- UNITED NATIONS
- EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
- NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
- HEALTH CARE
- UNDOCUMENTED WOMEN
- UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
- DETENTION AND DEPORTATION
- PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
- OTHER NEWS
GREECE / 120 migrants reached the shore of southern island Kythera
A group of 120 migrants were found by the Greek Coastguard on 18 November 2012, near the island of Kythera, in the south of the country, after Emergency services received a call from the migrants fearful that water was entering the boat. According to Athens News Agency, the migrants managed to reach the shore on their own, while the coast guard searched the coast for more survivors. The Coastguard also searched for fifteen migrants that had allegedly reached the shore according to a migrant from Egypt, found by the coast guard.
Source: Greek Reporter, 18 November 2012; Le Figaro, 19 November 2012
ITALY / 500 undocumented migrants rescued at sea
About 500 undocumented migrants were rescued at sea between 24 and 26 November 2012. Among them, 350 had come from Libya and were rescued between Lampedusa Island and Malta, while another group of 80, who were mainly from Eritrea and Ethiopia, including 25 women and one pregnant woman, were found near Syracuse. Among the others who reached Sicily’s southern coasts, one man died while two are still missing. Lampedusa’s Mayor, Giusi Nicolini, insisted that migrants shall be transferred to the island’s reception centre, which is already hosting about 1,000 people.
Source: La Repubblica, 26 November 2012
ITALY / Ten Undocumented migrants reach Italy inside empty pillars
Ten undocumented migrants, including two children, originating from Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, reached Italy by hiding inside empty concrete pillars. Found in the city of Ancona, they had survived a journey of sixteen hours inside the limited space of pillars. They were found in good health conditions. The children were taken into care by a reception community, while the adults were sent back to Greece, the departing place, by the border police.
Source: Il messaggero, 15 November 2012
SPAIN / 169 migrants rescued in the first week of December 2012
Maritime Rescue rescued a total of 169 migrants during the first week of December 2012. On 1 December 2012, seven migrants were rescued when they tried to reach the Spanish coast by using a toy boat, and on 2 December 2012 eleven migrants travelling by inflatable boats were also rescued. On 3 December 2012, 21 migrants from Sub-Saharan origin were also rescued, and on 4 December 2012, two boats were located after receiving emergency calls from the passengers. From these two boats, a total of nineteen migrants were rescued, including two babies and six women. The most numerous rescues took place on 5 December 2012, as 33 migrants from Sub-Saharan origin were rescued in the Straits of Gibraltar. The migrants were travelling on three inflatable boats. Another four boats carrying 29 migrants, including one baby, were rescued on 6 December 2012. These four boats were found to be reaching their buoyancy capacity and had water coming in. The passengers had used plastic rows to sail. Lastly, 49 migrants, including one baby, travelling in six toy boats, were rescued on 7 December 2012. According to Europasur, December 2012 could be the month with the highest number of migrants rescued. Humanitarian organisations claim that the rising number could be a result of small groups of migrants buying inflatable boats on their own, instead of paying EUR 900 that smugglers charge in order to cross the 20 kilometres of sea between Morocco and Tarifa, Spain. The inflatable toys pose a significantly higher risk for migrants due to the nature of the boat, and also to the on-going transit of merchant ships, which constitutes a serious sinking threat.
Source: El Pais, 3 December 2012; El Pais, 6 December 2012; El Pais, 7 December 2012; Diario de Cadiz, 5 December 2012; Europasur, 7 December 2012
GREECE / Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants calls on Greece and EU to boost protection for irregular migrants
Following a nine day visit to Greece that finished on 3 December 2012, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Mr François Crépeau, called on Greece to protect the rights of migrants in the country, while emphasising that it is also the EU’s responsibility to address the situation of migrants trapped in Greece on their journey to other European countries. Mr Crépeau drew attention to the recently implemented policy in Greece that allows the systematic detention of irregular migrants entering the country, including families and children; the inadequate detention conditions, as well as the insufficient procedural safeguards in the detention facilities for migrants; lack of automatic judicial review of decisions to detain migrants as well as no guarantee of access to an interpreter and lawyer. The Special Rapporteur also claimed that despite the existing plan for a national asylum process and the establishment of first reception services in Greece, which would enable the identification of migrants with vulnerabilities, no sufficient funding has been allocated to this plan. The full end-of-mission statement with recommendations to both the Greek Government and the EU can be accessed here. Following an official press conference, the UN Special Rapporteur also presented his findings to Greek civil society organisations on the occasion of a PICUM event organised in partnerships with i-RED Institute for Rights, Equality and Diversity, Greek Council for Refugees, Doctors of the World Greece, and Amnesty International – Greek Section. The event entitled ‘The silent humanitarian crisis in Greece: Devising strategies on national, European and international levels to improve the situation of migrants in Greece”, took place on Monday, 3 December, in Athens, Greece. A report of this workshop will be published by PICUM in January 2013.
Source: UN News Centre, 3 December 2012; UN News Centre, 3 December 2012.
EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
EU / PICUM submits key messages on the occasion of the Second Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion
On the occasion of the Second Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion, which took place from 5-7 December 2012, PICUM called on the European Union to support inclusive measures that address the realities at local and regional level, and invest in universal access to essential services (including education, health care, housing and shelters), as well as upholding fair working conditions and the fundamental rights of all persons, irrespective of residence status. PICUM stated that investing in the fundamental rights of all persons and universal access to essential services is vital to reduce poverty and social exclusion, improve social cohesion, increase equality and generate inclusive growth. To read the full text of PICUM Key Messages to the Second Convention of the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion click here.
Source: PICUM News, 3 December 2012
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT / Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) on Eurosur: protecting the lives of migrants and refugees must be a key aim
The Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament established, on 27 November 2012, that protecting the lives of migrants and refugees, especially at sea, must be a key aim of the EU’s new ’Eurosur’ border surveillance system. When using Eurosur, Member States must respect migrants’ human rights and the “non-refoulement” principle, which prohibits returning anyone to a place where his or her life or freedoms could be threatened. The Committee amended the draft to ensure that the need to save lives is properly reflected throughout the legislation. MEPs also agreed in full compliance with EU fundamental rights standards, including personal data protection, and thus MEPs also amended the draft to restrict the range of cases in which personal data could be shared via Eurosur and prohibit any exchange of this data with third countries. Once the Parliament’s rapporteur, who is given mandate by the Civil Liberties Committee, and the Council reach an agreement on the draft and adopt a regulation, Eurosur could start work on 1 October 2013. The plans voted by MEPs came shortly after a group of NGOs including PICUM, the Jesuit Refugee Service – Europe (JRS), the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), the European Association for the Defence of Human Rights (AEDH) and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) sent two letters, on 10 July and 3 September respectively to the Committee of Civil Liberties calling for the proposed Eurosur surveillance system to guarantee and protect the fundamental rights for all migrants and asylum seekers. The letters aimed at challenging the Eurosur proposal, as it was focused largely on fighting organised crime and irregular migration with little focus on protecting the rights of irregular migrants.
Source: European Parliament News, 27 November 2012
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT / Hearing on access to justice: ensuring compensation for trafficked persons
On 28 November 2012 Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini hosted a hearing at the EP co-organized by COMP.ACT, a three-year European project by La Strada International and Anti-Slavery International and their partners to improve access to justice and guarantee compensation for trafficked people. The aim of the project is that compensation becomes one of the key elements of programmes of assistance and services to trafficked people in Europe. Despite international and national legislation, in practice for victims of trafficking, this is an ineffective right. MEP Sargentini recalled the importance of the most recent EU Directive on victims’ rights, together with other EU instruments, that demonstrated a strong shift in the logic of the fight against trafficking in human beings from “repression” to “prevention and protection”: victims are no longer considered an “accessory” of the criminal proceedings but people with rights. The EP is considering working in the near future on a piece of legislation on access to legal aid, an important element to ensure effective remedy for human rights violations. To conclude the European Parliament also stressed the importance of strengthening collaboration at EU level on labor inspections mechanisms that should be better enforced in order to fight against labor exploitation. To learn more about COMP.ACT click here.
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS / Judgement on right to family life
On 4 December 2012, the European Court of Human Rights issued a decision in the case of Butt v. Norway (case no. 47017/09) and established that the deportation of the applicants would constitute a violation of article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to family life). The case concerned two Pakistani nationals, brother and sister, who arrived in Norway in 1989 with their mother and were granted a residence permit on humanitarian grounds. In 1999 their permits were withdrawn and they were refused to be issued with a further residence permit in Norway. Relying on Article 8, the applicants complained that their deportation to Pakistan would break the strong ties they have with Norway, as they have lived in the country since they were young children with their aunt and uncle and as they have very weak links to Pakistan. The Court also granted the applicants just satisfaction amounting to: EUR 15,000 for pecuniary damage; EUR 3,000 to each applicant for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 20,000 for the applicants to cover costs and expenses.
Source: HUDOC, 4 December 2012
CYPRUS / PICUM EVENT / “Migrants and the Right to Equal Treatment in Cyprus”
Seeking to advance debate and inspire action regarding the long-term presence and inalienable rights of third-country nationals in Cyprus, the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) and Action for Equality, Support and Anti-Racism (KISA) joined several institutional and civil society partners to host a one-day conference in Nicosia on 21 November 2012 ahead of the EU Equality Summit. Over 100 participants attended this important discussion which underlined the systematic gaps and failures which prevent the application of regionally and internationally recognised standards for migrants in Cyprus. As underlined by Mr Aristos Tsiartas of the Cypriot Anti-Discrimination Body “Because our migration system was established to produce an exploitable and low income labour force, the Equality standards imposed by the EU have, in practice, failed to respond to the challenges existing in Cyprus.” Participants concluded that the Cypriot government urgently needed to rethink its labour migration model; the systematic exploitation, lowering of work standards, and undercutting of social values, could only be reduced by guaranteeing equality and rights for the tens of thousands of migrant workers on which the national economy relies. Furthermore, it was vital that state officials, trade unionists, educators and health providers work alongside the migrants’ rights movement to respond to the realities of a society in which migration is a present and permanent reality. A comprehensive workshop report providing a detailed overview of these discussions and offering key recommendations are forthcoming. For more information, please contact Eve Geddie (PICUM) at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Doros Polycarpolou (KISA) at: email@example.com.
FRANCE / French Ombudsman criticises harassment against migrants in Calais
On 16 November 2012, French Ombudsman Dominique Baudis deplored the violation of migrants’ rights at the hands of police in Calais and demanded the Minister of Interior to address such violations. Mr Baudis received a complaint from NGOs, collectives, trade unions and associations as regards to the constant harassment migrants suffer at the hands of the PAF police (border police) and the CRS (national police) in Calais. Following an investigation conducted by the Ombudsman, Mr Baudis claimed that identity checks, arrest and detention of migrants are often conducted by the same person and within a very short time, and that this violates the provisions on humanitarian assistance of undocumented migrants. Against this background, Mr Baudis recommended the halting of these practices, to take action to identify the police officers on the ground, and also called on the police not to overlook these issues. In addition, he stated that he reserves the right to conduct identity checks to ensure that both migrants’ human rights and legal provisions are respected. Lastly, he addressed the Minister of Interior, Manuel Valls to inform him he had a three month period to take action on the aforementioned recommendations.
Source: 20 Minutes, 16 November 2012
FRANCE / New circular on conditions for regularisation
The French Government released a circular on 28 November 2012 to clarify the new conditions to regularise undocumented migrants in France. The circular focuses on families and employed single migrants and establishes, as a general principle, a five year-stay as a precondition to apply for regularisation. Hollande’s Government has softened restrictive conditions implemented by former president Sarkozy, reducing from five years to eighteen months of cohabitation for irregular spouses to apply for regularisation. Another positive development is the possibility for families to apply for regularisation even if both parents are irregular, which was formally not the case. As for regularisation based on employment, Algerians and Tunisians, who fall under a specific residence permit provision, have been included in the schemes for the first time; the list of professions has been cancelled; work permits will be valid throughout the national territory; workers will have the possibility to change their employers after one year; and internships and part time position will be accepted. Lastly, this circular is not limited in time, this providing the opportunity for irregular migrants to meet at some point the requirements. Despite the aforementioned positive developments, the circular was criticised for increasing the minimum time period of schooling for children from two to three years before parents become eligible to apply for a regular status. Another criticism lies on the Government’s will to maintain the number of regularisations at no more than 30,000 per year. La Cimade has also expressed concern over the need for undocumented migrants to pay a non-refundable amount of EUR 110 when making a request for regularisation under this programme. The circular came into effect on 3 December 2012.
Source: Observatorio de la diversidad, 29 November 2012; Ministère de L’Interieur, 29 November 2012; Le Monde, 28 November 2012.
ITALY / “Click day” for permanent residence permit
Following the new decision of the mini Flows-Decree signed by Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, the date of 7 December 2012 was established as the ‘click day’, giving the chance to 13,850 employees and self-employed workers to change their legal status from temporary to permanent residence permit. The quote includes the welcoming of a limited amount of new migrant workers. The decree assigns quotes of incoming migrant workers to each region. Out of 13,850 permits only 2,100 are reserved to newcomers. About 100 permits are meant for migrant workers of Italian descent (up to third grade) residing in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Brazil. The majority of permits are destined to those who, already based in Italy, have a temporary permit. It is mainly open to highly skilled migrant workers such as internationally renowned artists, managers, businessmen and freelancers. A more comprehensive Flows decree has yet to be created.
Source: La Repubblica, 28 November 2012; La Repubblica, 4 December 2012
NETHERLANDS / Dutch cities oppose criminalisation of irregularity
Dutch cities including Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht have declared their opposition to criminalising irregularity. They fear that it will only enhance the exclusion of undocumented migrants and thus these municipalities have asserted that they will not actively search for irregular migrants, despite the government’s suggestion. The cities also fear that the situation will become especially difficult for those people that have an irregular status in the Netherlands but are also not able to return to their countries of origin.
Source: nrc.nl, 22 November 2012
NETHERLANDS / Unsuccessful asylum seekers in encampment offer petition to Parliament
A group of unsuccessful asylum seekers delivered a petition to the Dutch parliament to ask them to search for a humane solution to the current encampments existing in The Hague and Amsterdam (See PICUM Bulletin 24 October 2012 and 7 November 2012). They ask for the government to re-assess their cases according to the most recent developments in their countries of origin, give them access to shelter for asylum seekers, and have an expert scrutinise the policy implementation. The asylum seekers from the camp in Amsterdam, which was dismantled by the police, sought refuge in a church on 2 December 2012. Following the occupation of the premises by the asylum seekers, the owner of the church decided to set it up as a refuge for the winter months. With the statement “We are here. No one is illegal.”, the group has put together a website which will be used as a space to share information, raise awareness and seek support.
Source: Nieuwsbank, 5 December 2012
GERMANY / Factsheet for doctors on care for undocumented migrants
The Bundesärztekammer (BÄK) (German Medical Association), in association with Berlin Chamber of Physicians (Ärztekammer Berlin) and the office for medical assistance for refugees (Buero fuer medizinische Fluechtlingshilfe), has published a factsheet on providing medical care to undocumented migrants, as well as information on how to handle such cases in view of the law and reimbursement guidance. Citing ‘the Resolution on Medical Care for Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons,’ adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association in 1998 in Canada, the authors emphasise the duty of doctors to care for all patients regardless of their civil and political status. The Hamburg Medical Association as well as the Saxon State Medical Association have also published two brochures to support doctors whom are having to deal with undocumented migrants seeking health care. The brochures provide an outline of the law and provide the necessary information so doctors can fulfil their duties more effectively.
Source: Aerzteblatt, 29 October 2012; Aerzteblatt, 14 November 2012; Aerzteblatt, 4 December 2012
SPAIN / Analysis on regions’ performance on health care provision
The organisation Medicos del Mundo (Doctors of the World) published an analysis on healthcare provision for undocumented migrants across the regions on 28 November 2012, following the entry into force of the Royal Decree Act 16/2012 amending the Foreigners Act. In particular, the evaluation presents a regional assessment on the first three months of the Royal Decree, distinguishing between regions that (i) reject the implementation of the Royal Decree, take action against it and provide alternative services to irregular migrants; (ii) enforce the legislation but at the same time implement procedures to provide medical access to irregular migrants that go beyond the minimum requirements and (iii) that enforce the legislation. The assessment also claims that only six regions out of seventeen have issued a circular on the new provisions, and that these are shaped by heterogeneity and diversity in both the type of content and depth of the information provided. In addition to this, each health centre appears to be implementing the legislation in a different manner, and also according to the criteria of the administrative staff dealing first with the patients.
Source: El País, 28 November 2012
SPAIN / Health professionals launch a video on 101 proposals
Health professionals from Hospital La Paz in Madrid launched a video on 5 December 2012 providing 101 proposals to achieve sustainability within the public health system, and thus challenging the Government’s policies and actions on outsourcing, dismantling of medical facilities and charging one euro per medical prescription. The group of health professionals claims that those measures lead to increasing health costs and the enrichment of a select few.
Source: 20Minutos, 5 December 2012
SWEDEN / Doctors highlight problems in accessing health care in practice in Sörmland
In an article published in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper, two health care professionals, Frida Hansson, a doctor in Sörmland, and Thomas Flodin, from the Swedish Medical Association, highlight the difference between access to health care in law and in practice. The authors write that, although Sörmland County Council issued a decision that asylum seekers and undocumented migrants should receive equal access to health care as registered residents, the decision is not applied in practice and challenged internally. New legislation that will come into effect on 1 July 2012 will extend health coverage for undocumented migrants to include ‘care that cannot wait’ on national level (see PICUM Bulletins 15 November and 11 July 2012). The proposal states that county councils can extend provision further. The authors argue that the problems in practice on local level in Sörmland indicate the need for a clear national policy for equal access to health care.
Source: dn.se, 6 December 2012
PICUM EVENT / Women and Global Migration Working Group meet in Manila
Continuing its efforts to promote undocumented women’s rights at the global policy level, PICUM as part of the “Women and Global Migration Working Group” held a workshop on at the 5th World Social Forum on Migration in Manila, Philippines on 26 November 2012. A coalition of migrant women’s organisations, trade unionists and faith-based groups, this working group carries out joint campaigns and activities to make migrant women visible in international policy-making arenas. The workshop on “Violence Against Migrant Women and the Human Rights Framework” examined state accountability in light of international agreements and human rights framework to prevent violence against migrant women. Through a popular education format, participants identified that State complicity in violence against migrant women not only refers to violent acts, but also to the policies and conditions that force women to migrate, often in very vulnerable situations. The session also enabled participants to strategize how best to use international human rights instruments for national and global advocacy to ensure the protection and promotion of migrants rights.
UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
COUNCIL OF EUROPE / CALL / Training course for youth workers on social rights of young people
The Council of Europe has opened a call for participants in a training course for youth workers: “Enter! Long-Term Training Course for Youth Workers on Access to Social Rights for Young People (2013-2014)”. This intercultural training offers youth workers who undertake activities with young people that experience disadvantages due to discrimination, exclusion, or violence, the opportunity to gain insights into how the European level and engagement with policy actors can support their efforts to empower young people, and, to promote access to social rights for young people, in an effort of overcoming the disadvantage young people face due to exclusion, violence and discrimination. Application deadline is 20 December 2012. The training course will take place from 11-21 March 2013 in Strasbourg, France. For more information, click here.
Source: ENAR Weekly Mail 343, 30 November 2012
NETHERLANDS / Report on undocumented migrant children studying in the Netherlands
The organisation Kruispunt Migratie-Integratie, a Belgian PICUM member, released the ‘Infodossier Leerlingen zonder wettig verblijf’ (dossier on students without regular status) in October 2012. The dossier provides information and answers to frequently asked questions to teachers, schools’ directors, inspection agents, schools’ social workers and others, as well as information on recent legal changes. The report raises the issue that under Belgian law undocumented students have the same rights to education as national children, and therefore they are entitled to receive a good education but that often their migration status is a barrier which prevents them to access this right.
Source: Kruispunt Migratie-Integratie vzw, 26 November 2012
DETENTION AND DEPORTATION
GREECE / Migrants’ uprising at detention centre of Komotini
The detainees of the detention centre in Komotini started an uprising on 23 November 2012, protesting against detention conditions and demanding their freedom. The protest started in the morning when irregular migrants refused to eat and then they carried their mattresses into the courtyard of the detention centre, where they started burning them. Police forces surrounded the area and used tear gas on the detainees, thus forcing them to return to their cells. During the episode four policemen got injured by objects thrown by the migrants, and they were transferred to the Hospital of Komotini. The police arrested 55 detainees and impute them two felony offenses (prisoners revolt and intended severe physical harm), and two misdemeanours (aggravated damage and violation of the Arms Act) following the uprising. It is noted that over 500 migrants are detained at the detention centre in Komotini.
Sources: Ethnos, 23 November 2012; Skai, 23 November 2012; Infomobile, 23 November 2012
GREECE / Hunger strike of detainees and racist attack against irregular migrants in Mytilini
Some of the irregular migrants who are detained at the police station of Mytilini, in Lesvos island, started a hunger strike on 20 November 2012, in order to protest against the degrading and inhuman detention conditions and the long detention periods. Since summer 2012 the number of irregular entries of migrants in Mytilini has significantly increased and the detention centre has become overcrowded. As a result, many of the migrants are striving to survive outdoors, ending up homeless in the parks and streets without any protection against bad weather conditions. This has also left migrants vulnerable to attack. A group of 25 new coming irregular migrants, including two pregnant women and two children, were attacked in the night of 20 November 2012, while they were sleeping at the port. A car stopped and its passengers started throwing stones at them. One of the pregnant women received head injuries and was transferred to the Vostanio Hospital of Mytilini.
Source: Cladestina, 24 November 2012; Infomobile, 21 November 2012; Era – Aegean, 21 November 2012
GLOBAL / ‘End Child Detention Campaign’ launches international website
The Global Campaign to End Child Detention, which PICUM joined in March 2012 (see PICUM Bulletin 26 March 2012) is launching a new international website that will help connect national campaigns from around the world. The new site is online in English and Spanish on the occasion of the campaign activities in Mexico, which took place in November 2012. The new website allows news posts in English and Spanish, and they are also working to include Arabic and French versions. For more information visit the website here.
UN / Side event at DGD on the ‘Rights of All Children in the Context of International Migration’
In the framework of the ‘Day of General Discussion (DGD) on the Rights of All Children in the Context of International Migration’, The International Detention Coalition (IDC) organised a side event entitled ‘Hear Our Voices – Children in Immigration Detention,’ providing six children with a unique platform to share their personal experiences of detention. The children performed a play called ‘Always Behind My Back’, using art as a means of expressing their stories, showing very often traumatic experiences such as abuse by the police. The presentation was produced with the support of the Global Campaign to End Immigration Detention of Children – a campaign that was launched in March 2012 at the nineteenth session of the United Nations Human Rights Council Session in Geneva.
Source: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, 13 November 2012
PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
BELGIUM / JRS launched its report on ‘No access to protection: the reality for migrants in Algeria and Morocco’
Jesuit Refugee Service Europe (JRS), a PICUM member, has released a study based on interviews with migrants conducted by the Maltese journalist Andrea Galea Debono in both Algeria and Morocco. Police raids and forced expulsions of migrants are on the rise in Morocco, and migrants in Algeria are being pushed to live in dilapidated housing. The lack of an asylum law in both countries leaves too many migrants without access to refugee status and “the abuse of migrants rights persist largely because the EU too often looks the other way”, condemned the report. In Morocco JRS operates a project in Casablanca known as SAM (Service Accueil Migrants), which provides basic services, education, vocational training to migrant women and kindergarten services to children.
IOM / New workshop reports published
In the context of its International Dialogue on Migration 2012, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) brought together policymakers and practitioners from over 80 countries in two workshops on ‘Moving to safety: migration consequences of complex crises’, on 24-25 April 2012, and ‘Protecting migrants in times of crisis: immediate responses and sustainable strategies’ on 13-14 September 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland. The former focused on understanding migratory patterns caused by crisis and the latter looked into devising a framework of policies and actions to address the situation of migrants in crisis situations.
ITALY / ‘Migrant cinema’ prize
The Mutti prize, established in 2008, is the only Italian prize dedicated to cinema about migration. Since 2012 the prize has been sponsored in cooperation with the ‘Archive of migrant memories,’ and comprises a new section, which will allocates EUR 5,000 to the best film made about migration by a film maker younger than 30. Moreover, EUR 15,000 is offered to a film making project by a migrant film maker. The prize was presented in Rome on 21 November 2012.
Source: La Repubblica, 21 November 2012
GREECE / “The silent humanitarian crisis in Greece”
PICUM together with i-RED Institute for Rights, Equality and Diversity, Greek Council for Refugees, Doctors of the World Greece and Amnesty International/Amnesty Greece organized a workshop entitled “The silent humanitarian crisis in Greece: Devising strategies on national, European and international levels to improve the situation of migrants in Greece” on Monday, 3 December, in Athens, Greece. This event brought together over 60 representatives from Greek civil society organisations, progressive journalists, lawyers, social workers, researchers and citizen activists to discuss the realities faced by migrants in Greece and to devise strategies to improve the situation. An event report to be published in January 2012 will be the basis for continued campaigns on national, European and international level to raise awareness and call for commitments to ending impunity for the human rights abuses against migrants in Greece and ensuring protections for this group. The Bodossaki Foundation recorded parts of the event and have posted the videos on their website, click here to view them.
GLOBAL / TIME Magazine ’Person of the Year 2012’
Every year the TIME Magazine designates the ‘Times’ Person of the Year’. For 2012, one of the nominees is “undocumented immigrants.” This decision to include ‘Undocumented immigrants’ results from the decision of Barack Obama on 15 June 2012 (See PICUM Bulletin 11 July 2012) not to deport up to 1 million young people, under certain conditions. It is undeniable that Obama’s announcement won him the support of the Latino population in his re-election bid for Presidency. Even though it is the Time’s editors who make the final decision concerning the “Person of the Year,” an online vote has been started to give a chance to people to have a say on who they should think should be awarded this recognition.
Source: TIMES, 26 November 2012; Huffington Post, 27 November 2012; America’s Voice, 3 December 2012
GLOBAL / Transborder Map 2012
The Network Noborder launched the Transborder Map on 17 November 2012. The initiative is a map of resistance against the European Border regime. The map documents the multitude of actions against the European Border regime and includes key incidents of struggles from the last five years against the background of the repressive European migration regime and its continuous externalisation to the east and south. This regime is sketched on the back side of the map. The map is a follow up of the Transborder Conference that took place in Istanbul in March 2012. The map is available for download as a high resolution here.
Source: Noborder Network, 17 November 2012
MOROCCO / France 24 reportage on life of undocumented in Morocco
In its weekly programme called “A week in the Maghreb”, France 24 reported about the life of undocumented migrants in Morocco. They affirmed that no official numbers exist about Sub-Saharans undocumented migrants that try to settle in Morocco or cross the country heading to Europe. Few services are available to them and the residence card is difficult to obtain. Since July 2012 migrants have started to get organized in order to raise their voice and claim their rights. Marcel Amyeto, Secretary General of the ODT-Migrant workers, affirmed that their desire is to be able to work in the country and contribute to the development of Morocco, while their rights should be respected. To view the full report please click here.
UK / Migrant Manifesto
As part of their new campaign ‘Our Day: standing together for International Migrants Day’, Migrants’ Rights Network has released a video of the Migrant Manifesto performed by poet and journalist Musa Okwonga. The objective of the campaign is to bring together organisations working with migrants to show a common stand in support of migrants, in view of International Migrants Day on 18 December 2012.
Source: MRN, 3 December 2012
CALL / Volunteer compilers and translators
In order to maintain the production of its bi-monthly news bulletin, our Quarterly newsletter and the PICUM website in seven languages (EN, FR, NL, DE, ES, IT, PT), PICUM is looking for volunteer translators, proof-readers and compilers. For translators, we are particularly interested in recruiting some Dutch and French volunteers. Additionally, in order to continue providing geographically balanced reporting, we are especially looking for compilers for the Bulletin to report on news from Finland, Scandinavia, Portugal as well as Central and Eastern European. If you are interested and have some experience on the issue or in translation, we invite you to sign up to become a volunteer on the PICUM website.