Pushbacks at European Union’s external border – the new normal?

Lack of evidence is not the problem. In the last years, different civil society and research organizations have collected numerous testimonies of migrants and refugees that have been violently sent back by authorities after they crossed the border of the Westens Balkans, Morocco, Sebia, Turkey or Belarus into the European Union (EU). In many cases, these people – looking for dignity and international protection – reported abuse, humiliation and beatings. In the so called ‘pushbacks’, access to the asylum procedure is denied; asylum seekers are not registered but immediately returned to the other side of the border. Member of the European Parliament Tineke Strik is worried this inhumane and unlawful way of pushing people out of the EU is becoming a normality. On February 18, during the breakfast briefing organized by the Greens/EFA and the Open Society European Policy Institute; ‘Strengthening borders, weakening the rule of law?’ Strik, together with experts in the field, brought the attention to the pushbacks that take place at EU’s external borders. It was concluded that the approach for EU border control needs to be reconsidered and an independent border control mechanism should be implemented to stop the unlawful pushbacks from happening.

News highlights: Libyan coast guard refuses rescue, citing full detention centres, AU Summit aims to end conflicts, Eritrean children malnourished

In this week’s news highlights: Discrimanation against Eritrean Women examined; UNICEF discovers Eritrean kids most malnourished; AU summit aims to end conflict on the continent; Eritrean man killed by police; Eritrean president criticizes TPLF in an interview; President of South Sudan accused of being unwilling to form coalition while human rights violations continue; Former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir may be handed over to International Criminal Court; Germany did not hold to its promise to accept boat refugees after Malta agreement; Salvini sent to Italian court over refused disembarkation; Partnership between Spain and Italy on new migration policy; Crew of German rescue ship awarded by Amnesty International; Libyan coast guard fails to save 91 people, now feared missing; and UNHCR is struggling in Niger.

An all-inclusive labour market: challenges for refugees

The working population in Europe is expected to decline from 65% to 56% by 2070, while those aged 65+ will rise from 19% to 29% of the population. Participation in the labour market is an important aspect in the integration process of refugees and simultaneously helps to counter discrimnation and enhance inclusion in society. Many refugees in Europe want to work; to establish contacts, take care of their family and contribute to society. Yet, in 2016, the European Commission found that only 25% of the refugees in the European Union had a job after 5 years of residence. Recently, a new report of Labor Market and Vocational Research (IAB) announced that this is now 50% in Germany. Still, there is room for improvement as refugees remain one of the most vulnerable groups on the labour market. Eurodiaconia argues action needs to be undertaken to provide this group with more job opportunities.