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MIGRATION

EU granted 500,000 people asylum protection in 2017

EU member states as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland granted protection status to 538,000 asylum seekers in 2017, according to new data released by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on Thursday. Another 24,000 refugees were resettled in the region last year. Last year’s asylum seeker figures represent a 25% drop from 2016, when 710,000 asylum seekers …

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German migration official investigated for granting asylum in exchange for bribes

A German migration official is suspected of having granted asylum to some 1,200 migrants in exchange for bribes. Germany’s migration agency has been under intense scrutiny since the arrival of over million refugees in 2015. A former official of Germany’s Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is under investigation over allegations that she, along with four others, accepted bribes …

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Germany to accept 10,000 refugees from North Africa, Middle East

The German government has committed to accepting refugees under a program to resettle people considered particularly vulnerable. Controls of Germany’s border to Austria look set to be extended for another six months. EU Commissioner for Refugees Dimitris Avramopoulos said Germany would be accepting more than 10,000 refugees from North Africa and the Middle East. He added that the EU Commission …

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Where asylum-seekers can receive free legal advice in Germany

Assessing legal service in the pursuit of their application is a major challenge for asylum-seekers because they cannot afford the required fees. An initiative works to help refugees overcome this challenge. Refugee law clinics across Germany offer legal advice to refugees. This is a free service and most of the volunteers are university law students who have specialized in asylum …

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What unaccompanied under-aged refugees in Germany should know

Unaccompanied minors travelling to Europe for protection pose a significant challenge to the authorities. Aasim Saleem of InfoMigrants takes a closer look at the protection mechanism and its shortcomings for underage migrants in Germany. A person is registered as an “unaccompanied minor refugee” if he or she is under the age of 18 and has fled without his or her …

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Under-aged refugees can apply for their families to join them in EU, rules European Court

Refugees who enter the European Union alone as unaccompanied minors can apply to be reunited with their families, even if they reach legal adulthood before the end of the process, the EU’s top court ruled on Thursday. At the peak of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, 96,465 unaccompanied children applied for asylum in the EU, although numbers have fallen since …

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Why Viktor Orban’s victory is bad news for refugees in Hungary

With the re-election of Hungarian Prime Minister’s Viktor Orban’s anti-immigrant Fidesz Party, migrants are likely to suffer further setbacks if they have to deal with the Eastern European country. Hungary has introduced some of the harshest measures against migrants. Sertan Sanderson reports. From the onset of the refugee crisis, Hungarian Prime Minister’s Viktor Orban didn’t hold back in expressing his …

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Switzerland could send back 3,200 rejected Eritrean asylum-seekers

Eritreans whose asylum claims were denied but were allowed to remain in Switzerland on a temporary basis could lose their status due to a court ruling last year. In recent days, they have received a letter from the government stating that their residence permit is being reviewed. In August 2017, the Federal Administrative Court ruled that Eritrean nationals who had …

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Israel cancels plan to relocate African migrants to Europe

Israel announced Monday it had reached a deal with the UN refugee agency to cancel a controversial plan to deport African migrants and replace it with a new one that will see thousands sent to Western countries. Barely 24 hours later, Prime Minister Netanyahu has surprisingly announced the cancellation of the plan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday he …

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Why so many Eritreans are fleeing to Europe

Eritreans make up one of the most prominent groups of refugees heading for Europe. What are the reasons behind this and what is the human rights situation like in the country? Wesley Dockery explains. Eritrea is a nation that lies in the Horn of Africa, bordering Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti. The country has been led by President Isaias Afwerki for …

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Spanish humanitarian activists face charges for saving refugees from drowning in Mediterranean

Gerard Canals, operation officer at the NGO Proactiva Open Arms, is not afraid of jail. Earlier this month, the Spanish NGO helped save more than 200 people from drowning in the central Mediterranean. “I may go to prison but I am not really worried because we did nothing wrong,” he told EUobserver on Tuesday (27 March) in Brussels. Canals, along …

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German government announces new return initiative for rejected asylum-seekers

“We won’t be putting a check in anyone’s pocket,” Germany’s development minister has said. The new initiative follows a test program whereby Germany gave refugees extra money to return home. The German government announced on Wednesday a new initiative to make it more attractive for refugees in Germany to voluntarily return to their country of origin. Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, …

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Fewer deportations from Germany due to lack of travel documents

The number of migrants who cannot be deported rose in Germany in 2017. Authorities often struggle to obtain the relevant travel documents from their countries of origin, according to a report. The number of rejected asylum seekers and migrants who cannot be deported as they lack the necessary travel documents has increased by 71 percent, to 65,000 in 2017 from …

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Germany: One in two rejected asylum seekers win appeal in court

Rejected asylum seekers in Germany almost always challenge the decision in court, and around 40 percent of them win. The number of such appeals nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017. Nearly half of all rejected asylum seekers win their challenge against the decision, according to a report published Friday (23 March). Over 328,000 asylum seekers appealed the decision to deny …

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Germany: Plan for one-stop processing centres for asylum-seeker unveiled

Asylum-seekers arriving in Germany are to be sent to centres where they will stay until their application is decided, under a plan by the new coalition government. The move is intended to make the process more efficient, but critics are worried that vulnerable and traumatized people may be put at increased risk. The plan to establish all-in-one processing centres for …

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African migrants worse than terrorists, says Israeli prime minister

African migrants pose a greater threat to Israel than Islamist terrorism, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli leader made the remarks as he complimented the country’s border ‘wall’ with Egypt. Speaking at the Negev Conference in the Israeli city of Dimona, Netanyahu said the fence along the Israel-Egypt border is all that stands between Israel’s Jewishness and …

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Journalists from Africa and Europe to co-operate on migration coverage

Africa and Europe-based institutions have just concluded a week-long training in Dakar to deepen understanding of migration-related issues and strengthen its media coverage on the continent. The workshop has received generous support from the Germany-based Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism of TU Dortmund University, the German magazine Africa Positive, the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the African Media Initiative (AMI). …

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Net migration to Germany sank by half in 2016

Some 500,000 more people moved to Germany than left in 2016, Germany’s statistics office says. The figure is less than half that of the previous year. Net migration to Germany fell by more than half from 2015 to 2016, figures released on Tuesday by the German Federal Statistics Office show. Altogether 1,865,000 people came to Germany in 2016, while 1,365,000 …

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Israel: Court suspends plan to deport African migrants

Israel’s Supreme Court has suspended a controversial government plan to deport thousands of African migrants. The court issued its ruling on Thursday, following a legal challenge by a group of migrants from Eritrea and Sudan. The government now cannot deport African migrants until the court receives additional information Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January announced the implementation of the programme …

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