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MIGRATION

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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Success of asylum applications varies across German states

Chances of being granted asylum may depend on the state in which the application is filed. Figures provided by the German Office for Migration and Refugees reveal significant differences in protection rates in individual states, reports Charlotte Hauswedell. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) is responsible for the processing of asylum requests in all sixteen German states. In …

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Hundreds of migrants rescued in the Mediterranean

Libya’s coast guard and an international charity ship have picked up hundreds of migrants who were travelling towards Italy off the Libyan coast on Saturday, according to press reports. Libya coast guard vessels intercepted two migrant boats, one of which was an inflatable dinghy that had broken down and was carrying 125 people, Reuters reported, citing coast guard spokesman Ayoub …

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Germany’s incoming interior minister vows to increase deportations

Horst Seehofer, Germany’s designated interior minister, has said he has a “master plan for faster asylum procedures, and more consistent deportations.” He also said there was a need for a strong state to protect Germany’s liberal values. The incoming interior minister, who is head of the conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), made the comments in an interview published on …

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UN experts demand immediate stop to expulsions from Israel

Israel’s deportation of Eritrean and Sudanese citizens to third countries “violates human rights and international law on refugees,” according to UN experts, who are calling on the Israeli government to review its policy. A group of UN human rights experts has said that the new Israeli policies for deporting Eritrean and Sudanese citizens present in its territory “violates human rights …

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Are Eritrean government’s spies posing as refugee interpreters in Europe?

Asylum seekers and activists tell Al Jazeera how government-linked translators have infiltrated the immigration system in Europe. Elaine Allaby reports. Rome, Italy – It was a warm Mediterranean day in October 2013 when Meron Estefanos got the news. A boat had sunk off the Italian island of Lampedusa and several hundred refugees had drowned. In the end, the death toll …

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