JRS Europe reports on forced migration

Jesuit Refugee Service – Europe has released a new report concerning the destitution of forced migrants across Europe.

This report describes the social and legal situation of forced migrants who came from countries outside the European Union and are living in destitution in Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.  The report gives an insight into the meaning of destitution and its effects on migrants who suffer from it.

Click here to download a PDF of the report.

Forced migrants in Europe: living in limbo

On the occasion of the World Food Day (Oct. 16) and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct. 17), Jesuit Refugee Service Europe draws atten­tion to the desperate situation of destitute forced migrants in Europe. All over the European Union we accompany migrants who for good reasons cannot return to coun­tries of origin but are completely excluded from social services in the countries where they are living.

“These persons are living in limbo, in an impasse, without any perspective,” says Stefan Kessler, Policy Officer with JRS. The organisation is currently running a research and advocacy project on the situation of these destitute migrants.
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Europe unveils plan to admit more refugees

The BBC reports today that in a effort to discourage immigrants from risking their lives by crossing the Mediterranean Sea on rickety boats, often at the mercy of human traffickers,

The European Commission has unveiled plans to allow more refugees from conflict zones and poor nations into European countries.

The UN says 65,596 refugees were resettled worldwide last year, but the EU accepted just 4,378, or 6.7%. The Commission – the EU’s executive arm – says this “contrasts sharply with the numbers taken in by many other countries in the industrialized world, particularly the U.S., Canada and Australia”.

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75 migrants feared killed crossing Mediterranean Sea

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says it is shocked by the accounts heard from five Eritreans who are allegedly the sole survivors of a boat tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea in which some 75 others are feared to have perished.

According to the survivors, around 80 people – mostly from Eritrea – set out more than 20 days ago in a small boat from the Libyan capital, Tripoli, in an attempt to reach Italy. They then became stranded at sea without fuel, food or water.

“As thirst and hunger set in people started dying, one by one, as the boat drifted in the sea,” UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic told reporters today in Geneva. “As passengers died, the survivors threw them into the sea.”

A fishing boat came across the five survivors and offered them some bread and water, but then left them, he added. The stranded boat was then found off the island of Lampedusa on August 20, by Italian authorities who took the five to Italy for treatment.
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Malta faces increase in immigrant landings

The BBC reports from Malta about the increasing surge in immigrants landing on the Mediterranean island.

“The boat was very small, the water easily gets in the boat, and the boat is leaking even before you get in the boat.”

A quietly spoken 24-year-old Ethiopian man sits in the spartan office of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Malta. He is typical of the thousands of African men, women and children who risk a perilous sea crossing on the Mediterranean hoping for a new life in Europe.

What began as a trickle – six years ago, 500 were rescued by the Maltese – now feels to islanders like a flood. In the 12 months to March, some 3,400 arrived.

Read the full story here.

Immigration highlights Malta conference

The Times of Malta newspaper reports that during a conference marking five years since Malta joined the European Union, the topic of immigration was at the forefront.

The forced return of migrants was described as a “loss for humanity” in a statement issued by the Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in Malta, Fr. Joseph Cassar.

“Forcibly returning people to a country where they may face ill-treatment and be pushed back into the arms of their persecutors, without an assessment of their need for protection, violates international law,” he said.
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