20th January 2012
According to Migrants at Sea, "hundreds of Tunisians who departed Tunisia for Lampedusa by sea in early 2011 remain missing. Some of the missing may have died at sea, but family members remain hopeful that others survived the voyage and are now in Italy or elsewhere in Europe"
To read the full article by Migrants at Sea please click here
20th January 2012
As the events of the Costa Concordia has spread over Europe, the media coverage has been unrelenting. The unfolding farce of the captain and the tragic loss of those found dead and missing. An interesting comparison of these deaths and the media coverage of migrants death can be found in an article in Presseurop (reproduced from Die Tageszeitung) by Dominic Johnson.
"The passengers on the 'Costa Concordia' are right to complain about [what has happened]. But many thousands of times over, the grief of the bereaved families of the victims of the sea of fortress Europe also deserve to e heard. The dead are among us, whether from luxury cruisers or from the fishing boat" [google translated from German].
For more information please see:
19th January 2012
Frontex has published its "Analysis of Migratory Trends at the EU External Borders for the third quarter of 2011" . According to the EU Border Agency, over 38 000 migrants were detected crossing illegally into the EU in the third quarter of 2011, which constitutes an 11% increase in comparison to the same period last year. The majority of migrants entered the EU in a small number of hotspots such as land border between Greece and Turkey in the Evros region and the Italian island of Lampedusa in Central Mediterranean. (Article in European Voice, for subscribers).
19th January 2012
From ECRE newsbulletin:
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström in an article in The Times of Malta with a revealing title: Refugees: How Europe failed.
Highlights of the article:
"European promises of solidarity with people in need were tested in 2011. It is worrying to note that Europe, collectively, did not pass the test. Now, all member states of the European Union must take responsibility and make sure that 2012 will be a better year for asylum matters".
"Over 700,000 people were forced to flee the violence in Libya, many ended up in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Of the 8,000 people identified by the UN as being in particular need of help, all EU member states only managed to promise to receive 400. Norway, a non EU-country, accepted nearly as many by itself".
"Meanwhile, more than 50,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean in rickety vessels to the EU. Far too many died trying. Others arrived at the Italian island of Lampedusa and Malta and, at a pledging conference last spring, European countries had the chance to show their solidarity. The result? A mere 300 refugees being relocated from Malta to other member states."
"An underlying problem is the political mood in many member states. We have not seen as many populist and xenophobic parties in European national parliaments since before World War II. True to form, they exploit the current crisis, trying to shift the blame from poorly managed national economies to immigrant populations. Here, we need European and national leadership to make sure that populist logic does not dictate the agenda.
Because, contrary to what the xenophobes would have us believe, the number of asylum seekers in Europe is far lower today than it was 10 years ago. And Europe is by no means exceptionally open in its asylum policies. There are far more refugees in Kenya alone than there are in the 27 EU countries".
"The EU needs common high standards and stronger cooperation to ensure that asylum seekers are treated equally in an open and fair system, wherever they apply".