Tag Archives: Travel & Mobility

Global Feature | Black

Traveling While Black

For those with the means, contemporary Black travelers experience a freedom of movement historically circumscribed by oppression, persecution, and economic exclusion. People of African descent have found new footing in the exploding global travel field, with travel motivations ranging from pleasure-seeking to the desire to connect with ancestral homes. Travel abroad is not without its challenges, however: Black travelers recount dealing with stares, hair obsession, and the need to expand conceptions of the diverse places Black people live in the world. As a lifestyle movement coalesces around Black travelers, BBC News explores the unique experiences of traveling while Black, from encounters with strangers to hyper-visibility.

“Our access to travel has been historically tied to colonisation or immigration. We’re paying homage to our ancestors to be travelling on our own free will.”

Read

What does it mean to be a black traveller?” (BBC News | January 2020)

Previous Coverage

How the black travel movement is gaining momentum” (CNN | August 2019)

Connect

Black & Abroad

Black Girls Travel Too

Travel Noire

U.K. News | Asylum-Seekers

Asylum-seekers increasingly attempt dangerous cross-Channel trek to the U.K.

  • Patrol operations in the English Channel have led to the rescue of asylum-seekers attempting to reach the U.K. by small boats, which French and British officials claim is driven by organized smuggling.
  • More than 200 have arrived in the U.K. by water since November, which represents more than a tenfold increase from last year.
  • Migrants have begun turning to aquatic travel as the British and French governments have increasingly targeted land-based vehicles for inspection and closed shelter camps.

Read

More migrants and refugees try to reach UK via English Channel” (Al Jazeera | December 2018)

Five migrant boats rescued in English Channel” (BBC News | December 2018)

Migrants risk death at sea to reach Britain as prices spike on traditional routes” (CNN | December 2018)

Saudi Arabia News | Women

Saudi flight academy opens applications to women as mobility restrictions lifted
  • Oxford Aviation Academy has received hundreds of applications from women at its flight school branch in Dammam.
  • The change comes as the government has lifted a decades-old ban that prohibited women from driving or traveling without permission.
  • Despite the legal relaxations, women still face a number of mobility obstacles, including many derived from the country’s guardianship laws.
Read

Saudi aviation academy to train first women pilots” (Reuters | July 2018)

The ban on Saudi women driving is ending: Here’s what you need to know” (CNN | June 2018)

How Guardianship Laws Still Control Saudi Women” (The New York Times | June 2018)

U.A.E. News | Tunisian Women

U.A.E. airline issues travel ban on Tunisian women
  • Emirates, the U.A.E.’s national airline, barred Tunisian women from its flights, necessitating Tunisian government intervention to help stranded passengers.
  • A presidential spokesperson indicated that the Emirati government had issued the directive in response to information indicating women with a Tunisian passport would attempt a terrorist attack.
  • In response, Tunisia banned Emirates from landing in its capital, Tunis.
Read

Attack fears prompted UAE-Tunisia female passenger row” (BBC News | December 2017)

UAE has information Tunisian women may commit ‘terrorist acts’, Tunisia says” (Reuters | December 2017)

Tunisia suspends Emirates flights over security measures targeting women” (Agence France-Presse, via The Guardian | December 2017)

Panama News | Colombian, Venezuelan & Nicaraguan Immigrants

Panama announces plans to crack down on immigration from Colombia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua
  • Panamanian officials have announced new restrictions on immigration from the three countries, including conducting financial checks and shortening the duration of tourist permits from 180 days to 90 days.
  • Anti-immigration sentiment has grown over the last year, with Colombians and Venezuelans particularly targeted and maligned as connected to drug trafficking and other crime in the country.
  • Around 250,000 have immigrated to Panama from the three countries since 2010.
Read

Panama to Crack Down on Immigration, Colombians and Venezuelans” (teleSUR | May 2017)

Panama cuts stays for Colombians, Venezuelans, Nicaraguans” (The Associated Press via The Washington Post | May 2017)

Panama to tighten immigration policy for Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua” (Reuters | May 2017)

North Korea & Malaysia News | Malaysians & North Koreans

North Korea and Malaysia institute exit bans on each other’s citizens
  • North Korea’s frustration at Malaysia’s handling of the investigation into the murder of the half-brother of leader Kim Jong Un led to the announcement of a ban on the departure of Malaysian nationals from the country.
  • Malaysian PM Najib Razak responded by initially banning the departure of North Korean diplomatic staff before extending it to all North Koreans.
  • Two people—an Indonesian woman and a Vietnamese woman—have been charged in the homicide, though they claim they believed to have been taking part in a prank.
Read

Kim Jong-nam death: Malaysia and N Korea in tit-for-tat exit bans” (BBC News | March 2017)

North Korea, Malaysia’s diplomatic ties frayed over Kim Jong Nam’s death” (CNN | March 2017)

Malaysia says talks on with North Korea for return of nine citizens” (Reuters | March 2017)

(Image Credit: Lai Seng Sin/Reuters)

Morocco & Spain News | Migrants & Asylum-Seekers

Hundreds storm gate to Morocco-Spain border at Ceuta exclave
  • The autonomous Spanish enclave of Ceuta, one of only two land borders between Africa and Europe, saw some 850 sub-Saharan migrants and asylum-seekers scaling barbed wire fences along the five-mile border between Morocco and Spain to reach the immigration center inside.
  • The city, located on the northwest coast of Morocco, has long been the site of attempts to cross into Europe, although strong security forces have kept most attempts at bay.
  • The event follows a similar—though unsuccessful—one from New Year’s Day, when more than 1,000 attempted to breach the gate.
Read

Los saltos en la valla de Ceuta se duplican tras la amenaza de Marruecos” (El País | February 2017)

Morocco uses migrant crisis as leverage in EU free trade dispute” (France24 | February 2017)

Risking Injury and Arrest, African Migrants Storm a Gate to Europe” (The New York Times | February 2017)

(Image Credit: Jesus Moron/Associated Press, via The New York Times)

Canada News | Asylum-Seekers

Spike in irregular border crossings into Canada comes as asylum-seekers bypass unfriendly U.S.
  • Asylum-seekers from countries like Ghana, Somalia, and Djibouti have endured subzero winter conditions in an attempt to cross the U.S.-Canada border, with 2017 set to outpace the last few years in irregular crossings.
  • The Canadian government has made it a point to distinguish itself from its southern neighbor, welcoming refugees officially and overseeing a popular refugee sponsorship program.
  • Many asylum-seekers have avoided official border crossing ports because of a “safe country” agreement between Canada and the U.S. that denies entry to refugees traveling from the U.S., now complicated by the Trump administration’s active refugee ban.
Read

Why So Many Refugees Are Risking Their Lives To Cross The Border Into Canada” (BuzzFeed News | February 2017)

Canada PM Trudeau pressured to tackle influx of asylum seekers over US border” (The Guardian | February 2017)

New numbers show spike in asylum seekers crossing from U.S. to Manitoba” (CBC News | January 2017)

(Image Credit: Lyle Stafford/Reuters, via The Guardian)

U.S. News | Refugees & Immigrants

Refugees and immigrants traveling to U.S. reportedly stopped at airports following executive order
  • President Donald Trump issued an executive order halting refugee resettlement in the U.S. for 120 days.
  • The order also creates a 90-day suspension of visas for nationals from”countries of concern,” expected to include Muslim-majority countries with little to no connection to Trump’s business interests including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
  • The suspended visas and refugee ban have led to the detention of and refusal of passage to immigrant airport travelers.
Read

Full Executive Order Text: Trump’s Action Limiting Refugees Into the U.S. (via The New York Times)

Coverage

(Image Credit: via Politico)

Interregional News | Asylum-Seekers

Number of asylum-seekers drowned in Mediterranean reaches 5,000 for 2016
  • The U.N. refugee agency announced the figure—amounting to an average of 14 deaths per day—following the recent deaths of 100 asylum-seekers after two dinghies sank off the coast of Italy.
  • The number is highest annual total yet, with contributing factors including poor weather, decreased boat construction quality, increasingly crowded seas, and increasingly desperate attempts to avoid detection and deportation.
  • According to the International Organization for Migration, nearly 360,000 reached Europe’s shores by sea in 2016, a significant decrease from the more than 1 million in 2015.

Read more:
Migrant crisis: UN says 5,000 drown trying to reach Europe this year” (BBC)
Mediterranean death toll is record 5,000 migrants this year: agencies” (Reuters)
‘Worst Annual Death Toll Ever’: Mediterranean Claims 5,000 Migrants” (The New York Times)

(Image Credit: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters)

Saudi Arabia News | Transgender

Saudi transman speaks out at conference as Saudi Arabia reportedly mulls ban on trans pilgrims
  • Salman Al-Dukheil spoke at Trust Women, a London-based international conference on women’s rights and human trafficking, about his experience as a Saudi transman whose life has been split between Saudi Arabia and the U.S.
  • Conflicting media reports have indicated that the Saudi government may be considering a ban on transgender pilgrims for Umrah, a pilgrimage to Mecca that, unlike the Hajj, can be undertaken at any time during the year.
  • While there is no official law against transgender identity, police have arrested people for cross-dressing and, for men, effeminate behavior.

Read more:
Saudi plan to bar transgender persons from performing Umrah is un-Islamic: Ghamidi” (The Express Tribune)
Transgender Saudi man speaks out publicly for first time to help others” (The Thomson Reuters Foundation)
Trust Women: Salman Al-Dukheil

Egypt News | Critics, Advocates & Journalists

Travel bans trap Egyptian activists in “giant prison”
  • Two prominent human rights advocates—Aida Seif al-Dawla and Azza Soliman—recently discovered they were barred from traveling in and out of Egypt as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi continues targeting civil society and human rights organizations.
  • Human rights monitors report that 217 people have been subject to travel bans between 2014 and 2016, 115 of whom are critics of the Sisi-led government.
  • Activists and journalists reported being met with deferral or radio silence when inquiring about the cause or origin of their bans, with the government denying a crackdown.

Read more:
Egypt is giant prison, activists banned from travel say” (Reuters)
Egypt imposes travel bans on human rights activists” (The Financial Times)
A Top Egyptian Human Rights Activist Banned From Travel” (AP via The New York Times)

ClimateWatch: U.S.

ClimateWatch
The U.S. in the Era of Trump


Source: euronews YouTube

The conclusion of an election that saw an historic clash over the values of diversity, inclusion, and the meaning of “America” has brought with it a surge in uncertainty for minority and other historically disadvantaged communities in the U.S. The damage was extensive: the nearly year and a half of campaigning saw ethnic and religious minorities disparaged, immigrants targeted, women (including his opponent) subjected to misogynistic abuse, the mainstream press caught in the crosshairs of an anti-media campaign, and rhetorical and symbolic resonances in speeches and advertising that drew white supremacists and other far-right extremists out of the woodwork.

In what ways has Trump’s election reshaped the social and political climate for vulnerable American populations, including women, Latinos, black people, immigrants, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities? How is the post-election retreat from data showing racial resentment as the highest predictor of Trump support endangering reality-based solutions for vulnerable communities, politicians, and analysts? And how has his rise to power connected to and amplified similar right-wing, ethno-nationalist politics globally?

Whether and how American conservatives and the Republican Party—now set to hold power in all three branches of government—are able to manage a resurgent coalition of ethno-nationalist voters as well as the capacity for progressive and Democratic activists to create social, political, and legal structures to protect vulnerable communities will determine what life in Trump’s America will look like for the at-risk. This ClimateWatch rounds up a number of key news items, analyses, and commentaries providing insight on what has happened and what could be on the horizon. Continue reading ClimateWatch: U.S.

France & U.K. News | Refugees & Migrants

France and U.K. resettle asylum-seekers in preparation for dismantlement of Calais camp
  • The government—with the help of more than 10,000 refugee aid agencies—has begun moving an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 asylum-seekers out of the Calais camp (known as the “Jungle”) and into “reception centers” throughout the country.
  • The UK has committed to accepting unaccompanied children across the border, although local agencies have expressed concern about a lack of planning to facilitate the transfer process.
  • The asylum-seekers are expected to spend an average of two months in the centers under the supervision of social workers before being again relocated while their asylum applications are processed, though some report having languished in limbo for longer.

Read more:
Migrants begin new life outside France’s ‘Jungle’ camp” (Reuters)
Calais migrant camp will be razed soon: French minister” (AFP via The Local)
Children in Calais Jungle to arrive in UK ‘in days’” (BBC)

(Image Credit: Regis Duvignau/Reuters)


 

Mexico News | Haitian Migrants

End of special immigration protections diminishes hopes of Haitians looking to cross into U.S. from Mexico
  • Thousands of Haitians have become trapped in Mexico as an ongoing migration crisis has been exacerbated by the recent destruction wrought by Hurricane Matthew in their home country.
  • The U.S. recently ended special protections for Haitian migrants in the country in place since the 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000, though activists have begun pressuring the government to renew them in light of the most recent natural disaster.
  • Monitors estimate as many as 40,000—many coming from an economically distraught Brazil—may be en route throughout the Americas as they pay upwards of thousands of dollars to pass through the most legally treacherous parts.

Read more:
Far from Hurricane Matthew, a Haitian crisis flares in Tijuana” (Reuters)
Haitians, After Perilous Journey, Find Door to U.S. Abruptly Shut” (The New York Times)
Haitians throng at U.S.-Mexico border despite deportation policy” (AP via CBS News)

(Image Credit: Adam Ferguson/The New York Times)