PICUM Bulletin — 7 November 2012

BORDERS

  • SPAIN / Migrant boat sinks en route to Spain

    A boat carrying around 70 migrants originally from the Sub-Saharan region sank on 25 October 2012 off the Spanish coast of Alborán. The small boat with approximately 70 people on board left from Nador (Morocco) and was heading to Spain. The rubber dinghy was adrift for 36 hours before Spain’s Maritime Rescue Service intervened. The Spanish authorities found fourteen dead migrants and rescued eighteen people: fourteen men and four women, one of whom was pregnant. The boat was found eighteen miles east of the Moroccan harbour of Alhucemas and 41 people are still missing at sea. A Maltese aircraft, participating in the FRONTEX Indalo Operation, took a photograph of the drifting boat at 1.20 am on 25 October 2012, 15 miles north of the Chafarinas islands, but the rescue operation did not start until 3pm on the same day. The Spanish NGOs Andalucía Acoge, Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos de Andalucía, ELIN and Federación estatal de SOS Racismo, and other organisations in Spain which are members of the Afro-European network Migreurop, condemned the late intervention of the Spanish authorities and the inertia of FRONTEX on this occasion. The eighteen survivors were initially taken to the Moroccan harbour of Alhucemas, where the Moroccan authorities refused to assist the migrants who were then taken to Motril (Granada, Spain). Only one migrant in need of urgent medical assistance remained in Alhucemas and was hospitalised.
    Source: El País, 26 October 2012; Andalucía Acoge, 26 October 2012

  • SPAIN / A group of migrants jumps the Melilla fence and seeks refuge in a local school

    A group of approximately a hundred migrants attempted to jump the Melilla fence in the area of Río Nano on 15 October 2012. 20 migrants managed to jump the fence and sought refuge in a local school, Colegio del Buen Consejo. Medical assistance was provided to one of the migrants as he was badly injured when seeking to jump the fence. According to the information provided by the Delegation of the Spanish Government, the migrants’ attempt to jump the fence was carried out “in the presence of some members of local NGOs such as Prodein”. According to the Spanish authorities, some of the migrants, before attempting to jump the fence, made signals to the local NGO members, greeting them. Through this statement, the Spanish authorities suggest there could have been collusion between the migrants attempting to enter irregularly the territory of Spain and the local NGOs. The newspaper “El Telegrama” claims that collusion of this sort is highly improbable as Mr Palazón, spokesman of the organisation, and other active members of Prodein were attending a meeting in Melilla. The declaration of the Delegation of the Spanish Government appears to be an attempt to criminalise the actions of local NGOs working on issues related to migration.
    Source: El Mundo, 15 October 2012; El Telegrama, 16 October 2012

  • USA / Two migrants killed by Texas police helicopter. Undocumented migrants from Mexico assisted by agents assigned to the Laredo North and Freer station

    A Texas state police helicopter opened fire on 25 October 2012 on a group of migrants who were travelling near La Joya, Texas on a pick-up truck and who were suspected of having irregularly crossed  the border from Mexico. As a result of the police intervention, two migrants who were travelling in the vehicle were killed. According to State authorities, the truck failed to stop for the game wardens and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) decided to order the intervention of a helicopter. After the deadly incident, the DPS issued a statement claiming that the police had fired on the vehicle in an attempt to disable it, and added that the vehicle appeared to be carrying a “typical covered drug load”. However, no drugs were found on the truck. Eight of the passengers, seven of whom were from Guatemala, were arrested. Since 2007, the Texas state government has poured about $600 million into the control of the U.S. border. On 13 October 2012, agents assigned to the Laredo and Freer station in Texas assisted and subsequently provided medical attention to five undocumented migrants from Mexico who were travelling in a locked bed cover in the rear of a truck seeking to pass the Interstate Highway 35 checkpoint in Laredo.
    Source: World Socialist Website, 27 October 2012; Laredo Sun, 15 October 2012

UNITED NATIONS

  • UNODC / “Migrant Smuggling in Asia”

    The UN Office on Drugs and Crime launched two reports, entitled “Migrant Smuggling in Asia: A Thematic Review of Literature” and the accompanying “Annotated Bibliography” to offer an overview of existing empirical knowledge on the smuggling of migrants. These two publications are the first major products of the Coordination and Analysis (CAU) unit of the UNODC Regional Centre for East Asia and the Pacific. The report highlights the need for a systematic method of reporting on migrant smuggling and the dangers to which smuggled migrants are exposed. The two reports are aimed at supporting the development of evidence-based policies to address, prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants whilst ensuring that the rights of these people are protected and safeguarded. The report is based on an analysis of 154 documents. The Thematic Review concludes by putting forward a number of policy recommendations to improve evidence-based knowledge of migrant smuggling and irregular migration, with the UNODC specifically calling “upon member states to make use of the Voluntary Reporting System on Migrant Smuggling and Related Conduct (VRS-MSRC) in support of the Bali Process.”
    Source: UNODC, 21 August 2012

EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS

  • EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT / Note by the Meijers Committee on the amended proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of Eurodac

    The Meijers Committee, the standing committee of experts on international immigration, refugee and criminal law, issued on 10 October 2012 a note on the amended proposal for a Regulation on the establishment of EURODAC (COM(2012) 254). The note has been sent to the members of the LIBE Committee at the European Parliament to advise them to vote against the proposal. The Meijers Committee argues that the proposed regulation would breach fundamental rights of asylum seekers, including their right to privacy and protection against torture and inhumane and degrading treatment. The Meijers Committee argues that the use of EURODAC data involves the risk of stigmatisation of migrants and asylum seekers.

  • FRA / Case Study: The Cost of Exclusion from Healthcare

    The EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) is seeking to hire an expert, consultant or organisation to undertake a case study entitled “The Cost of Exclusion from Healthcare”. The project will attempt to estimate the cost-effectiveness of not delaying treatment until a medical condition becomes an emergency, which will be examined with due consideration of the fundamental rights implications. The project will look at the implications for particularly vulnerable groups who are uninsured, such as third country nationals who are in an irregular situation and EU nationals or regular migrants who may fall outside existing insurance schemes. If you would like additional information please visit the FRA website. Additionally, if you are interested in joining this negotiated procedure please send an e-mail to procurement@fra.europa.eu with your contact details by 6 November 2012 (17:00 pm).

NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS

  • CZECH REPUBLIC / Protest against new legislation on citizenship

    On 10 October 2012 the Czech government agreed on a new version of the citizenship law, which has to go through a further legislative process to pass into force. The legislation includes new conditions for acquiring Czech citizenship (such as non-use of the social benefit system, knowledge of Czech constitution), limited review of applications for citizenship denied by the Courts of Justice, prolongation of the decision-making process or possible requirement of DNA paternity testing of children from mixed marriages. On 11 October 2012 Konsorcium nevládních organizací pracujících s migranty v ČR and Poradna pro občanství issued a statement which warns that the new legislation would confer too much power on the individual officers of the Ministry of Interior and further tighten the rules for acquiring citizenship of Czech Republic which according to Eurostat data are already the strictest in the EU. Detailed analysis of the issue is available in Czech here.
    Source: Migrace Online, 11 October 2012

  • ITALY / Regularisation of undocumented migrants below expectations

    Between 15 September and 15 October 2012 a total of 134,576 undocumented migrants applied for regularisation of their status, following the measure approved by the Italian government on 6 July 2012 which allowed their regularisation within a specific timeframe. The applications received from domestic workers amounted to 115,969, while applications from other low-skilled sectors came to only 18,607. The application procedure proved to be costly and unclear. Clarifications which were required were given at a late stage, on 4 October 2012.
    Source: La Repubblica, 15 October 2012 and La Repubblica, 16 October 2012

  • GREECE / Racist Violence Recording Network’s findings about racist violence in Greece

    The Racist Violence Recording Network presented on 23 October 2012, during a press conference in Athens, the findings relating to acts of racist violence during the first nine months of 2012. During this period 87 incidents of racist violence against refugees and migrants were recorded of which 83 occurred in public places such as squares, streets and public transport. Of the 87 incidents, 73 took place in Athens, five in Patras and three in the wider area of Pireus. The majority of the incidents involved physical attacks. The victims who voluntarily came into contact with members of the Network were 85 men and two women, between the age of 18 and 35, mainly from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Guinea, Pakistan and Somalia. The findings underlined that more than half of the incidents are connected with extremist groups that act in an organised manner. In other cases victims or witnesses to the attacks claimed to have recognised persons associated with the Golden Dawn party among the perpetrators. To read the press release click here. The Network findings are available here.
    Source: Kathimerini, 23 October 2012; In.gr, 23 October 2012

  • MOROCCO / Joint Statement in support of detained migrant organization activist in Morocco

    PICUM has signed a joint statement promoted by GADEM (Groupe Antiraciste d’Accompagnement et de Défense des Etrangers et Migrants) and other NGOs in Morocco and elsewhere to ask for the release of Camara Laye, coordinator of a migrant organization in Morocco, arrested on 21 October for selling alcohol and tobacco without a license. The joint statement declares that the arrest occurred in the context of growing repression against migrants and members of their organizations legitimized by a media campaign and political stigma, but also marked by the increasing mobilization of migrants and their organizations. Organizations supporting this statement ask for this repression against migrants and human rights defenders to end and launch a petition to attract international attention and shed some lights on situation in Morocco. On 30 October 2012 Camara Laye’s advocates requested a new hearing to have the opportunity to challenge the evidence and asked for his provisional release. The latter was refused. Next hearing is scheduled on 9 November 2012. If your organization wishes to sign the statement, please send an email to droit.etrangers@gadem-asso.org. To sign the petition click here.

  • NETHERLANDS / Unsuccessful asylum seekers in Amsterdam encampment keeps rising

    The number of unsuccessful asylum seekers joining an encampment in Amsterdam (See PICUM Bulletin 24 October 2012) keeps growing, from 80 to 100 people. Sanitary facilities are insufficient and the lack of provision of food is critical. A nearby mosque has stopped handing out food. The mayor of Amsterdam said that as forced repatriation is not possible the unsuccessful asylum seekers should be allowed to work and provided with the necessary conditions to survive.
    Source: RTV-NH, 23 October 2012; Het Parool, 27 October 2012

HEALTH CARE

  • CANADA / WEBSITE / Website on health care for migrant workers launched

    A new website has been launched to assist health practitioners in providing care to migrant farm workers. The website houses a collection of information, contacts and resources, primarily aimed at health care providers in Ontario, but also of use to other parties. Information regarding health services, insurance and workers’ compensation for workers with valid permits, as well as procedures for those without permits, is available on the website. The website  has been developed as part of the Migrant Worker Health Project which aims to increase migrant workers’ access to healthcare services and workers’ compensation. There are roughly 38,000 temporary foreign agricultural workers, or migrant farm workers, who work in Canada each year, the majority in Ontario.
    Source: www.migrantworkerhealth.ca

  • FRANCE / REPORT / Médecins du Monde report shows significant deterioration in access to health care in France

    On the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, 17 October, Médecins du Monde (MdM) published its annual survey for 2011 on access to health care for vulnerable populations in France. The report finds a significant deterioration in access to health care experienced by vulnerable populations accessing their services in France. Findings indicate that more than a third of patients accessed health services later than they should have for their condition and 45% of pregnant women had a delay in the monitoring of their pregnancy; 2,800 children were received in MdM centres in 2011, an increase of 48% since 2008; 72% of patients reported living on the streets or in insecure housing; and over 98% of people who received care lived below the poverty line.
    Source: Médecins du Monde, 17 October 2012

  • SPAIN / REPORT / Report showing incidents on irregular migrants accessing health care

    The NGO Malaga Acoge released a report on incidents faced by irregular migrants in accessing health care after the entry into force of the Royal Decree Act 16/2012 amending the Foreigners Act (See PICUM Bulletin 9 May 2012). The report, which was released on 19 October 2012, presented data on 14 incidents that affected a total of 46 people, gathered from their online questionnaire (see PICUM Bulletin 10 October 2012). The incidents occurred in 20 health centres located in Andalusian municipalities, where administrative staff were mainly involved. The most common incidents were invoicing medical care, refusal to apply for medical appointments (primary care) and refusal to issue new health insurance cards. According to the report, the issues were partially resolved by the intervention of social organisations, although they showed the need for a greater effort from the Department of Health and Social Welfare to inform the health centres on legal regulations in a diligent manner (See PICUM Bulletin 9 May 2012 ). The report can be accessed here.
    Source: Malaga Acoge, 19 October 2012

LABOUR AND FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS

  • CZECH REPUBLIC / PUBLICATION / New Bulletin

    In October 2012 Konsorcium nevládních organizací pracujících s migranty v ČR published Bulletin number 5. It is oriented on the drawbacks of Czech migration legislation which consequently lead to limited access of migrants to the Czech labour market. The topic is represented by articles on ambiguity of current Czech labour-related laws, basic facts about the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers and reflection on refusal of Czech government to sign this Convention.
    Source: Konsorcium nevládních organizací pracujících s migranty v ČR, 29 October 2012

  • ITALY / EVENT / “Enhancing the Protection of Domestic Workers”

    The International Training Centre of the ILO (ITCILO) will hold the first edition of an inter-regional course focusing on migrant and children domestic workers, entitled “Enhancing the Protection of Domestic Workers”. The course will run from 3 – 7 December 2012 in Turin (Italy) and it aims at providing the core knowledge on cross-cutting issues related to domestic work. The course will be addressed to officials from various public institutions involved in the protection of domestic workers, to representatives of workers organisations, representatives of NGOs, media representatives and representatives of private recruitment agencies. For further information contact Ms. Miriam Boudraa and/or Ms. Giselle Mitton by email: domestic@itcilo.org. The registration form to attend the course is available here.

UNDOCUMENTED WOMEN

  • FRANCE / BOOK / “Undocumented Mother and Baby: A New Clinical test of Wandering and Invisibility?”

    In response to the growing number of undocumented mothers and pregnant women seeking medical support, this book gathers reflections from medical professionals regarding the psychological impact of irregular migration status upon mothers and babies at this vital stage of their lives. Speaking at the launch in Paris on 18 October 2012, the principal author Christine Davoudian, a doctor with the Maternal Child Health (Protection maternelle et infantile – PMI) of Saint-Denis, a northern suburb of Paris, reported a significant increase in destitute undocumented and pregnant women facing ‘absolute exclusion’. Another contributor, Brigitte Andrieux, a maternity nurse in the hospital of Saint-Denis, described how hundreds of women leave hospital with their new-born baby wrapped in a blanket in one hand, their suitcase in the other hand, with no money and no place sleep. Seeking to address the invisibility and exclusion of these women, this book seeks to inform readers on how to overcome the paradoxes of existing care and reception arrangements for those who are “out of scope” and facing deportation, and provides suggestions on how to best integrate them into health care settings. “Mères et bébés sans-papiers : Une nouvelle clinique à l’épreuve de l’errance et de l’invisibilité?” by Christine Davoudian (245p., €13.50) from is available at Eres Editions, eres@editions-eres.com and on Amazon.fr

  • USA / Arizona immigration law nullifies state protections for survivors of violence against women

    Undocumented migrants who are the victims of domestic violence could be among those most negatively affected by the entry into force of the new Arizona law (subsection 2(b) of Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law entered into force in September 2012) allowing police to question the immigration status of people they arrest. Advocates across the state report increased fear among undocumented women of contacting police because of the risk of deportation and separation from their children. There are significant fears that this provision nullifies well-established federal laws pertaining to the rights and obligations of immigrant victims of domestic violence under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and U-Visa. Though several police and sheriff’s departments in Arizona have declared that crime victims and witnesses will not be questioned about their immigration status, activists says that this is not true. Tucson May Day Coalition highlighted the case of Maria Estela Calderon Valdez, an undocumented immigrant who was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after contacting Tucson police to report her husband for domestic violence. When police arrived to their home, the U.S. citizen husband immediately told officers that she was undocumented and within 10 minutes ICE agents arrived to detain her. Since then, Calderon has been in an immigration detention centre in Arizona and is fighting to stop her deportation and request a U visa, created for crime victims. Tucson police would not comment on this particular case, saying that crime victims should not be afraid of contacting the authorities.
    Source: Fox News Latino, 10 October 2012

  • USA / CAMPAIGN / ‘Keep your daughter safe – or keep your family together? What call would you make?’

    USA / Campaign / ‘The Call’ is a short film produced by the human rights organisation ‘Breakthrough’ to highlight the impossible choices facing undocumented mothers and serve as an urgent call to action for the human rights of immigrant women in the United States. The film is the cornerstone of the #ImHere campaign which seeks to put immigrant women’s rights on the national agenda during the presidential campaign and beyond, making the human rights of immigrant women impossible to ignore.
    Source: www.breakthrough.tv/imhere

UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES

  • SWEDEN / Access to education granted to undocumented children

    The Swedish Government declared on 27 October 2012 that undocumented migrant children in Sweden will be allowed to go to school as of 1 July 2013. The statement from the government was released after reaching an agreement with the Green Party. The new legislation will cancel out any existing requirement on schools to contact police when registration requests are made for an undocumented child, although schooling will still not be mandatory for children of undocumented immigrants. According to Education Minister Jan Björklund “All children have the right to go to school … and their right (to do so) will become legal”.  The government will provide an annual budget of 50 million kronor (EUR 5.7 million approximately) starting in 2014, to help the municipalities where the children go to school. Half the annual amount has been set aside for 2013. Between 2,000 and 3,000 children will be affected by the new law, according to Jan Björklund.
    Source: The Local, 27 October 2012

  • NETHERLANDS / Legalisation of children in asylum procedures

    The new Dutch government has announced that there will be a general pardon to legalise children currently in asylum procedures who have been in the country for multiple years and have become ‘rooted’ in Dutch society. This was an explicit request of the Labour Party (PvdA), which is now forming a coalition with the Liberal-Conservative VVD. It was also announced that the new government will not have a Minister for Migration, but that competence for migration and asylum related issues will lie with the Minister of Interior Affairs.
    Source: De Volkskrant, 29 October 2012

  • ITALY / Access to a paediatrician guaranteed for undocumented children

    New measures put forward by Minister of Health Renato Balduzzi will positively impact undocumented children in Italy. Following the implementation of these measures, undocumented children will be  guaranteed a home paediatrician on the same basis as children with Italian nationality. This levels a previously fragmented situation where each Italian region followed its own rules and undocumented children were not ensured fair and equal treatment in issues of access to health care. Concetta Mirisola, Commissioner of the National Institute for the Promotion of Migrants’ Health, reports that in the past four years 70% of irregular migrants were visited by a doctor or recovered in a clinic. Six patients out of ten are undocumented migrants.
    Source: Corriere della Sera, 7 October 2012

  • EU-CYPRUS / Roundtable draws attention to child poverty of migrant children

    An expert roundtable meeting took the opportunity of the Cypriot Presidency of the EU’s conference on child poverty and well-being, to shine a spotlight on the situation of migrant children in Cyprus and the EU. The roundtable, organised by the Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Cyprus, the Office of the European Parliament in Cyprus, Eurochild, PICUM and KISA, was held on 17 October in Nicosia, Cyprus, the day before the two-day Cypriot Presidency conference, and included the participation of the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance, the Head of the Service for Families and Children and a representative of the Ministry of the Interior, as well as asylum-seeking and undocumented migrant families and expert speakers from Cyprus and elsewhere in Europe. Key messages from the meeting centred around the need to improve access to services and support for children and families regardless of migration status, and include them in EU and national level discussions around tackling child poverty, as well as the need to improve access to legal representation and consideration of the best interests of the child in asylum and migration decisions.

DETENTION AND DEPORTATION

  • PUBLICATION / A human rights investigation into Turin’s immigration detention centre

    The International University College of Turin published a report “Betwixt and Between: Turin’s CIE. A human rights investigation into Turin’s immigration detention centre”. This report examines the extent to which Italian, European and international human rights and migration law is applied in Turin’s Centro di identificazione ed espulsione (Turin’s CIE), an immigration detention centre in Northern Italy. This study was motivated by the fact that a number of institutions and organisations at local, national and international level had expressed concern about the current practice of administrative detention of irregular migrants in Italy. The report questions the inconsistency between the explicit and implicit aims of immigration detention centres, which is of particular concern because it gives rise to a situation that is a fertile ground for abuse, inefficiencies and shocking human rights violations. These problems are analysed in terms of the conditions of detention as well as the judicial and legal processes that surround immigration detention. However, the research found that for CIE detainees, judicial and legal processes can be a barrier to accessing rights because there is an absence of clear procedures and effective remedy, questionable training in some areas of the public administration and inadequate legal and linguistic assistance for vulnerable individuals. This report then concludes by presenting a list of seventeen specific problems that were identified as obstructing the full, practical and accessible implementation of human rights law.

  • USA / Unaccompanied migrant youth in US detention centres rises 50%

    The number of unaccompanied migrant youth in US detention centres rose considerably from October 2011 to April 2012, according to the report “Forced From Home: The Lost Boys and Girls of Central America” conducted by the charity Women’s Refugee Commission. Gang violence in Central America was identified in the report as the main factor leading to the increasing number of children crossing the Mexican border alone in search of asylum in the United States. The majority of the children come from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.  As for the reasons why they travelled alone, interviews conducted with children showed that their parents were already living in the US, they were fleeing domestic violence or the family was unable to undertake the journey together. As for the conditions within detention centres, US Customs and Border Protection together with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement criticised them for operating substandard facilities. In addition, children reported that the centres did not provide adequate food and water, that lights were on 24 hours a day, and that the facilities lacked blankets, showers and enough room to lie down. The report can be accessed from here.
    Source: Los Angeles Times, 16 October 2012; Metro Latino USA, 15 October 2012

  • UK / Detention of children still a reality

    The report conducted by the HM Inspectorate of Prisons on the government’s Cedars detention centre for parents and children awaiting forced removal from the UK, published on 23 October 2012, showed paradoxical input from the Chief Inspector as the facility was described by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg as an “exceptional facility”, whereas at the same time the report explicitly mentioned that force was used on six of 39 families and that as a result “children had become very distressed during forced removals and it was not possible to measure the psychological impact of removal on them”. Secondly, the report highlighted a contradiction in the government’s approach to child detention. In spite of Nick Clegg continuously maintaining that child detention has ended and the Liberal Democrats’ promise to end child detention in their 2010 manifesto, Government data relating to numbers of children detained showed this was not the case. In total, 91 children were detained in 2011, and in the first six months of 2012, 107 children were detained.
    Source: The Guardian, 23 October 2012

  • SPAIN / PUBLICATION / Alternatives to migrants’ detention

    The Spanish Foundation “Fundación Ciudadanía y Valores” issued in September 2012 a publication by José Miguel Sánchez Tomás, Professor of Criminal Law at the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid (Spain). The new publication, titled: “El ‘Mínimo sufrimiento necesario’: Alternativas al internamiento de inmigrantes irregulares” is available. The article explores the possibility of finding durable and effective alternatives to the current practice of detention of undocumented migrants.

  • POLAND / Hunger strike in detention centre

    In a common protest against their detention, 73 detainees of immigration detention centres in Bialystok, Biala Podlaska, Przemysl and Leszowola initiated a hunger strike. Although this is not an isolated incident and previous hunger strikes have been held, it is the first time such an incident has been made public. The detainees are calling for their rights to be respected, including the right to information in a language they comprehend, to contact the outside world, to proper health care, education for detained children, as well as respect for children’s rights, improvement in social conditions in detention centres, the end of abuse and use of excessive violence, and the end of criminalisation of detainees.
    Source: Protest Uchodźców; International Detention Monitor Issue, 31 October 2012

  • MOROCCO / Pregnant women and children amongst irregular migrants subject to unlawful expulsion

    Nearly 30 sub-Saharan migrants in an irregular migration situation were forcibly deported to the Moroccan-Algerian frontier on 9 October 2012. According to a press release issued by the AMDH (Moroccan human rights association), among them there were also six women – one of whom was pregnant – and a thirteen-month old baby. The expulsion procedure was carried out by police officers in violation of the National Migration Law 02/03 and international human rights standards.
    Source: AMDH, 11 October 2012

PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES

  • CALL / “Anti-Trafficking Review Issue 2” to be published in autumn 2013

    The Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers to be published in a special issue “Human Rights at the Border” in autumn 2013. The deadline for submission is 31 December 2012. The Review promotes a human rights based approach to anti-trafficking measures and its aim is to analyse the issue in a broad context, for analyses to include gender issues and intersections with labour and migrant rights. The review welcomes articles that address: criminalisation of irregular migration, discriminatory immigration policies, interceptions and push-backs, extraterritoriality issues, human rights implications of screening for potential trafficking cases etc. Articles will have a maximum of 4,000 words, including footnotes and abstract. For more information and to download the Style Guide, click here.

  • REPORT / “Rethinking Integration”

    The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) published on 12 October 2012 a report which explores the concept of an “everyday integration” approach to the integration of cultural minorities into societies. The report argues that the concept of “everyday integration” and “everyday multiculturalism” implies a “focus on everyday integration, that is, on sites where identities are constructed and reconstructed and where new possibilities of group allegiance are continually developed”. According to the report, this new approach to integration could provide the possibility for a “new start for work in this vital policy area”. The full report is available here.

EVENTS

  • CYPRUS / Rights of Migrants and Equality

    PICUM in collaboration with its Cypriot member organisation KISA – Action for Equality, Support and Anti-Racism and several partners including the Office of the Commissioner of Administration (Ombudsman) of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the European Commission Representation and Office of the European Parliament in Cyprus are organising an international workshop entitled “Migrants and the Right to Equal Treatment in Cyprus” in Nicosia, Cyprus on Wednesday, 21 November 2012 at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Finance (VIEW MAP) . Recognising that equality remains one of the most important components of successful integration policies, this event will bring together a broad range of civil society, independent institutions and state actors in a collaborative and cohesive debate on the presence and rights of migrants in Cyprus. Open to the public and free of charge, this one day event will consist of morning plenary sessions (in English and Greek) followed by simultaneous afternoon workshop sessions (in English). For further information, please refer to the agenda and the concept note currently only available in English. Greek version to follow shortly on the PICUM website. The deadline for registration is Friday, 16 November 2012. For further details in English, please contact: Eve Geddie, Programme Officer, PICUM (eve.geddie@picum.org/ +32 2 210 17 80) and in Greek Doros Polykarpou, Executive Director, KISA (kisa_dorosp@cytanet.com.cy/+357 22 878181)

  • EU / Euromed Migration III Project / Migration profiles meeting

    The EU-funded Euromed Migration III project held its first Migration Profile meeting around the theme of “Mainstreaming Migration Knowledge into Policy Making” between 3 and 5 October 2012 in Brussels. The meeting was attended by representatives from partner countries, DG Development and Cooperation and DG Home Affairs of the European Commission as well as the EU border agency FRONTEX. The aim of this meeting was to explore policies and strategies for the development of regular migration channels. The Euromed Migration III project’s recent event was a training session about irregular migration, which took place in Lisbon on 16-19 October 2012. This event is followed by a legal migration training scheduled for 6-9 November 2012 in Turin.
    Source: EU Neighborhood Info Centre, 11 October 2012

OTHER NEWS

  • CAMPAIGN / International Migrant Day

    Migrants’ Rights Network has launched a new campaign for International Migrants Day. Entitled, “Our Day: standing together for International Migrants Day”, the campaign aims to bring organisations together to mark International Migrants Day and to raise awareness of the day, which has taken place every year on 18 December since the adoption in 2000 of the UN International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Those interested can join the campaign in three ways: organisations can join the campaign by sending their logos, anyone can organise an event which will be advertised on the campaign’s website and as an individual you can show your support by adding your photo to the campaign’s website and joining the mailing list.
    Source: Migrants’ Rights Network, 25 October 2012

  • USA / Terminology

    The debate on terminology within the immigration discourse has been an area of focus in the USA. Colorlines put the issue on the agenda with the launch of its education campaign “Drop the I-Word”. However the debate took on a new dimension when Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter from the Washington Post, Jose Antonio Vargas, came out as an undocumented immigrant in the New York Times Magazine (See PICUM Bulletin, 11 July 2012). In a blog post on 21 September 2012, Margaret Sullivan, the new Public Editor at the New York Times reignited the debate and invited people to share their opinions on the matter. In response to her invitation, others have spoken out. The National Immigration Law Center responded by sending a letter directly to Ms Sullivan indicating that the “i-word” is inaccurate and inappropriate and if it is necessary to mention one’s immigration status it should be done more precisely and on individual basis. The Cornell Daily Sun has taken the stance that they will use the term undocumented migrant over the i-word acknowledging the political statement it implies. In the US presidential electoral campaign and debates, the term was used several times by Mitt Romney, candidate for the US presidency, a choice always avoided by previous candidates. “Except [for] Mitt, never heard a nom[inee] use the slur ‘illegals,’” tweeted Frank Sharry, the founder and executive director of America’s Voice, a group that advocates for a more lenient approach to immigration. Following Mitt Romney’s use of the word and Obama’s decision not to use it, the Huffington Post reported that “describing immigrants without papers as “illegal” rather than “undocumented” is a political act.” The debate is still on-going.
    Source: Huffington, 17 October 2012; Latino Fox News, 17 October 2012; Colorlines, 23 October 2012; Colorines, 25 October 2012; The Cornell Daily Sun, 29 October 2012

  • PICUM / Job announcement: Communications Officer, Brussels

    PICUM is looking for an outstanding Communications Officer to develop and lead a communications strategy driven by PICUM’s organisational aims, needs and objectives. To apply please fill out and send back the PICUM application form in English by Sunday 18 November 2012, addressed to Ms. Michele LeVoy, Director, to the following email address: recruitment@picum.org. For further information, please refer to the PICUM website. Please do not send applications by post. Interviews will be scheduled on Friday, 30 November 2012.

  • PICUM / BLOG

    Kadri Soova, PICUM Advocacy Officer, published a blog post on how lack of authorised migration status contributes to increased vulnerability of migrants in situations of human trafficking and exploitation. Ms Soova discusses ways to protect the rights of persons who do not fit or fall out of the existing trafficking framework suggesting the solution requires for the focus to address why this is the case. She stresses the need for reinforce protections in crucial areas where undocumented migrants face discrimination highlighting that access to basic labour rights and fair working conditions, access to protection, justice mechanisms and redress as well as access to basic social services are most relevant. Click here to read the full blog post. This blog entry was posted also on the website of Flyktingbloggen (Refugee Blog) on 31 October 2012. Follow Kadri on Twitter and PICUM on Facebook to keep updated with what PICUM and its members are doing.
    Source: PICUM, 31 October 2012

  • EU / 6th Anti-Trafficking Day Conference

    To mark the 6th EU Anti-Trafficking Day, the Cyprus EU Presidency and the European Commission organised a high level conference in Brussels on 18 October 2012. The conference “Working together towards the eradication of trafficking in human beings: the way forward” focused on the recently adopted EU Strategy on Trafficking in Human Beings and aimed to serve as a forum for exchange of views on shaping future actions to strengthen cooperation, victim protection and assistance, prevention and prosecution in the field of trafficking in human beings. The Commission seized the occasion to urge Member States to transpose the new EU legislation on trafficking in human beings in a timely manner and to implement concrete and practical measures, in order to effectively address this issue. A side event organized by the DG Home Affairs – Anti-Trafficking Unit provided an opportunity for informal discussions on establishing a platform for civil society organisations and service providers.  For more information visit EC DG Home Affairs website.

  • CZECH REPUBLIC / Screening and debate on the topic of irregular migration

    On 18 October 2012 Člověk v tísni screened the documentary Mama Illegal, the winning movie of film festival Jeden svět held in May 2012 in Brussels. The Austrian documentary introduces the life stories of three undocumented Moldavian migrant women working in Russia and Italy, while their children grow up without a mother. The documentary was followed by a debate with a Philippine child-minder Kristine Go and anthropologist Petra Ezzeddine who leads field research among migrant women working in Czech households.
    Source: Rozhlas, 18 October 2012

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