NEWS HIGHLIGHTS: humanitarian visas, human trafficking business, testimonies of Eritrean refugees

In this week’s news highlights we would like to inform you about the upcoming side-event on the UN Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea (COI) follow-up at the UN Human Rights Council, the European Court of Justice decision on humanitarian visas and Hungary’s new measures against refugees. News highlights at the Horn of Africa are: new testimonies from Eritrean refugees, peace efforts in Sudan and war crimes South Sudan.




Geneva: Human Rights Council side event on Eritrea
on the 13 March 2017, the UN Human Rights Council is holding a side event on the topic The Post-COI Follow-Up Process. Key speakers of the event are Mirjam van Reisen, Director of EEPA, Teldah Mawarire, Policy and Research Officer at CIVICUS, and two former victims of detention without trial in Eritrea.

Europe: No humanitarian visas
On Tuesday, 3 March 2017, the European Court of Justice decided that member states cannot be obliged to admit asylum seekers on humanitarian grounds. The verdict is a blow to the efforts of securing legal pathways to Europe and, critics say, benefits the profitable business of human traffickers.

Europe & Africa: The money business behind human trafficking
An interactive site of The Huffington Post shows how the refugee crisis changed the world economy and who benefits from the human trafficking business. The site includes interviews with traffickers and victims, estimates of profits and expenses and sheds light on the trade deals that fuel migration along the route from Niger, through Libya and Turkey, to Europe.

Hungary: hostile policy
On Tuesday, 3 March 2017, Prime Minister Viktor Orban called migration “the Trojan wooden horse of terrorism,” at a swearing-in ceremony for a new group of border guards and fuelled growing resentment against migrants with the adoption of new rules that allow the detainment of asylum seekers. UNHCR says this violates EU and international law.


Horn of Africa

Eritrea: Book release
Tomorrow, 10 March 2017, Professor Mirjam van Reisen and Professor Munyaradzi Mawere present their findings on the booming business of human trafficking of Eritrean refugees with their latest book ‘Human trafficking and trauma in the digital era. The ongoing tragedy of trade in refugees from Eritrea.’ The book highlights how information communication technologies play a crucial role in the criminal activities of trafficking.

Sudan: testimonies of Eritrean detainees
Africa Monitors spoke to Eritrean detainees in Sudan’s Al-Huda Prison. In the interviews the victims describe the inhuman conditions in the prisons and how they managed to escape Eritrea.

Eritrea: migration and policy relations
The Overseas Development Institute released a paper that analyses how policies influence irregular migration of Eritreans. The paper looks at the factors of livelihood support in Ethiopia and resettlement plans. Findings are based on qualitative interviews with Eritreans in the northern province of Tigray and Asmara, Eritrea’s capital city.

The Overseas Development Institute also presents the personal accounts of young Eritreans that are stuck in Adi Harush camp in Ethiopia and waiting years for resettlement. The website “Journeys on hold” shows their dreams and aspirations but also their desperation.

Sudan: support for South Sudanese refugees
The UK Government agreed to provide financial support of £2 million to UNHCR to respond to the needs of South Sudanese refugees in Sudan. UNHCR is welcoming this contribution and plans to use it to purchase non-food items mostly for newly arriving South Sudanese refugees in White Nile and East Darfur states.

Sudan: peace efforts by Sudan’s government
On Wednesday, 08 March 2017, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on Wednesday pardoned 259 rebels, Aljazeera reports. According to the Sudanese government, the decision aims to create “the environment for achieving lasting peace in the country.”

South Sudan: rape, killings and war crimes in Yei
Earlier today, 09 March 2017, BBC reported about systematic war crimes by security forces in Yei. National security forces deny that violence, including rape and killings, is being used against civilians. The BBC presents testimonies that refute this claim.

Ethiopia: bilateral talks with Malawi
On Tuesday, 07 March 2017, Malawi and Ethiopia engaged in bilateral talks to strengthen their relationship. The talks focused on development on security but addressed migration and human trafficking.

Lastly, we also encourage you to find out what the future will hold for you and to have a look at Google. It may surprise you.


The EEPA-Team