In this week’s news highlights: UNHCR phases out food supply Gathering and Departure Facility in Tripoli; Libya will not receive boats from France; Sahara migration routes becoming more dangerous; Italian civil court rules refugee return to Libya is illegal; Italian coast guard and navy officials to stand trial; EU allegedly breaks law in external funding; MEPs urge to improve the situation for refugees in Greece; Member states need consensus on responsibility sharing; migrant farmworkers in Europe exploited; Tourists help stranded refugees; Attack on Eritrean artist; Prime minister of Sudan new chair IGAD; And New programme to help refugees move out of camps in Ethiopia.
The preamble of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, an instrument applicable to all member states of the European Union (EU) when implementing EU law, holds that “the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of human dignity, freedom, equality and solidarity,” centralising the idea that EU member states must protect human life. Yet, several Southern European Member States have criminalised search and rescue (SAR) operations in the Mediterranean Sea and charged the rescue operations with the criminal act of smuggling. Therefore, the operators face years in prison if convicted. At the same time, the EU has closed down its own SAR operations, relying on its deals with the Libyan coast guard to intercept boats.
In this week’s news highlights: Letter – EU migration policy contributes to human rights abuses; Italy adopts anti-rescue decree; Refugee accused of being trafficker faces 14 years in jail; Eritrean refugees from Switzerland on streets of Belgium; Sudan’s TMC seen as responsible for abuses – protests continue; Eritrea and Sudan agreement to reopen shared border; Eritrean Catholic health facilities shut down; Eritrean campaign urges transition; EU accused of fostering slave-like conditions through its project in Eritrea; UN Secretary-General calls enforcement of Libyan arms embargo; and Libyan Government of National Accord proposes steps towards peace.