- UNITED NATIONS
- EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
- NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
- HEALTH CARE
- LABOUR AND FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS
- UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
- DETENTION AND DEPORTATION
- PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
- OTHER NEWS
FRANCE-MAYOTTE / Boat tragedy off Mayotte: confirmed deaths and missing at sea
A UNHCR Press Briefing held in Geneva on 9 October 2012 confirmed that six people drowned and that ten are still missing at sea after a small boat, carrying 24 migrants, capsized on 1 October 2012 off the French territory of Mayotte in the Indian Ocean. So far in 2012, 69 people have been reported dead or missing in the seas around Mayotte. In 2012, around 1,200 asylum applications were filed in Mayotte: 90 per cent of the applicants came from the Union of the Comoros and the rest of the applicants were from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Rwanda and Burundi.
Source: UNHCR, 9 October 2012
GREECE / Increased activities and coordination of police forces for border controls and rescue operations in the Mediterranean is neither reducing migratory flows nor avoiding tragedies at sea
The intervention of Frontex on the Greek-Turkish border to control the new wave of arrivals at European borders has provoked a shift in migratory routes from the mainland to islands, with greater risk of boat accidents and fatalities at sea. In addition, local authorities remain in charge of detaining migrants upon their arrival, despite claims that there is no longer room in detention centres and that adequate facilities for medical assistance are not available. The government response has been so far in favour of opening additional detention centres (See PICUM Bulletin 10 October 2012), despite strong opposition by some human rights groups that in the past successfully lobbied to close existing facilities because they did not meet minimum standards for reception and humanitarian assistance. In the meantime, a declaration, adopted by ten governments in the aftermath of the Maghreb-European 5+5 summit, which took place on 5-6 October 2012 in Malta, established a new task force to improve humanitarian assistance in rescue operations at sea while preventing further flows.
Source: IRIN, 5 October 2012; France24, 6 October 2012
GREECE / Evaluation of “Xenios Zeus” operation after 2 months of enforcement
Greek Police published some statistical data on 7 October 2012 which showed that 33,691 foreigners were detained, of whom 2,984 were arrested for irregular entry and residence in Greece. For the same period, the entry of irregular migrants in the Evros Prefecture, at the border between Greece and Turkey, dropped by 91%. More precisely in 2011, 14,724 irregular migrants were arrested in this area, while in 2012 the number of arrests was 1,338. These new statistics follow an initial evaluation (See PICUM Bulletin 10 October 2012) of the “Xenios Zeus” operation implemented since the beginning of August 2012 in the areas of Attica and Evros.
Source: In.gr, 7 October 2012; To Ethnos, 7 October 2012; Ta Nea, 7 October 2012
ITALY / Italian Coastguard rescues 166 people off Lampedusa
The Italian Coastguard, together with the Italian Navy and a Maltese aircraft, rescued 166 migrants during the night of 6 October 2012, whose ten metre wooden boat encountered difficulties in Maltese waters, off the southern coast of the island of Lampedusa. The boat had set off from Libya and sank shortly after the rescue operations had been completed. Amongst the rescued migrants were 34 women and two children. The migrants have been transferred to the island of Lampedusa and one of the migrants, seriously injured, was transferred to the nearest hospital by helicopter.
Source: Corriere della Sera, 7 October 2012; Reuters Africa, 7 October 2012
ITALY / UN Special Rapporteur on Migrants visit to Italy, initial findings
After his visit to Italy between 30 September and 8 October 2012 where he met with Government representatives, civil society and international organisations, as well as with many migrants, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, made six key recommendations to the Italian Government and specifically highlighted that Italy must adopt a human rights approach when dealing with migration and that the Government should “not let security concerns overshadow its border management policy”. The other recommendations were that the Government must guarantee full access by international organisations to areas where migrants are detained, improve appeal systems to challenge expulsions, ensure that “migration cooperation with Libya does not lead to any migrant being returned to Libyan shores against their will, either by Italian authorities, or by Libyan authorities with the technical or logistical support of their Italian counterparts”. The Special Rapporteur urged the development of a national framework based on human rights to organise and manage migration centres and warned against deportation to countries that are not yet considered safe for asylum seekers. He recalled that in light of the European Court of Human Rights decision of M.S.S. v Belgium and Greece, Greece is not a safe country of return for asylum seekers. Mr. Crépeau will present the results of his study to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2013. To read the full press release, click here.
Source: UN News Centre, 8 October 2012
IOM – MOROCCO / IOM voluntary return programmes a legitimate answer to lack of protection for undocumented migrants in Morocco?
An article written by Hein de Hass, Co-Director of the International Migration Institute of the University of Oxford, has sparked a debate over the well-known IOM voluntary return programme, which is now fundraising for its activities in Morocco. This initiative mainly targets Sub-Saharan migrants within a State that has been experiencing serious difficulties in meeting its duty to protect the rights of this vulnerable group. Undocumented migrants with no access to health care, education and other basic rights seem to have no other option than to return to their countries of origin by means of IOM return schemes. The blog raises the question as to whether money is essentially being used to sanction human rights abuses and lack of protection.
Source: Hein de Haas Migration Blog, 4 October 2012
EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
COUNCIL OF EUROPE / PACE Migration Committee firmly opposes the detention of undocumented migrant children
The PACE Migration Committee recalled at a hearing on the detention of both unaccompanied and accompanied undocumented children organised in Paris on 14 September 2012, that children are first and foremost children and that the best interests of the child must be a primary consideration in any action taken in relation to the child and the child’s family. The Committee also underlined that while Council of Europe member states are increasingly working on alternatives to the detention of children, much remains to be done to respect the right to liberty of the child. Lastly, the Committee appealed for an exchange of best practices, including alternatives to detention of undocumented migrant children and fair procedures for assessing the age of these children.
Source: Council of Europe, 14 September 2012
ECHR – GREECE / European Court of Human Rights condemns Greece for mistreatment of migrant
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg published its judgment in the case Bygylashvili v. Greece (no. 58164/10) on 25 September 2012. The applicant, Gannet Bygylashvili, a Georgian national, had taken a case against Greece claiming a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment). The Court decided that the detention conditions, after her arrest for irregular entry into the country, in the premises of the Attica sub-directorate with responsibility for foreigners, were inhumane due to the fact of over-crowding, lice infestation and poor quality drinking water. The ECtHR ordered the Greek authorities to compensate Mrs Bygylashvili in the amount of EUR 8,000 for the non-pecuniary damage suffered by the applicant.
Source : Imerisia, 25 September 2012; Clandestina, 26 September 2012; European Court of Human Rights, 25 September 2012
EU / STATEMENT / “Apprehension of migrants in an irregular situation – fundamental rights considerations”
The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has compiled a document on the fundamental rights considerations relating to apprehension of migrants in an irregular situation, based on input received from EU Member States, PICUM and the European Commission. The document was published on 9 October 2012 and includes “do’s and don’ts” for law enforcement officials based on suggestions made during the Fundamental Rights Conference 2011. The document was presented to the Council Working Party on Integration, Migration and Expulsion on 26 September 2012 and on 28 September 2012 to the Contact Committee of EU Member State representatives, which is convened by the European Commission under the Return Directive.
Source: FRA News, 9 October 2012
GERMANY- GREECE / New estimates of Undocumented Migrants in Germany and Greece
The Clandestino website indicates that the media currently estimates an amount of 1-2 million irregular migrants in Greece, and that the systematic estimates of undocumented migrants in Greece in 2010 and 2011 indicate a significant change in the composition of the irregular migrant resident population rather than a rise in figures. The Clandestino Project website also indicated a new estimate of between 100,000 and 400,000 undocumented migrants in Germany in 2010.
Source: Clandestino, 9 October 2012; Clandestino, Update Report Greece/June 2012; Clandestino, Update Report Germany/June 2012
ITALY / Approval of the Document on “Overcoming Emergency in North Africa”
The Presidency of the Council of Ministers approved and distributed the official “Policy Document for overcoming Emergency North Africa” considers that the document deals with some of the main issues relating to overcoming emergency in North Africa. In particular, CIR believes that the document sets out favourable policies in that the number of asylum seekers and refugees that the Italian Authorities can process has been increased from 3,000 to 5,000. The document also states that legal aid shall be provided to all unaccompanied children. However, the policy document does not address the issue of undocumented migrants, who, under the new policy statement, remain vulnerable to potential human rights violations. In addition, being a policy document, the statement is not legally binding, and CIR claims that the risk that thousands of migrants from North Africa will have no protection is still high.
Source: CIR-Consiglio Italiano per i Rifugiati, 3 October 2012
MOROCCO / Maghreb Social Forum on Migration in support of Sub-Saharan migrants’ organisations
The second edition of the Maghreb Social Forum on Migration took place in Oujda, Morocco, on 5-7 October 2012 to discuss the current situation of migrants living in the Maghreb region. The event provided an opportunity for civil society actors to share their experiences and try to join efforts for better national and regional cooperation aiming at migrant rights’ protection. Migrants themselves were the true protagonists of this event. Having been relegated to the role of observers for a long time, the Forum wishes to give them not only a space for debate but represents an instrument for bringing their voice inside the political deliberations of the Maghreb State authorities. A parallel event was organised in Oran, Algeria to improve dialogue and assistance on the sensitive border across which migrants are repeatedly sent back and forth by police forces with no respect for their human rights.
Source: E-Joussour, 4 October 2012; Algeria Watch, 6 October 2012
NETHERLANDS / Voluntary returns increase fourfold as asylum applications fall
The number of failed asylum seekers that voluntarily leave the Netherlands without supervision has quadrupled in the past two and half years. At the same time the number of forced returns dropped from 3,730 to 3,140 and the number of returnees under supervision hovers around 5,400. In the meantime, in the first six months of 2012 the number of asylum applications in the Netherlands dropped to 4,600 from 5,710 in 2011 in the same period. As a result occupancy rates at reception centres have dropped. The number of asylum seekers has been steadily dropping over the past decade as the government has discouraged arrivals and more efficiently processed applications. The Netherlands ranks seventh in terms of numbers of asylum applications and the Minister for Immigration, Integration and Asylum Affairs Gerd Leers claims requests for asylum are not evenly shared amongst EU Member States.
Source: De Stentor, 29 September 2012; De Stentor, 3 October 2012
NETHERLANDS / Unsuccessful asylum seekers set up encampment in Amsterdam
A group of unsuccessful asylum seekers has set up tents in the west of Amsterdam as they plead with the city’s mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, to find a solution for their situation. The city administration does not provide sanitary facilities as it viewed the encampment as a demonstration. However, after a few days the local medical clinic installed a toilet while the government cleaned up waste.
Source: Elsevier, 3 October 2012
UK / CAMPAIGN / “Open your eyes to destitution in Scotland”
The Scottish Refugee Council and Refugee Survival Trust launched a new campaign on 1 October 2012 entitled “Open your eyes to destitution in Scotland”, which calls on the UK Government to change its current refugee and asylum policy, which often forces refugees and asylum seekers into destitution as it does not entitle migrants to work and at the same time does not guarantee access to housing facilities or essentials such as food, warm clothes and sanitary products. The campaign has been launched as part of Black History Month and is based on research by the Glasgow Caledonian University’s Scottish Poverty Information Unit (SPIU) which underlines that refugee poverty in Scotland is currently the most extreme. The Scottish Refugee Council invites people to sign a postcard or online petition calling for change, which will be sent to the UK Immigration Minister. The report by the SPIU reveals that unsuccessful asylum seekers are living below the UN poverty line as they live on less than GBP 77p per day. The SPIU recommends for the UK Border Agency to care for asylum seekers including providing accommodation and financial support from the beginning of the process until the decision is given, be it negative or positive.
Source: Scottish Refugee Council, 1 October 2012; The Guardian, 1 October 2012
USA / Campaign for access to health care for DREAMers
The National Immigration Law Centre is campaigning for a change in the decision to exclude young undocumented migrants who benefit from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from affordable health care (See PICUM Bulletin 18 September 2012). The National Immigration Law Centre is encouraging organisations and individuals to send written comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before 29 October 2012 opposing the decision. They have provided model comments, which can submitted verbatim, or modified and personalised with specific concerns about the consequences of the rule. To submit online, go to www.regulations.gov, search for the 30 August 2012 rule related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), upload your letter and submit. For more information about the rule change, click here.
Source: National Immigration Law Centre
LABOUR AND FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS
BELGIUM / GUIDE / Guide for and on undocumented workers
Kruispunt Migratie Integratie (KMI), a PICUM member in Belgium, published an updated guide for workers and supervisors of undocumented migrants. The guide provides answers to common questions that employers and helpers of undocumented migrants may have regarding their rights and obligations and also how to assist them. Click here to view the guide (NL only)
EVENT / Protecting Domestic Workers Rights: What is the Role of the EU?
Solidar organised a round table event on 17 October 2012, entitled: “Protecting Domestic Workers Rights: What is the Role of the EU?” The main aim of the round table is to discuss what role the EU could play in protecting domestic workers’ rights and to analyse, in light of the international standard adopted in July 2012 recognising domestic workers as workers and not mere helpers (See ILO Domestic Workers Convention C189), the growing demand in Europe for domestic work and, in particular, for domestic full time care in households.
Source: Solidar, 4 October 2012
UK / Workers living in appalling conditions
Devon and Cornwall Police and the UK Border Agency are working together to tackle unscrupulous landlords and employers and “prevent cramped and dangerous housing” for migrant workers. Ten irregular migrants were recently found living in a two-bedroom house, sleeping on the floor on cardboard makeshift beds. In an attempt to tackle the problem and encourage migrant workers to come forward and speak out, the Devon and Cornwall Police is now making use of “social media to reach migrant workers who might otherwise be wary of officials or experience language barriers”.
Source: BBC, 24 September 2012; ENAR, 28 September 2012
USA / Tough immigration policies, the dramatic impact on agricultural sector
The agricultural sector is the industry in the United States that is most impacted by the increasingly strict immigration laws, with 70% of the agricultural (seasonal) labour force being undocumented. These immigration policies have resulted in a labour shortage as undocumented workers depart for more welcoming states thus giving farmers no choice but to leave their crops rotting. According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, across the USA labour shortages could cause losses of up to USD 9 billion. Despite farmers offering domestic workers competitive employment packages, they have failed to find enough workers to meet their needs. Some states such as Utah and Texas have put together programmes at the state level to permit undocumented migrants to work legally.
Source: Business Time, 21 September 2012
USA / First to receive work permit under deferred programme
Carlos Martínez, an undocumented migrant who was a high school sports star and obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer engineering in Texas but since graduation has lived in the shadows, was the first to obtain a work permit under the “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” announced by Obama in June 2012 (See PICUM Bulletin 11 July 2012 and 20 August 2012). Nevertheless, Carlos knows that if Obama is not re-elected his new life could soon be taken away from him. Like many undocumented youths, he still hopes for the DREAM Act to be adopted. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released more information on the period 15 August to 13 September 2012 about the number of people who have applied for, and received, deferred action under the newly created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme. Click here to view figures.
Source: Latino Fox News, 14 September 2012
UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
EU / Joint Statement in Support of a European Commitment to Child Well-being
PICUM has signed a joint statement in support of a European commitment to child well-being with ATD Quart Monde, Caritas Europa, COFACE, Eurochild, Eurodiaconia, European Anti-Poverty Network, European Social Network. Welcoming the EPSCO Council Conclusions on Preventing and Tackling Child Poverty and Promoting Children’s Well-being adopted on 4 October 2012, the joint statement highlights the upcoming European Commission Recommendation as an opportunity for EU member states to develop a holistic approach to addressing child poverty and child wellbeing by endorsing practical mechanisms through which the implementation of these recommendations will be monitored across the EU and reiterate their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
GREECE / Public nurseries asked to disclose information on children’s nationalities
The Greek Vice-Minister of Interior, Evripidis Stylianidis, sent a letter to municipalities in the island of Crete on 2 October 2012, requesting public nurseries to compile a list of non-Greek children currently attending nurseries including their country of origin. The Vice-Minister states that the aim is to collect information as a response to a specific Golden Dawn MP’s question raised in the Greek Parliament. As a result of the call of the Vice-Minister of Interior, civil society in Ierapetra, Cretem have mobilised in order to protect the right of all residents to access public nurseries, irrespective of their ethnicity, religion, race or nationality.
Source: Left.gr, 10 October 2012
UN / Focus on the rights of all children in the context of international migration
The Committee on the Rights of the Child, the monitoring body of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), held a Day of General Discussion (DGD) on “The rights of all children in the context of international migration” on 28 September 2012, in Geneva, Switzerland. PICUM and several members participating in the event welcomed the Committee’s commitment to defending the principle of non-discrimination and ensuring that the attention during and resulting from the DGD will focus on all children in the context of migration. The CRC Committee is producing a report of the DGD, which will be available on their website in mid-February 2013. In view of the DGD, civil society organisations were invited to submit a a statement in preparation of the DGD to call attention to any particular issue or topic related to migrant children that needs to be addressed and heard by the CRC during the DGD and highlighted in the outcomes of the day.PICUM and several of its members including Immigration Council of Ireland, Jesuit Refugee Service and Aditus, Centre de Contact Suisses-Immigrés submitted statements. PICUM, UNICEF, MRI and MFA held a side event on 27 September on children and irregular migration, where strong calls were made for proper implementation of child rights for all children, in migration law, policy and practice, from CRC Committee Vice-Chair Marta Mauras and UNICEF HQ Migration Focal Point Rhea Saab.
UK / REPORT / Children’s experiences when seeking asylum in the UK
The Children’s Society launched a report entitled “Into the Unknown: Children’s journeys through the asylum process” on 21 September 2012. The report looks at the experiences of children seeking asylum in the UK, and underlined that these children often face a “culture of disbelief and suspicion”, resulting in those children feeling confused, frightened and insecure. The report claimed that even though there had been some positive developments as regards the practices of the UK Border Agency (UKBA), the special needs of these children are still unmet and, consequently, it urges the UKBA to make the asylum process more child-friendly. This would mean providing special training for immigration interpreters working with these children, setting up an independent complaint and feedback system easy to understand for children, and tackling the “culture of disbelief” that prevents children from receiving fair treatment. The report can be accessed here
Source: Children’s Society, 21 September 2012
USA / US States challenge denial of education benefits to American children of undocumented parents
In the context of several states reducing education spending on migrant children of undocumented parents as a way of overcoming their financial difficulties, the states of both Florida and New Jersey challenged such efforts by ruling in favour of those children and their right to receive benefits. The state of Florida ruled against regulations defining American children of undocumented children as out-of –state residents, which would have made these children ineligible for tuition breaks, customarily given to state residents at public colleges and universities. In addition, a judge at the Federal District Court in Miami declared the regulations to be unconstitutional by creating a “second-tier status of U.S. citizenship”. For its part, New Jersey rejected a ruling on 8 August 2012 denying financial aid based on parents’ income to an American student whose mother was undocumented. In addition, in California, state officials agreed in 2007 to discard policies that denied residence to American students whose parents were undocumented.
Source: The New York Times, 5 September 2012
DETENTION AND DEPORTATION
FRANCE / New law cancelling police custody and ‘solidarity offence’
A new legislative proposal limiting police custody of undocumented migrants to a maximum of 16 hours detention in police stations is being examined by the Council of Ministers and the Senate before a final vote in November 2012. With the Court of Appeal’s decision of 5 July 2011 forbidding using police custody for undocumented migrants, they would be placed under control of the judicial authority in order to consider a possible deportation. Moreover, the draft law would cancel the ‘solidarity offence’, which was until now punishable by a 5-year prison sentence and a €30,000 fine.
Source: France Info, 27 September 2012
FRANCE / Detention of an Afghan family near Paris
On 28 September 2012, an Afghan family with their two and half month and four year old children were arrested and detained in the centre of Mesnil-Amelot, despite the commitment of the new French President to stop detention of children (PICUM Bulletin 4 September 2012). This family started an asylum procedure in Le Mans after their eleven month crossing to Europe. Their request was not examined on the grounds that in accordance with the Dublin II Regulation they should have asked for asylum in Hungary, the first country of arrival in Europe. After a doctor confirmed in the detention centre that children could not stay there for health reasons, the family was transferred to a hotel under police surveillance and without visits allowed whilst waiting for deportation to Hungary. After the Administrative Court confirmed the illegal methods used and cancelled the detention, the family was given a home for 30 days before their deportation. But finally, the Ministry of Interior informed the family that they would be authorised to submit an asylum request in France.
Source: La Cimade, 9 October 2012
GREECE / Commissioner Malmström visits detention centres in Greece
Cecilia Malmström, Commissioner responsible for Home Affairs of the EU, visited Greece on 8 October 2012 in order to discuss the asylum and migration situation in the country. The Commissioner, together with the Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection, Nikos Dendias, visited registration and detention centres for irregular migrants in the Prefectures of Evros and Rodopi, along the Greek-Turkish border as well as the operational centre of Frontex in Evros. After her visit, Commissioner Malmström stated that she found that the situation in the centres is difficult and the humanitarian conditions are very basic. However, she welcomed the progress that Greece is making in addressing irregular migration and she stressed that it is necessary to make further improvements, especially regarding the health care offered to irregular migrants and the conditions of reception on the Aegean islands.
Source: Ta Nea, 9 October 2012; To Vima, 9 October 2012; European Commission Press Release, 8 October 2012
UK / Pregnant women in detention subjected to force
Medical Justice, a British charity, has reported that pregnant migrant women are being held in detention facilities and subjected to forceful treatment. Most pregnant women are detained in Yarl’s Wood, a detention centre managed by Serco, a private company which has received criticism over its detention conditions (See PICUM Bulletin 9 May 2012). Despite obligations to provide health care to the standard of the National Health System (NHS), pregnant women are often not offered scans/tests nor given the results. Though many are often survivors of rape, trafficking and torture, they are not always given access to counselling. Incidents have also been reported of pregnant women being forcibly returned to their countries of origin despite showing signs of bleeding and pain. Sara, a client of Medical Justice, suffered all of these. She was detained at the early stages of her pregnancy, given no medical attention, given malaria tablets (unsuitable for pregnant women) ahead of her return to her country of origin. The return was stopped by the High Court but she was still detained until she was 20-weeks pregnant at which point she had a still birth in hospital following bleeding. A guard was present in the room. Sara is one of the 56 women known by the charity to have suffered a miscarriage during detention, although the exact number of women who experience them are unknown as they happen behind closes doors. Medical Justice is calling for such incidents to be put to an end.
Source: IRR, 13-20 September 2012; Open Democracy, 17 September 2012
UK / Migrant children detained in Kent
Kent City Council has received strong criticism from children’s rights organisations following its decision to detain unaccompanied refugee and migrant children for up to six weeks in order to protect them from traffickers. This decision follows the disappearance of child victims of trafficking in 2011 (See PICUM Bulletin 7 November 2012). Kent City Council explained that these children would be accommodated in “rural setting where they would have access to independent legal representation, a cultural advocate and a buddy, who would be a young person who has also been an unaccompanied minor coming to this country” but children’s charities remain against the proposal, calling it “illegal and immoral”. Rachel Knowles from Just for Kids noted that section 25 of the Children Act permits placing “children in secure accommodation for their protection if they repeatedly abscond or if they are a threat to others, but that is only for 72 hours without a court order.”
Source: Children and Young People Now, 24 September 2012
UK / Home Office Watchdog wants greater use of family detention centreImmigration
Watchdog called on 19 September 2012 for extending the use of Barnardo’s family detention centre, which provides welfare services at the G4S-run Cedars “pre-departure centre”, so as to hold a greater number of families facing removal from the UK. In particular, the independent family returns panel urged the Barnardo center to drop its “red line”, which prevents the centre from both holding more than 10% of the families facing removal and using its facilities as a matter of routine. The Cedars centre was opened in the context of the coalition government’s pledge to end the detention of migrant children and has been identified by the Panel as a very useful resource to prepare children for the departure. In response, Barnardo’s refused to reformulate its “red line” policy by claiming that the Cedars centre should only be used to hold a small number of families, in exceptional circumstances, and not as a matter of routine. For that reason, the charity confirmed that it would stick to its 10% policy.
Source: The Guardian, 19 September 2012
USA / REPORT / “Invisible in Isolation: The Use of Segregation and Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention”
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) and the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) issued a report in September 2012, examining the use of segregation and solitary confinement in US immigration detention facilities. The report, entitled “Invisible in Isolation: The Use of Segregation and Solitary Confinement in Immigration Detention”, is the result of visits by investigators and two human rights groups of more than a dozen detention centres and county jails across the USA which have contracts with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to detain migrants. Beyond the well documented harm that solitary confinement can have, this report sheds light also on the fact that in the case of immigration detention it is frequently “arbitrarily applied, inadequately monitored, harmful to their health, and a violation of their due process rights”. The investigations revealed amongst other dysfunctionalities that mentally ill detainees were held in solitary confinement instead of being treated. In their conclusions, the PHR and NIJC call on ICE and Congress to put an end to “solitary confinement in immigration detention, severely limit other forms of segregation, and implement stricter oversight of the detention system”. Click here to view the report.
Source: Physicians for Human Rights, 25 September 2012
PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
PUBLICATION / “New Perspectives on the Ethics of International Migration”
The American Behavioral Scientist (ABS), peer-reviewed and published monthly, published in September 2012 a special issue on the ethics of international migration titled: “New Perspectives on the Ethics of International Migration”, edited by Ricard Zapata-Barrero from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and by Antoine Pécoud, from the University of Paris and UNESCO. The special issue includes an article by Marit Hovdal-Moan entitled “Borders as a Space of Interaction: An Account of Special State Obligations to Irregular Immigrants”, addressing the issue of whether the state’s sovereign right to exclude noncitizens at its border entails that it is also free to choose the extent of its positive obligations toward noncitizens already living on its territory. For more information click here
FRANCE / Nuit Blanche in Paris with undocumented migrants
The artist Marcos Avila Foreros presented a singular artwork during the last Nuit Blanche in Paris on 6 October 2012. With a plaster reproduction of a “cayuco”, a typical boat used by migrants to cross the Mediterranean, he took on a journey that brought him from the Algerian border, through Morocco to Melilla and then across Spain and France to finally reach Paris. Retracing the same route many thousands of migrants follow in order to reach Europe, the boat arrived in Paris almost disintegrated, reminding people of the complete physical and moral breakdown experienced by these people. The journey was also an occasion for the artist to meet with migrants and organisations supporting them throughout the Mediterranean region: a documentary about this epic will be released at the end of the year.
Source: Youphil-Post Frontieres, 5 October 2012
COMPETITION / JMDI organises competition ahead of GFMD
The EU-UN Joint Migration and Development Initiative (JMDI), which has been supporting migration and development (M&D) initiatives from civil society since 2008, has launched a video/photo competition ahead of this year’s Global Forum on Migration and Development which will take place in Mauritius on 21-22 November 2012. The concept of the competition is for participants to show how migrants contribute to the development of both their own country and/or their host country in a video no longer than 10 minutes or one photograph by looking at one of the four focus areas: migrants’ capacities, migrants’ remittances, migrants’ rights and migrant communities.