MIGRATION

Coronavirus: Germany implements strict measures in asylum-seekers’ hostels

African asylum-seekers in Germany

Many migrants living in asylum shelters in Germany have tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19). Strict social distancing measures to combat the virus outbreak are hard to adopt in centres where people live together in tight spaces, reports Charlotte Hauswedell Germany has imposed strict rules on social distancing, and some federal states have ordered lockdowns in a bid to prevent …

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70% of Nigerian irregular migrants from Edo State, says UNHCR

Seventy per cent of people irregularly migrating from Nigeria are from Edo State, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has said. UNHCR’s Senior Liaison Officer, Amah Assiama-Hillgartner, stated this in Benin, the state capital, during the agency’s Telling the Real Story (TRS) meeting on Thursday. She described Nigeria as the country of transit and trafficking of irregular emigrants, …

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German court rules against lesbian Ugandan asylum-seeker’s deportation

In Uganda, LGBT+ people face life in prison as well as violence and discrimination in private and public life. Following a deportation trial, German authorities have granted refugee status to a Ugandan lesbian. A hearing at a Bavarian courthouse on Monday over the asylum application of a lesbian woman from Uganda was thrown out after she was granted her refugee …

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Europe’s borders are not open for refugees coming from Turkey – German government

The German government has issued a strong rebuttal to Turkey’s claim that ‘the door is open’ to Europe. Thousands of people have rushed to the land and sea borders between Turkey and Greece, but few have managed to cross. Turkey’s announcement last week that it would open its borders with Greece to migrants trying to enter Europe has resulted in …

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Germany issued more visas last year – foreign ministry

Last year, Germany issued more visas for people from outside the EU than in 2018. Above all, more people were given a visa for the purposes of employment. According to Germany’s foreign ministry, the country issued around 2.29 million visas in 2019 – slightly more than in the previous year (2.17 million). The main countries of origin of the recipients …

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Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean pass 20,000 mark – new report

A tragic shipwreck off the coast of Libya last month and more than a dozen other recent fatalities elsewhere have pushed the death toll in the Mediterranean Sea to 20,014 since 2014, according to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project. IOM stands for International Organisation for Migration, a UN agency. “The disappearance and presumed drowning of at least 91 people reported missing …

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Germany suspends migrant returns to Italy amid corona fears

Fears about coronavirus are now also beginning to affect migrants and refugees: the German interior ministry is taking measures to contain the virus — including a suspension of all returns to and from Italy under the Dublin regulation. Sertan Sanderson reports Germany has suspended the return of migrants to or from Italy under the provisions of the Dublin Regulation for …

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EU scheme for the academic integration of refugees into higher education launched

On 14 February 2020, the Council of Europe´s Education Department launched a toolkit aimed at integrating refugees as teaching staff or visiting experts into higher education institutions. The “CoLAB Toolkit” presents inclusive practices on how to best integrate refugees based on their competences and qualifications into the academic environment. The toolkit is based on the lessons learned from the project CoLAB implemented …

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EU threatens Nigeria with tough visa rules over irregular migration

The European Union has warned that it could impose restrictive visa implementation rules on Nigeria, if it failed to co-operate in the readmission of its nationals deported from EU member countries. A restrictive visa regime would make obtaining visas to EU countries more difficult for Nigerian applicants. The EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Ms Virginie Battu-Henriksson, said …

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Black Africans subject to increasing racist abuse and violence in Egypt – report

As Egypt suffers an economic downturn, migrants and refugees from sub-Saharan countries are experiencing growing abuse and violence. Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is trying to intervene, making skin-deep reassurances. Sertan Sanderson reports ​The mega-city of Cairo has long established itself as a key destination for many refugees in the region. People fleeing civil war in Syria and in Libya have …

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McDonald’s CEO seeks ‘a clearer future’ for refugees in Germany

The head of the fast-food chain McDonald’s in Germany says refugees should be offered more certain future prospects. Holger Beeck also said that he could not understand why well-integrated migrants are deported. McDonald’s has employed more than 5,000 refugees since 2015, the company’s CEO in Germany, Holger Beeck, told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. “These are people who came to (McDonald’s), …

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Greece plans sea barriers to block irregular migrants from reaching its islands

The Greek government unveiled a plan to build sea barriers across the Aegean Sea in a bid to prevent irregular migrants crossing to the Greek islands from Turkey in a bid, according to analysts, to call the bluff of Turkish President Erdogan, who has repeatedly threatened to send millions of refugees to Europe. Greece’s defence ministry published a call for …

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Government approves plan to make Germany more attractive for skilled immigrants

As a new labour migration law is set to enter into force, the federal government has approved an integration plan under which prospective migrants will be offered language lessons and information about Germany in their home countries. The federal government wants to prepare potential migrants for life in Germany already in their home countries. This is according to the National …

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Short Story: Voyage across the sea of death

Originally titled ‘Evanesce’, Berlin-based legal scholar and creative author Nelly Sarpong writes on a fictional precarious journey across the Mediterranean in a rickety boat overfilled with African migrants, revealing the perils faced by thousands of migrants every year in their quest for better life in Europe.

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US restricts visas for pregnant women to stop ‘birth tourism’

The Trump administration has issued a new rule  instructing United States consular officials to deny pregnant women visas unless they can prove “to the satisfaction of the consular officer” either that they are not traveling to the US to give birth, or that they have a legitimate medical reason to give birth in the country. In the latest immigration control measure, the United …

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Migration boosts Germany’s population to new high

According to new figures released by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the population of the country stood at 83.2 million at the end of 2019 – 200,000 more than a year earlier. The population figure represents a new high, Destatis said even though the population growth was much smaller than in the years 2013 to 2018. The agency also revealed …

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Italian priest cries out over African migrants trapped in Libyan detention centers

Roman Catholic priest Father Mussie Zerai, president of the humanitarian organization Habeshia and pastor to migrants who arrive in Italy, has sent out a dramatic ‘SOS’ from migrants allegedly being held in detention centers in Libya, where they live in appalling conditions but are also exposed to danger as different factions in the country’s civil war battle for control. “We continuously …

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