Background information

Immigration Detention in Niger: Expanding the EU-Financed Zone of Suffering Through “Penal Humanitarianism”?

Global Detention Project Report: Niger has been a principal migration hub for people criss-crossing the Sahel region of Africa for generations. It has also served as an important transit country for migrants and asylum seekers on the Central Mediterranean route through Libya to Europe. Its place on the map has made Niger one of the European Union’s most important targets for extending external migration controls, often under the pretext of protecting migrants and asylum seekers. But there remains very little detailed information concerning the country’s treatment of people while in detention. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Nordafrika

Bundesregierung bestätigt: Libysche Behörden für Seenotrettung gar nicht erreichbar

Die Bundesregierung bestätigt in der Antwort auf eine kleine Anfrage „Schwierigkeiten bei der elektronischen oder telefonischen Erreichbarkeit“ der libyschen „Küstenwache“. Das gleiche gelte „hinsichtlich sprachlicher Kommunikationshindernisse“. Ein für solche Fälle eingerichteter Kommunikationskanal in Form eines "Monitoring-Mechanismus" war den ganzen vergangenen Sommer über ausgesetzt. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Nordafrika, Deutschland, Europäische Union

Sichere Häfen - Kiel, Lübeck, Flensburg und Sylt bieten Mittelmeerflüchtlingen Schutz

Die norddeutschen Kommunen Kiel, Lübeck, Flensburg und Sylt haben sich zu „sicheren Häfen“ für auf dem Mittelmeer in Seenot geratene Geflüchtete erklärt und sich gemeinsam mit dem schleswig-holsteinischen Innenministerium und dem Landesbeauftragten für Flüchtlinge darauf verständigt, wie die jeweiligen Beschlüsse zur Aufnahme zusätzlicher Geflüchteter praktisch umgesetzt werden können. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Deutschland

UNHCR report: Desperate Journeys. Refugees and migrants arriving in Europe and at Europe's Borders

The number of refugees and migrants making the Mediterranean Sea crossing fell in 2018 but it is likely that reductions to search and rescue capacity coupled with an uncoordinated and unpredictable response to disembarkation led to an increased death rate as people continued to flee their countries due to conflict, human rights violations, persecution, and poverty. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Nordafrika, Europäische Union, Europa, Afrika

Fliehen nach Europa

Weltweit gab es 2018 laut den Vereinten Nationen mehr als 68 Millionen Menschen, die ihre Heimat verlassen mussten. Jeden Tag fliehen 44.400 Menschen vor Konflikten und Verfolgung. 2015 ist vielen als Rekordjahr der Migration im Gedächtnis geblieben. Doch seitdem hat sich einiges getan – es kommen weniger Menschen nach Europa, und sie kommen auf anderen Wegen. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Balkanstaaten, Italien / Malta, Spanien, Griechenland / Türkei, Osteuropa, Europäische Union, Europa

End of Year Report 2018 - Legal Center Lesvos

Legal Centre Lesvos is a not-for-profit organisation established in August 2016 aiming to provide
legal assistance, advice and representation for those seeking international protection on the island
of Lesvos in Greece. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei, Europäische Union, Europa

No Escape from Hell: EU Policies Contribute to Abuse of Migrants in Libya

The report issued by Human Rights Watch publishes and denounces the unworthy living conditions migrants face in detention centres in Libya. As the country lacks refugee law and an asylum system, the people staying in the countries are treated like prisoners, with no adequate health care or an education system, and are often subject to (sexual) violence, extortion and forced labour. EU policies and working arrangements with Libyan authorities support these inhumane structures. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Nordafrika, Europäische Union

Report: Trafficking for ransom

In the last decade, a phenomenon has developed on irregular migration routes in different regions in the world: human trafficking for ransom. Migrants are kidnapped on their way and forced to call their relatives abroad via mobile phone to beg for ransom money, often while being tortured. This modus operandi was first documented in the Sinai Peninsula, where between 2009 and 2014, approximately 25.000 migrants were abducted and held captive in so called “torture camps” to extort ransom. Meanwhile, reports about similar cases have been found in other regions such as Libya, Mexico, Thailand and Yemen. Apparently, trafficking for ransom has become a widespread form of violence on migration routes which is based on the exploitation of transnational migrant networks. Despite this development, the phenomenon has received relatively little attention hitherto. This paper examines trafficking for ransom as a new form of exploitation and summarizes findings from different regions of the world. Based on NGO reports and empirical research on the Sinai case, the paper presents central characteristics of the model, root causes and approaches for a better protection of migrants en route. The aim is to develop a comprehensive framework to grasp trafficking for ransom and to generate recommendations for humanitarian action. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Weltweit

Greece: Violent Pushbacks at Turkey Border

Greek law enforcement officers at the land border with Turkey in the northeastern Evros region routinely summarily return asylum seekers and migrants, Human Rights Watch said today. The officers in some cases use violence and often confiscate and destroy the migrants’ belongings. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei, Europäische Union, Europa

Spendenbrief borderline-europe 2018

Liebe Freundinnen und Freunde,

im letzten Jahr haben wir in der europäischen Asyl- und Migrationspolitik einige Höhen und Tiefen erlebt. Rechtspopulistische Forderungen dominierten vielerorts den medialen und öffentlichen Diskurs. Diese gingen einher mit massiven Einschränkungen des Asylrechts, sowie der zunehmenden Kriminalisierung von Seenotrettung und Solidarität mit Geflüchteten. Gleichzeitig haben sich zivilgesellschaftliche Akteur*innen organisiert, mobilisiert und mit diversen Aktionen und Demonstrationen gezeigt: #WirSindMehr! Wir sind #unteilbar! Und wir stehen zusammen ein für die Einhaltung von Menschenrechten und eine vielfältige Gesellschaft. An unseren verschiedenen Standorten – Lübeck, Berlin, Palermo, Mytilene – sind wir diesen politischen Entwicklungen gleichermaßen entgegengetreten. Mehr über unsere verschiedenen Tätigkeiten im letzten Jahr erfahren Sie im angehängten Spendenbrief. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Deutschland, Weltweit

“EU Turkey Deal - A new border regime - Situation of migrants, legal support structures and bordermonitoring”

December 18th 2018 - from 7 to 9 p.m. – location Aquarium/Südblock, Skalitzer Strasse 6, 10999 Berlin
an update and discussion with

Lorraine Leete from the Legal Center Lesbos and Valeria Hänsel from Deportation Monitoring, in cooperation with borderline-europe
Part 1: The EU-Turkey Deal and its consequences (A shifting border regime: Border security, The Greek hotspots, Fast track asylum procedures, Detention and Deportation)
Part 2: The situation of the migrants on Lesbos (Moria (35), resistance & protests)
Part 3: Legal Centre Lesbos and Deportation Monitoring Aegean: what we do and document (Legal Advice, Monitoring of rights violations, detention and deportation)

The event will be in English language read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei, Europäische Union

Being black in the EU

Racial discrimination and harassment are commonplace. Experiences with racist violence vary greatly across countries, but reach as high as 14 %. Discriminatory profiling by the police, too, is a common reality. Hurdles to inclusion are multi-faceted, with many respondents facing discrimination during their job search and when looking for housing.

While the survey results paint a dire picture of reality on the ground, they can serve as an important resource for policymakers committed to promoting the full inclusion of people of African descent in the EU. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europäische Union

Greece: Dire Conditions for Asylum Seekers on Lesbos

The already dire conditions in the overcrowded Moria camp for asylum seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos may deteriorate into a full-blown humanitarian disaster as winter approaches unless urgent action is taken, Human Rights Watch said today.

“Thousands of people seeking protection in Europe are deprived of their most basic rights to humane and dignified treatment on Lesbos,” said Todor Gardos, Europe researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The EU-backed containment policy is aggravating long-lasting suffering of asylum seekers, turning Lesbos into an open-air prison.” read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei, Europäische Union

Report of the Commissioner for Human Rights of The Council of Europe following a visit of greek refugee camps

Commissioner Dunja Mijatović and her team visited Greece from 25 to 29 June 2018. During the visit, the Commissioner held discussions on issues pertaining to the reception and integration of migrants, including asylum seekers, and to the impact of austerity measures on the rights to health and education. The present report focuses on these major issues and documents the inadequate circumstances in the overcrowded camps, calling the European Union to act in order to ameliorate the situation of refugees at their external borders. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei, Europäische Union, Europa

Decriminalising solidarity by promoting the regularisation of migrants

The criminalisation of people and organisations that lend assistance to immigrants in Europe is an expression of the closure of legal or humanitarian entry routes and the growing difficulty of residing legally. The distinction between “economic migran
ts” and asylum seekers, the restriction of possibilities to enter to find employment and of the scope of the “European” right to asylum, and finally the agreements with third countries to externalise collective refoulement practices, produce a proliferation of cases resulting in illegality.
Translation of a speech given by Fulvio Vassallo Paleologo (Osservatorio Solidarietà Carta di Milano) at the session ‘Decriminalizing Solidarity: an ever more topical challenge’, Sabir Festival, Palermo, 13 October 2018
read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Italien / Malta, Europa

Il naufragio della verità

A 5 anni dalla strage a largo delle coste di Lampedusa pensiamo sia giusto mantenere viva l’attenzione su alcuni punti quali il mancato soccorso e gli interessi economico-politici che stanno alla base di questo e di altri naufragi. read more

Language(s): Italienisch / Italiano
Region(s): Italien / Malta

The shrinking place for solidarity with migrants and refugees: how the European Union and Member States target and criminalize defenders of the rights of people on the move

Europe’s “refugee crisis” triggered a wave of solidarity actions by both civil society organisations and ordinary citizens. Their efforts were part of a wave of compassion, as people organised convoys to refugee reception centers, warmly greeted arrivals at train stations and lined highways to provide food and water to those making the journey from Syria and elsewhere. Just a few years later those same activists are treated as criminals and humanitarian search and rescue missions are criminalised. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Europäische Union

Update zur Situatin von tschetschenischen Geflüchteten in Weißrussland

Im Oktober 2017 berichteten wir von unserer Recherchefahrt nach Polen und Weißrussland. Vorort untersuchten wir die Situation der tschetschenischen Geflüchteten, die versuchen oder versucht haben, die Grenze zu übertreten, um in der Europäischen Union Asyl zu beantragen.
In diesem Jahr variierte die Anzahl von Asylsuchenden aus Russland in der Europäischen Union zwischen 1362 Fällen im Januar 2018 und 1217 Fällen im Juni 2018. Nach Angaben des Europäischen Unterstützungsbüro für Asylfragen betrug der Rückstand von zu bearbeitenden Asylgesuchen aus
Russland 7407 Anträge (Stand: Juni 2018). Die Statistiken weisen darauf hin, dass die in unserem Bericht aufgeworfenen Probleme an der EU- Außengrenze in Polen bestehen bleiben. Über die aktuellen Entwicklungen der Situation für die tschetschenischen Geflüchteten im Grenzgebiet
sprachen wir mit der weißrussischen NGO Human Constanta. read more

Language(s): Deutsch / German
Region(s): Osteuropa

Refugee Rights Europe Press-Release (27/08/18)

New major research study finds EU-Turkey deal has pushed Lesvos to its breaking point. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei

An island in despair: documenting the situation for refugees and displaced people in Lesvos

Refugee Rights Europe sent a field delegation to the island from 18-22 June 2018, to investigate and document the human rights situation. The study is based on surveys and interviews with 311 individuals in their native languages, or nearly 4% of the estimated 8,000 refugees and displaced people thought to be on the island at the time of the study. The research findings are outlined in this report and paint a harrowing picture of the current situation on the island. read more

Language(s): Englisch / English
Region(s): Griechenland / Türkei