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20 January 2016

A young girl stands outside a tent at the Vinojug migrant reception centre in Gevgelija, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Photo: UNICEF/Ashley Gilbertson VII

Harsh Winter Poses More Hazards to Child Refugees and Migrants Arriving in Europe – UNICEF

United Nations - With children now accounting for over one in three of the tens of thousands of refugees and migrants flooding into Europe, UNICEF has voiced concern at the impact recent sub-zero temperatures and snowy conditions are having on them.

UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told UN News Service that children arriving into a harsh winter in south-eastern Europe are physically exhausted, scared, distressed and often in need of medical assistance.

The conditions are exacerbating the poor physical condition of the children, as many lack access to adequate clothing and age-appropriate nutrition, a situation worsened by lack of shelter and inadequate heating in some reception centres, as well as on buses and trains.

Read on

An asylum seeker presents a creation for fashion house Ikire Jones at the Pitti Immagine Uomo 89 in Florence. (AFP Photo/Andreas Solaro)

Asylum Seekers Take to Italian Catwalk

Italy - Asylum seekers from Mali and Gambia strutted down the catwalk at Florence's prestigious Pitti Uomo exhibition, kicking off an initiative to school would-be migrant fashionistas in Italy's top art, writes Ella Ide for AFP.

In a fashion world first, farmers and construction workers who made the perilous journey by boat to Italy in May took centre stage in Tuscany's capital, modelling everything from sharply-tailored suits to tasselled jumpers and outlandish hats.

Read on

Migration in the News

  • EU Observer reported comments by German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt criticizing Chancellor Merkel’s open border policy towards migrants and refugees and saying that the country must be prepared to close its borders.

  • Vice reported that migration in 2015 was actually “safer” than the previous year. Although the number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean was the highest ever recorded in a single year, the percentage who made it ashore safely was also a record high.

  • AFP reported that Greece has seen 21 times more migrants arrive on its shores so far this month than in all of January 2015, according to IOM.

  • New Europe reported that almost 90 per cent of the over 31,000 migrants and refugees arriving in Greece this month have been from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

  • DHA reported that Turkish police have started to hand out leaflets to migrants and refugees in the southern resort town of Bodrum warning them not to risk their lives trying to reach Europe by sea.

  • AFP reported that Greek Shipping Minister Thodoris Dritsas criticized coastguards who forced an alleged Turkish smuggler to look at the bodies of three migrant children who died crossing the Aegean.

  • International Business Times reported comments by European Council president Donald Tusk warning that the collapse of the passport-free Schengen Area could be imminent, amid record high winter arrivals of refugees in Greece.

  • Netherland Times reported that an increasing number of asylum seekers are voluntarily leaving the Netherlands, because they are discouraged by the lengthy Dutch asylum procedure, according to IOM.

  • Balkan Insight reported that Romania will receive its first 300 refugees next month under EU quotas, but most Romanians are still opposed to taking them.

  • Prensa Latina reported that Guatemala will host a regional meeting today to discuss Cuban migrants stranded in Costa Rica and assess the IOM-assisted transfer of 180 of them to the US earlier this month.

Trending on the Internet

  • Independent UK reported the story of an American woman who was rescued by a group of Syrian refugees from being sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve in Cologne, Germany.

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