In this week’s news highlights, the policy direction of the European Union becomes increasingly clear as several EU countries promise to held Chad, Niger and Libya increase their border protection; processes to return asylum seekers to Greece have started despite doubts over conditions of reception; the International Organization on Migration and Reporters Without Borders remind us of the damage of disappearances; and a prominent human rights activist is pardoned and freed in Sudan, but others are still being held.
Friday 3 February, European leaders meet at the informal summit in Valletta, Malta, to discuss migration. The meeting is focused specifically on halting migration along the Central Mediterranean Route, with Libya as its focal point. In a joint statement, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) urging the EU to not consider Libya a safe third country. The humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned the EU about an inhumane approach to migration.