“Like a Prison”: Asylum-Seekers Confined to the Greek Islands

“Like a Prison”: Asylum-Seekers Confined to the Greek Islands. Refugees International. Izza Leghtas. August 14, 2017

Greek government policies, taken to implement the March 2016 EU-Turkey agreement, have left thousands of men, women, and children trapped on Greece’s small islands in appalling circumstances. These policies seek to end the arrivals of asylum-seekers and migrants to Greece by sea, but have left thousands suffering in harsh living conditions, deprived of services and medical care, and often experiencing deteriorating mental health. A number of asylum-seekers refer to their lives confined on the Greek islands as living in a “prison.”

This report examines the impact of the EU-Turkey agreement and the practices of Greek authorities in their handling of thousands of asylum-seekers and migrants. The report is based on findings from an RI mission to the islands of Lesvos, Chios, and Samos in July 2017.

Though the EU-Turkey statement does not explicitly require it, Greece has put in place a containment policy on its Aegean islands with the aim of sending people back to Turkey: as a general matter, asylum-seekers and migrants arriving on these islands are not allowed to leave for the mainland. While the law allows for some people, including those identified as vulnerable to be allowed to leave for the mainland, flaws in the system meant to identify such people results in many people falling through the cracks. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 16 pages, 3.50 MB].

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Refugee Compacts: Addressing the Crisis of Protracted Displacement

Refugee Compacts: Addressing the Crisis of Protracted Displacement. Center for Global Development . April 18, 2017.

Today, an unprecedented 65 million people—including 21 million refugees—are displaced from their homes. Still, as this report points out, the challenge is manageable—if the international community is able to get its response right. This report offers key principles for closing the humanitarian-development divide and practical guidance for designing effective compacts. The authors encourage policymakers and implementers alike to carefully consider these recommendations to ensure that humanitarian and development dollars have a real impact on the lives of refugees and host communities. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 68 pages, 1.64 MB].

A Dangerous ‘Game’: The Pushback of Migrants, Including Refugees, at Europe’s Borders

A Dangerous ‘Game’: The Pushback of Migrants, Including Refugees, at Europe’s Borders. Oxfam America. April 7, 2017.

People who are trying to access the EU in search of safety and dignity are being routinely abused by abuseofficials in countries in the Western Balkans. State agents responsible for upholding fundamental rights are instead subjecting people to violence and intimidation and denying access to asylum procedures to those seeking international protection. Governments in the region must immediately end these violations and initiate processes to ensure safety and dignity for people on the move in their territories. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 18 pages, 334.54 KB].

Rebuilding after Crisis: Embedding Refugee Integration in Migration Management Systems

Rebuilding after Crisis: Embedding Refugee Integration in Migration Management Systems. Migration Policy Institute. Demetrios G. Papademetriou, Meghan Benton, and Natalia Banulescu-Bogdan. March 2017.

As the immediate pressures of the migration and refugee crisis in Europe have begun to abate, policymakers have refocused their energies on two goals: anticipating and preventing the next crisis and ensuring that newcomers—and the communities in which they settle—have the tools to thrive. These two objectives are deeply interdependent. Getting it right with these new arrivals is the linchpin on which all future asylum and immigration policies will be built, as this Transatlantic Council Statement explains. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 22 pages, 1.95 MB].

Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States

Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. Jie Zong and Jeanne Batalova. March 8, 2017

Threaded throughout the history of the United States, immigration has taken on greater prominence in political and policy conversations amid debate over possible reforms to the immigration system, border and national security, and the U.S. role in resettling refugees at a time of record global displacement. Questions about the current and historical pace of immigration, the role of immigrants in the labor market, illegal immigration, humanitarian admission policies, and enforcement practices are often raised. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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