Country Policy and Information Note.
In a report on its April and July 2016 visits to Greece, published today, the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) raises concerns over the situation in the “hotspots” on the Aegean islands and is highly critical of the continued immigration detention of unaccompanied children.
Executive summary: https://rm.coe.int/pdf/168074f90d
Government response: https://rm.coe.int/pdf/168074f90e
This report tracks donors’ fulfillment of their pledges to support education for Syrian refugees in 2016. It focuses on pledges made at a major conference in February 2016 in London, where donors—the six largest were the European Union, US, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, and Japan—committed to provide $1.4 billion in funding for education inside Syria and in neighboring countries, and agreed with refugee-hosting countries to enroll all Syrian refugee children, as well as vulnerable children in host communities, in “quality education” by the end of the 2016-2017 school year.
The return of refugees from Cameroon, Niger, and Chad has put increased pressure on the already existing displacement situation in Banki, Gamboru, Ngala, Damasak, and Pulka. Between January and June 2017, 35,000 Nigerians have returned to Banki, in Bama LGA from Cameroon. More than 4,500 of the returnees have been relocated to Pulka in Gwoza LGA. As of April 10, the Nigeria Immigrations Service (NIS) had registered 119,061 returnees from Niger and 339 from Chad. Ongoing military operations within local government areas (LGAs) and villages mean the refugees are unable to return home. They thus remain displaced within the headquarters of the LGA or are relocated to a military designated safe zone – a situation that could become protracted. Living in organized camps, makeshift settlements, schools, hospitals, and host communities as their homes are not yet safe to return to, the returning refugees lack access to food, livelihood opportunities, shelter, WASH, healthcare, and other essential services.
(25/07/2017). This report finds that police forces in Calais, particularly the French riot police (Compagnies républicaines de sécurité, CRS), routinely use pepper spray on child and adult migrants while they are sleeping or in other circumstances in which they pose no threat. Police also regularly spray or confiscate sleeping bags, blankets, and clothing, and have sometimes used pepper spray on migrants’ food and water, apparently to press them to leave the area. Such acts violate the prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment as well as international standards on police conduct, which call for police to use force only when it is unavoidable, and then only with restraint, in proportion to the circumstances, and for a legitimate law enforcement purpose. https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/report_pdf/france0717_web.pdf
(Julio 2017). Various proposals on EU-level information systems in the areas of borders and security mention interoperability, aiming to provide fast and easy access to information about third-country nationals. http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra_uploads/fra-2017-interoperability-eu-information-systems_en-1.pdf
Six years into the armed conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic, the situation continues to deteriorate. Over 5 million Syrians have taken refuge in the five neighbouring countries – Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, nearly half of them are children. An entire generation of Syrian children and youth are living through conflict and displacement. For many of them, this is the only life that they have experienced. They are on the verge of becoming a lost generation.
The report, “Unwilling or Unable: Israeli Restrictions on Travel to and from Gaza for Human Rights Workers,” documents how Israel systematically bars human rights workers from traveling into and out of Gaza, even where the Israeli security services make no security claims against them as individuals. Egypt is also imposing severe travel restrictions on its border with Gaza. The International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor’s office should take note of the restrictions in the context of its ongoing preliminary examination of the Palestine situation.
In a new report, the International Rescue Committee and two other organizations showcase how vulnerable people are forced to live in degrading conditions, and it outlines the many ways in which asylum seekers are barred from exercising their right to a fair asylum process.
The struggle against Boko Haram in south-eastern Niger is increasingly sharpening local conflicts over access to resources. There is no military solution to this insurgency, and the authorities should instead put the emphasis on demobilising militants, solving local conflicts, reinvigorating the economy and restoring public services.