While the European Union (EU) is looking to further bolster Libya and the Libyan coastguard, a majority of Members of European Parliament (MEPs) and a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) and experts criticize the EU’s involvement in the human rights abuses that are systematically taking place inside Libya. They state that Libya is not a safe place for the disembarkation of migrants and refugees and that by financially supporting Libyan institutions that facilitate widespread and systematic human rights abuses, the EU has been complicit in these crimes. This week steps were taken to address and review the EU’s policies and accountability inside Libya.
This week’s news highlights: UK withdraws embassy staff from Eritrea; Rumours about the situation in Eritrea; Ethiopia destroying homes leaving hundreds of people homeless; Thousands of migrants returned to Ethiopia amidst COVID-19; Inadequate preparedness slows COVID-19 response in Somalia; Record of internally displaced persons in 2019; NGOs state that EU policies facilitate the abuse of migrants and refugees in Libya as organisations launch ECA complaint; EU to bolster Libya’s coastguard amidst MEP backlash; WFP says 104.793 people assisted in March amidst COVID-19; Migrants and refugees discriminated in Tunisia; Announcement closure Greek migrant camp; German experts advise on migrant working permit scheme; Asylum seeker in Germany wins court case; Bosnian minister proposes migrants and refugees should be deported; Proposal to map undocumented migrants south Italy; Less people granted Asylum in Europe 2019; Migrants and refugees first victims of COVID-19 containment; And refugees and migrants provide support in medical and agricultural sectors to curb labour shortages
As many European countries continue to struggle with the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis, the Council of Europe and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) encourage member states to benefit from the support refugee and migrant health professionals can provide to national health systems at this critical juncture. In addition, the lack of agricultural workforce due to the closure of borders to seasonal workers remains a potential threat to the entire European food supply chain, according to the European Commission. As a solution, countries like Germany, Italy, UK, Belgium and Ireland are exploring the opportunities for granted working permits. This article gives a brief look into the different solutions and remaining challenges.