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Executive Summary for July 1st

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including aid groups calling on Jordan to give them access to Syrian refugees camped on its border, Croatia building Europe’s latest migrant fence and the IOM being folded into the U.N.

Published on July 1, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Aid Groups Plead With Jordan For Access To Syrian Refugees

International aid organizations have called on Jordan to allow them access to some 70,000 Syrian refugees camped on the border. The medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Human Rights Watch called on the government in Amman to allow life-saving aid deliveries to resume following the June closure of the border.

Jordan declared the desert area on its northeastern border with Syria a “closed military zone” after a deadly car bomb attack was launched from an area near where refugees have camped.

“Jordan should not be punishing Syrian children, women and men fleeing the same atrocities that killed Jordanian soldiers,” said Gerry Simpson from Human Rights Watch. “Other countries should do all they can to help Jordan keep its border open to those in need.”

MSF has called on Jordan to reopen the border for refugees and resume screening processes. The aid group said that abandoning displaced Syrians in the border area or sending them back to war-ravaged Syria were unacceptable options.

Croatia Builds Latest Migrant Fence

Croatia is the latest European country to build a fence to keep migrants out. The Balkan state has erected metal fences on a bridge over the Danube that acts as a main crossing point from Serbia.

The construction at the Batina-Bezdan crossing on Thursday enabled “technical barriers [that] could be activated to completely close the bridge,” Croatia’s interior ministry said.

Croatia, which saw 650,000 refugees and migrants transit en route to western Europe last year, has followed Hungary, Slovenia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in building a fence.

In March, FYROM, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia all closed their borders to refugees, forcing tens of thousands of them to choose between paying smugglers to get them out of Greece or staying stranded in the country. Nearly 60,000 refugees have remained in Greece since the border closures, living in conditions that have been widely criticized by humanitarian organizations.

IOM Joins U.N. System

Leaders of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have unanimously agreed to become part of the United Nations system.

It is not yet clear how the IOM will work with the UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, in the bureaucratic marriage announced on June 30.

The move by the IOM gives it similar status to other affiliated bodies, such as the World Trade Organization, and hands the issue over to the U.N. General Assembly.

William Lacy Swing, director general of the IOM, said the move by the 65-year-old organization was a “watershed moment” coming at a time when one in seven of the world’s population qualifies as a migrant.

Alongside its new relationship with the U.N., the IOM welcomed China, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands into the organization, bringing its roster of member states to 165.

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