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MIGRATION

Migrant rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3: What you need to know

The weeks-long standoff between Sea-Watch 3 and the Italian government ended with the arrest of Captain Carola Rackete, who has now been freed. But international maritime law and a country’s own laws often don’t chime, say experts. Carola Rackete, captain of the search and rescue vessel Sea-Watch 3, was arrested on Saturday by Italian authorities for “resisting a warship” after …

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Explainer: How refugees can apply for admission to German universities

For refugees and migrants seeking to access higher education in Germany, there are two major obstacles: The recognition of diplomas and other official certificates as well as the tedious process of assembling all documents required to apply. Benjamin Bathke of InfoMigrants takes an in-depth look at the admission process, required documents, application fees and more. In Germany, according to estimates …

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Cameroonian migrants stuck in Cyprus after buying ‘smuggle package’ to Italy

In the past few months, smugglers seem to have established a new clandestine route to bring African migrants to Europe. An increasing number of Cameroonians now find themselves ‘trapped’ in Cyprus after being sold a ‘smuggle package’ to Italy. Although Syrians still top the list of asylum seekers in Cyprus, Cameroonians are quickly catching up, and a growing number of …

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Asylum figures in the EU down to pre-2015 levels

The European Union’s statistical office, Eurostat, and the European Asylum Support Office, EASO, have released their latest figures on asylum for 2018. Overall, the total number of asylum applicants decreased by over 50 per cent compared to figures from 2015. Germany welcomed the highest number of asylum-seekers, followed by France, then Greece, Spain and Italy. Although the number of refugees …

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German bureaucracy keeps refugees stuck in temporary jobs, report finds

A new study has found that although many refugees find work, most are in temporary jobs. Researchers say that bureaucratic hurdles are just as much a hindrance as personal shortcomings. Refugees may be able to find work in Germany, but they tend to find it in low-paying temporary jobs rather than truly integrating themselves into the national labour market, according …

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IOM, EU facilitate return of 14,036 Nigerians from Libya, France, other countries

National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on Friday said a total of 14,036 Nigerians have voluntarily returned home under the Assisted Voluntary Returnees Programme which began in April 2017. The Nigerians, who were stranded in Libya, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ireland, France, Gambia, Austria, Poland, Morocco and Liberia, were brought back by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the European …

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Families of missing migrants stuck in uncertainty

Thousands of people lost in crossing the Central Mediterranean have not been identified. New figures from the UN migration agency, IOM, show that the remains of more than two thirds of those whose deaths have been recorded have never been recovered. The IOM’s Missing Migrants Project database has recorded more than 15,000 deaths on the sea route between North Africa …

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EU admits 32,700 African refugees, others through resettlement program

The EU has welcomed 32,700 refugees from Africa and the Middle East through its resettlement program, the EU Commissioner for Refugees, Dimitris Avramopoulos, has announced. The program was launched in September 2017 to assist refugees in need of special protection, as well as to prevent the need for a dangerous trip across the Mediterranean Sea. Avramopoulos told the Funke Media …

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Germany opens new doors for legal immigration

The Federal Parliament has passed two laws to regulate immigration from non-EU countries into Germany. One of the laws provides more opportunities for people to come to Germany to work and receive training while another amends the regulations affecting asylum-seekers. In a major step to modernise and liberalise its immigration system, the German parliament (Bundestag) passed into law a bill …

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Integration Courses in Germany: What You Need to Know

Migrants in Germany are expected to learn the language and become familiar with the country’s history, culture and legal system. That’s where integration courses come in. But what exactly are these courses, who can participate, and how many people are taking part? Benjamin Bathke reports. According to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) statistics, more than one million …

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Malta finally allows 49 migrants on rescue ships to disembark, to redistribute to EU countries

Malta allowed the 49 migrants stranded on two humanitarian rescue ships since last month to disembark at its port on Wednesday. The Sea-Watch 3 ship, which is run by a German humanitarian group, picked up 32 people from a boat off the coast of Libya on December 22. Another German-run organisation, Sea-Eye, rescued 17 others a couple of days later …

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German NGOs’ migrant rescue boats still stuck at sea, 17 days on

After 17 days in the Mediterranean Sea and battered by winter storms, the two NGO rescue boats stranded close to Malta’s shores with 49 rescued migrants on board are still waiting for permission to berth at a European port. One of the ships has received supplies and support. International voices to resolve the humanitarian crisis are getting louder. Benjamin Bathke …

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New in Switzerland! Renewal of residence permit now conditional on integration performance

Various new or tweaked Swiss laws, governing a range of issues from foreigners to online shopping, entered into force on 1 January. One of them affects the Foreigner’s law. Foreigners living in Switzerland now have to meet certain criteria of good behaviour, for example respect for public security and order and constitutional values, before their residence permits are granted or …

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Book: How colonisation drives today’s African migration to Europe

As I write this article, 49 migrants, mostly Africans, are stranded at sea. They had been rescued in the Mediterranean by the humanitarian organisation Sea Watch about two weeks ago but no European country is ready to allow the migrants to disembark at its port. Last year, about 112,000 migrants found their way irregularly through the Mediterranean to Europe while …

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Israel gives African migrants 90 days to leave or be jailed

The Israeli government has issued a notice for thousands of African migrants to leave the country or face imprisonment. Rights group kick against controversial plan. Israel will force tens of thousands of African migrants to leave over the next three months, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday. Speaking at a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that the Israeli government will …

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Spain received highest number of migrants by sea in 2018

The year 2018 saw a new record in Spain for migrant arrivals by sea, at more than 57,000 – representing around half of all undocumented migrants making the Mediterranean crossing last year. According to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), 113,145 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea last year. According to UNHCR, a total of 119,575 refugees and migrants …

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