Refugee Deaths in the Mediterranean Reach Alarming Levels
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has highlighted that 2,905 migrants were killed or went missing on the Mediterranean route in the six months to the end of June 2016.
This is more than three-quarters of the 3,690 cases of migrants killed or missing worldwide as registered by the IOM for the same period.
In light of the report, William Swing, director general of IOM, stated that closing off the Balkan route and the current implementation of the E.U.–Turkey deal will not reduce overall flows, Deutsche Welle reports.
“It’s like water. One builds a dam and the water flows around it. Refugees are innovative because they are desperate. When you erect a blockade at one spot, they search for another route.”
Fatalities at sea on the Mediterranean route from Africa to Europe rose by 18 percent in the past six months compared to the same period in 2015, according to the IOM.
South Sudan’s Refugees Could Exceed 1 Million in 2016
Refugees from South Sudan entering neighboring countries in East Africa could surpass 1 million in 2016, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) warns.
Calling upon armed groups to provide safe passage to civilians, the agency called for a cease-fire and $701 million in relief aid, according to the Associated Press.
“7,000 internally displaced people have sought shelter in the U.N.’s bases in Juba … UNHCR is also worried about the situation of some 9,000 urban refugees,” read a news report issued by the agency.
Renewed fighting that erupted late last week in Juba between troops loyal to President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar led to at least 300 deaths and 42,000 people fleeing their homes, according to latest media reports.
The latest outburst of violence breaches a peace deal that was signed last August to end the brutal civil war between the warring sides that claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Refugees Taking Big Steps Toward Integration in U.S., Report Says
The Center for American Progress and the Fiscal Policy Institute found that refugees make significant strides in economic and social integration in their first decade in the United States in a recent survey.
In addition to contributing to the economy, integrated refugees are “bringing vitality to areas with declining populations, contributing to the growth of areas whose populations are already increasing, and expanding the labor force,” according to the study.
The organization has also conducted research on the importance of education for the younger generations of refugees. When afforded access to education, children of migrants and refugees gain command of language on the same level as natives, according to the Center.
The report comes at a time when Europe is confronted with integration of the more than 1 million refugees that entered in 2015 alone and others who have been waiting for asylum, some for years. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly pointed out the need for more concerted policies on integration, stating that the debate on the issue is “fractious, pitting those who favor more assimilationist policies … against those who argue for variations of multiculturalism.”
- The Huffington Post: Who’s Behind South Sudan’s Return to Fighting, if It Isn’t Kiir or Machar?
- Counterpunch: Lebanon Escalates Its Denial of Civil Rights for Palestinian Refugees
- Think Progress: Why Refugees Won’t Find Safety in South Sudan
- The Independent: Syrian Child Refugee Reveals the Horror She Experienced While Trying to Reach Germany
- Al Jazeera: Amnesty Reports Horrific Refugee Abuse Stories in Libya