Canada Feature | Refugees

Finding Refuge across an Ocean

For Toronto native Samia Tecle, the more than 5,000 miles separating her from the heart of the global migration crisis may as well be 5. Matthew House, the refugee reception services organization Tecle works for, provides accommodations and administrative services for newly arrived refugees, who, having no place to live, are counted among Toronto’s homeless population. Tecle tells the Globe and Mail of the Matthew House’s work and of the importance of Canadian solidarity with new arrivals.

“This is a global crisis. This is as much Canada’s issue as it is Italy’s or Greece’s or Turkey’s.”

View the Globe and Mail video on YouTube.

France Feature | Migrant Youth

Jump-starting the Future for Unaccompanied Migrant Minors in France

A specialized department of the refugee advocacy and services organization France Terre Asile, the Centre d’accueil et d’orientation pour les mineurs isolés étrangers (Reception and Orientation Center for Unaccompanied Foreign Minors) provides meals, lodging, and education for unaccompanied youth of foreign origin aged 14 to 18 to facilitate adjustment and integration into French society. Agence France-Presse profiles a few of the youth and the work being done at the center.

View the AFP video on YouTube (in French).

Czech Republic News | Refugees & Migrants

Missteps in the Czech Republic’s handling of migrants draw ire
  • Czech police have discontinued numbering migrants by pen at the Breclav train station after human rights and Jewish advocacy groups expressed outrage.
  • Authorities said the numbering, which critics said had resonance with Holocaust-era practices, had been an attempt to keep from separating families.
  • Despite having had only a fraction of the asylum requests received by larger European countries, the Czech Republic has experienced a surge in anti-immigrant (largely anti-Muslim) sentiment.

“This incident shows how certain countries in Europe have been hit completely off guard. … The image of labeling refugees brings historical images of the Second World War to mind, and the police and border guards should understand the requirement under international conventions to treat migrants with the dignity they deserve. Countries can’t punish people for being migrants.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

(Image Credit: Igor Zehl/CTK, via Associated Press)

U.K. News | Refugees

U.K. announces it will take in thousands of refugees
  • A spokesperson for the U.N. refugee office reported that Britain will be offering refuge for 4,000 Syrian refugees.
  • The announcement comes as PM David Cameron has come under fire for the his reticence to take in refugees.
  • The Syrians who arrive will be offered resettlement as millions pour out of the country torn apart by conflict driven by pro-Assad forces, rebel factions, the Islamic State, and the defense against IS.

Read the full story at Reuters.