The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on 15 May that Turkey will join the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). This is yet another step towards embracing the political idea of “migration management”. At the same time, the decision means further expanding Turkey’s cooperation with EU member states with the aim to regulate and control migration into the EU – and into Turkey.
Via Hurriyet Daily News (16th May 2018) – The EU warned on May 16 that asylum seeker arrivals from Turkey have surged this year and called on member countries to act urgently on pledges of support for the bloc’s border force.
The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, said 15,457 people had arrived via Turkey on Greece’s sea and land borders through March, nine times higher than the same period last year. Continue reading EU warns of new surge in asylum seekers from Turkey
In April 2018, borderline-europe members Doro Bruch, Jan Dunkemölle und Nora Freitag visited Lesvos for two weeks to gain an overview on the current situation for migrants in the island. They talked to lawyers, NGO workers, refugees and activists.
Their report is aimed at providing insights on the current situation of refugees on the island and giving links to related information plattforms. The report focuses firstly on spotting, i.e. monitoring of the coasts for the documentation of sea rescue and arrivals over the sea from the Turkey and secondly, the accommodation and care of refugees on the island.
Via Hürriyet Daily News (30th April) – A delegation from the European Union will visit Turkey in mid-May to discuss a visa-free deal and the issue of refugees, EU sources told state-run Anadolu Agency on April 30.
A working plan for Turkish citizens to travel to Schengen countries visa-free, submitted by Turkey to Brussels in February, is currently being examined, said the source, who requested anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Via Greek Reporter – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, is reporting that more than 10,000 migrants left voluntarily from Greece between June 2016 and April this year.
Among the returnees, almost 8,380 were men and 2,125 were women. The IOM says special assistance was provided to 77 unaccompanied migrant children, helping them to reunite with their families.
The voluntary returns saw people go back to their homes in 84 countries and territories over a 20-month period through a program funded by the EU and Greece.
Via The Guardian – Greece has rushed to reinforce its land border with Turkey as fears mount over a sharp rise in the number of refugees and migrants crossing the frontier.
Police patrols were augmented as local authorities said the increase in arrivals had become reminiscent of the influx of migrants on the Aegean islands close to the Turkish coast. About 2,900 people crossed the land border in April, by far surpassing the number who arrived by sea, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said. The figure represents half of the total number of crossings during the whole of 2017. Continue reading Greece reinforces land border with Turkey to stem flow of migrants
21 rights organizations condemn the government’s attempt to overturn the court decision ending the containment policy
Press release by 21 human rights and humanitarian organizations, 25.04.2018 – The Greek government’s move on April 20, 2018, overturning abinding court ruling ordering it to end its abusive policy of trapping asylum seekers on Greece’s islands raises rule of law concerns, 21 human rights and humanitarian organizations
Rather than carrying out the April 17 ruling by the Council of State, the country’s highest administrative court, the government issued an administrative decision reinstating the policy, known as the “containment policy.” Continue reading Greek Government Reinstates Containment Policy That Keeps People Trapped on Islands – Defies Court on Asylum Seekers
Press release by Legal Center Lesbos, 28.04.2018 – While all 35 defendants should soon be released from detention, a gross miscarriage of justice took place today at the Mixed Jury Court in Chios, Greece where a ruling of guilty was declared against 32 of the 35 defendants. The 35 were arbitrarily and violently arrested in Moria camp in Lesvos on 18 July 2017 following what started as a peaceful protest outside of an EASO office. This inherently unsafe verdict, reached despite an overwhelming lack of evidence, follows a week long trial which continuously violated fundamental principles of a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights and brings into serious question the impartiality of both the Judges and Prosecutor in the case. Continue reading Moria 35 Trial Ends in Conviction of 32 – But After 9 Months of Unjust Detention, the 35 will Finally be Free!
Via Ekathimerini – Report (from 24th April) with more information on the racist attacks on refugees on Lesvos which took place last Sunday
Police forced dozens of migrants, most Afghan asylum-seekers, who had been camped out on the main square of Lesvos island’s capital since last week, onto buses and transported them to the Moria camp in the early hours of Monday after downtown Mytilini turned into a battleground on Sunday.