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Executive Summary for May 10th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including more than half of Britons saying refugees deserve more support, UNHCR resuming evacuation flights from Libya, and Greek police rescuing migrants from kidnap gang.

Published on May 10, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Survey Finds British Attitudes to Refugees Softening

More than half of Britons believe refugees deserve more support than they are getting. A survey showed an 11-point rise in positive sentiment over the past year.

Conflict was seen as the number one reason for people fleeing their homes, according to the Aurora Humanitarian Index. The poll found that 52 percent of Britons believe refugees deserve more support and 38 percent of respondents regret that the U.K. is not doing more to support them.

Ruben Vardanyan, cofounder of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, said, “It’s heartening that nationalistic attitudes toward refugees [are] in decline in the U.K.

The survey, which covers 11,000 people in 12 countries, attempts to gauge public attitudes to humanitarian issues. Globally, the index found that 97 percent of people did not understand that the vast majority of displaced people are hosted by developing countries rather than the West.

Most people also think that less than a third of refugees are under 18, whereas the reality is that more than half of them are minors.

“It’s concerning that this is the third year that the Humanitarian Index has revealed such levels of disconnect about the realities of the global refugee crisis,” said Vardanyan. “It’s critical that people remain informed on the nature and scale of the problem, otherwise apathy and complacency get in the way of action on behalf of the world’s most vulnerable.”

Evacuation Flights Resume From Libya to Niger

Refugees have been flown out of Libya on an evacuation flight to Niger. This, the ninth flight, marks the resumption of evacuations that had been suspended in March.

Some 132 people, mainly Eritreans, were aboard the plane, and will now be sheltered in Niger until European countries come forward with resettlement places.

The evacuation is part of an agreement between UNHCR, the E.U. and Niger to remove the most vulnerable refugees from Libya and resettle them in Europe.

The deal was based on balancing arrivals and departures in Niger and broke down in March after too few resettlements to Europe went ahead.

“Refugees in detention in Libya are languishing in extreme conditions that threaten their life and wellbeing,” said UNHCR’s Vincent Cochetel. “So this program is really about saving vulnerable individuals from further harm.”

Greek Police Rescue Kidnapped Refugees and Migrants

Greek authorities have rescued refugees and migrants being held for ransom by a gang. The individuals were being held outside Greece’s second city of Thessaloniki.

Greek police rescued 50 individuals from abandoned buildings after a tip-off from family members who had been contacted by gang members seeking ransom.

The refugees and migrants – 38 Pakistanis, 10 Bangladeshis and two Sri Lankans – had been brought to the building up to six days ago after being smuggled into the E.U. country. Two men from Pakistan have been arrested and are expected to be charged with kidnap and ransom.

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