In this week’s news highlights: Security forces in Sudan accused of committing crimes against humanity in HRW report; Lifting the UN sanctions did not change economic situation in Eritrea; Referendum in Ethiopia on self-governing of ethnic minority group stirs unrest; UNHCR needs more funding to help refugees in Ethiopia; Leaked EU document admits worsening conditions and inability to monitor returns to Libya despite renewal of Libya deal; Greece closes largest refugee camps; Greece and Croatia accused of shooting at migrants and refugees at the border; Greece criminalizes rescue actions; Criticism on European border control; NGO rescue actions not a ‘pull factor’ for migrants and refugees to cross the Mediterranean Sea, says report; International community must protect people in Libya; Detainees in Libyan detention centres condemn EU policy; and Documentary on rescue action at the Mediterranean Sea.
On October 23 and 24, the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) in a joint collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) held its annual conference on the topic of ‘The Future of Asylum in Europe: Assessing and Capitalising on Changes at EU Level’. Keynote speakers agreed that refugees and migrants should be more involved in EU policy-making, as their stories should be told. Speakers also stated that disembarkation should be on EU soil, since the deal with Libya is contravenes all principles of human rights. The future of asylum in Europe was discussed and views on the EU agenda brought forward.
On October 8, European Justice and Home Affairs ministers met to discuss the new relocation framework set up by Finland, France, Germany, Italy, and Malta, which is based on voluntary collaborations amongst member states. The new deal holds that within four weeks, migrants and refugees will be either relocated amongst participating member states or returned if they are not in need of asylum. The arrangement is expected to run until the new college of commissioners takes over in November 2019. Only three additional member states pledged to join the deal after the meeting.