PICUM Bulletin — 17 May 2013


  • FRONTEX / 2013 Annual Risk Analysis Report released

    Frontex published its Annual Risk Analysis on 19 April 2013. The document provides the most recent figures collected by Frontex on irregular border crossings detected at the EU level during the year 2012. In particular, the report highlights that there was a 49% decrease in the number of irregular entries in 2012, compared to data collected during 2011, with a total of 72.437 irregular entries at EU borders. The full report is available here.
    Source: Frontex, 19 April 2013

  • ITALY / 46 undocumented migrants rescued at sea

    A group of 46 undocumented migrants were rescued at sea on 2 May 2013, amongst whom 20 were children from Afghanistan. The group was travelling on a boat that was intercepted by the Italian Authorities during the night of 1 May 2013, close to the harbour of Capo Dell’Armi, in the region of Calabria. All migrants were assisted by local doctors and by the Red Cross and were provided with shelter in the city of Reggio Calabria.
    Source: La Repubblica, 2 May 2013

  • UN / Report / Launch of findings of the UN Special Rapporteur’s regional study on the management of the EU’s external borders

    UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, François Crépeau, will present the findings of his regional study on the management of the external borders of the European Union and its impact on the human rights of migrants at a public event at the European Parliament on 30 May 2013. The study draws on consultations with EU institutions and four country visits: Tunisia, Italy, Turkey and Greece. The public discussion will focus on the increasing securitization of migration and border control, the use of detention as a tool in border control, the trend of externalization of border control and need to address exploitation of irregular migrants and to open up more regular migration channels. For more information on the event visit www.picum.org. The study is available here.


  • PUBLICATION / Revised guide for NGO participants to the Human Rights Council

    The United Nations has published a revised version of its Practical Guide for NGO Participants: United Nations Human Rights Council. The guide provides practical information for civil society representatives to facilitate their participation at the Human Rights Council, including information on processes and procedures to obtain accreditation, how to submit written statements and how to participate remotely by video statement as well as for organising a parallel event. The revised version is available in English and French. The guide (not revised) is also available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish on the OHCHR website. Copies of OHCHR guides and publications can be ordered from publications@ohchr.org


  • COURT OF JUSTICE OF THE EUROPEAN UNION / Order of the Court in case C-522/11 Mbaye

    The Court of Justice of the European Union, in its Order of 21 March 2013 (Case C-522/11), further clarified, similarly to the ruling issued on 6 December 2012 on Case C-430/11,that the Return Directive (Directive 2008/115/CE) also applies to Third-Country Nationals who have been convicted for “irregular stay”, according to the provisions of member states’ national legislation. The case was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union by the Tribunal of Lecce, in Italy, concerning a criminal procedure initiated against Abdoul Khadre Mbaye, following his irregular stay in the territory of Italy. In this sense, the Court specifies that the safeguards set out in the Return Directive always apply to the removal procedure of irregularly staying Third-Country Nationals. However, the Court further stated that, in line with their judgement in Case C-430 Md Sagor, the Returns Directive does not prevent member states from penalising irregular stays by means of a fine, which can be replaced by an expulsion order if there is a risk of absconding, or if an application for a residence permit has been dismissed as manifestly unfounded or fraudulent, or for public or national security reasons.
    Source: Melting Pot Europa, 21 March 2013

  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION / Legislative proposal authorising member states to ratify the ILO Convention concerning decent work for domestic workers

    The European Commission issued a proposal on 21 March 2013 authorising all EU member states to ratify, in the interests of the European Union, the ILO Convention on decent work for domestic workers. The Convention on decent work for domestic workers was adopted by the General Conference of the International Labour Organisation in 2011 and lays down global minimum labour protections for domestic workers. As parts of the Convention fall under the Union’s competence in the areas of anti-discrimination, judicial cooperation in criminal matters and of asylum and migration, member states are not in a position to autonomously decide on the ratification without the Council’s approval. The European Commission considers that it is a crucial legal instrument which contributes to tackling trafficking in human beings in a more effective, coordinated and coherent manner, and for this reason it urges member states to ratify the Convention as soon as possible. The proposal is available here.

  • COUNCIL OF EUROPE / Report on the human rights situation in Greece

    The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, has published the report of his visit delegation in Greece from 28 January to 1 February 2013. The Commissioner held meetings with state authorities and non-governmental national and international organisations on the subject of the protection of human rights in Greece, including on the increase in racist and other hate crimes as well as on persisting gaps in asylum and immigration laws and practices. The Commissioner expresses his serious concerns about the shortcomings of Greece’s asylum and immigration system, which affects the human rights of migrants, and increases their vulnerability to racist crimes. He also calls on Greek authorities to ensure that all migrant detainees have adequate access to health care. The report is available in English here.

  • EUROPEAN COMMISSION / Proposal for Frontex’ new rules on joint operations at sea

    In the past, the lack of agreement over which member states must be held responsible in cases of migrants intercepted at sea has aggravated the situation, and resulted in distress calls of boats being ignored, and lives being put at risk. In this regard, the European Commission issued a proposal for a Regulation establishing rules for the surveillance of the external sea borders in the context of operational cooperation coordinated by Frontex, the EU Borders Agency  (12 April 2013). The proposal states that disembarkation should take place in the third country from which the ship departed. In cases in which this is not possible, the member state that hosts the joint operation will be the one in which disembarkation occurs. The European Commission also proposes to apply the international human rights framework and establishes that “No person shall be disembarked in, or otherwise handed over to the authorities of a country, where there is a serious risk that such person would be subjected to the death penalty, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment or from which there is a serious risk of expulsion, removal or extradition to another country in contravention of the principle of non-refoulement”. The proposal also includes the requirement of training border guards in provisions of fundamental rights, refugee law and the international legal regime of search and rescue.
    Source: ECRE Weekly Bulletin, 19 April 2013


  • FRANCE / Returns and Reception Directives to be applied to Mayotte

    Until recently France was under no obligation to respect EU legislation in Mayotte, as it was categorised as an overseas department and region of France. But as from 1 January 2014 it will have the status of outermost regions (OMR). This change of status means that EU legislation will now be applicable to Mayotte, depending on what is agreed between the EU and France regarding measures of exemption (i.e. not be applied in OMRs). In view of these negotiations and what could be decided, Hélène Flautre, French MEP Green/European Free Alliance, submitted to the European Commission (EC) on 7 March 2013 a written question requesting that measures on migration and asylum not be exempted. In responding to her question, the EC responded that in fact France had requested an exemption for the application of Article 13 (2) of the Returns Directive (Appeal for deportation order) and Article 13(5) of the Reception Directive (Access to financial support). The EC however rejected France’s request and confirmed that France will be responsible for ensuring the transposition and application of all EU acquis in Mayotte. The increasingly worrying situation of migrants’ rights in Mayotte have caused a lot of concern in recent years (See PICUM Bulletin 11 March 2013).
    Source: Europe écologie les Verts, 25 April 2013

  • GREECE / Documentary on plight of Athens’ migrants

    The documentary Into the Fire discusses how refugees and migrants in Athens are trapped and how police forces side with the right wing extremist group Golden Dawn and systematically hunt down and beat up migrants. But it also gives a voice to those groups and citizens in Greece who resist these developments such as Doctors of the World who provide them with medical care and the anti-fascist movement. Into the Fire is crowd-sourced and crowd-released and is freely available online. Users are encouraged to share and embed it into their websites, blogs or tweets. The documentary is available with subtitles in Albanian, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish.

  • ITALY / The new local government in Lombardy plans to cut welfare to non-residents

    Two months after the elections in Lombardy, the richest Italian region, won by right wing extremist Roberto Maroni, candidate of the Lega Nord (Northern Ligue) and former Minister of the Interior, the first signs to exclude migrants from social rights have become visible. The proposal presented at the Regional Council aims to reserve access to basic services such as social housing and nurseries only to Italians and EU citizens who have been continuously residing in Lombardy for at least fifteen years. This proposal foresees to grant only 5% of the regional welfare budget to all others who don’t meet this requirement, regardless of their citizen status.
    Source: Corriere della Sera, 19 April 2013

  • ITALY / ‘Ius soli’ and abolition of criminalisation of irregular stay

    The new Italian Minister for Integration, Cecile Kyenge, has declared that she will soon propose a law to change the citizenship rules in Italy, passing from the principle of ‘ius sanguinis’” to ‘ius soli’, thus allowing children of migrants born in Italy to become Italian. This provision would apply to those foreign children who have had one parent residing in Italy for a minimum of five years and would also recognise those children that have completed at least one full school cycle. The announced proposal has raised discussions among the coalition government, which also includes many supporters of the criminalisation of irregular stay law. Cecile Kyenge, a doctor who came to Italy as an irregular migrant herself from the Congo, stated that the norm should be abolished, together with the regulations regarding the Immigration Detention Centres (CIE) that are not in compliance with the European Return Directive.
    Source: IlSole24ore, 5 May 2013; La Repubblica, 4 May 2013

  • ITALY / Undocumented migrants and asylum seekers occupy the former Olympic Village in Turin

    After the ‘Emergenza Nord Africa’, a governmental project aimed at providing adequate funding for the reception of migrants reaching Italy from North Africa and especially from Libya, came to an end on 31 December 2012 (see PICUM Bulletin, 6 February 2013), refused asylum seekers and refugees are no longer provided with shelter or accommodation by the Italian Government. On 30 March 2013, a group of around 200 refused asylum seekers and refugees occupied the abandoned buildings of the former ‘Olympic Village’ in Turin in order to protest against the Italian Government’s decision to shut down asylum seekers and refugees’ shelters, and to call for effective access to their right to housing (photographs of the abandoned Olympic Village are available here). Various civil society organisations have supported the action and around 300 undocumented migrants, refused asylum seekers and refugees, together with civil society representatives, have created the Committee of solidarity with migrants and refugees (Comitato di solidarietà con i rifugiati e i migranti) in order to advocate for undocumented migrants’ and refused asylum seekers’ right to housing.
    Source: Corriere Immigrazione, 8 April 2013

  • UK / Queen’s speech hints to new immigration bill next year

    The Queen of the United Kingdom made a speech on 8 May 2013 at the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament, outlining the legislative programme of the government that will go through in the year ahead. Amongst other issues, the speech included reference to a new immigration bill which the Queen said will aim to “ensure that this country attracts people who will contribute and deter those who will not”. This will be carried out by reducing “pull factors” such as access to state benefits, free health care services and social housing. If the immigration bill is passed it would prevent irregular migrants from obtaining driving licenses, sanction employers who employ irregular migrants as well as oblige private landlords to check their tenant’s immigration status. Furthermore, it would review current deportation policies and practices to facilitate the deportation of irregular migrants especially those who committed serious crimes and restrict avenues for appeals of deportation orders. The bill is expected to become law before January 2014 in all of the United Kingdom. Watch the Queen’s speech here.
    Sources: BBC News, 8 May 2013; The Independent, 8 May 2013

  • UK / Introduction of a stateless determination procedure

    The UK has introduced a statelessness determination procedure, for people unable to leave the UK and return to another country, and who consider themselves to be stateless, to apply for leave to remain as a stateless person. The procedure will be accessible to any stateless person present in the UK, and not limited to those with regular residence. There is no time limit within which a statelessness claim must be lodged following entry. Furthermore, stateless persons may be granted permanent residence after five years, following which they will have the opportunity to be naturalised as British citizens. Asylum Aid and UNHCR, whose study mapping statelessness in the UK recommends the introduction and implementation of a fair and efficient procedure for the identification of stateless asylum seekers, welcomed these steps but raised certain concerns, for example around the support that will be provided while claims are considered, appeal rights, and accessibility of the procedure in light of cuts to legal aid.
    Source: ECRE Weekly Bulletin, 12 April 2013


  • FINLAND / Department of Social Affairs and Health promises clear regulation for the care of undocumented patients and Clinic for undocumented migrants opens in the city of Turku

    To respond to the prevailing obscurity in Finnish municipalities regarding health care of undocumented migrants, the Finnish government has promised to set clear directions on how to structure medical care which is not emergency care. The Department of Social Affairs and Health will, for the first time, compile a report defining who is considered undocumented and what type of health care undocumented migrants are entitled to. Taneli Puumalainen, a senior physician of the Department of Social Affairs and Health, claims that Finland has not hitherto violated any human rights agreement. He affirms that there is a problem with the fact that different municipalities have been interpreting in different ways what kind of care is to be given to undocumented patients.  In the meantime, to fill the void and ensure that undocumented migrants have access to basic health care services beyond emergency care, a Global Clinic has opened in Turku. The clinic is run by over 30 volunteers. The volunteers are health care professionals such as physicians, nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and psychotherapists. The clinic, however, won’t be able to offer laboratory tests. The clinic will be open every second week and the locations will be kept secret. A first Global Clinic was opened in Helsinki in 2011.
    Source: YLE, 23 April 2013

  • SPAIN / First death after the approval of the Royal Decree-Act that restricts access to healthcare for irregular migrants

    Alpha Pam, a young Senegalese man, died of tuberculosis on 20 April 2013. According to Médicos del Mundo, his death is the consequence of the Royal Decree-Act approved by the Spanish government in May 2012 (PICUM News, 29 May 2012) that restricts access to health care for undocumented migrants. The NGO and the political coalition MES per Mallorca claim that Alpha was refused access to health care at the public hospital because he did not have a health insurance card. MES per Mallorca announced a criminal complaint against the Counselor of Health of the Government of the Balearic Islands, Martí Sansaloni, for the non-provision of assistance in case of emergency. Meanwhile, Izquierda Unida (left-wing political party) will ask the Minister of Health, Ana Mato, to intervene as she has the final responsibility for the approval of this legislation that has been imposed on the Autonomous Regions.
    Sources: El Mundo, 4 May 2013

  • UK / Health Secretary outlines plans to impose charges for NHS treatment for anyone not permanently settled in the UK

    The UK Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt, has set out plans for a new regime of charges for NHS treatment for people residing in the UK without permanently settled status. In reply to a question from Frank Field MP, Mr Hunt said: “…we will shortly start a consultation on a range of options, including plans to extend charging to some visitors and temporary residents who were previously exempt so that the default qualification for free NHS care would be permanent, not temporary, residence; ending free access to primary care for all visitors and tourists; introducing a prepayment or insurance requirement for temporary visitors to pay for NHS health care; and improving how the NHS can identify, charge and recover charges where they should apply. We will retain exemptions for emergency treatment and public health issues.” The full statement to Parliament can be viewed on the Parliament website.
    Source: Migrants Rights Network, 26 March 2013

  • UK / Information / Maternity Action informs on maternity rights and benefits for undocumented migrants

    Maternity Action, a national charity working to promote the health and well-being of all pregnant women and their families in the UK, has released a series of information leaflets outlining maternity rights and entitlements according to immigration status. One of the leaflets specifically addresses undocumented migrants, explaining the different situations that can lead migrants to become undocumented in the UK and provides basic information on employment rights for undocumented pregnant employees, the Statutory Maternity Plan, for casual or agency workers and for fathers or partners. The information sheet also warns that undocumented migrants are not entitled to claim benefits as this could lead to detection. It outlines how they can obtain a NI number to access the labour market and access to health care including the right to National Health Service (NHS) maternity care.
    Source: Maternity Action,  March 2013

  • Seminar / Can EU Citizens Afford Their Medicines?

    Alejandro Cercas, MEP (Spain, S&D) and the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D Group), held a seminar in the European Parliament entitled ‘Can EU Citizens Afford Their Medicines? The Economic Crisis and Access to Medicines in Europe’ on 16 May 2013. The seminar discussed the impact of cost-containment policies put in place in some EU member states. Bringing together an array of actors from Greece, Lithuania, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and the UK, participants debated which role new innovation models and instruments could play in ensuring the affordability of medicines. A set of recommendations will be put forward to multilateral institutions, ministries of finance, research and health. Whilst the title of the event refers to ‘EU citizens’, the seminar also discussed the challenges faced by undocumented migrants in accessing health care and medicine. To find out more visit the website of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA).


  • GREECE / Protests after Greek ‘blood strawberry’ shootings

    The shooting of 28 Bangladeshi migrant workers during a pay dispute for outstanding wages on a strawberry plantation in Manolada, Greece on 17 April 2013, brought to light the plight of thousands of migrants who mainly working in the agricultural sector. Several foremen had opened fire at a crowd of about 200 mostly Bangladeshi migrant workers, including some whom were undocumented migrants and who were reported to have lived in modern day slavery conditions without access to drinking water and sanitation. A ‘bloody strawberries’ campaign calling for a boycott on fruit from the region was created and spread internationally, mainly through social media.
    Source: Euronews, 18 April 2013; Greek reporter, 24 April 2013

  • MOROCCO / Event / Migrant workers’ trade union marches on the occasion of International Workers’ Day

    For the second time, (See PICUM Bulletin, 29 May 2012) the Moroccan trade union ODT-Migrant Workers, a trade union of migrant workers, marched during the first of May celebration in Rabat, denouncing the situation of exploitation characterising many migrant workers, some of them  without papers. Despite the good intentions of the Moroccan Constitution signed in July 2011, which recognises the fundamental rights of foreigners and reiterates the commitment of the Kingdom to the UN Migrant Workers’ Convention, the representatives of ODT declared that concrete steps need to be taken to implement those provisions and ensure better protection to migrants in Morocco and elsewhere. ODT-Migrants Workers was launched in Morocco in July 2012 (See PICUM Bulletin, 20 August 2012) and since then it has been advocating for migrants’ rights and regularisation for all migrant workers.
    Source: Al Bayane, 1 May 2013


  • USA / ‘In the Shadow of the Wall’: report on the conditions faced by undocumented migrant women

    The University of Arizona’s Department for Latin American Studies issued a report entitled ‘In the Shadow of the Wall: Family Separation, Immigration Enforcement and Security‘ on 29 March 2013. The report focuses on the conditions faced by undocumented migrant women in the United States and shows that undocumented migrant women often undergo highly dangerous border-crossings with a high risk of becoming victims of violence, including rape, beatings and kidnapping. The report also highlights the high risk of exploitation in the labour market, once they find employment in the United States. Migrant women make up 22% of the farm worker population and endure routine sexual violence and harassment which they often do not report out of fear of being deported.
    Source: University of Arizona, Center for Latin American Studies, 29 March 2013


  • UN / Toolkit launched to support use of the new complaints procedure for the Convention on the Rights of the Child

    The Child Rights Information Network (CRIN) has launched a toolkit to explain the new complaints procedure for violations of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was adopted as an Optional Protocol to the CRC (OPCRC) by the UN General Assembly on 19 December 2011 and which will come into force with its tenth ratification (see PICUM Bulletin,15 February 2012). The Committee on the Rights of the Child has finalised the Rules of Procedure that govern how communications can be filed. The CRIN toolkit is designed to give advocates a better sense of the new complaints mechanism in the hope that they will be prepared and inspired to help children bring violations of their rights to international attention.
    Source: Child Rights Information Network, CRINMAIL 23, 17 April 2013

  • REPORT / New IOM report about migrant children

    The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has released a publication targeting policymakers and practitioners in the field of migration and child protection, along with academics and activists, which discusses the situation of migrant children. The publication, the result of a collective effort by a number of specialists from different organisations, and with a foreword by Professor François Crépeau (United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants), addresses issues such as how children on the move collect information and manage their own migration; child labour; guardianship issues in the context of returns; determining the best interests of the child; challenges facing NGOs assisting and protecting migrant children; and the need for a multidimensional child protection approach to migration, that also recognises children’s reliance and empowerment through migration.


  • EU / Forced returnees claim abuse

    Following a complaint, currently being investigated, brought forward by Marius Betondi, an undocumented migrant from Cameroon who was allegedly beaten by the police whilst being deported from the UK in January 2013, attention has been brought to the issue of excessive force during deportation operation. A number of refused asylum seekers have reported on excessive force being used against them during deportation. However, there has been little public or political support for measures that would provide more humane approaches for the forced removals of asylum seekers. Despite the widely adopted EU directive on common standards and procedures for returning irregularly staying migrants, adopted by the European Parliament in 2008, levels of implementation vary in each Member State and there is no EU monitoring system overseeing the forced return process. Lisa Matthews, from the UK-based National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns, especially noted the lack of monitoring when returns are conducted on charter flights carrying only deportees. Ineffective complaint systems also prevent forced returnees victims of violence from lodging complaints against perpetrators. In the UK, for instance, as Emma Mlotshwa, of Medical Justice alleged, many victims do not have the opportunity to make a complaint because investigations are carried out by the Professional Standards Unit, a department of the Home Office. Cases of excessive use of force often only come to light when the removal fails. Caroline Muchuma, from the Refugee Law Project (RLP) in Uganda noted that many of their clients either refuse to make a complaint or are simply unable to do so. Upon their return, many of them fear imprisonment or violence and go into hiding which makes documentation of violence used against them difficult to document.S
    Source: IRIN News, 10 April 2013; The Guardian, 8 February 2013

  • GREECE / NGO reports on situation in Greek detention centres

    The Greek NGO AITIMA issued a press release on the situation in the Greek detention centres on 10 April 2013, reporting that the Law 3907 (2011) on the Establishment of an Asylum Service and a First Reception Service aimed at reviewing the asylum process, is yet to be implemented and access to the asylum system remains impossible in practice. AITIMA highlights key concerns regarding the systematic detention of migrants, especially noting that many irregular migrants detained are in need of international protection and include families with children, unaccompanied minors and seriously ill persons. The general detention conditions are in breach of national and international standards with detainees not having access to legal assistance, information in a language that they understand, or health care services, as well as being subject to ill-treatment by law enforcement authorities. AITIMA concludes by calling for the immediate implementation of law 3907/2011 to ensure access to the asylum process, the termination of the detention of children and persons seeking protection, and an effective investigation to address the reported inadequate detention conditions to meet national and international standards.

  • NETHERLANDS / Migrants on hunger strike in detention centers

    According to the group Deportatieverzet (Deportation resistance), dozens of migrants have been on hunger strike in the detention centers of Rotterdam and Schiphol to protest conditions which they find inhumane. A spokeswoman of the group stated that detained migrants are punished harder in the detention centers than criminals in prison. The Ministry of Security and Justice noted that the migrants on hunger strike are monitored by a medical team.
    Source: ANP, 7 May 2013

  • UK / Migrant unlawfully detained despite psychiatric problems

    The High Court of England and Wales has ruled that the detention of Mrs D, an Indian domestic worker with psychiatric problems, was unlawful. Officials were in breach of their legal obligation to inform themselves about Mrs D’s mental state before detaining her, thus failing to comply with the UKBA policy of not detaining anyone with serious mental illness. Mrs D claimed she had been trafficked to the UK and subjected to severe ill-treatment, but was refused asylum in 2008. Following appeals and further representations, she was detained for removal in November 2011. At the time of her detention, Mrs D informed the UKBA about her mental health condition and treatment, but no further action was taken to investigate her mental health. Later that month, psychiatric reports were submitted to UKBA, describing the woman’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe depression, but were not taken into consideration. Read the judgement here and commentary from the Institute of Race Relations here.
    Source: Institute of Race Relations, 4 April 2013

  • UK / Study finds 200 children split from parents in immigration detention

    Bail for Immigration Detainees as released a report examining the cases of 111 parents who were separated from 200 children by immigration detention between 2009 and 2012. The study finds that the UK Border Agency repeatedly failed to safeguard children when detaining their parents, with appalling consequences for the children concerned. Findings include: 85 of these children were in fostering arrangements or local authority care during their parent’s detention; children lost weight, had nightmares, suffered from insomnia, cried frequently and became extremely isolated during their parents’ detention; some children moved between unstable care arrangements, were neglected, and were placed at risk of serious harm; parents were detained without time limit, for an average of 270 days; in 92 out of 111 cases, parents were eventually released, their detention having served no purpose; in fifteen cases, parents were deported or removed from the UK without their children.
    Source: Bail for immigration Detainees, 19 April 2013


  • EU / Publication / Cities and Migrants: Implementing the EUROCITIES Integrating Cities Charter

    EUROCITIES published a report entitled ‘Cities and Migrants: Implementing the EUROCITIES Integrating Cities Charter’ which highlights city trends on migrant integration. Produced by the EUROCITIES working group on migration and integration, and including input from 22 cities, it reports on the implementation of the EUROCITIES Charter on Integrating Cities. The Integrating Cities Charter outlines the duties and responsibilities of European cities which take on several roles, including as policy makers, providers of services, employers and buyers of goods and services to ensure they offer equal opportunities for all residents, integrate migrants, and embrace the diversity of their populations. In terms of national trends moving away from integration to migration control, amongst other examples, the report makes reference to the newly adopted Royal Decree restricting access to health care for undocumented migrants in Spain. It also highlights good practices seen at the local level in terms of mainstreaming social services for migrants, giving the example of a municipal health clinic network in Athens which offers all residents, regardless of their migration status, basic health care and social welfare services. Click here to read the report.
    Source: EUROCITIES, 15 April 2013

  • REPORT / ‘Homecoming: return and reintegration of irregular migrants from Nigeria’

    The Institute for Public Policy Research published a report entitled ‘Homecoming: return and reintegration of irregular migrants from Nigeria’ in the frame of the Beyond Irregularity Project on 19 April 2013. The report provides insights into the experiences of irregular migrants who have been returned from Europe to Nigeria. The report identifies gaps in available support and nuances in reintegration needs, and sets out the challenges that need to be addressed by agencies which engage with returnees. It explores these issues from the perspective of the country of return as well those of European countries. The report argues that effective reintegration support should be made available to returnees, to ensure that policy in this area is effective, efficient, humane and sustainable.
    Source: IPPR, 19 April 2013


  • CONFERENCE / Discovering trafficking for the purpose of forced labour and labour exploitation

    A conference on human trafficking organised by La Strada entitled ‘Discovering Trafficking for the Purpose of Forced Labour and Labour Exploitation’ took place in Prague from 22 to 23 April 2013. The international conference concluded a three-year project which aimed to give a greater number of trafficked persons access to legal protection and services. Conference participants spoke in favour of developing inclusive migration policies that provide more channels for regular labour migration and highlighted that migration policies which tend to criminalise irregular stay and are not gender-focused lead to further abuse and exploitation of undocumented migrant workers.

  • CONFERENCE / Sixth Fundamental Rights Platform Meeting

    The Sixth Fundamental Rights Platform Meeting of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights took place in Vienna from 25 to 26 April 2013. The event gathered civil society organisations working on a variety of fundamental rights issues across the European Union and focused on non-discrimination and hate crime. PICUM and Women Against Violence Europe (WAVE) co-hosted a workshop on the barriers faced by undocumented women who have been victims of gender-based violence when seeking access to justice.

  • CONFERENCE / “Stolen Lives, Stolen Money: The Price of Modern-Day Slavery”

    The 13th High-level Alliance against Trafficking in Persons conference entitled “Stolen Lives, Stolen Money: The Price of Modern-Day Slavery” organised by the Office of the Special Representative and Co-ordinator for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings will take place the 25-26 June 2013 in Vienna, Austria. The aim of the conference is to highlight a range of financial, social and legal factors which are currently part of the debate on globalization, migration, inequality and trafficking. The conference will focus on key themes including: the nexus between trafficking in human beings and salient aspects of the current debate on globalization, the economic, social and political costs of modern-day slavery and how the approach of global justice can contribute to defining a comprehensive strategy to tackle trafficking in human beings. The conference will be web streamed live. Click here to download the registration form and here to view the technical note. Visit the event’s page for further details

  • FILM / One World human rights film festival

    For the seventh year, the One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival will take place in Brussels from 14 to 23 May, 2013. The festival shows a series of documentaries reflecting on human rights issues from across the world. Several films will discuss migration and aspects of irregular migration such as ‘The Dublin Trap’ which addresses the difficulties of large flows of migrants coming into Greece, extremist attacks against migrants and which makes the case for revising the Dublin Convention. The festival programme is accompanied by panel discussions and exhibitions.

  • PICUM / Workshop / Housing and Homelessness of Undocumented Migrants in Europe: Building Alliances and Developing Strategies

    PICUM will hold its annual conference entitled “Housing and Homelessness of Undocumented Migrants in Europe: Building Alliances and Developing Strategies” on 28 June 2013 Brussels, Belgium. The conference will be organised in partnership with FEANTSA (European Federation of National Organisations working with the homeless) and EAPN (European Anti-Poverty Network). The workshop aims to strengthen dialogue amongst service providers, anti-poverty organisations, migrants’ organisations, local authorities and policy makers by focusing on access and protection of rights within the private market and access to shelter provided by the state, local government or civil society. Working languages are English, French and Spanish and Portuguese as a passive language. Registration is open until 17 June 2013 and attendance is free of cost.

  • GLOBAL / Regional Meetings on Global Migration in view of High Level Dialogue with civil society

    In preparation of the UN High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development (UNHLD) that will be held in October 2013 in New York, various regional meetings are being held with civil society organisations. The Pan-African Network in Defence of Migrants’ Rights (PANiDMR) will host a regional convention from 24 to 25 May in Nairobi, Kenya. A European regional meeting hosted by Kasapi Hellas, a Transnational Migrant Platform partner in Athens (who hosted the 2009 People’s Global Action (PGA) will take place on 5-6 June 2013 in Athens, Greece. Both events will convene migrant-led organisations, diaspora groups, as well as labour unions, in order to develop positions and prioritise advocacy plans for civil society. Contributions from the European and African Regional Meeting consultation will be brought to the UNHLD interactive civil society hearings, scheduled for July 15, 2013 in New York. Representatives will be selected at each regional consultation to bring the regional positions to the interactive hearings. For more information on the process and to register for the Nairobi meeting, please send an email to panidmr(at)gmail.com or visit the PANiDMR website and for the European meeting, please contact the Conference Secretariat: Jille Belisario, jb@cfmw.org. If you are interested in attending the informal interactive hearings being organized with NGOs, civil society organizations and the private sector taking place at the United Nations headquarters in New York on 15 July 2013 in view of the General Assembly High-level Dialogue on International Migration and Development to be held 3 and 4 October 2013, please register here before 22 May 2013


  • EU / ‘NGO suggests ways to improve migrants’ situation in Greece’

    New Europe  featured  PICUM’s release of the launch of its report entitled ‘The Silent Humanitarian Crisis in Greece: Devising Strategies to Improve the Situation of Migrants in Greece‘ and reported on racist violence against migrants in Greece.
    Source: New Europe, 26 April 2013

  • GREECE / ‘NGOs stress need to address humanitarian crisis of migrants’

    EnetEnglish, the English language division of the Greek Eleftherotypia national daily, featured  PICUM’s release of the launch of its report entitled ‘The Silent Humanitarian Crisis in Greece: Devising Strategies to Improve the Situation of Migrants in Greece”.
    Source: EnetEnglish, 28 April 2013

  • ITALY / ‘Undocumented and unafraid’

    The Italian magazine reported on the rising movements of undocumented migrants in Europe and the United States and its historical roots. The article quotes PICUM in the frame of an assembly of undocumented migrants in Brussels.
    Source: Internazionale, 18 April 2013

  • NETHERLANDS / ‘Being illegal already punishable in more than half of Europe’

    The Dutch daily newspaper discussed the criminalisation of irregularity in the Netherlands and interviewed PICUM’s Director, Michele LeVoy, on criminalisation of irregularity and its impacts in the EU.
    Source: Trouw , 26 April 2013

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