[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the topic of refugees, migrants, and IDPs and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Refugees and Migrants Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. It is updated monthly. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to email@example.com.]
Libya: 20 Migrants Found Dead in Desert
On 29 June 2022 Libyan authorities reported that the bodies of 20 migrants who were lost in the Libyan desert near Chad were found. According to the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Missing Migrants Project, 5,386 migrant deaths in the Sahara Desert have been reported since 2014
Poland Completes Belarus Border Wall to Keep Migrants out
After migrants coming from Southwest Asia and Africa started crossing into the European Union (EU) from Belarus to Poland, Poland finished constructing a steel wall on the border area with Belarus to keep migrants out.
Around 800 Syrians Return from Turkey Weekly, U.N. Refugee Agency Official Says
Although conditions in Syria remain unsafe for return, it is estimated that approximately 800 Syrian refugees return to Syria from Turkey each week.
Austria: Smuggler Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison after Two Syrians Died in Van
A smuggler has been charged with bodily harm and sentenced to prison after two Syrians suffocated in a van last fall as he attempted to smuggle them to Austria. According to investigations, 30 refugees were locked in one cargo area in inadequate conditions for eight hours without any breaks.
Greece says 1,130 Migrants Turned Back at Sea
According to Greece’s Coast Guard, it prevented more than a thousand migrants from crossing to its islands from the coast of Turkey after turning back boats in 24 separate incidents involving 1,140 people. At the same time Greece is also backing an initiative by Spain to increase Europe’s engagement with countries in the Middle East and North Africa to further limit migration.
Palestine: ACLED Regional Overview- Middle East (4-10 June 2022)
Two clashes occurred in the Jenin refugee camp after Israeli forces and a Palestinian gunmen exchanged fire. Jenin refugee camp has experienced increasing attacks over the past couple of months.
Syria Direct: 10 Things to Know about the UK Deal to Deport Asylum Seekers to Rwanda
In April of 2022 the United Kingdom (UK) signed a deal with Rwanda to send asylum seekers to the country where their claim for asylum will be processed. The policy is to apply to all asylum seekers who entered the UK irregularly after 1 January 2022. This controversial policy, which many refugee rights experts argue violates the United Nations (UN) refugee convention, leaves many Syrian asylum seekers a precarious situation.
Number of Syrians Becoming German Citizens Tripled in 2021
Compared to 2020, the number of Syrians who became naturalized German citizens was three times higher in 2021. Although it is generally held that a person must live in Germany for at least eight years to qualify for citizenship, most Syrians qualified earlier. Qualifying on average after 6.5 years, it is believed that many Syrian refugees were able to naturalize earlier due to their superior language skills and civic commitment.
Syrians Tortured in Lebanese Detention Centers: A tale of impunity
A report by the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) found that although Lebanon passed anti-torture legislating and ratified the UN Convention Against Torture, Syrian refugees continue to be subjected to torture by Lebanese authorities. Syrian refugees are one of the most vulnerable groups to torture when detained. Furthermore, the reality that 84 percent of Syrian refugees do not have legal residency, Syrians are also at a high risk for arbitrary detention at checkpoints, increasing their vulnerability to ill-treatment at the hands of authorities.
Rape, Abuse, Murder: New UN report on Libya Highlights Migrants’ Suffering in Painful Detail
UN investigators revealed that migrants and refugees detained in Libya are subject to serious abuse and sexual violence. According to UN investigations, women endure some of the harshest abuse, in many cases forced to submit to rape in exchange for food. The UN’s latest report reaffirms prior reports indicating the crimes against humanity committed against migrants in Libya.
Melilla: Never again
At least 23 people, most of whom came from Sudan, died on 24 June 2022 while attempting to reach the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco. The recent deaths follow a string of similar incidents like the death of 13 people in 2005 at the hands of the Moroccan and Spanish and Moroccan police and the drowning of 15 people on Tarajal Beach. Although Spain welcomed more than 124,000 Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, refugees fleeing Sudan are prevented from seeking asylum, a violation of international law. Following the latest deaths, the migration policies of both the Spanish and Moroccan governments have been called into question and organizations like the African Union (AU) are demanding to know the truth about what happened in Melilla.
Lithuania: Forced out or Locked Up
After being lured into Belarus under false pretenses in 2021 and 2022, many migrants coming from Southwest Asia and Africa were tortured and or abused. An Amnesty International report details numerous instances of abuse upon entering Belarus, where migrants were initially promised legal and safe access to EU countries. Rather than gaining safe access to EU countries, migrants were pushed into neighboring Lithuania and once in Lithuania were held in crowded detention facilities that lacked access to sufficient food and water. Migrants arriving in Lithuania furthermore experienced violent pushbacks, torture, sexual violence, and were denied access to fair asylum procedures, leading many to return to the countries they originally fled.
Iraq: Significant Healthcare Needs Remain in Hawija Six Years After Battle with Islamic State Group
Those who fled Hawija during the control of ISIS remain in dire need of healthcare services. Since 2020, clinics providing free healthcare services run by Doctors Without Borders at camps for people who fled Hawija were closed due to a federal government decision to force families to return to their areas of origin, in some cases causing families to experience secondary displacement. Families returning to their areas of origin often lack access to functioning health services which suffered from shortages in supplies and healthcare workers even before the battle against ISIS.
Reaching Iraq’s Displaced Children with Essential Vaccines
Providing healthcare and routine vaccinations to children displaced by conflict is challenging as children often do not have their births registered due to the instability, depriving them of the documentation needed to access health services like vaccinations. In Iraq, UNICEF works with Iraq’s Ministry of Health to ensure that children in camps for the displaced, like Ashti camp, have access to critical immunizations for preventable diseases like polio, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, diphtheria, and tetanus. To boost vaccination rates, teams of healthcare workers have gone house-to-house to visit families inside the camps and distribute vaccines.
UNHCR: Global Refugee Resettlement Needs Will Rise Steeply Next Year
According to the UNHCR, over 2 million refugees are estimated to be in need of resettlement next year. The highest number of refugees in need of resettlement will come from the African continent, estimated at 662,012, followed by the Middle East, estimated at 463, 930. Broken down by country of origin, Syrian refugees represent the population with the highest global resettlement needs for the seventh consecutive year.
A Ukrainian Eclipse on Middle Eastern Refugees
Amidst Russia’s war in Ukraine, attention to the humanitarian attention in the Middle East has faltered. Due to increased funding pressure, refugees from the Middle East have been pushed to the bottom of the list of priorities. Hungary, for example, has already expelled tens of thousands of refugees from Syria and other Middle East countries while simultaneously accepting approximately 60,000 Ukrainian refugees. At the same time, refugees throughout the Middle East are also made more vulnerable due to global increases in food prices following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, highlighting the cross-regional implications of Russia’s invasion.
Out of Sight- Refugees and Migrants at the Belarus-Poland Border
Refugees fleeing Southwest Asia and Africa continue to be trapped in a forested border between Belarus and Poland, left stranded and in dire need of humanitarian assistance. Polish border guards report that there have been 977 attempts to cross the border in April 2022 and approximately 4,280 since the start of 2022. Restricted access for humanitarian aid organizations undermines the health and safety of these trapped refugees.
South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan- 2021 Year End Report
With 2.33 million South Sudanese refugees living in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda, the protracted conflict in South Sudan continues to generate the largest refugee crisis in Africa. In addition to ongoing conflict, the region also faces devastating floods and growing funding gaps, contributing to secondary displacement and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.