A collection of news articles, op-eds and thinkpieces on migration
Omran Daqneesh, Aylan Kurdi and the invisibility of Syrian children
The picture of Omran Daqneesh after he was saved under the rubble of his destroyed home in Aleppo has surfaced and shook the internet. The image reminds us of Aylan Kurdi, who was found dead on the Turkish shore in September 2015. The two stories show the inescapable plight of Syrian children, their lives torn by war whether they stay or leave their homes. As thousands of other Syrian children have lost their lives, have become injured and suffer from psychological trauma, Omran Daqneesh has attracted worldwide attention, becoming a symbol for those who remain invisible. But the global outrage sparked by the photographs is but temporary and people are critical it will lead to any action or change.
North Africa - More than a transit destination
As the EU attempts to limit immigration and export border management to the peripheries of Europe, many sub-Saharan migrants find themselves stuck along the North African coast. In Morocco, they live in make-shift and mobile camps until they attempt the sea crossing to Europe - or across the fences of the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. Others find themselves stuck in Tripoli, where they are detained in dire circumstances. The story of a Senegalese migrant sheds light on the corruption, violence and racism that they experience on their journey, and eventually in the detention centers of Libya. The sea route is no less dangerous. 2016 has already seen more fatalities as compared to 2015. A photographer followed a team of Sea Watch volunteers during their rescue operations on the Mediterranean.
The EU not only tries to curb migration through policing its borders but also through the promotion of return migration. Since 2009, a program of the French government aids the return of Tunisian migrants by giving students and workers who agree to return home free training, internship placements and small stipends to establish their own business. While the training offers some hope for especially younger returnees, Tunisia’s rampant unemployment and a tourism industry suffering from security concerns begs for more large-scale development.
The media’s Eurocentric focus on migrants’ move up North overshadows the fact that most African migration is intercontinental. Up to 20,000 people every year take the ‘Southern Route’ to reach South Africa, deemed the Promised Land of the continent. Their stories reveal that they too fall victim to smuggling, torture and other abuses.
War on Terror’s effect on Latino migrants
Recent research has pointed out the devastating effects of the War on Terror on Latino immigrants in the U.S. Over the past fifteen years, U.S. policies and institutions have merged terrorism and immigration positing also the U.S.-Mexican border as a potential terrorist threat.
Refugee arrivals in Germany
Over the past year, Germany has become home to more than 1.1 million refugees, asylum-seekers and other migrants. The migrant influx often leads to self-determined neighborhoods termed ‘arrival cities’, which may give rise to either a new creative, commercial class or a wave of tension and violence. Berlin’s Kreuzberg has been an arrival city for decades, but more recently many asylum-seekers are resettled in Hamburg, where collaboration and community input - including of the newcomers themselves - may be able to make a difference.
In Saarbruecken, young asylum-seekers receive short-term therapy where they express their emotions through art. This kind of support is not available everywhere however and many school-aged children face difficulty in accessing education due to limited spaces and a lack of trained teachers.
Refugees targeted by mafia in Greece
In Greece, aid workers warn of criminal activity in and around the camps. As the police turns a blind eye, Greek and Albanian mafia push vulnerable men and women into drug smuggling, prostitution and human trafficking.
Relativizing the 'refugee crisis'
A new blog post by Hein de Haas debunks the public perception that refugees and asylum-seekers are the biggest source of migration today. De Haas shows that rather, the share of refugees has been small and stable in recent history and that ultimately it's a matter of willpower rather than capability whether we can respond.
World Humanitarian Day
August 19 is the annual World Humanitarian Day coinciding with the anniversary of the 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad. This year, the UN-inspired day was themed 'One Humanity' and focused on the theme of global solidarity for those in need of humanitarian aid. A limited overview of events and initiatives organized on the day can be found here.