1. How to save many lives – a ship’s log from a rescue mission
How to save a life, The Fray sang in their pop hit from a few years ago. What about saving hundreds of lives? Judith Sunderland’s interactive, multimedia ship’s log of the SOS Méditerranée vessel Aquarius explains how lives are saved and, too often, lost at sea, and why it is vital to denounce the costs of EU policies of containment and find real solutions to the humanitarian tragedy unfolding before our eyes. Also read our own series on the NGOs working at sea.
Outrage over slave auctions in Libya is empty if doesn't lead to concrete policy shifts. Top of the list: Don't let Libyan forces capture people on high seas and take them back to abuse. My long-read on rescue at sea and EU containment policy https://t.co/v4GsJS189f
— Judith Sunderland (@sunderland_jude) November 30, 2017
2. Winter is coming to Greece, again
The big chill is upon us, and refugees stranded in Greece are in urgent need of adequate housing facilities and electric power. Conditions on Greek islands are appalling, with Lesbos being described as “ground zero of European ignominy” and “ the Guantánamo Bay of Europe” for refugees (in Giorgos Christides and Katrin Kuntz’s report for Spiegel and Jonah Hull’s report for Al Jazeera, respectively). How is this still the case, two years into the so-called “refugee crisis”, and with all the funds and the attention that Greece has received? Read the article by Solon Ardittis, director of Eurasylum, in Refugees Deeply.
3. Discovering the Tunisian route
More people have sailed from Tunisia towards Europe over the last few months than in 2015 and 2016 combined. What is behind this dramatic rise in migrant boats? Read Matt Herbert and Max Gallien’s article in Refugees Deeply (as well as our own report).
4. Fleeing Bangladesh
The last two years have also seen a sharp rise in the number of Bangladeshi refugees attempting to reach our shores. To this day, they are the second largest group of migrants arriving to Italy, with thousands of unaccompanied minors. Why so many, and what are they running from? Read Giacomo Zandonini’s report in Repubblica.
While #PopeInBangladesh Bangladeshi citizens are second nationality among asylum seekers in Italy, surviving violences in Libya and struggling with new challenges. My story @LaRepubblica_it for #MigrationMediaAward @ICMPD @EMM4_migration @OPENMediaHubEU https://t.co/RaqoiWDFYU
— giacomo zandonini (@giacomo_zando) November 30, 2017
5. Externalising borders, the American way
We have written repeatedly about the Italian and EU strategies of externalising borders, most recently about the deal with Libya which left the African country to do the “dirty work” (ie, the brutal and systematic violations of human rights) of stopping migrants from leaving. But we are not the only ones to outsource border security: The USA are doing the same thing with Mexico. Read the explainer by Johnny Harris and Tian Wang in Vox.
6. The exodus of Central American Children
Children have been leaving Central America’s “Northern Triangle” massively over the last few years. Alone, with no family and no protection, willing to do anything to reach the USA and the chance for a batter life. What is behind this exodus? Read the article by Michael Clemens in War on the Rocks.
7. What is left of Syria and Syrians
A nation torn to pieces. Almost seven years into the conflict, half a million people have been killed and half the population has fled the country: more than 5 million Syrians are now exiles around the world, often living in extremely precarious conditions. What is left of Syria, of Syrians, and their hopes for return one day? Read Lily Hindi and Sima Ghaddar’s in-depth story in The Century Foundation.
8. The importance of calling the Rohingya by their name
Expectations were high in the lead-up to Pope Francis’ visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh: would he take a stand on the issue of Rohingya. People also wondered if he would call “the world’s most persecuted minority” by its name, something that one cardinal in Myanmar had urged him not to do. And for the entire time he was in Myanmar, the pontiff never uttered the word (drawing heavy criticism). He then arrived in Bangladesh and finally called the Rohingya by their name. Read the article by Jason Horowitz in the New York Times on the Pope’s dilemma and the article in Quartz on the importance of naming (and Pope Francis’ firm stand).
9. There are no excuses for Manus Island
The price of deterrence policies: Australia is still defending the horror of its offshore detention policies, including what is happening on Manus Island, eloquently dubbed “Australia’s Guantánamo for refugees” and now evacuated completely (amid many uncertainties about the future, as Damien Cave explained in the New York Times. We need to do so in order to prevent further deaths at sea, the government said – a justification that was already ridiculed by this comic strip by First Dog on the Moon. Ben Doherty and Helen Davidson’s op-ed in the Guardian dismantles this argument once and for all, exposing the horror and the self-deception behind Australia’s policies.
10. More than a year after the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants: a progress report
“Just as failure to act in the past — for example, by turning away Jews fleeing Nazi Germany — is a stain on our collective conscience, I believe history will judge us harshly if we do not rise to this moment”, Barack Obama, then President of the United States, said during the International Summit on Refugees and Migrants of 2016.
On that occasion, world leaders had pledged – through the New York Declaration – to adopt two specific global protection strategies (the so-called “Compacts”): one for refugees and one for migrants (a strict division that has been contested repeatedly). A year from the summit, the USA under President Trump has abandoned its role in the dialogue on the Migration Compact. Where are we now, and what are the chances for an actual implementation of the compacts? Read the in-depth analysis by Tania Karas in Irin News.
Translation by Francesco Graziosi.
Header photo via Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston (CC BY-ND 2.0).