Mediterranean migration crisis

Mediterranean migration crisis20 posts
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23 Jan, 2016

43 drown off Greek coast

Transportation Disaster

At least 43 migrants drown when their wooden sailboat capsizes on the voyage from Turkey to Europe. 17 of the dead are children. Greek Coast Guard officials are unclear as to why the boat sank off the coast of Kalymnos, but say that winds were strong at the time. Fishing vessels take part in search and rescue operations. One local fisherman, Michalis, seemed shocked by the migrants’ equipment.

They weren’t wearing life jackets. I don’t believe it. They couldn’t swim. The hospital is now full of dead people.

19 Jan, 2016

Norway deports migrants

Law approved

Norway deports 60 migrants to Russia under new rules that allow them to deport any migrant originating in a country deemed to be “safe.” The new rules are expected to see 5,500 people deported to Russia. Many of the migrants are fleeing the war in Syria, but they crossed into Norway through Russia via the Arctic Circle. Human rights groups say that Russia should not be considered a safe place for refugees and condemned the move.

18 Jan, 2016

Women Targeted

Makes Statement

Amnesty International reports that female refugees coming to Europe face violence and harassment in excess of what is faced by male refugees.The report is based on interviews with 40 women and girls in Germany and Norway last month who had traveled from Turkey to Greece and then across the Balkans. The threat is greatest in Hungary, Croatia and Greece, where facilities are not segregated by sex and women are forced to sleep and shower alongside men. The “ad hoc” nature of receiving refugees is blamed for some of the issues. International Rescue Committee:

One of the challenges we have been facing is that it is taking a long time for the international community, and by that I mean governments, to wake up to this crisis and to realize that it is not something that they can wish away.


Denmark plans refugee property seizure

Introduces Bill

Denmark announces plans to demand refugees’ valuables in an attempt to make Denmark less appealing as a place of refuge. The rule is not different from laws that apply to Danes receiving welfare benefits, but lawmakers supporting the bill admit that the goal is to discourage people seeking asylum in Denmark. 20,000 people applied for asylum in Denmark in 2015, compared with 1.1 million in neighboring Germany and 163,000 in neighboring Sweden. Immigration Minister:

Denmark must become significantly less attractive for asylum-seekers.


Strict borders boost human trafficking

Makes Statement

Doctors Without Borders says traffickers are being boosted by strict border policies intended to stop migration in Europe. Many Balkan and central European states have tightened their borders in the wake of the Paris attacks in November 2015.

Our teams have seen, ever since the closure of the border to some nationalities …the return of smugglers in the area…These trafficking networks had disappeared in June with the legalization of the border crossing … but have notably increased again since the new restrictions were implemented.

15 Jan, 2016

Eviction planned

Makes Statement

Up to 2000 refugees living in a makeshift camp near Calais face eviction as local authorities announce plans to bulldoze their camp. Authorities say that they have constructed a winter shelter and say that those who are unable to find a bed at the new shelter will be transported to other centers around the country, but residents are skeptical and cite ill-treatment from security guards as one reason for their distrust.  Care 4 Calais group:

Someone needs to think of a real solution, not just for these refugees, but for all of the refugees stuck across Europe.

1 Oct, 2015

Will send back Syrian refugees

Makes Statement

At a New Hampshire rally Trump says that if he’s elected president he will send back Syrian refugees taken in by the U.S. because they may be Islamic State militants in disguise.

I’m putting the people on notice that are coming here from Syria as part of this mass migration. If I win, they’re going back…They could be ISIS, I don’t know…This could be one of the great tactical ploys of all time. A 200,000-man army, maybe. That could be possible.

Trump: Syrian Refugees in US 'Are Going Back'

17 Sep, 2015

Refugee child dies in accident


A three-year-old refugee boy from the Iraq dies in an accident at a welcome party for refugees in Germany. The boy is swinging on a rope hung between two large flowerpots when one fell and crushes him. He is taken to hospital but later died of head injuries. The boy and his family arrived there four weeks ago after a journey of more than 4,000 km (2,500 miles).

16 Sep, 2015

Migrants try to break through border

Attends protest

After a tense stand-off with riot police, a group of migrants try to break through the newly-sealed border barrier to try to enter Hungary. Some migrants throw missiles, including stones and water bottles at the police who then retaliate by firing tear gas and water cannon. Several people have received medical treatment from the ambulance service at the scene of the clashes. Most are suffering from the effects of tear gas but one young man had a bloody leg. Migrant:

We fled wars and violence and did not expect such brutality and inhumane treatment.

Police fire tear gas at rioting migrants trying to break through border

14 Sep, 2015

Identifies two refugee islands

Makes Statement

Sawiris says he has identified two Greek islands that could be used to host Syrian refugees. He says talks would depend on whether the owners can secure approval from the Greek government. Ne also suggests setting up a joint-stock company with a capital of $100 million, to ensure that any money invested “will not be completely lost, as the asset (the island) will remain.”

6 Sep, 2015

Will not allow Israel to be ‘submerged’ by refugees

Makes Statement

Netanyahu rejects calls by Mahmoud Abbas and opposition leader Isaac Herzog to let more Syrian refugees enter Israel, and says that a 30-kilometre fence will be constructed across the Jordan border.

We will not allow Israel to be submerged by a wave of illegal migrants and terrorist activists. Israel is not indifferent to the human tragedy of Syrian and African refugees… but Israel is a small country — very small — without demographic or geographic depth. That is why we must control our borders.

5 Sep, 2015

Austria and Germany open borders

Makes Statement

Germany opens borders to thousands of refugees from Hungary. About 4,300 people arrive in Germany, escaping Syria and Iraq. Austria says it received at least 6,500 refugees and migrants who flooded across the Hungarian border, where charity workers provided hospitality and much-needed bedding and food. Merkel:

The right to political asylum has no limits on the number of asylum seekers. As a strong, economically healthy country we have the strength to do what is necessary.

4 Sep, 2015

Offers to buy island for refugees

Makes Statement

Sawiris says “there is no limit” on what he is willing to spend to buy an island from Italy or Greece to provide 100,000 to 200,000 refugees with a new home. He says the new country could be called “Hope.” He says people would be free to return home at any time or stay on the island. Greek and Italian officials were not available to comment on the proposal.

It’s a very simple solution. They sell the island to me and I’ll make a temporary shelter for these people. I’ll make a small port or marina for the boats to land there. I’ll employ the people to build their own homes, their schools, a hospital, a university, a hotel. I sometimes think the politicians don’t have a heart. All I need is the permission to put these people on this island. After that I don’t need anything anymore from them. I’ll pay them for the island, I’ll provide the jobs, I’ll take care of all the logistics. I know I can do that.

24 Aug, 2015

Thousands of migrants enter Serbia

Baltic migrantsLong lines of migrants, many of them refugees from Syria, are walking through southern Serbia before jumping on trains and buses north to western Europe. 8,000 migrants have registered in the southern Serbian town of Presevo over the past 24 hours. State authorities and aid agencies are struggling to provide tents, food and water to thousands who have come since Greece began ferrying migrants from overwhelmed islands to the mainland. The problem threatens to get worse as Hungary races to complete a fence along its border with Serbia to keep the migrants out.

22 Aug, 2015

4400 migrants rescued

A massive international rescue operation involving several ships rescues 4,400 migrants off the coast of Libya.  Several Italian coast guard and navy ships pull migrants from 22 vessels, including rubber dinghies, off the country’s coast. The EU border agency rescues 95 people from a very unstable rubber dinghy and takes on board another 206 rescued by the Italian navy. The ship is now carrying the migrants to Italy. Many are fleeing conflict in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, while others are escaping poverty or repression in Africa.Doctors Without Borders:

I have never seen so many young people onboard the ship, and especially not so many children travelling alone.


UNHCR: 264,500 migrants arrived in 2015

Makes Statement

UNHCR says that some 264,500 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean this year. They include more than 158,000 who have arrived in Greece — many landing on small islands ill-equipped to deal with the influx — along with about 104,000 who’ve gone to Italy, around 1,950 to Spain and almost 100 to Malta.

20 Aug, 2015

Greek ferries move migrants from islands

In response to the more than 160,000 migrants arriving this year, and to ease the overcrowding on the islands, the Greek government charters a ferry that registers and transports over 2500 migrants to Greece’s main port near Athens. Most migrants do not want to stay in Greece and head north to Greece’s border with Macedonia with the aim of going through the Balkans toward the more prosperous European nations such as Germany, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. However, Macedonia plans to step up security on the border to block the route.

3 May, 2015

Boat sinks

Transportation Disaster

Boat carrying an estimated 137 migrants sinks south of Sicily. Survivors say that up to 40 people fell into the sea. Save the Children’s representative:

They [survivors] said there were 137 people aboard an inflatable boat that deflated or exploded – it wasn’t clear – and that some of them fell overboard.

19 Apr, 2015

Boat capsizes

Transportation Disaster

A boat carrying more than 700 migrants capsizes near Libyan waters. Italian ships, the Maltese Navy and commercial vessels involved in the rescue operation. Twenty eight people have been rescued. Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat:

Rescuers are literally trying to find people alive among the dead floating in the water…If confirmed, it would be the biggest migrant tragedy to have taken place in the Mediterranean in recent times.

15 Aug, 2014

100,000 migrants entered Italy in 2014

Makes Statement

Italy’s interior ministry says 101,480 boat migrants arrived in the country in 2014. Italy has rescued more than 70,000 migrants through its “Mare Nostrum” (Our Sea) mission of Mediterranean patrols which it began in October 2014. The operation patrols the waters between Africa and Sicily. Recent migrants have been refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war and Eritrea’s harsh military service. Italy’s interior minister says the country is “proud to be saving lives” of migrants and without its efforts the Mediterranean would have become a “lake of death”.

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