ttempts to build bridges with pro-democracy movement; 650.000 Sudanese children at risk of severe malnutrition; Sudanese government offers contribution to solve conflict in Ethiopia; Authorities take newspaper and bar association to court; Kenya workers suffer abuses and violation of rights; UNSC renews mandate for inspection of vessels along Libyan coast; Greek Migration minister accuses EU of using external border states as “refugee parking lots”; Refugee and migrant population down by 50% in Greece since last year; ECJ rules against Hungarian asylum law; Czech and Austrian border guards to renew checks on border with Slovakia; Pope Francis calls for support to migrants as Italy elects far right wing government; What do the Italian elections imply for EU migration policy?; and 97 asylum seekers dead after Lebanese boat capsizes.
The European Commission (EC) decided to apply a temporary restriction for non-essential travel from third countries into the European Union or in other words, closed the Schengen external borders. The EU hoped that the decision would enable the lifting of internal border controls. However, such controls have already been applied by several member states in an effort to limit the spread of the virus. Some have criticized the EU’s lack of a unified response and clear message; and some countries, like Hungary and Italy, justify their anti-migration policies by using the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus.
In this week’s news highlights: UNHCR and IOM temporarily suspend refugee resettlement; Mixed Migration Centre criticizes ‘root cause’ approach to migration; COVID-19 could “decimate” refugee communities; Ethiopia reports the arrest of notorious human trafficker Kidane Zekarias Haftemariam and five others; 77.6 million dollar aid plan for Ethiopia; Refugees concerned about digital registration; UN Security Council proposes to end UNAMID mission in Darfur, Sudan; Nevsun’s Eritrea-slavery case has legal implications for other Canadian companies, EU closes the external Schengen borders for 30 days, exempting those seeking international protection; Migrants on Greek islands can receive 2.000 euro in new voluntary return initiative; Human traffickers sentenced to 125 years by Turkish court; Child dies in Lesbos refugee camp fire; The Netherlands closes asylum seekers’ centres for new inhabitants amid COVID-19 measures; Registration of asylum applications suspended in Belgium amid COVID-19 measures; Malta accused of ignoring distress calls; UN and IOM decry return of a refugee boat to Libya; And International community calls for a ceasefire in Libya to focus on COVID-19.