SEPTEMBER 2017 - Monthly review on the refugee crisis


Eight Afghan refugees were sent back to Afghanistan from Germany in September. The latest group of refugees represents the sixth wave of repatriations of Afghan refugees from Germany since December. Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere justified the latest deportations by saying that "all eight persons have been convicted of serious crimes.”. One returnee was reported to be convicted of domestic violence. He also said that Germany will continue to carry out a policy of re turning convicted criminals back to their countries, and those who won’t cooperate with German authorities. The International Organization for Migration confirmed the arrival of "eight returnees". One hundred Afghans have now returned to the country after their asylum claims were rejected.

Returnees face an uncertain future in a country with a weak economy, high unemployment rate and an influx of repatriated refugees from Iran and Pakistan. More deportations are more likely to happen in the future as far-right political parties, such as Alternative for Germany (AfD), continue to grow. The AfD has entered in the German parliament with 12,6 percent of the general vote after elections last month. The AfD is known for its islamophobic stance and critique of Angela Merkel’s policies.

Germany have taken around 1.3 million mainly Muslim refugees. Ironically around 22 percent of Germany’s population have some kind of immigrant background. That means lot of them did not have German citizenship, when they were born or one of parents is not German. About 7.5 % of AfD’s 93 lawmakers have some kind of immigrant background. According to "Mediendienst Integration” researches of online portal that collects data on immigration. Still CDU won election with their allays CSU on 24.september.

United Kingdom

In the UK, many refugees are facing homelessness after gaining asylum status. One example is an Eritrean refugee named Nasir, who was forced out into the streets after receiving his refugee status. While his case was being processed, he was housed in east London and given support payments of £36.95 a week. But once his asylum claim was processed, he was expected to apply for mainstream benefits and find a place to live within 28 days without any assistance.

With nowhere to go and limited English, Nasir was forced to sleep on a cardboard box at a shopping centre. He attempted to apply for a bank account and a job, but he was unsuccessful because he was not given a national insurance number and did not have proof of an address. After seeking help from the Refugee Council, he was able to access his benefits and find shelter in a hostel.

In an interview with The Guardian, Nasir urged the UK government to give refugees more guidance. “When we first arrived they welcomed us; but it’s very important, when you get status, that people are directed to what to do next. The government should at least give you somewhere to stay and say: ‘You need to do this, this and this,’ because what happens is people who are new and don’t know the country [are] told to leave [their] accommodation. People make mistakes; they don’t know which way to turn.”
*Nasir is a pseudonym

Source: The Guardian

British maritime captain Jamie Wilson was honored last month for rescuing 907 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea earlier this year. While working on the commercial ship Deep Vision near the coast of Libya, Jamie Wilson and his crew received a call from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) in Rome asking for help with a rescue in January. Despite their lack of experience, Wilson and crew managed to save 132 migrants, including two pregnant women. Within the next few days, the Deep Vision was drafted into saving eight more overcrowded boats, many aimless without fuel or engines.

Wilson was honored for his efforts by the Government’s Merchant Navy Medal for Meritorious Service “for services to the rescue of refugees in peril” and was recognized by the Shipwrecked Mariners' Society at its annual Skill and Gallantry Awards. This year, more than 2,600 migrants have died in an attempt to cross into Europe by boat between Libya and Italy, with the majority of them dying by drowning, choking and freezing to death.

Source: Independent