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Executive Summary for May 20th

We review the most recent issues related to refugees including the drop in refugee registration in Germany, reports of children being forced into prostitution at Greek migrant reception centers and U.S. Senate Democrats urging Obama to speed up refugee resettlement.

Published on May 20, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Refugee Registration Numbers Drop In Germany

A total of 200,000 refugees have been registered in Germany since the start of this year, according to Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).

These numbers signal a sharp decrease in the number of refugees registering in Germany compared to the peak of the crisis last fall: 181,000 migrants registered in Germany in October 2015 alone.

Yet these numbers are still higher than before the massive influx of refugees began last summer. In the whole of 2014, just over 200,000 migrants applied for asylum in Germany.

Germany was rated second on Amnesty International’s’ Refugee Welcome Index of countries, which measures the willingness of residents to accept refugees in their hometowns. However, German officials told Deutsche-Welle that Germany still faces a challenge when it comes to fully integrating those who have resettled in the country.

“The vast number of people who come to us still need support in order to have the prospect of entering the labor market as specialists,” said BA board executive Raimund Becker in an interview with Deutschlandfunk on Friday.

Claims of Forced Child Prostitution in Greek Migrant Reception Center

Some migrant and refugee children have been forced into prostitution at a reception center near Athens’ former international airport, according to Greek news outlet E. Kathimerini.

Andreas Kondylis, the mayor of Alimos, a southern district of the capital, told local news outlets that he was aware of several complaints about adults living in the camp forcing children into prostitution at the center. Some 6,000 people currently live in the camp.

This is not the first claim in regards to refugee children suffering sexual abuse. Last week, the Turkish government issued a statement confirming that several young refugees were sexually assaulted in a camp based in Gaziantep, near the Syrian border. One of the camp’s cleaning employees had reportedly sexually assaulted at least 30 boys between the ages of 8 and 12 since February.

Senate Democrats Urge Obama to Speed Up Refugee Resettlement

Twenty-seven Senate Democrats have signed a letter to President Barack Obama earlier this week urging the White House to speed up the resettlement of refugees in the United States.

“The international community’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis has been uneven. Other nations, including ours, can and should do much more,” the letter said.

Senators added that they “are deeply concerned about the slow pace of admission for Syrian refugees in the first seven months of the fiscal year.”

Last September, Obama vowed to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. within 12 months. The U.S. resettled 451 Syrian refugees last month, bringing the total number to 1,736, according to the State Department: only 17 percent of Obama’s goal.

During this same time period, the U.S. has resettled more than 6,000 Burmese and at least 4,000 refugees from Iraq, Mother Jones reported.

“In successfully resettling refugees from conflict zones around the world for decades, the United States has not [been] dissuaded by fear and we should not be now,” the letter said.

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