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Executive Summary for June 6th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the U.N. urging the U.S. to stop separating migrant children from their parents, a migrant worker strike in southern Italy, and Greece warning Kurds to return to the Moria refugee center.

Published on June 6, 2018 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

U.N.: Trump Administration’s Separation of Migrant Children Illegal

The U.N. human rights office said the U.S administration’s separation of migrant children from their parents after crossing the border breaches international law.

The Trump administration recently introduced a “zero tolerance” policy for people crossing the border irregularly, putting the parents in jail and thus separating them from their children. The New York Times reports that hundreds of children have been separated from their families in recent months.

This “amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child,” said Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Migration control appears to have been prioritized over the effective care and protection of migrant children,” she said, urging the U.S. to “immediately halt” the practice.

U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki R. Haley, rebuffed the criticism, saying, “Neither the United Nations nor anyone else will dictate how the United States upholds its borders.”

Migrant Workers Strike in Southern Italy After Murder

Migrant workers in southern Italy went on strike after a Malian man was killed in a drive-by shooting.

Soumaila Sacko, 29, was shot in the head at the weekend. He had residency in Italy and had been involved in efforts to protect migrant workers’ rights.

Sacko lived in the massive tent city of San Ferdinando in Calabria, where several thousand foreign workers – most with legal status – work in agriculture. Italian aid group Doctors for Human Rights called the San Ferdinando camp “one of the biggest ghettos in Italy.”

Sacko’s murder is not being investigated as a hate crime, but the local trade union, USB, noted that the shooting happened shortly after new right-wing interior minister Matteo Salvini declared, “The good times for illegals is over.” USB called for nationwide protests over migrant workers’ rights on June 16.

Kurds Threatened With Deportation Over Walkout on Greek Island

Greek authorities say hundreds of Kurdish asylum seekers who walked out of a refugee facility on the island of Lesbos must return or be deported to Turkey.

Around 800 people marched out of the overcrowded Moria center after violence broke out between Kurdish and Arab residents last week. They say they no longer feel safe to return.

The Greek migration ministry gave them a deadline of Friday to go back or they will be barred from seeking asylum and face deportation to Turkey, Greek daily Ekathimerini reported.

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