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Executive Summary for July 11th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including a surge in the number of refugees trying to reach Spain, a fire at a Greek island camp after protests against detention conditions, and the International Olympic Committee’s plan for a 2020 refugee team.

Published on July 11, 2017 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Refugees Heading to Spain Double in 2016

The number of people taking boats from North Africa to Spain has more than doubled this year.

No fewer than 6,464 people arrived in Spain via the Western Mediterranean route from Morocco and Algeria in January 1–June 25, compared to 2,476 in the same period last year. In June, 1,900 people reached Spain – some four times the number in the same month in 2016.

In the past week alone, 380 people have been rescued in the western Mediterranean, including at least one pregnant woman. Around 50 people are feared to have drowned off the coast of Spain on July 4, which the U.N. refugee agency called “the worst tragedy in the last decade in the Spanish Mediterranean.”

Some people who had attempted the journey to Europe told Reuters that Morocco was now seen as a safer option considering the violent chaos in Libya.

“It seems like it is safer to go through Morocco to Spain than through Libya,” said Buba Fubareh, a 27-year-old mason from Gambia. “The difference is that Libya doesn’t have a president and Morocco does – there are not guns like in Libya.”

Fire Breaks Out in Moria Camp After Protest Against Detention

A fire broke out at the Moria migrant center on the Greek island of Lesbos after a protest against detention conditions.

Protesters gathered outside the part of the camp where migrants are held prior to being deported to Turkey to protest the conditions for detainees. They threw stones at police at the site, who responded with tear gas, according to Ekathimerini.

The resulting fire burned down several tents and prefabricated buildings, the newspaper said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

IOC Plans 2020 Refugee Olympic Team

The International Olympic Committee plans for another refugee Olympic team to compete at the 2020 games in Tokyo.

“We are already discussing a potential refugee team for Tokyo 2020,” IOC spokesperson Mark Adams told reporters. “We want to strengthen our efforts with the United Nations.”

The 10-person Team Refugee that competed in the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil included athletes from Syria, Congo, Ethiopia and South Sudan.

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