- EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
- NATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS
- HEALTH CARE
- LABOUR AND FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS
- UNDOCUMENTED WOMEN
- UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
- DETENTION AND DEPORTATION
- PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
- OTHER NEWS
GREECE / DEATH AT BORDER / Death of two irregular migrants in Evros
Two irregular migrants, one aged 25 years old and the other aged 40 – 45 years old, lost their lives due to severe weather conditions in their attempt to cross the Evros River and enter into Greece. The first of the two victims was found on 7 February 2012 in the rural area of Thimaria and was transferred in critical condition to the Health Centre of Soufli, where he died. The second body was found three days later, on 10 February 2012 in a rural area near Tichero. Since the beginning of 2012, the police authorities in the prefecture of Evros have identified the corpses of four irregular migrants, while two others were found in poor condition and were transferred to local health centres where they died. Additionally, seven irregular migrants remain missing, among them a nine year old girl (See PICUM Bulletin 15 February 2012).
Source: Skai, 9 February 2012; Rizospastis, 14 February 2012
GREECE / Official beginning of the construction of the fence in Evros amidst protests
Greek Minister of Citizen Protection, Christos Papoutsis, declared on 6 February 2012 that the construction of the fence in the region of Kastanies, along the Evros River on the Greek-Turkish border, would begin. Mr Papoutsis also inaugurated the Border Surveillance Operational Centre in the town of Nea Vyssa where a number of demonstrators were gathered to protest against both the construction of the fence and the Centre. The fence, a project of cooperation between the Turkish and Greek authorities to deal with irregular immigration, will have 25 thermal cameras, while the Centre is to ensure the constant surveillance of the borders. However, Turkey has expressed its discomfort concerning the construction of the fence through its EU Affairs Minister, Egemen Bagis, who described the fence as a symbol of division between the Union and outside countries. An EU delegation headed by Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström will visit the region and the construction site in late February in order to monitor the use of the EU funding. The construction of the fence, budgeted at EUR 3,162.5 million, is due for completion in late August or early September 2012.
Source: To Vima, 6 February 2012; Clandestina, 7 February 2012; DefenceGreece, 16 February 2012
EUROPEAN POLICY DEVELOPMENTS
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS / Italy found guilty on push-back policy
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled on 23 February 2012 in the case of Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy regarding the case of thirteen Eritreans and eleven Somalis who were forcibly sent back to Libya when their boat was intercepted at sea by Italian authorities on 6 May 2009. The judgment found that there had been a violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) as they were exposed to the risk of ill-treatment in Libya and of repatriation to Somalia or Eritrea; a violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 4 (prohibition of collective expulsion); and a violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy). PICUM member JRS Europe released a media statement welcoming the decision of the ECHR as “a major step forward towards a better treatment of persons seeking protection from persecution and other human rights violations” and called on the EU and its member states to respect their obligations and provide a chance for asylum seekers to lodge their claim for protection. Access the full judgment here.
Source: BBC, 23 February 2012
ITALY / New measures to simplify bureaucratic burden on migrants
The Monti Government has passed new legislation affecting migrants. New measures include a tax between EUR 80 and 200 for the residence permit which will last for a longer period of time. The new fee will be added to the amount of EUR 72 for administration costs. The new legislative measures intend to extend or even double the validity period of the residence permit. The changes are expected to simplify the process for migrants and to shorten waiting times.
Source: La Repubblica, 20 February 2012
RUSSIA / Putin’s government promises to toughen sanctions against undocumented migrants
In the context of the pre-election period, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin promised on 26 January 2012 to harden the government’s attitude towards undocumented migrants. The Prime Minister’s statement reflects rising xenophobia towards migrants that accounts for ongoing aggression against them, in particular in Moscow and St Petersburg, as reported by the NGO SOVA-centre’s monthly monitoring of xenophobic violence. With growing unemployment being blamed on migrants’ willingness to work for lower wages, Mr. Putin vowed a ten year banishment order on migrants either staying or working irregularly in the country. The Prime Minister also aims to pass new legislation on employers’ sanctions that may include criminal prosecution.
Source: Migration News Sheet, February 2012; pg 7-8; SOVA Center, 5 February 2012
USA / Latinos and undocumented are part of growing population in the Mormon Church
Latinos are a growing population in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2011 noted that Latinos made up 7% of the Church. The number of Spanish-speaking followers has almost doubled since 2001 and it is estimated that nearly 70% of Latino Mormons are undocumented migrants. It is reported that the church has responded by hiring members whose sole jobs are to transport some Latino missionaries from state to state because they are unable to fly due to their immigration status. Such statistics provide an interesting background to the US Republican presidential nomination where Mitt Romney, a contender and a Mormon, has spoken out against undocumented migrants and proposed rather extreme immigration policies if he were to be elected president.
Source: Fox News Latino, 20 February 2012
ITALY / Low health conditions for undocumented migrants
According to the congress on ‘Migrant Population’s Health’ promoted by the Italian National Focal Point network, seven out of ten migrants in Italy have serious health problems and about 10% suffer from psychological problems. Irregular migrants are found to be especially prone to post traumatic stress problems. Experts point out that mental health issues deserve particular attention as they can weaken the physical and general condition of the migrant. Uprooting and solitude also constitute serious problems.
Source: Aduc, 16 February 2012
GERMANY / Health care for undocumented migrants
The Centre for information and advice to refugees in Adenauerallee can now also provide advice and medical treatment to undocumented migrants in Hamburg. The aim is to take people out of hiding and provide them with health care assistance they might normally be too afraid to seek as they fear being arrested or deported. The long term goal is to integrate people in the regular health system. Doctors who are interested in joining the programme can contact the refugee centre directly by telephone +4940284079 123 or email email@example.com.
Source: Hamburg City, 13 February 2012
SWEDEN / Advocates present petition to government calling for the right to health care for undocumented
In an agreement that was reached in March 2011, the government noted that the right to health care for undocumented migrants was important and that changes should be made in the current legislation. It was expected that by 2013 the relevant changes would be made in order to meet international commitments. The government report presented in May 2011 which suggested that undocumented migrants should be granted the right to health care has still not been sent out for public consultations, and the Ministry for Social Affairs cannot give any time indication about when it will happen. Human rights groups are speaking out against the government’s inaction. A manager from the Red Cross in Sweden called it a ‘disgrace to the country that undocumented migrants were still being denied care’. Advocates presented a petition to the Ministry of Health, which included 60 organizations and 12,000 individuals who called on the government to begin consultations on the right to health care for the undocumented.
Source: Sveriges Radio Göteborg, 14 February 2012
UK / REPORT / Access to health care
The British Medical Association (BMA) has published a report on “Access to health care for asylum seekers and refused asylum seekers – guidance for doctors”. The situation of asylum seekers and unsuccessful asylum seekers has been an ongoing concern for the BMA. The guidance notes are aimed at providing a summary of the various entitlements and means of accessing healthcare for asylum seekers and unsuccessful asylum seekers in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The report also provides the contact details of relevant organisations.
Source: IRR Emails, 17 February 2012
USA / Undocumented migrant receives kidney transplant despite immigration status
The University of California-San Francisco originally denied a migrant a kidney transplant when he was found to be in the country irregularly. The hospital’s original reason for denial was that they would not be able to provide adequate aftercare because of his status. In response, a petition was organized which accumulated over 130,000 signatures in support of the migrant’s case. The migrant, who has private health insurance, is expected to be at the top of the donor list within three to six months.
Source: ABC News, 8 February 2012; MercuryNews.com, 14 February 2012
USA / Undocumented migrants in Alabama are afraid to seek medical treatment because of anti-immigration law
Although the state of Alabama’s recent immigration law does not forbid undocumented migrants from receiving health care, it is reported that many are now afraid to seek medical attention for fear of being asked for documentation and denied service. The North Alabama Hispanic Coalition for Equal Rights has said that many undocumented migrants are refusing to go to the hospital because they are scared of what could happen. There are still clinics available for those that are afraid to visit hospitals, such as The Family Health Care Clinic in Franklin County, which is known as a “no questions asked clinic” and does not require a social security number in order to provide care.
Source: TimesDaily.com, 14 February 2012
LABOUR AND FAIR WORKING CONDITIONS
IRELAND / Irish workers in Australia could face three year passport ban because of incorrect migration advice
Due to fraudulent employers, many Irish workers in Australia may have been given incorrect migration advice, which could result in a three year passport ban. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship in Western Australia is said to be investigating allegations of a large construction firm providing incorrect migration advice to its international workers. It is believed that workers were advised to apply for short-stay business and tourist visas; however, the visa was meant for tourists and business personnel travelling for conferences only. Large employers who are found to be hiring undocumented workers would face a large fine as well as possible imprisonment. The undocumented worker could face a three year ban on their passport, even if they have family in Australia.
Source: InsideIreland.ie, 21 February 2012
FINLAND / Legislative proposal on setting a sanction for employing undocumented migrants
Based on the Employers’ Sanctions Directive of the EU, the Finnish government has made a legislative proposal on setting a sanction for the employers of undocumented third country nationals. The sanction would vary between EUR 1,000 and 30,000 and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in cooperation with the Immigration Service would be responsible for the regulatory supervision. In addition, regulations on setting a reconsideration period and on granting a residence permit for persons underage or for persons who have suffered especially severe abuse, would be added to the Aliens Act.
Source: Finnish Ministry of the Interior, 9 February 2012
NETHERLANDS / Indonesian Domestic Workers Day
To commemorate Indonesian Domestic Workers Day on 15 February 2012, in remembrance of Sunarsih, a 14-year old domestic worker who had been tortured and abused by her employer and died in Pasuran in East Java (Indonesia) on 14 February 2001,the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union – Netherlands (IMWU-NL) published a press release. IMWU-NL, a PICUM member, has reiterated their commitment to ending the exploitation and non-recognition and non-respect of the rights of domestic workers and called on all governments to ratify the ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers adopted in June 2011. Yasmine Soraya from IMWU-NL has written a blog entry for PICUM on the situation of Indonesian domestic workers in the Netherlands.
Source: IMWU Press release, 15 February 2012
PORTUGAL / Undocumented migrants contribute to social security
During the inauguration ceremony of the Consultative Council for Immigration Affairs that took place in late January 2012, the president of the association “Immigrant Solidarity” (Solidariedade Imigrante), Timóteo Macedo, drew attention to the fact that a number of migrants that work in the country and contribute to social security are in an irregular situation. Manuel Jarmela Palos, director of the National Service for Foreigners and Frontiers (SEF), declared that Portuguese laws are comprehensive enough to allow for the regularisation of migrants who have been integrated to the labour market. Palos added that migratory pressure in Portugal falls under European standards and that the SEF is working on specific areas related to human trafficking networks and other situations of higher concern.
Source: Lusa/SOL, 20 January 2012
UK / UK Border Agency to publicly list businesses which employ undocumented migrants
The UK Border Agency has announced plans to release quarterly reports which list businesses that have employed undocumented migrants. The Agency hopes that in publishing the details of persistent offenders it will act as a deterrent for employers in hiring undocumented workers. The quarterly reports will provide company details including addresses and the outcome of every case. It is reported that businesses could face fines of up to £10,000 and in more serious cases business owners could be imprisoned for up to two years.
Source: Telegraph & Argus, 20 February 2012
USA / Migrant farm workers victorious after grocery store chain agrees to Fair Food campaign
A supermarket chain in the US became the second chain to sign an agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a group of migrant workers advocating for farmworkers’ rights based in the state of Florida and famous for its successful Fair Food Campaign. In signing the Fair Food Agreement with the CIW, the supermarket chain pledges to buy their Florida tomatoes only from companies that comply with the CIW’s list of working conditions. The code of conduct includes zero tolerance for sexual harassment, respect for human rights, and an increase in the price of tomatoes to augment workers’ salaries. Since the CIW started the campaign in 2001, they have also been able to convince a number of fast food chains to sign on, including McDonalds, Burger King, Subway and others.
Source: San Francisco Bay Guardian, 10 February 2012
USA / Immigrant Worker Justice Blog
The National Employment Law Project launched a blog entitled “Immigrant Worker Justice Blog” which provides a space for those working in the immigrant worker justice movement to connect and share information. To access the Blog, please click here. If you would like to contribute to the Blog or share information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: National Employment Law Project, 16 February 2012
IRELAND / EVENT / Roundtable discussion on immigration rules for migrant women experiencing domestic violence to take place in March
On 5 March 2012, the Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI) along with other members of the Domestic Violence Coalition will host a roundtable discussion on the immigration rules for migrant women experiencing domestic violence. There will be presentations on lessons learned from the UK and the current administrative arrangements and opportunities for reform in Ireland. The meeting will take place in Dublin and those interested in attending should follow the link below for further details.
Source: ICI, 21 February 2012
UNDOCUMENTED CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES
SPAIN / REPORT / The right of foreigners to family life
A report on the right of foreigners to family life in Spain has been released by PICUM member Asociación Salud y Familia on 16 February 2012. The report analyses the right to family life depending on migrants’ legal status, the right to family reunification, the right of foreigners to marry and their legal responsibilities towards their children living in Spain. The report also discusses the psychosocial impact of the right to family life on the migrants’ everyday life, such as household and personal debt, social isolation, or parents’ lack of time for their children. As main recommendations, the report urges taking advantage of the open consultation launched by the European Commission on the right to family reunification of third-country nationals living in the EU (Directive 2003/86/EC), to improve the law, policies and administrative practices on this particular matter. The report can be accessed here.
Source: Asociación Salud y Familia, 16 February 2012
UK / REPORT / Guide to rights and entitlements of separated children
The Migrant Children’s Project at the Coram Children’s Legal Centre has published the 4th edition of ‘Seeking support: a guide to the rights and entitlements of separated children’. It is a guide to the rights and entitlements of separated children in England, and provides advice to professionals on how to support children and young people in accessing those entitlements. Download the report (EN) here.
Source: Coram Children’s Legal Centre
USA / Legislative activity in US states on tuition equity for undocumented migrants
In the state of Florida, legislation which would have allowed undocumented college students to pay in-state tuition was not passed by the state legislature. As a result, undocumented students living in the state must continue to pay nearly three times more than other Florida residents. Because of their immigration status, receiving financial aid is rare. A number of undocumented students provided testimony to the lawmakers before the bill was voted on, emphasising the importance of the legislation. Even US born citizens who are children of undocumented parents must pay out-of-state tuition. In addition to the state of Florida, tuition equity bills have also been introduced in other US states: Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia.
Source: Tampa Bay, 20 February 2012 ; ColorLines, 16 February 2012
DETENTION AND DEPORTATION
BELGIUM / Belgium again in breach of articles 3 and 5 of ECHR
The European Court for Human Rights ruled against Belgium for unlawfully detaining an unsuccessful Iraqi asylum seeker between October 2007 and March 2009, and again in 2010 before repatriating him in October 2010 to Iraq, a country deemed to be unsafe at that time. While the Iraqi man was convicted for having ties with Al-Qaeda in 2005, Belgium is judged to have violated Articles 3 and 5, respectively prohibiting torture and abuse and the right to freedom and security.
Source: Kruispunt Migratie-Integratie, 17 February 2012
BELGIUM / Families with children not to be detained
Families with children should no longer be detained in closed reception centres, unless these are adapted to the needs of families, but should be accommodated in private residences. Each family should also be assigned a civil servant to give them advice and information. These changes are part of a law adopted in Belgium in November 2011, which will enter into force on 27 February 2012.
Source: Kruispunt Migratie-Integratie, 17 February 2012
GERMANY / STUDY / Germany not complying with Returns Directive when detaining migrants
A comparative study conducted by ProAsyl and the Martin Niemoller Foundation in February 2012 concluded that detained asylum seekers who are waiting to be deported are treated like criminals. The study revealed that Germany is not respecting the conditions set down by the EU Returns Directive regarding detention standards such as providing separate facilities from criminals, as out of the sixteen prisons visited only four were not correctional houses. Download the study here.
Source: ProAsyl, 15 February 2012; ECRE Weekly Bulletin, 17 February 2012
GREECE / Raped migrant awarded compensation
On 5 June 2001 whilst detained after being arrested by Greek coastguards whilst on a boat on the way to Italy, Necati Zontul, a Turkish migrant, reported that two coastguard officers had forced him to undress and after threatening him with a truncheon, one official raped him with it. Zontul filed a criminal complaint, but the proceedings were plagued by procedural defects: recording the rape as a “slap” in his statement; failure by the Greek courts to recognize the offense as torture; denial of Zontul’s right to information and participate in the proceedings; and in October 2001 the Chania Naval Tribunal sentenced the coastguard to a 6-month jail term, which finally turned into an €800 fine. Having kept himself informed of the case, Zontul who by then had gone to the UK, lodged a complaint under Article 3 (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment) to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on 27 February 2007. On 15 January 2012, the ECHR decided that the act amounted to an act of torture and although the perpetrator had been convicted, the penalty imposed was insufficient and disproportionate to the act committed, and despite efforts from Zontul, he had not been kept informed of the proceedings. According to Article 41 (just satisfaction) the Court ordered Greece to pay Mr Zontul EUR 50, 000 in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 3,500 in respect of costs and expenses.
Sources: European Court of Human Rights, 17 Feburary 2012; Redress, 17 February 2012; International Detention Monitor, Issue 26, February 2012
NETHERLANDS / Campaign to stop the expulsion of unsuccessful young asylum seekers
The Dutch Newspaper Trouw reported on 27 January 2012 that over 100,000 people have submitted an online petition asking the Dutch government to cease the expulsion of unsuccessful asylum seekers that arrived in the Netherlands as unaccompanied children and have put down roots in the country. The campaign also aims to lobby Gerd Leers, the Immigration Minister, for a more relaxed treatment of unsuccessful asylum seekers that are obliged to leave the country when they come of age. This initiative seeks to overcome the reluctance of the government to make immigration policies more flexible, in particular towards third-country nationals.
Source: Migration News Sheet, February 2012, page 17
NETHERLANDS / EVENT / Information and discussion session on the asylum and refugee process in the Netherlands
An information and discussion session on changes in the asylum and refugee process in the Netherlands will take place in Maastricht on 16 March 2012. The event is organized by Stichting VLot Zuid-Limburg and Amnesty Maastricht and will take a critical look at the increased legal costs in the filing of applications and the tightening of the criteria in order for people to apply for a residence permit. The meeting will focus particularly on alternatives to detention and the deteriorating facilities that many families with children are forced to stay in.
UKRAINE / Detained Somali migrants ended their hunger strike
Detained Somali migrants, who had been on hunger strike since 5 January 2012 (see PICUM Bulletin 15 February 2012) ended their action on 17 February 2012. This decision came following an international campaign denouncing the automatic rejection of requests for protection made by Somali migrants, a situation the Ukrainian authorities have decided to terminate. The Somali migrants will not apply for international protection but noted they would be taking their case of detention to the Ukrainian courts in the hope that they will be freed and protected from further police harassment and extortion.
Source: Border Monitoring Project Ukraine, 17 February 2012
UK / Activists blockade detention centre to stop deportation
No Borders activists blocked both exits of Harmondsworth and Colnbrook detention centres, both located near Heathrow airport, in order to stop a deportation flight that was heading for Ghana. It was reported that a specially chartered flight carrying around 50 deportees was scheduled to leave for Ghana from an undisclosed airport. Activists locked their arms together inside of heavy-weight concrete blocks preventing traffic from exiting the detention centres. A spokesperson for the UK Border Agency said that it was policy not to comment on any deportation flights until after they had landed.
Source: London No Borders, 16 February 2012; The Guardian, 14 February 2012
UK / Legal case pays out £2 million over child asylum seekers who were wrongly detained as adults
The Home Office has paid compensation of more than £1 million, in addition to £1 million in costs, in a case involving 40 asylum seeking children who were wrongly detained as adults. It is thought to be the first case of its kind and the largest immigration detention payout for a single case. It is reported that government officials accepted that the policy was unlawful and changed it as a result of this case. Despite this, the Guardian reports that it has received data showing that children are still being detained. The case that resulted in the payout involved girls and boys, including 25 who were aged 14 to 16, from countries including Afghanistan, Iran, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Eritrea, Uganda, Somalia and China.
Source: The Guardian, 17 February 2012
USA / Court halts the deportation of seven undocumented migrants
The 9th US Circuit of Appeals has halted the deportation of seven undocumented migrants until the Obama administration re-evaluates their cases. It is believed that this ruling could encourage thousands of other undocumented migrants and advocates to seek similar rulings. The seven undocumented migrants have no criminal records and had deportation orders before the administration announced its new discretion policy in the summer of 2011. Officials with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice have until 19 March 2012 to review the ruling and make a decision.
Source: CBS News, 11 February 2012
USA-MEXICO / USA returned 14,237 Unaccompanied Children to Mexico in 2011
Figures from the National Migration Institute (INM) in Mexico show that U.S. authorities handed Mexico responsibility of 14,237 unaccompanied children and teenagers, of different nationalities, found travelling alone on the border with Mexico in 2011. Of the children handed over to authorities in Mexico, 11,520, or nearly 81 percent, were Mexican and the other 2,717 were of various unspecified nationalities. The children were all cared for by the INM’s office of children’s services – Mexico has had a program in effect to protect undocumented children who are returned to Mexico by the United States since 2007, the INM said. The INM currently has 362 children’s services offices.
Source: Latin American Herald Tribune, 13 February 2012
USA / Another shattered family
In 2010, Felipe Montes was arrested, detained and deported, leaving his wife and three children, all US citizens, alone and without a source of income. Within two weeks of his deportation and a month after his third child was born, the Allegheny County child welfare department took the children from Marie, his wife, because she was unable to provide for her family. Felipe and Marie then requested the children be sent to Mexico since they could not stay with their mother as he would be able to support them. On 21 February 2012, the Department of Social Services was meant to ask a judge to initiate adoption proceedings for the three children. Presente, a national organization which aims to give a voice to Latino communities in the USA, and Applied Research Center (ARC) launched a campaign through a petition to put pressure on social service authorities in North Carolina to allow Felipe to be reunited with his children. By 21 February 2012 the petition surpassed the 20,000 signature mark. On 21 February 2012, it was announced that the hearing would be postponed, a decision welcomed by campaigners as for them it shows the media pressure forced the authorities to reconsider their position giving more time to Montes to find a way to be reunited with his children. In November 2012, the Applied Research Centre had published a report “Shattered Families” which revealed that thousands of children are currently in care because their parents have been deported or detained (see PICUM Bulletin 7 December 2011).
Source: Colorlines, 14 February 2012; Presente; Colorlines, 21 February 2012
PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER RESOURCES
EU / Eurodiaconia publishes policy paper and briefing on migration and social services
A new policy paper and briefing released by Eurodiaconia provides an overview of the impact that migration has had on social services in Europe and outlines some of the major obstacles that migrants face in accessing their social rights. While the barriers faced by EU migrants are discussed, the issues that undocumented migrants confront are also highlighted, such as accessing health care, adequate housing and labour rights. The policy paper provides a list of recommendations that Member States and the EU can take in ensuring the rights of migrants while the briefing paper gives an overview of the situation for service providers and organizations working in the field and some suggestions on to use the policy paper in their work.
Source: Eurodiaconia, 23 January 2012
GERMANY / Preparatory workshop in Kiel on asylum migration
In 2013, the Evangelical Church Congress will take place in Hamburg between 1-5 May 2013. Prior to this event, the Commissioner für Refugees NEK and Refugee Council Schleswig-Holstein will hold a “Baltic Sea Conference on Asylum Migration” on 29 and 30 April 2012. A preparatory workshop will be held on 30 and 31 March 2012 in Kiel, Germany. To register please contact Office Nek-Refugee Commission, at the following address: email@example.com
NETHERLANDS / “Access Denied”
An international conference entitled “Access denied: International conference on social protection and migration” will take place on 13 and 14 March 2012 at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The conference will present the findings of the Cross Border Welfare State project (http://www.crossborderwelfare.nl/). By bringing different actors and stakeholders together, it aims to analyse the issue and explore alternative approaches to social protection and migration.
SWEDEN / Tribunal 12 seeks contributions that highlight violations and mistreatment against refugees, asylum seekers and undocumented migrants
On 12 May 2012 in Stockholm, Sweden, an event will take place which highlights the continual human rights violations and systematic mistreatment of refugees, asylums seekers and migrants. At Tribunal 12, Europe will be held accountable for these failures and advocates will call for a change within the European system. Inspired by the International War Crimes Tribunal, Tribunal 12 sets out to locate the moral, legal and political responsibilities as well as call for a change within the system. During Tribunal 12, evidence will be presented to a jury in four sessions focusing on: border control, the asylum process, undocumented migrants, and detention & deportation. Members of the jury are internationally acclaimed persons active within the fields of philosophy, international law, literature, arts and activism. The organizers are in the process of gathering evidence in the form of: documentation, personal stories, artwork, analysis, witness statements and more. If anyone is interested in contributing evidence, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Tribunal 12, 22 February 2012
BELGIUM / Undocumented Brazilian migrants in Belgium
PICUM member Abraço, an NGO based in Brussels which defends the fundamental rights of Portuguese speaking irregular migrants and migrants living in precarious situations in Belgium, was interviewed for the Flemish TV programme, Terzake. Migrants interviewed and Abraço coordinator, Monica Pereira discussed the obstacles and realities that undocumented Brazilian migrants face.
Source: De Redactie, 21 February 2012
VACANCY / Pax Christi International
PICUM member Pax Christi International has announced a vacancy for the position of Secretary General. This position is based at the Pax Christi International Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium. If you are interested in this vacancy click here to refer to the vacancy announcement.
SOUTH AFRICA / FILM / ”Out of Sight”
IRIN has released a short clip entitled “Out of Sight” which looks into the lives and realities of undocumented Zimbabwean migrants living in Johannesburg, South Africa. The film reflects on the additional levels of vulnerability disabled undocumented migrants experience but also the xenophobia they confront after crossing the border.
Source: IRIN, 15 February 2012