Tag Archives: refugees

Libya Feature | Black African Migrants

The Resurgence of Black Enslavement in Libya


Source: CNN/YouTube (November 2017)

As a byproduct of ongoing trans-Mediterranean mass migration by sub-Saharan African migrants and refugees, human trafficking in Libya has surged as smugglers extort and exploit migrants in search of passage to Europe. Reports of imprisonment, forced labor, human markets, financial extortion, physical abuse, and the denial of access to basic necessities like food and water involving black African migrants tell the tale of lawlessness and extreme vulnerability in the war-torn country.

With the E.U. pushing the largely disempowered Libyan government to crack down on migrants using its coast as a point of departure for Europe, poorly run detention centers have sprung up with little oversight to prevent migrants from attempting the trans-Mediterranean passage (where more than 10,000 have died since 2014). Corruption among detention officials, inertia in the repatriation process, and poor international coordination have resulted in some of the detained being leased out for day labor or sold to work on farms and in businesses instead of returned to their countries of origin. Global outrage has led to emergency meetings in multiple international organizations, but a long-term solution to the crisis remains elusive.

Read

Slavery in Libya: Life inside a container” (Al Jazeera | January 2018)

Migrant slavery in Libya: Nigerians tell of being used as slaves” (BBC News | January 2018)

IOM Learns of ‘Slave Market’ Conditions Endangering Migrants in North Africa” (International Organization for Migration | April 2017)

Watch

Libya slavery scandal overshadows EU-Africa summit (Al Jazeera | November 2017)

‘Slave markets’ in Libya trap migrants heading for Europe (euronewsvia YouTube | April 2017)

Libya’s Migrant Trade (VICE News | September 2015)

Israel News | African Asylum-seekers

Israel announces deportation plan for tens of thousands of African asylum-seekers
  • Some 40,000 African asylum-seekers—many activists and other dissidents from Sudan and Eritrea—are facing expulsion or imprisonment in Israel, with fewer than 1% of applicants having been granted refugee status.
  • The Israeli government announced that asylum-seekers will have 90 days to accept $3,500 and a plane ticket to a classified third country (speculated to be Rwanda or Uganda) or face incarceration.
  • In response, a network of more than a hundred rabbis called the Anne Frank Home Sanctuary Movement has formed and pledged to protect asylum-seekers from deportation.
Read

Israel to tell African migrants: leave or face indefinite imprisonment” (The Guardian | January 2018)

Mass expulsion under way as Israel begins deporting 40,000 Africans” (Middle East Eye | January 2018)

Inspired by Anne Frank, Rabbis in Israel Plan to Hide African Asylum Seekers Facing Deportation” (Haaretz | January 2018)

Read More

Inside Israel’s Secret Program to Get Rid of African Refugees” (Foreign Policy | June 2017)

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The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants

Lebanon Feature | Syrian Refugees

The Administrative Precarity of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Syrians who have fled to Lebanon to escape the violence that has embroiled their home nation have begun putting down new roots while waiting for the conflict to end. However, cultural and administrative differences have left many Syrians in limbo as practices surrounding institutions like marriage remain unrecognized in their new, if temporary, home. Lebanon’s complex and financially taxing requirements of civil registration (including residency, marriage, and births) has disenfranchised many Syrians, leaving them in legally precarious situations even as the government works to lessen the burdens.

Undocumented children are denied access to IDs and passports, and parents and other couples lacking official work permits find themselves trapped in exploitative labor conditions to support their families. The financial vulnerability of Syrian families is driving intergenerational insecurity, particularly as it has led to an increase in child marriage rates in the country. Reuters examines the complex bureaucratic and cultural conditions shaping the marginalization of Syrian families in Lebanon.

Read

As Syrian couples say ‘I do,’ Lebanon says ‘No, not quite’” (Reuters | December 2017)

Additional

For Syrian refugees, child marriage robs a generation of its future” (The Globe and Mail | March 2017)

 

Myanmar & Bangladesh News | Rohingya Muslims

More than a half-million Rohingya flee violence in Myanmar
  • Since August, nearly 520,000 Rohingya have crossed the border from their homes in Myanmar into Bangladesh, and dozens—many of them children—have died attempting to reach Bangladesh by boat.
  • Refugees spoke of attacks by the military and Buddhist vigilantes, including the burning of villages and physical assaults throughout the state of Rakhine.
  • The U.N. has condemned the violence as “ethnic cleansing” on the part of the Burmese state, which targeted Rohingya communities following an attack by Rohingya militants on a military outpost.
Read

‘I can’t take this any more:’ Rohingya Muslims flee Myanmar in new surge” (Reuters | October 2017)

Rohingya crisis: Children die as boat capsizes off Bangladesh” (BBC News | October 2017)

Bangladesh to build one of world’s largest refugee camps for 800,000 Rohingya” (The Guardian | October 2017)

Uganda News | South Sudanese Refugees

U.N. food cuts lead to desperate food situation for refugees in Uganda
  • The U.N. cut food rations by half in refugee camps, adding to an already critical famine driving displacement in the region.
  • Refugees have taken to stealing crops and other food from locals to sustain themselves, and while no widespread violence has broken out yet, tensions have worn at the historically amicable relations between Ugandans and refugees.
  • Nearly 1 million refugees have fled from South Sudan into neighboring Uganda, a significant fraction of the 3 million driven from the country since the outbreak of civil war in 2013.
Read

South Sudan refugees scrounge for scraps as rations slashed in Uganda camps” (Reuters | May 2017)

Tensions rise as Uganda neighbourly refugee policy starts to feel the strain” (The Guardian | May 2017)

Faced with slaughter they fled, now their safe haven teeters on the brink” (CNN | May 2017)

(Image Credit: via CNN)

Japan News | Migrants & Refugees

Death of Vietnamese man in Japanese immigration center renews concerns about immigration protocols
  • Van Huan Nguyen died in the East Japan Immigration Center in Ibaraki prefecture northeast of Tokyo.
  • Nguyen had originally come to Japan as one of more than 11,000 refugees the country took in in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, though the cause of his detention has not been stated.
  • Nguyen’s death is one of more than a dozen in immigration detention facilities since 2006 and comes as Japan’s at times suspicious and unwelcoming treatment of migrants and asylum-seekers—including poor medical care in detention, familial separation, and its provisional release conditions—has faced renewed international scrutiny.
Read

Vietnamese detainee dies in Japan’s immigration center: sources” (Reuters | March 2017)

Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families” (Reuters | November 2016)

Inmates on hunger strike at Japanese immigration detention centre” (Reuters | July 2016)

(Image Credit: Yuyu Shino/Reuters)

France News | Migrants & Asylum-Seekers

Calais mayor bans gatherings at site of closed refugee camp
  • The ban will prohibit charity organizations from distributing food, clothing, and other survival resources to migrants and refugees attempting to travel to the United Kingdom from France.
  • Police have reportedly begun using teargas to break up attempts at food distribution at the site of the former camp, which was dismantled in October 2016.
  • Mayor Natacha Bouchart accused such gatherings of ratcheting ethnic tensions among migrants and endangering public safety.
Read

Calais mayor bans distribution of food to migrants” (The Guardian | March 2017)

Charities slam Calais ban that could halt food aid for migrants” (Reuters | March 2017)

Outcry after Calais mayor bans food handouts to migrants” (AFP via France24 | March 2017)

(Image Credit: Matt Dunham/AP, via The Guardian)