Tag Archives: IOM

EU celebrates Migrants Day

On the occasion of International Migrants Day on 18 December, the European Commission and the High Representative made the following statement:

“The history of humankind is a history of migration. For thousands of years people have migrated from one place to another, for a variety of reasons, and continue to do so: Today, there are 258 million international migrants worldwide.

“On International Migrants Day, the European Union reaffirms its enduring commitment to protect migrants’ human rights, to prevent perilous irregular journeys and ensure opportunities for legal and safe pathways instead.

“In order to do this, we are working with all our partners around the world – countries of origin, transit and destination and international organisations. Migration requires global, cooperative alliances: No country can address migration on its own – neither in Europe nor elsewhere in the world.

“This is the core message of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which will provide the global framework for improving migration management. It is by working together, in the spirit of shared responsibility, that we can jointly turn migration from a common challenge into a shared opportunity.

“The European Union’s comprehensive approach on migration is built in the same vein: seeking to address the drivers of irregular migration; fighting against smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings; ensure adequate protection for those in need, better manage Europe’s external borders, while enabling legal migration channels. For the benefit of all of us.”

At eve of the EU institutions celebration more than five thousand people came to the European Headquarters in Brussels  to protest against Global Compact for Migration, and imposition of migrants on local communities by the EU open-door policies.

 

UN reports numbers of illegal migrants to EU

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 51,782 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 18 July 2018. That total compares to 110,189 at this time last year, and 244,722 at this time in 2016.

Arrivals to Spain (see chart below) this month have overtaken those to Italy. To date just over 36 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular migrants have come via the Western Mediterranean route, whose irregular migration volume has nearly tripled those registered at this time last year.

Arrivals to Italy are nearly identical, but still trail Spain by just over 800 arrivals. Greece counts about 29 per cent of all arrivals. Significantly, Greece’s arrivals thus far in 2018 are running almost 5,000 ahead of last year’s totals on this date, an increase of better than 50 per cent. Arrivals to Italy, on the other hand, are down over 80 per cent compared to 2017 data.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday that the number (3,136) of irregular migrant arrivals to Italy by sea in June this year was the lowest recorded by Italian authorities since 2014.

Nonetheless, in the month of June, the Central Mediterranean route linking Italy to North Africa recorded the highest number of deaths along this channel in the past four years. In June 2018, some 564 migrants were reported drowned or missing in the waters between North Africa and Sicily. That compares with 529 in 2017, with 388 in 2016, five in 2015 and 314 in 2014. Through 18 July, 153 additional fatalities have been recorded on this route.

In spite of the slightly lower numbers of illegal migrants arriving this year in comparison with the last year, the numbers of arrivals remain high, causing criticism of politicians insisting Europe has no capacity to host “all in need around the globe”. “EU can not accept all the migrants from the planet” – Czech Prime minister Andrej Babiš  said, commenting situation with illegal migration.

 

 

Swedish city votes for ‘begging licence’

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven assessed the decision of Eskilstuna Council to introduce an obligatory  begging licence “interesting”.
Eskilstuna city council has voted for an obligatory licence for “passive” begging in the streets. The regulation was voted in by a majority coalition between the Social Democrats, Moderates and Centre Party in the council of Eskilstuna, a city west of Stockholm. The nationalist Sweden Democrats has agreed to the move, which was opposed by the Left Party, Green Party, Liberals and Christian Democrats.
The council’s chair Jimmy Jansson said the permit requirement was a way of better regulating begging with the aim of helping those living in hardship, rather than banning the practice.

It could help people “come into contact with  charity Stadsmissionen or other charitable organizations, or getting help to travel home again,” Jansson underlined.

The begging came to Sweden with a wave of migrants, and has become a business already back in 2010, however it has grown last years it became widespread, hardly leaving any supermarket entrance with a ‘professional’ beggar.

In Sweden, as well as in the other EU countries, ‘professional’ beggars  are often victims of forced begging, related to human trafficking. The decision of the Swedish city Council is in the line with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) encouraging safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking.

 

401 fatalities among migrants in Mediterranean

Missing Migrants Project reported more than 400 deaths of migrants, crossing Mediterranean this year. The project tracks incidents involving migrants, including refugees and asylum-seekers, who have died or gone missing in the process of migration towards an international destination. More than 8 000 migrants arrived to Europe in 2018.