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Executive Summary for August 2nd

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a British M.P.’s call for male refugees to be taught about gender equality, the latest MSF report condemning Hungary’s use of excessive force against migrants and the displacement of 25,000 people in Aleppo.

Published on Aug. 2, 2016 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

British M.P. Suggests Teaching Male Refugees About Gender Equality

Male refugees who resettle in the U.K. should be taught about women’s equality, suggested Labour M.P. Thangam Debbonaire, as reported in the Guardian. It would be part of a national campaign aimed at improving male attitudes toward women in general, she added.

Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, she said: “What I don’t want is for the British people to respond to a case of assault or sexual harassment by saying ‘No’ to more refugees, which seemed to be what the public’s response in Germany was in danger of becoming.”

“We need to think about how we have those men understand what is expected of them without pretending we ourselves are perfect. It would need to be sensitively worked out and could be part of a nationwide campaign to help men and boys in general to look at gender equality in a different way,” she added.

Her comments follow the condemnation of U.K. Independence Party leader Nigel Farage during the referendum campaign after suggesting women would be at risk of sex attacks from migrants.

Increase in Violent Attacks Against Migrants on the Balkan Route

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has warned that the Balkan route is becoming increasingly dangerous for migrants since the route’s closure in March. The group further denounced Hungary for using “excessive” force against migrants who are now stranded.

“In the last few months, an increasing number of our patients have reported cases of violence and abuse and showed physical trauma directly associated with violence. Many of these cases were allegedly perpetrated by Hungarian authorities,” said Simon Burroughs, MSF’s head of mission in Serbia.

“We strongly condemn the use of excessive force and we urge the Hungarian authorities to take the necessary actions for these practices to stop,” he added.

Francois Tillette de Mautort, MSF’s humanitarian affairs officer in Serbia, told Balkan Insight that tightened border controls are unlikely to stem the flow of migrants.

“It will just put them in a more vulnerable position and make them more exposed to smugglers,” he said.

25,000 Syrians Newly Displaced in Western Aleppo

Around 25,000 people were forced to flee their homes in western Aleppo on Monday by military attacks initiated by armed opposition groups, UNICEF said in a press statement. More than 12,000 children are now displaced, it added.

“Twenty-five thousand people have fled instantly last night from this area, with whatever they could leave the door with,” said Kieran Dwyer, chief of communications for UNICEF in Syria.

Armed opposition groups launched a military offensive late yesterday afternoon that targeted a densely populated western part of Aleppo, Dwyer told UNICEF. The fighting continued through the night and throughout today, he added.

Asked if more people are at risk of displacement, he responded: “We don’t know what the dynamic in fighting is going to result in. We are watching and responding at every turn.”

Meanwhile 300,000 people remain trapped in eastern Aleppo, cut off from humanitarian aid since early July, Stephen O’Brien, the under-secretary-general for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs, said last week, demanding immediate access to the area.

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