact “snakeheads” (smugglers), who are often perceived as “migration brokers” rather than criminals, who organise their transportation to Britain.

      It appears that many of the 39 people may have come from the Nghe An and Ha Tinh provinces of Vietnam, which have been hit by economic reforms. Three decades ago, in 1986, the Vietnamese government launched the Doi Moi economic reforms, which aimed to facilitate a transition from a centralised planning to a “socialist-oriented” market economy. From the 1990s onwards, the government boasted of Vietnam’s rise in GDP – what was not said was that the growth was built upon the low-cost labour of millions of Vietnamese, toiling in processing factories and assembling products for overseas companies. The inflow of foreign investment has been a big part of Vietnam’s economic liberalisation. In recent years, it has brought cash to the high-tech processing, manufacturing, agriculture, education and healthcare sectors. Since the start of this year, Vietnam has attracted foreign direct investment of more than $1.1bn (£850m), China alone bringing in $222m.

      https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/0437ed70716e77799c71a362955e1e1ce116355b/0_175_5568_3341/master/5568.jpg?width=620&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=97d294bd0eb6ec60a2715d

      Many of these changes have not been popular: large waves of anti-China protests happened in May 2014, in Ha Tinh and other places. And in 2018 there was popular opposition to legislation enabling special economic zones to grant land leases to foreign businesses for up to 99 years.

      In 2016 Ha Tinh was also the site of the country’s worst environmental disaster, caused by a chemical spill from a steel factory, owned by a Taiwanese company, Formosa Plastics, that poisoned up to 125 miles of the northern coastline and ruined the fishing industry. Formosa Plastics was fined $500m by the Vietnamese government, but much of the compensation did not reach the affected fishermen.

      The low labour cost in these provinces is the main attraction for Chinese and other foreign investors. For instance, a factory worker here earns around two-thirds of what a similar worker earns in China, and half the local population are under the age of 30.

      Rather than wealth, foreign investment has brought mainly dead-end, low-paid jobs with few long-term prospects for young locals. The average wage in Vietnam is around $150 a month; in these provinces many don’t even earn that. Besides, unemployment is severe. Last year, GDP per capita in both Nhge An ($1,600) and Ha Tinh ($2,200) fell below the national average of $2,500. This is the context compelling tens of thousands of Vietnamese from these impoverished provinces to choose to migrate, to seek livelihoods for themselves and their families.

      Families often depend on sons and daughters to find their way into advanced capitalist countries in the west, to work and be the breadwinners. Remittances from abroad also help sustain communities – Nghe An, for instance, brought in $225m a year, according to official estimates.

      The 39 people were not “unthinking migrants” lured by traffickers, as the media has suggested. They were fighting for a future for their families, and lost their precious lives as Britain firmly kept its doors locked shut.

      If the tragic deaths of these men and women truly sadden you, the best thing to do is oppose Britain’s anti-migrant policies. We need to dismantle the false categories of “economic migrants” and “genuine refugees”. Let our fellow human beings have the opportunity to live and work in the open – that is the only way forward.

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/30/vietnamese-migrants-traffickers-deaths-lorries-britain-immigration-poli

    • Essex lorry deaths should be wake-up call for ministers, MPs say

      Policies focused on closing borders counterproductive, says foreign affairs committee

      The deaths of 39 people found in the back of a lorry in Essex should be wake-up call for the government to rethink its approach to migration, MPs have said.

      Policies focused on closing borders will drive migrants to take more dangerous routes and push them into the hands of smugglers, the foreign affairs select committee says in a new report.

      The human cost of irregular migration made international partnerships essential, including with the EU, the committee said.

      The report comes just over a week after 39 people, now understood to be Vietnamese nationals, were found dead in the back of a lorry that had arrived in the UK via the port of Zeebrugge.

      The driver, Maurice Robinson, has been charged with manslaughter and trafficking offences, and a police investigation into a suspected wider trafficking network continues.

      Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the influential committee, said that until the UK left the EU it should continue to attend EU meetings on migration.

      “The case of 39 people found dead in a lorry in Essex shocked us all. The full story won’t be clear for some time but this tragedy is not alone,” he said.

      “Today, hundreds of families across the world are losing loved ones who felt driven to take the fatal gamble to entrust their lives to smugglers. This case should serve as a wake-up call to the Foreign Office and to government.

      “The UK has been relatively isolated from the different migrant crises in recent years, but it’s wrong to assume that we are protected from their impact. The UK has a proud history of helping those fleeing conflict and persecution and cooperating with others to protect human rights. We should lead by example.”

      The report also raised concern that deals with countries such as Libya, Niger and Sudan to limit migration risked fuelling human rights abuses.

      It said such deals could be used as leverage by partner governments, as the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, had done recently when he threatened to “reopen the gates”.

      The committee also said the fact that the Home Office was responsible for the UK’s response to irregular migration could lead to the “error of focusing on preventing migration to the exclusion of other goals such as preventing conflict and promoting stability and respect for fundamental human rights”.

      It called for more effort to negotiate future close cooperation on migration policy with the EU and an immediate return of UK officials to EU-level meetings where irregular migration is discussed.

      Other recommendations included the expansion of legal pathways to apply for asylum outside Europe and robust monitoring and safeguards to ensure UK funding for migration programmes in Libya did not contribute to human rights abuses.

      Tugendhat said the committee’s inquiry had been cut short by the “uncertain nature of parliamentary business”, but that it hoped to return to the issues in the future.

      Irregular migration is defined by the International Organization for Migration as the “movement of persons that takes place outside the laws, regulations, or international agreements governing the entry into or exit from the state of origin, transit or destination”.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/nov/04/essex-lorry-deaths-should-be-wake-up-call-for-ministers-mps-say?CMP=Sha

    • France: Dozens of migrants found in back of truck near Italian border

      The truck had been carrying 31 people, reportedly from Pakistan, when it was inspected by authorities in southern France. The latest discovery comes after dozens of migrants were found dead in a truck near London.

      Officers carrying out a routine traffic check in southern France uncovered dozens of migrants in the back of a truck on Saturday, the public prosecutor’s office in Nice said.

      Some 31 people, including three unaccompanied minors, were found in the truck during a vehicle spot-check at a toll booth near La Turbie, near the border with Italy.

      Prosecutors said that all 31 people on board were Pakistani nationals. The driver of the truck, who is also from Pakistan, was arrested by French authorities.

      The migrants were handed over to Italian authorities, the Nice-Matin newspaper reported.

      Prosecutors will now try to determine whether a human smuggling ring is behind the operation. Should that prove not to be the case, the driver of the truck will be charged with aiding and abetting illegal immigration, news agency AFP reported.

      Concerns after UK migrant truck deaths

      The discovery comes just days after French authorities in the northern port city of Calais pulled over a refrigerated truck carrying eight migrants. All those inside the truck, including four children, were taken to the hospital after exhibiting signs of hypothermia.

      Border control agencies have been on high alert following the deaths of 39 migrants in the UK on October 23.

      The migrants, who were determined to be Vietnamese nationals, had also been transported in a refrigerated truck when the vehicle was found east of London.

      The alleged driver of the truck, a 25-year-old from Northern Ireland, has already been charged over the deaths. He faces 39 counts of manslaughter as well as human trafficking and immigration offenses.

      https://www.dw.com/en/france-dozens-of-migrants-found-in-back-of-truck-near-italian-border/a-51094985
      #ceux_qui_restent #vidéo #celles_qui_restent

    • #Spare_me_the_tears - Britain would have treated the Vietnamese nationals as criminals if they had not died in the lorry

      Had the police found the desperate migrants in the back of the truck they would have been arrested and deported

      I waited a while before writing this column. The deferral was out of respect for the dead, grieving relatives and the shocked Essex officers who discovered the bodies.

      But now it is time for uncomfortable, troublesome, questions: What if those thirty nine Vietnamese migrants found in the back of truck had been discovered still alive?

      Would the tabloids have published those tender pictures of young victims, smiling, buoyant, sons and daughters, grandsons and granddaughters, nieces and nephews, fathers and mothers?

      Would Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Priti Patel have been as compassionate as they have been?

      Would nationalist Brits have held back from their usual bellyaches about ‘uncontrolled migration’? Let’s not belabour the obvious. We know the answers.

      It is believed that all of those who were found were Vietnamese. On Saturday, around one hundred people attended the service at the Church of the Holy Name and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in east London.

      The Reverend Simon Nguyen remembered the 39 who were ‘seeking freedom, dignity and happiness’. Such a low attendance is indicative. The victims are only numbers in the current news cycle.

      In 2000 when 58 bodies of Chinese migrants were found in the back of a lorry in Dover, some of us journalists and concerned actors such as Corin Redgrave and Frances de la Tour organised a vigil near Downing St. We wanted to remind people that behind the numbers were names, individual, special lives.

      Nothing has been learnt since then. One Vietnamese contact tells me her people are now petrified: ‘Police will come to ask us questions maybe. We know nothing. We are the children of the boat people. Mrs Thatcher asked them to come during the war. Now we are afraid again’.

      Thatcher did indeed invite these migrants to settle in Britain and made sure that the tabloids ran their arrival as a good news story. It was a strategic move, her way of winning the PR battle against Vietnamese communists.

      The refugees were welcomed and helped to settle. That was the only time I praised the iron lady. No Tory PM would dare to be that bold today.

      In the UK, Australia, the US, many eastern European and EU nations too, most citizens and politicians feel for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants only when they perish at sea or in airless, light-less vehicles.

      Alive they are a pestilence, dead they become pitiful innocents preyed on by traffickers. There are of course kind and generous people too, who do what they can, for the global wanderers desperately seeking a better life. But millions of others can only raise sympathy for bodies and really get exercised about the crimes, not the victims.

      Journalists, politicians and commentators are now well into the whodunnit, madly exhilarating murder mystery, identifying the traffickers, the arrests and extraditions. They are sniffing around for other ploys that could be being used by criminal people smugglers.

      A Times investigation this week revealed that at least 15 pupils from Vietnam had vanished after enrolling at private schools. Apparently, this is something that the Human Trafficking Foundation is worried about too.

      It fell upon Catherine Baker, the senior campaigns officer at Every Child Protected Against Trafficking to challenge the narrative: ‘ Victims are often criminalised instead of being protected and a hostile environment for people in the UK without immigration status makes those still trapped in exploitative situations nervous to seek help’.

      Mercy is in short supply at the Home Office and Ms Patel, utterly benighted and scarily ideological, wants officials to get even tougher because she thinks suffering helps to deter others.

      Charities are raising concerns about some devious new tactics being used by the Home office to catch and repatriate undocumented men and women.

      Rapar, a Manchester based human rights charity has just discovered that minority community groups are being co-opted and paid thousands of pounds to help find and expel illegal migrants.

      Fizza Qureshi, co-chief executive of the Migrants Rights Networks rightly warns that ‘these kinds of practices destroy trust within and between communities. It will leave many marginalised people wondering who they can turn to and trust in their time of need’.

      Had the police found the distressed 39 in the back of the truck before they expired, they would all have been treated as criminals, interrogated, detained in abominable centres and sent back.

      Few legal options are available to them. People will keep on trying and these inconvenient truths will continue to be avoided by Britain and other receiving nations.

      And so the tragedies will go on.

      https://inews.co.uk/opinion/uk-would-have-treated-vietnamese-migrants-as-criminals-if-they-had-lived-82

    • Grieve the Essex 39, but recognise the root causes

      In the wake of the deaths of 39 migrants in a lorry container, daikon*’s Kay Stephens writes on the global structures of capitalism and imperialism and the deadly border regimes that led to their deaths.

      On 24 October, daikon*, a group of anti-racist creatives of east and south east Asian descent, organised a vigil outside the Home Office with SOAS Detainee Support and members of the Chinese community to grieve for the 39 people found dead in a truck container in Essex – 39 people who died horrific deaths in miserable conditions in a desperate attempt to reach the UK.

      These deaths are no accident, but the direct result of global structures of capitalism and imperialism that marginalise, if not violently exclude, working-class undocumented migrants and people of colour. The mainstream’s response – calling for harsher borders, criminal justice for ‘greedy and unscrupulous’ traffickers and safe passage for ‘genuine’ refugees –fails to interrogate the global conditions that lead people to risk dangerous travel, and the deadly effects of border controls on all migrants.

      The global context

      Although initially identified as Chinese nationals, news is emerging that the majority of victims were from the neighbouring Vietnamese provinces of Nghệ An and Hà Tĩnh, both amongst the poorest regions in the country. In 2016, Hà Tĩnh suffered a water pollution disaster affecting over 200km of coastline, resulting in at least 70 tonnes of dead fish washing up on local shores. It was found that the Hà Tĩnh steel plant – a joint venture between the Taiwanese company Formosa, China Steel Corporation and Japan’s JFE Steel – had been discharging toxic waste into the ocean, devastating local marine life and directly affecting some 40,000 workers who relied on fishing and tourism for their livelihood. The affected communities have faced crackdowns on protest and are still seeking justice. Today, the region is a key site of people-smuggling to the UK.

      We can see neo-colonial dynamics playing out here. Big corporations from richer countries come in to exploit resources and low labour costs to produce wealth for themselves. When they cut corners to maximise profit, local working-class communities bear the brunt of the fallout, often in the form of irreparable environmental damage. These same countries then benefit from a hyper-exploitable migrant workforce: Taiwan and Japan, for instance, are on the receiving end of Vietnamese labour export programmes. These are effectively systems of debt servitude, whereby migrants work long hours for low pay in often poor conditions in order to send remittances to support their families back home, on top of repaying debts incurred to obtain work abroad. In Taiwan, low wages and rampant abuse drive many workers to break away from their contracts and seek criminalised forms of work. In Japan, Vietnamese workers commonly report experiences of racism and social exclusion, with many even dying of overwork.


      This year, we also saw the inclusion of an investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) style mechanism in EU-Vietnam trade deals. This effectively gives foreign investors the power to sue host governments when their court rulings, laws and regulations – many of which serve the public interest – undermine their investments. Globally, ISDS has been used by corporations to sue governments when hard-won social and environmental protections negatively impact their production and profits. Currently, two British oil firms are using ISDS to sue the Vietnamese government to avoid paying taxes in the country. With the EU-Vietnam trade deal, we can expect European corporations to continue to exploit this mechanism at the expense of the local environment and people, who may increasingly seek to build their lives elsewhere.

      The UK response

      It is in this context that smuggling networks develop and operate. Those seeking the prospect of a better life abroad may hire the services of smugglers who facilitate illegalised movement across borders. Many will incur debts to finance their journeys, and expect to undertake difficult work upon arrival at their destination. One response of the UK Home Office is to support IOM (International Organization for Migration) Vietnam, both in delivering propaganda campaigns that attempt to deter people from illegalised migration, and in criminal investigations aimed at prosecuting smugglers and traffickers – policies that do nothing to address the conditions that lead people to migrate. Politicians and commentators are also insisting that to avoid tragedies like the Essex 39, we need increased border security and continued collaboration with EU law enforcement and anti-trafficking units. Yet we have witnessed the prosecution of aid workers helping migrants to safety under EU trafficking laws, and there are countless reports of police brutality against migrants in EU border enforcement operations. In reality, tougher borders only lead migrants and smugglers to risk increasingly deadly and secretive migration routes in order to evade detection by improved security technology. Securitised responses also shift the smuggling industry away from community-based networks towards increasingly violent and highly organised criminal networks that are able to maximally exploit migrants’ vulnerability to increase their profit margins. In short, borders kill. If we want to prevent migrant deaths, we need to work towards the abolition of borders, starting with practical solidarity resisting borders in public life and our communities – refusing complicity in the hostile environment, visiting people in detention, and resisting immigration raids.

      The impact of criminalisation

      We should also be concerned about how an increased emphasis on anti-trafficking legislation may further endanger precarious migrant workers in the UK. In 2016, we saw ‘anti-trafficking’ police raids on massage parlours in Soho and Chinatown lead to the violent arrest of many migrant sex workers on immigration grounds. Whilst ostensibly aimed at addressing exploitation, these kinds of ‘rescue’ raids on brothels, nail bars and cannabis farms are basically indistinguishable from immigration raids, leading as they often do to the detention of migrant workers, who then either face deportation or a protracted legal battle to remain. Often underlying such operations are gendered and racialised assumptions of Asian migrant women as passive and helpless victims in need of rescue, and Asian men as unscrupulous and predatory traffickers, who control and exploit those helpless victims. The reality is that in the context of border regimes that push them into debt and underground economies, many migrants make a constrained choice to work under conditions that are to varying degrees exploitative or abusive in order to pay off debts to smugglers, send money to dependants, and indeed, to survive. The fact that the British state does not guarantee indefinite leave to remain, nor adequate social support to those it identifies as survivors of trafficking shows its fundamental failure to grasp the central role that borders and capitalism, rather than individual traffickers, play in producing conditions for exploitation and abuse.

      Whatever their circumstances, we need to ensure migrants are able to assert labour rights and access safe housing, work, healthcare and other public, legal and social services – all without fear of immigration sanctions or criminal convictions. At a minimum, this means ending the ‘hostile environment’ which embeds immigration checks throughout public life, and decriminalising industries such as sex work whose criminalisation only pushes undocumented workers deeper into secrecy and silence.

      As heart-breaking stories of victims continue to emerge, we must recognise that such deaths are an inevitability of the neo-colonial, securitised regimes being built globally, designed to marginalise working-class migrants and people of colour, who are rendered exploitable or disposable. Systemic analyses that centre anti-capitalism, no borders, building migrant workers’ rights globally, and the decriminalisation of sex work are not distractions but central to bringing an end to senseless deaths such as those of the Essex 39.

      http://www.irr.org.uk/news/grieve-the-essex-39-but-recognise-the-root-causes

    • Lorry driver pleads guilty over role in Essex deaths

      #Maurice_Robinson, 25, admits plotting to assist illegal immigration
      A lorry driver charged with the manslaughter of 39 Vietnamese migrants found dead in a refrigerated trailer has pleaded guilty to plotting to assist illegal immigration.

      Maurice Robinson, 25, who is known as Mo, was allegedly part of a global smuggling ring. He was arrested shortly after the bodies of eight females and 31 males were found in a trailer attached to his Scania cab in an industrial park in Grays, Essex, on 23 October.

      The victims were identified later as Vietnamese nationals, with the youngest being two boys aged 15.

      Robinson appeared at the Old Bailey in London via video link from Belmarsh prison for a plea hearing. He spoke to confirm his identity and British nationality.

      Robinson admitted conspiracy to assist unlawful immigration between 1 May 2018 and 24 October 2019. The charge states that he plotted with others to do “an act or series of acts which facilitated the commission of a breach of immigration law by various persons”.

      During the hearing before Mr Justice Edis, Robinson also admitted acquiring criminal property – namely cash – on the same dates. He was not asked to enter pleas to other charges, including 39 counts of manslaughter.

      Police formally identified all 39 victims this month and informed their families. It has emerged, however, that relatives of the migrants found dead were told that neither the British nor Vietnamese governments would bear the costs of repatriating the bodies.

      Police in Vietnam have arrested eight people suspected of being part of a ring responsible for smuggling Vietnamese people to Britain.

      Essex police have launched extradition proceedings to bring Eamonn Harrison, 22, from Ireland to the UK. He appeared at Dublin’s central criminal court last Thursday after he was arrested on a European arrest warrant in respect of 39 counts of manslaughter, one count of a human trafficking offence and one count of assisting unlawful immigration.

      Harrison is accused of driving the lorry with the refrigerated container to Zeebrugge in Belgium before it was collected in Essex by Robinson.

      Robinson was remanded into custody until a further hearing on 13 December.

      https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/nov/25/lorry-driver-pleads-guilty-in-essex-deaths-case?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Tw

    • Don’t call the Essex 39 a ‘tragedy’

      Jun Pang on why the deaths of 39 undocumented migrants were entirely avoidable, and why borders are to blame.

      On 23 October, 39 people were found dead in the back refrigerated lorry in Essex, South East England, with media outlets reporting that the victims may have frozen to death in temperatures as low as -25°C.

      The truck had crossed The Channel from Belgium, a route that has been used increasingly by migrants after the French government tightened restrictions on departures from Calais.

      These 39 deaths were not a ‘tragedy’. They were not unavoidable. They were the direct result of British government policies that have made it impossible to enter the country using safe and legal means.

      The conditions that produced these 39 deaths emerge from the same set of policies that deny asylum, justify indefinite immigration detention, charter deportation flights, and restrict migrants’ access to fundamental rights – that is, the so-called ‘Hostile Environment’.

      The aim is to make the UK so inhospitable for migrants that they will not make the effort to try to enter. They are also the conditions that allow the Global North to continue to thrive off the exploitation of undocumented migrant workers.

      ‘The brutality of capitalism’

      When I first heard of the deaths, I was reminded of the 2004 Morecambe Bay disaster, when 23 undocumented Chinese workers drowned while picking cockles off the Lancashire coast. These workers did not die of ‘natural causes’, they died because their gangmaster did not give them any information about how to work safely in the notoriously dangerous bay. He was willing to sacrifice these undocumented workers’ lives for the sake of a higher yield.

      Chinese workers were described by one gangmaster as ‘a half-price... more punctual and productive workforce’. Did their employers imagine that Chinese people’s racialized ‘productivity’ somehow meant that they were also immune to the elements? One Morecambe Bay cockler later told journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai (who later wrote a book about Chinese migrant workers’ lives in the UK) that ‘he blamed the brutality of capitalism for the tragedy’.

      At the end of 2018, China was one of the countries with the highest numbers of citizens in UK detention centres. Earlier this year, I visited a Chinese man in detention, who had come to the UK with the help of so-called ‘snakehead’ smugglers, who are often blamed for the deaths of undocumented migrants like the Essex 39. The man had fled to the UK for fear that he would be killed; he did not know how else he could enter.

      The Home Office rejected his refugee application, detained him for more than a year (despite bundles of evidence from experts on his situation) and ended up deporting him – but not before first mistakenly deporting another man with the same surname.

      One of the most heartbreaking things he had said to me was that he would rather work for £1 an hour in the detention centre for the rest of his life, than go home and face persecution.
      Hierarchy of ‘desert’

      It is not useful to speculate on the reasons why these 39 Vietnamese nationals decided to try to enter the UK. More important is to recognize that the UK border has long been a site of racialized, classed, and gendered violence for all migrants, regardless of the reasons for entering. In 1998, the New Labour government published ‘Fairer, Faster, and Firmer – A Modern Approach to Immigration and Asylum’, a White Paper which warned that ‘economic migrants will exploit whatever route offers the best chance of entering or remaining within the UK’. Two years later, in 2000, 58 Chinese nationals were found dead, having suffocated in the back of a lorry at Dover docks.

      States often attempt to distinguish ‘economic migrants’ from ‘real refugees’ as a way to restrict legal entry at the border. Such categorization creates an arbitrary hierarchy of entitlement to international protection, absent of any consideration of the unequal distribution of resources across the Global North and Global South that often makes seeking employment overseas the only way that some people – and their families – can survive.

      In theory, this hierarchy of ‘desert’ is illegitimate because human rights violations, including deprivation of socioeconomic rights, are not subject to ranking. In practice, the hierarchy also fails to give ‘priority’ to ‘real refugees’ due to the culture of disbelief around asylum applications. So migrants are forced to rely on smugglers to gain entry.

      Smugglers facilitate the entry of migrants through different pathways. This entails significant risks, as states establish stronger barriers to entry, including visa restrictions, carrier sanctions, and interceptions at sea. The journeys do not stop; the conditions simply become more and more deadly.

      Smuggling is different to trafficking, which is the forced movement of a person for the purpose of exploitation, including labour and sexual exploitation. Anti-trafficking policies, however, are often criticized for failing to protect, and sometimes causing direct harm to, undocumented migrants. In the UK survivors of trafficking are detained and in some cases deported; even after being recognized as survivors, they often do not receive adequate social support.

      Part of the ‘anti-trafficking’ movement is also rooted in an anti-sex work politics that conflates sex work with sexual exploitation. This perspective presents all migrant sex workers as ‘victims’ requiring ‘saving’. In the end, this only pushes migrant sex workers into more insecure working conditions, subjecting them to the threat of arrest, detention, and deportation.

      States often conflate smuggling and trafficking to introduce blanket restrictions on entry and to criminalize particular forms of work in order to eject unwanted migrants. But blaming migrants’ deaths on smugglers and traffickers does nothing but mask the structures of racism and capitalism that both restrict the movement of, and exploit, undocumented workers.

      We do not at the time of writing know if the 39 people in the back of the lorry were hoping to come to the UK as workers; or whether they were being trafficked into labour exploitation. But the objectification of their ‘bodies’ reminded me of the way that migrants are only useful until they are not; and then, they are, quite literally, disposable.

      A man is being questioned in connection with the murder of the Essex 39; but the blood is ultimately on the hands of the British state, and the global system of borders that entrenches exploitative and deadly relations of power.

      https://newint.org/features/2019/10/25/dont-call-essex-39-tragedy
      #terminologie #vocabulaire #mots #tragédie #pouvoir #capitalisme

  • A Calais, la frontière tue ! In Calais, the border kills !


    http://timeglider.com/timeline/65ecd96fa599a9c6

    –-----
    Deaths at the Calais Border

    Uncountable lives are wasted and suffer at the hands of the Calais border regime. There is no accurate count of how many people have died. This is a list of people known in Calais or from news reports.

    For sure there will have been more, their deaths ignored, the facts covered up or altogether unreported. Many already go unnamed, without vigils and protests, without families or friends to advocate on their behalf.

    But we will never let these deaths be silenced. We will not forgive and we will never forget.

    These borders kill! One death is too many!

    https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/deaths-at-the-calais-border

    #morts #décès #mourir_aux_frontières #Calais #France #frontières #Angleterre #UK #migrations #asile #réfugiés #base_de_données #database #liste #timeline #ligne_du_temps #mourir_dans_la_forteresse_Europe #visualisation #infographie #frise #frise_chronologique #time-line

    ping @reka @simplicissimus @karine4

    • Un article de février 2018

      The deadly roads into Calais

      Since 1999, an estimated 170 migrants desperately seeking a clandestine passage across the Channel to Britain have died in road accidents in and around the port of Calais in northern France, 37 of them since 2015. One former police officer said the situation became so grim “it was humanly impossible to pick up more bodies from the road”. One of the most recent victims was a 22-year-old Eritrean whose mutilated body was found on a motorway last month after he was run over by a truck whose driver fled the scene. Elisa Perrigueur reports from Calais, where she met with Biniam’s relatives as they prepared the return of his body home to north-east Africa.
      The temperature was below freezing point on a bleak dawn last month when Biniam’s remains were found near the port of Calais, lying on the smooth tarmac of the A16 motorway that runs parallel to the Channel coast. According to statements given to the police afterwards by those who knew him, Biniam L. (full last name withheld here), a 22-year-old Eritrean, had probably spent all night looking for a truck he could climb onto in the hope of smuggling his way to England.

      He was successful, at first. He had managed to mount one of them, hiding in its cargo hold, most certainly hoping, like so many others who attempt the same, that once it passed through the fortified perimeter of the port, which is surrounded by 39 kilometres of fencing, it would be one of the vehicles that occasionally escapes the heat scanners and sniffer-dog searches, first in Calais and then, after the brief sea passage, through the British port of Dover. With no ID documents and no baggage, just the clothes he would hope could adequately keep out the biting cold.

      But on that early morning of January 9th this year, his plan went horribly wrong. The truck he had hidden in did not turn off the motorway into Calais, but instead continued its route eastwards. The young man must have panicked when he realised the fact, for he tried to jump from the truck onto the motorway despite the speeding traffic. According to members of the local French migrant aid association, l’Auberge des migrants, who spoke to police afterwards, Biniam landed on his head and was run over by another truck following behind. But neither vehicle stopped, and there remains doubt over the exact circumstances of his final moments.

      Between December 2017 and January this year two other migrants, 15-year-old Abdullah Dilsouz and Hussein Abdoullah, 32, both Afghan nationals, lost their lives in accidents on the roads around Calais. “Since 2015, there have been 37 migrants who have died in [and around] Calais,” said a spokesperson for the local prefecture. “The highest number date back to 2015 and 2016, the great majority are road accidents.” In 2015, the death toll reached 18, followed by 14 in 2016.

      Maël Galisson, a coordinator for the network of associations in the region providing aid for migrants, the Plate-forme de services aux migrants, has carried out research to establish the number of victims over the past almost 20 years and, where possible, to record their identities. “Since 1999, we estimate that at least 170 people have died while trying to cross this frontier area,” he said. The majority of road accidents occur on the stretches of the A16 and A26 motorways close to Calais, and the ring road into the port centre.

      The day after his death, Biniam’s brother Bereket, 26, arrived in Calais from Germany, accompanied by a cousin and uncle who had travelled from Norway. “He had no ‘dream’ as people put it, he just wanted a country where he was accepted,” said Bereket, who said he had difficulty believing the news that his brother, who he said was “so young to die”, had been killed in a road accident, which he received in a phone call from a friend.

      Bereket said he was not aware of the daily reality of the migrants in Calais, the road blocks migrants mount to try and slow traffic and the clandestine crossings in trucks. In his case, he had crossed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean Sea. Biniam, he explained, had left the family village in Eritrea, north-east Africa, one-and-a-half years ago, to escape conscription into the army. At one point, he joined up with his brother Bereket in Germany, where the latter had been granted residence. “I obtained [official residency] papers close to Stuttgart and today I work in Germany, I had begun to have a stable life,” recounted Bereket. “His asylum demand was rejected, I don’t understand why.” Biniam had re-applied a second time for right of asylum, but was again turned down. It was after that, in November, that he set off for Calais, where between 550 and 800 migrants – according to figures respectively from the prefecture and the migrant aid associations – live rough, mostly in surrounding woodland.

      The few friends of Biniam who Bereket met with in Calais were little forthcoming about his time there. Loan Torondel of the Auberge des migrants association, which had offered Biniam shelter, said he was never seen at the daily distribution of meals. “A month here is not very long for finding a truck,” he said. “Often, migrants spend months before succeeding, for those who manage to.”

      During his visit to Calais on February 2nd, French interior minister Gérard Collomb, hoping to dissuade migrants from gathering there, described the frontier point as “a wall” and “a mirage”. But from the beach, the migrants can see the English coast, where some have family and friends they hope to join, in a country with lower unemployment than in France and where finding work, undeclared, is easier. Others say they would stay in France but fear that, if they engaged in the official procedures, because their fingerprints are registered in the first European Union (EU) country they reached before travelling to France they would be sent back there, in accordance with the regulations of the EU’s so-called Dublin Agreement.

      The victims are often young men’

      For the migrants hoping to cross to Britain from Calais there are few options in how to do so. The British government has handed France about 140 million euros over the past three years to part fund the increased security measures at the port, which is the frontier point before departure for the English coast. On January 18th, at a summit meeting between British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, London announced that it was to provide a further 50.5 million euros, for a further beefing up of security and for establishing a centre for migrants at a site distanced from the town.

      For the migrants who can afford their fees, one option is to use the services of people smugglers. They charge between 1,500 euros and 10,000 euros per person for a clandestine passage in a truck, operating out of vehicle parks which they reign over as their own territory. Clashes which broke out in Calais on February 1st between Afghan and Eritrean migrants, which left 22 needing medical treatment, including four teenagers wounded by gunfire, appear to have been linked to turf wars between people smugglers.

      Others try blocking trucks on the approach roads to the port, operating in small groups to lay down obstacles to slow or even halt the vehicles in order to jump on. The method is a dangerous one, for both the migrants and the drivers. In June 2017, the polish driver of a truck died after his vehicle crashed into another truck that was blocked by migrants on the A16 motorway, burned alive in his cabin.

      Then there are those, and who probably included Biniam, who try to mount the vehicles on their own. Eupui is a 19-year-old migrant from Cameroun, in West Africa, and has lived since 2016 on the ‘Dunes’ industrial zone of the port, the site of the notorious and now razed migrant camp known as “the Jungle”. His solitary sorties to find a truck that would take him across the Channel somehow allow him “to keep going”, he told Mediapart. “I sleep three hours and then I try,” he said. “As soon as I see a truck that isn’t going too fast, even a car, I see if I can get into the boot.” He said he hides “near the bends of the motorways” because vehicles reduce speed there. “I’m not afraid, I’ve lived much worse,” he added. “I crossed the Sahara in horrible conditions to come here. I have nothing left to lose. I’ve injured my knee, but never mind.”

      Biniam’s brother Bereket said his brother did not realise the danger in the risks he was taking. “I spoke to him three weeks before he died,” said Bereket. “He told me that everything was fine for him in France. But he lied to me, he didn’t tell me he was at Calais. If I had known, I would have told him to get out of this dangerous place.”

      Bereket said he was “disappointed” by what he saw on this, his first trip to France. He has been supported by local charitable associations, including the Réveil voyageur and the Secours catholique, who usually look after relatives of those who have died. “You don’t see many officials, politicians, as if Biniam’s death had no importance,” he said bitterly.

      “The associations have been managing this for years,” said Sabriya Guivy from the Auberge des migrants group. “When relatives arrive in Calais they are disappointed at not seeing many officials. They have the impression that they are not taken into account. Mr Macron referred to the death of the Polish driver, but not that of migrants,” she added, referring to a speech by the French president during his visit to Calais on January 16th.

      Undertaker Brahim Fares, based in nearby Grande-Synthe, says he charges a “lower than average” price to migrant families out of solidarity. “The dead are repatriated to Afghanistan for between about 3,400-3,500 euros, depending on the weight and the size,” he detailed. “For Eritrea, it begins at around 3,200 euros. Burials in Calais are about 1,600 euros, as opposed to a usual 2,400 euros.” Since 2015, Fares says he has organised the return home of about 15 bodies of migrants, and also the burials of about the same number in the north Calais cemetery managed by the Town Hall. The burial spots are simple ones, covered in earth and marked by crosses made of oak. “The victims are often young men, almost all of them identified,” he added. “I once had an Ethiopian woman. Not all the families can come all the way here. Those who manage to are very shocked, because the bodies are sometimes very damaged, as those in road accidents are.”

      Fares was given charge of Biniam’s body, which he recalled had “the hands cut off, the arms smashed up”. The corpse will be returned to Eritrea, where his parents live. Bereket, with his uncle and cousin, made up a large wreath of plastic flowers. “It’s really not so good but we had only that,” he said. But at the hospital in Lille where the body was placed in the coffin, they were told that they could not place the wreath on top of it, nor the white drape they had wanted to cover it with, according to their custom. “The airport authorities will end up throwing the wreath away, it’s not allowed in the hold,” Fares explained to them. After a poignant moment of silence, they asked him why it would be so complicated to do so.

      Biniam’s relatives spent two weeks attempting to find out the exact circumstances of what happened to him. At the police station in Calais, they were shown a photo of his injured face. Members of the motorway patrol police gave them the few details they had, which were the approximate time of the accident, a statement from a witness who had not seen very much, and the fact that the driver of the truck that ran over Biniam had fled the scene. “France is a developed country […] so why can’t the driver who did that be found?” asked Bereket. “Even in Eritrea we’d have found the killer of my brother.”

      Loan Torondel of the association l’Auberge des migrants said he had seen similar outrage by relatives before. “Many don’t understand why their close family member died under a lorry and that the driver did not act voluntarily,” he said. “Biniam’s family thought that there would be the launch of an investigation, like in American films. They think that the police is not [bothered into] carrying out an investigation, but in reality there are few witnesses.”

      Meanwhile, Bereket has lodged an official complaint over his brother’s death “against persons unknown”, explaining: “I won’t be able to sleep as long as I don’t know how he died, and while the person responsible is free.”

      ’It’s incredible that nobody saw anything’

      While the police systematically open investigations into the road deaths of migrants, they are often complex, beginning with the identification of the victim. Patrick Visser-Bourdon, a former Calais-based police detective, recalled the death of a Sudanese migrant whose body was found one morning in 2016 close to the port’s ring road, with “the head opened, abandoned, wearing a pair of jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt”.

      During his enquiries, Visser-Bourdon approached the head of the Sudanese community of migrants living in the camp known as “the Jungle”, but nobody recognised the body. “We also put out his photo in the police stations,” he said. “In the majority of such cases, we mostly called on the NGOs for help.” As in the case of Biniam, the driver of what was apparently a truck that had hit the Sudanese man had not stopped. “There was blood on the road, there was necessarily some on the bumpers of the truck,” said Visser-Bourdon. “The driver therefore must have stopped his vehicle at some point to clean it, between the Jungle and the port. It’s incredible that nobody saw anything.”

      Sabriya Guivy from the Auberge des migrants group added that because some local sections of the motorways are unlit, “It is entirely possible to not realise that one has hit someone and to carry on”.

      A section of the numerous investigations into such events end up being closed, unsolved. Someone who is charged with involuntary homicide in France faces a sentence of three years in prison, and up to five years in jail in the case of aggravating circumstances such as fleeing the scene. “Sometimes, some of them don’t remain at the scene of the accident, notably in the case of dangerous [migrant] road blocks, but they go directly to present themselves to the police,” said Pascal Marconville, public prosecutor of the nearby port of Boulogne-sur-Mer, whose services have jurisdiction for events in Calais. “In that case, it’s regarded more as a hit-and-run offence which is exonerated by the circumstances.”

      Patrick Visser-Bourdon said he had welcomed the building of a wall surrounding the ring road in 2016 aimed at deterring migrants from the traffic. “It was humanly impossible to pick up more bodies from the road,” he said.

      https://www.mediapart.fr/en/journal/france/190218/deadly-roads-calais

      –----

      En français :
      A Calais, les routes de la mort pour les migrants
      https://www.mediapart.fr/journal/france/180218/calais-les-routes-de-la-mort-pour-les-migrants?page_article=1%20

  • Le #gorafi encore plagié : Brexit, Bruxelles : “Ce n’est pas fini !”, crient les partisans du maintien dans l’UE au rond-point Schuman 17 octobre 2019 - 17 Octobre 2019 - Belga - BX1
    https://bx1.be/bruxelles-ville/ce-nest-pas-fini-crient-les-partisans-du-maintien-dans-lue-au-rond-point-schuman/?theme=classic

    Quelques dizaines de partisans du maintien du Royaume-Uni dans l’Union européenne se sont rassemblés jeudi en début d’après-midi au rond-point Schuman à Bruxelles, au pied de la Commission européenne, pour affirmer leur conviction que l’accord engrangé ce midi entre l’exécutif européen et le gouvernement britannique ne signifiait pas la fin de leurs espoirs.

    “Ce n’est pas fini, continuons à nous battre“, haranguait un orateur sur un podium aux couleurs du “Stop Brexit”. D’aucuns rappelaient que la situation n’était pas si différente d’il y a quelques mois, lorsque la Première ministre Theresa May avait engrangé un accord de retrait avec le reste de l’UE, mais n’avait pu lui faire passer l’obstacle de la Chambre des Communes. C’est l’heure maintenant de “mobiliser le Parlement”, soulignaient les “remainers” présents.

    #brexit #europe #royaume-uni #international #union_européenne #ue #grande-bretagne #angleterre #uk #référendum

  • Calais : « Le Brexit dur ne serait pas synonyme de chaos » Annick Capelle - 16 Octobre 2019 - RTBF
    https://www.rtbf.be/info/monde/detail_calais-le-brexit-dur-ne-serait-pas-synonyme-de-chaos?id=10339170

    Entre 4 et 6000 : c’est le nombre de poids lourds qui, chaque jour, transitent par Calais. Dans une fluidité impressionnante, les ferries embarquent ou débarquent ces véhicules chargés de marchandises destinées au Royaume-Uni ou au continent européen. En cas de Brexit dur, les formalités douanières seront rétablies… Du jour au lendemain. Faut-il donc craindre la paralysie ? Non, si l’on en croit les douaniers et les exploitants du port de Calais, qui depuis des mois, se préparent au rétablissement du poste-frontière. Il y a quelques jours, ils organisaient une répétition générale. Objectif : tester leur « frontière intelligente », un dispositif censé éviter les bouchons en cas de sortie brutale du Royaume-Uni.

    Anticipation
    La clé de voûte de ce dispositif, c’est l’anticipation, souligne Eric Meunier, directeur interrégional des douanes et droits indirects des Hauts de France. « L’entreprise qui importe ou exporte de la marchandise devra effectuer préalablement une déclaration de douane sur internet, et recevra un code-barres. Muni de ce code-barres, le chauffeur de poids lourd se présentera ensuite à la frontière, où notre nouveau système informatique établira automatiquement un lien entre le code-barres, la plaque d’immatriculation et la marchandise transportée. C’est ce qu’on appelle l’appairage. »

    Le temps d’attente sera réduit au minimum, puisque, une fois son code-barres scanné, le chauffeur de poids lourd montera directement sur le ferry : « C’est pendant la traversée de la Manche que le système traitera la déclaration de douane ».

    Des panneaux verts et orange
    Dans le port de Calais, une nouvelle signalétique verte et orange a été mise en place pour aiguiller les poids lourds qui débarquent des ferries en provenance du Royaume-Uni. « Avant même de quitter le ferry, le chauffeur saura quelle voie il doit emprunter à son arrivée », explique Benoît Rochet, directeur général délégué de la SEPD, la société d’exploitation des ports du Détroit. « Si la sortie est autorisée par la douane, le poids lourd prend la ligne verte – une sortie aussi fluide qu’aujourd’hui. En moins de deux minutes, le camion est sur l’autoroute. Si le poids lourd doit emprunter la file orange, cela veut dire qu’il doit se soumettre à un contrôle. »

    Plus de 150 places de parking
    Les panneaux orange mènent, un peu plus loin, vers des parkings de délestage pouvant accueillir plus de 150 poids lourds en attente de régularisation douanière. Deux nouvelles plateformes y ont été construites. Elles disposent ensemble de dix quais de déchargement. C’est là que les contrôles seront effectués.

    Un des poids lourds participant au test, rejoint la première plateforme. Il transporte du ciment. Deux agents de douane vérifient aussitôt la conformité de la marchandise avec la déclaration de douane. Quelques minutes plus tard, le chauffeur peut repartir. Le dispositif semble bien rodé.

    La deuxième plateforme sera réservée aux contrôles vétérinaires et phytosanitaires. « Aujourd’hui, il existe déjà des contrôles vétérinaires et phytosanitaires, mais ils sont réalisés dans les Etats membres. En cas de Brexit, il faudra appliquer ces formalités ici, lors du passage à la frontière », explique Jean Michel Thillier, directeur général adjoint des douanes et droits indirects.

    Fins prêts
    Les douanes et les autorités portuaires sont convaincues que l’on peut éviter l’engorgement du terminal. Tout dépendra de la façon dont les entreprises jouent le jeu de l’anticipation. Eric Meunier : « Il existe une marge d’incertitude : c’est la proportion d’entreprises qui n’auraient pas réalisé les formalités préalables. Pour nous, il est très important que ces entreprises soient le moins nombreuses possible, parce qu’elles vont générer des retards pour elles-mêmes, mais également entraîner une charge de travail qui, sur le port, pourrait entraîner des retards pour l’ensemble des transporteurs. »

    Pourtant, Eric Meunier ne croit pas que le Brexit dur sera synonyme de chaos. Depuis plusieurs mois, les douanes françaises mènent une large campagne d’information auprès des entreprises, notamment via les réseaux sociaux. Cette campagne vise bien sûr les compagnies françaises, mais pas seulement : « Sur le franchissement à Calais, 80% des poids lourds ne sont pas français, mais viennent de l’Europe entière. C’est pourquoi, les douanes de tous les pays européens ont informé – et informent encore aujourd’hui – leurs opérateurs de la nécessité d’anticipation. Pour un opérateur, où qu’il soit, dans n’importe quel pays de l’Union, il sera tout à fait possible, de manière dématérialisée, via internet, de déclarer la marchandise préalablement, et une fois à Calais, de franchir la frontière de manière fluide. »

    La véritable inconnue, conclut Eric Meunier, concernera les petits opérateurs qui, à l’heure actuelle, ne travaillent qu’au sein de l’Union européenne, et qui ne sont pas habitués aux formalités douanières. Ce sont ces entreprises-là – françaises ou pas – qu’il faut impérativement toucher.

    #brexit #france #douane #europe #royaume-uni #international #union_européenne #ue #grande-bretagne #angleterre #uk #référendum #actualités_internationales #politique #frontières

  • IOM Organizes First Humanitarian #Charter Flight from Algeria to Niger

    This week (15/10), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized its first flight for voluntary return from the southern Algerian city of #Tamanrasset to Niger’s capital, #Niamey, carrying 166 Nigerien nationals, in close collaboration with the Governments of Algeria and Niger.

    This is the first movement of its kind for vulnerable Nigerien migrants through IOM voluntary return activities facilitated by the governments of Algeria and Niger and in close cooperation with Air Algérie. This flight was organized to avoid a long tiring journey for migrants in transit by using a shorter way to go home.

    For the first flight, 18 per cent of the returnees, including women and children were selected for their vulnerabilities, including medical needs.

    “The successful return of over 160 vulnerable Nigerien migrants through this inaugural voluntary return flight ensures, safe and humane return of migrants who are in need of assistance to get to their country of origin,” said Paolo Caputo, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Algeria. “This movement is the result of the combined efforts of both IOM missions and the Governments of Algeria and Niger.”

    IOM staff in Algeria provided medical assistance to more than 10 migrants prior to their flight and ensured that all their health needs were addressed during their travel and upon arrival in Niger.

    IOM also provides technical support to the Government of Niger in registering the returned Nigeriens upon arrival in Niger and deliver basic humanitarian assistance before they travel to their communities of origin.

    Since 2016, IOM missions in Niger and Libya have assisted over 7,500 Nigerien migrants with their return from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return operations.

    Upon arrival, the groups of Nigerien migrants returning with IOM-organized flights from both Algeria and Libya receive assistance, such as food and pocket money, to cover their immediate needs, including in-country onward transportation.

    After the migrants have returned to their communities of origin, IOM offers different reintegration support depending on their needs, skills and aspirations. This can include medical assistance, psychosocial support, education, vocational training, setting up an income generating activity, or support for housing and other basic needs.

    “This movement today represents a big step in the right direction for the dignified return of migrants in the region,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “We are grateful for the financial support of the Governments of the United Kingdom and Italy who have made this possible,” she added.


    https://www.iom.int/news/iom-organizes-first-humanitarian-charter-flight-algeria-niger
    #IOM #OIM #Algérie #Niger #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #retours_volontaires #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réfugiés_nigérians #Nigeria #Italie #UK #Angleterre #externalisation #frontières #charters_humanitaires

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur les refoulements d’Algérie au Niger
    https://seenthis.net/messages/748397
    Ici il s’agit plutôt de migrants abandonnés dans le désert, alors que l’OIM parle de « dignified return », mais je me demande jusqu’à quel point c’est vraiment différent...

    signalé par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

  • IOM Organizes First Humanitarian #Charter Flight from Algeria to Niger

    This week (15/10), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized its first flight for voluntary return from the southern Algerian city of #Tamanrasset to Niger’s capital, #Niamey, carrying 166 Nigerien nationals, in close collaboration with the Governments of Algeria and Niger.

    This is the first movement of its kind for vulnerable Nigerien migrants through IOM voluntary return activities facilitated by the governments of Algeria and Niger and in close cooperation with Air Algérie. This flight was organized to avoid a long tiring journey for migrants in transit by using a shorter way to go home.

    For the first flight, 18 per cent of the returnees, including women and children were selected for their vulnerabilities, including medical needs.

    “The successful return of over 160 vulnerable Nigerien migrants through this inaugural voluntary return flight ensures, safe and humane return of migrants who are in need of assistance to get to their country of origin,” said Paolo Caputo, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Algeria. “This movement is the result of the combined efforts of both IOM missions and the Governments of Algeria and Niger.”

    IOM staff in Algeria provided medical assistance to more than 10 migrants prior to their flight and ensured that all their health needs were addressed during their travel and upon arrival in Niger.

    IOM also provides technical support to the Government of Niger in registering the returned Nigeriens upon arrival in Niger and deliver basic humanitarian assistance before they travel to their communities of origin.

    Since 2016, IOM missions in Niger and Libya have assisted over 7,500 Nigerien migrants with their return from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return operations.

    Upon arrival, the groups of Nigerien migrants returning with IOM-organized flights from both Algeria and Libya receive assistance, such as food and pocket money, to cover their immediate needs, including in-country onward transportation.

    After the migrants have returned to their communities of origin, IOM offers different reintegration support depending on their needs, skills and aspirations. This can include medical assistance, psychosocial support, education, vocational training, setting up an income generating activity, or support for housing and other basic needs.

    “This movement today represents a big step in the right direction for the dignified return of migrants in the region,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “We are grateful for the financial support of the Governments of the United Kingdom and Italy who have made this possible,” she added.


    https://www.iom.int/news/iom-organizes-first-humanitarian-charter-flight-algeria-niger
    #IOM #OIM #Algérie #Niger #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #retours_volontaires #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réfugiés_nigérians #Nigeria #Italie #UK #Angleterre #externalisation #frontières

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur les refoulements d’Algérie au Niger
    https://seenthis.net/messages/748397
    Ici il s’agit plutôt de migrants abandonnés dans le désert, alors que l’OIM parle de « dignified return », mais je me demande jusqu’à quel point c’est vraiment différent...

    signalé par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

  • IOM Organizes First Humanitarian #Charter Flight from Algeria to Niger

    This week (15/10), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized its first flight for voluntary return from the southern Algerian city of #Tamanrasset to Niger’s capital, #Niamey, carrying 166 Nigerien nationals, in close collaboration with the Governments of Algeria and Niger.

    This is the first movement of its kind for vulnerable Nigerien migrants through IOM voluntary return activities facilitated by the governments of Algeria and Niger and in close cooperation with Air Algérie. This flight was organized to avoid a long tiring journey for migrants in transit by using a shorter way to go home.

    For the first flight, 18 per cent of the returnees, including women and children were selected for their vulnerabilities, including medical needs.

    “The successful return of over 160 vulnerable Nigerien migrants through this inaugural voluntary return flight ensures, safe and humane return of migrants who are in need of assistance to get to their country of origin,” said Paolo Caputo, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Algeria. “This movement is the result of the combined efforts of both IOM missions and the Governments of Algeria and Niger.”

    IOM staff in Algeria provided medical assistance to more than 10 migrants prior to their flight and ensured that all their health needs were addressed during their travel and upon arrival in Niger.

    IOM also provides technical support to the Government of Niger in registering the returned Nigeriens upon arrival in Niger and deliver basic humanitarian assistance before they travel to their communities of origin.

    Since 2016, IOM missions in Niger and Libya have assisted over 7,500 Nigerien migrants with their return from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return operations.

    Upon arrival, the groups of Nigerien migrants returning with IOM-organized flights from both Algeria and Libya receive assistance, such as food and pocket money, to cover their immediate needs, including in-country onward transportation.

    After the migrants have returned to their communities of origin, IOM offers different reintegration support depending on their needs, skills and aspirations. This can include medical assistance, psychosocial support, education, vocational training, setting up an income generating activity, or support for housing and other basic needs.

    “This movement today represents a big step in the right direction for the dignified return of migrants in the region,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “We are grateful for the financial support of the Governments of the United Kingdom and Italy who have made this possible,” she added.


    https://www.iom.int/news/iom-organizes-first-humanitarian-charter-flight-algeria-niger
    #IOM #OIM #Algérie #Niger #renvois #expulsions #retour_volontaire #retours_volontaires #migrations #asile #réfugiés #réfugiés_nigérians #Nigeria #Italie #UK #Angleterre #externalisation #frontières

    Ajouté à cette métaliste sur les refoulements d’Algérie au Niger
    https://seenthis.net/messages/748397
    Ici il s’agit plutôt de migrants abandonnés dans le désert, alors que l’OIM parle de « dignified return », mais je me demande jusqu’à quel point c’est vraiment différent...

    signalé par @pascaline

    ping @karine4 @_kg_ @isskein

  • #Bruxelles : La gare du Midi se met à l’heure du Brexit Barbara Boulet - 15 Octobre 2019 RTBF
    https://www.rtbf.be/info/regions/detail_la-gare-du-midi-se-met-a-l-heure-du-brexit?id=10341246

    Un divorce à l’amiable entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni est-il encore possible ? La Belgique en tout cas se prépare à un départ possible de la Grande-Bretagne à la fin du mois. La gare du Midi à Bruxelles en est un exemple. Les services de douane s’apprêtent à devoir gérer à tout moment l’accueil des voyageurs en provenance du Royaume-Uni et à aider ceux qui s’y rendent à remplir leurs formalités.

    Une équipe de 28 douaniers a été recrutée, elle est actuellement en formation. Deux locaux sont aussi en train d’être aménagés dans le terminal Eurostar. L’un, à l’arrivée, est déjà là ; il permet le contrôle des marchandises (drogues et armes, mais aussi les marchandises soumises à des taxes comme l’alcool ou le tabac). L’autre, un conteneur qui doit arriver d’ici la fin octobre dans la salle d’attente des départs, permettra le cas échéant de remplir les formalités. Par exemple pour le remboursement de la TVA.

    « On se prépare pour éventuellement au 1er novembre pouvoir accueillir des passagers en provenance du Royaume-Uni ou qui partent vers le Royaume-Uni, déclare Florence Angelici, porte-parole du SPF Finance (en charge de l’administration des douanes). Il faut pouvoir s’occuper de toutes les démarches et assurer les contrôles douaniers » 

    Qu’est ce qui changerait ? 
    Car, en cas de Brexit sans deal, il y aurait du changement pour les voyageurs. Pas en ce qui les concerne directement en tant que personne, donc leur droit à eux de circuler (puisque le Royaume-Uni ne fait déjà pas partie aujourd’hui de l’espace Schengen), mais une sortie sans accord de la Grande Bretagne impliquerait de facto une sortie de l’union douanière. Les marchandises ne pourraient alors plus circuler librement, explique Marianne Dony, professeure de droit européen à l’ULB. "Toute marchandise pour entrer dans l’Union européenne doit disposer d’un papier attestant qu’elle répond bien à la réglementation européenne. La douane doit vérifier ces attestations. Par ailleurs, en ce qui concerne les contrôles fiscaux, il faut bien se dire qu’une fois qu’on sort de l’Union, il peut y avoir des remboursements de TVA. On ne peut pas non plus exporter nécessairement la même quantité de marchandises qui ne soient pas taxées. Et il faut aussi vérifier que les marchandises en provenance du Royaume-Uni ont bien payé leur droit de douane".

    Autant de contrôles douaniers qu’on ne connaissait plus entre nos voisins du Nord et nous. Et qui devraient revoir le jour en cas de Brexit sans accord préalable. 

    #brexit #référendum #démocratie #europe #royaume-uni #international #union_européenne #ue #grande-bretagne #angleterre #uk #référendum #actualités_internationales #politique #frontières #Belgique #boris_johnson

  • The Irish border is a matter of life and death, not technology | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/08/brexit-irish-border-technology
    https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/f5fca6e3685824d8b9bba53fab53c341781ad774/0_224_6720_4032/master/6720.jpg?width=1200&height=630&quality=85&auto=format&fit=crop&overlay-ali

    “Spaff some money on some geeks.” According to Chris Cook’s excellent account of Theresa May’s Brexit negotiations with Brussels, that was the instruction issued to the civil service by May’s enforcer Fiona Hill in late 2016.

    It had finally dawned on the British government that it had committed itself to two incompatible things. One was that under no circumstances would there be a return to a hard border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. The other was that all of the UK was going to leave the EU’s customs union. May faced exactly the same problem that her successor Boris Johnson is struggling with: you can do one or other of these things but you cannot do both. If Northern Ireland leaves the customs union, there will be border controls.

    #frontières #irlande_du_nord #royaume_uni #ulster #brexit