News Highlights: South Sudan at risk of famine, Refugees under threat in Tigray camps, Call to make COVID-19 vaccines available for all

In this week’s news highlights: International concern about human rights in Tigray; Continuation of GERD Dam talks remains difficult amid regional tensions; Increased risk of famine in South Sudan; Report Eritrean troops in Tigray occupy refugee camp area; Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia still largely cut off from aid; 265 migrants and refugees rescued at Mediterranean Sea and land in Italy; At least 20 deaths and more missing after Christmas boat sinking off the coast of Tunisia; Destroyed camp in Bosnia and Herzegovina leaves thousand of migrants and refugees unsheltered; EU-funded refugee camp near Athens provides insufficient conditions; EU plans to fund refugee aid in Turkey; Between 400 and 800 migrants and refugees forced to leave from makeshift camps in Calais, France; Italy pays tribute to the life of an Ethiopian refugee; World leaders are urged to make COVID-vaccine globally available; COVID-19 pandemic worsened the global refugee crises.

Experts state that COVID-19 and mobile money services have changed the modus operandi of criminal networks trafficking and smuggling people

A panel of experts on migration, human trafficking and smuggling, and the rise of mobile money services came together to discuss the changes they have seen emerging with the rise of COVID-19 and the growth of money mobile services within the criminal networks. However, the experts also agree that the pandemic presents a chance to reflect on the role of technology and the fight against human trafficking. The experts argue that protection should be key and that prosecution, in new and innovative ways, should focus on the quality of arrests, not quantity. Just as criminal groups take advantage of increased interconnectivity, so can the efforts taken to stop their exploitation.

News Highlights: Eritrean embassy office reprimanded by Netherlands, Deportation of Sudanese man ruled unlawful, Frontex implicated in pushbacks

In this week’s news highlights: Dutch Minister takes action against Eritrean embassy amid coerced fund collection; Frontex implicated in illegal “push-backs”; Four asylum seekers, including two children, die trying to cross the English Channel; OXFAM Italia reports on increased human rights violations due to migration deals; Italian ex-minister to go to trial for alleged kidnapping in rescue boat case; Home Office reduces minimum required salary for migrants to settle; Blog posts to be written by experts on new migration pact; Forced repatriation of a Sudanese refugee from Belgium has been considered unlawful by ECHR; Updated list of missing Eritrean political prisoners published by Eritrea Hub; German government provides funding to Ethiopia for border and migration management; Eritrean asylum seekers face increased difficulty in Ethiopia amidst COVID-19 and reception restrictions; Hunger strike by two Eritrean refugees in Egypt jail; ILO and IOM sign agreement to improve collaboration on migration; and India ships food aid to countries in the Horn of Africa.