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28 August 2017

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Members of the far-right group La Meute held a rally in Quebec City on Sunday, after first being pinned in a parking garage by their opponents. Photo: Maxime Corneau/Radio-Canada

Are Canadian Attitudes Hardening as Haitians Flee US?

As Canada Grapples with Exodus of Haitians from US

(IOM) Quebec – Stranded on a grass highway median on the approach to Montreal’s Victoria Bridge, stands the Black Rock, a three-meter-high slab of granite marking one of the darker periods in Canada’s immigration past. As many as 6,000 Irish emigres fleeing the Great Famine are believed to be buried here, passengers aboard dozens of typhus-ridden “coffin ships” relegated to the fever sheds that sprang up along 840 kilometres of the St. Lawrence River from Grosse Ile, Quebec, to Toronto, Ontario, during the summer of 1847.

Canada’s immigration policy has come a long way since the arrival of the coffin ships, but there’s vague echoes of the past in events unfolding in Quebec today.

Between June and mid-August, more than 7,500 migrants, the majority Haitian nationals drawn to predominately French-speaking Quebec, crossed the world’s longest, undefended border on foot: roughly 7,000 migrants crossed the entire border on foot in all of 2016 according to government statistics.

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Migrants on a wooden boat await rescue by the Malta-based NGO Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) in the central Mediterranean in international waters off the coast of Sabratha in Libya, April 15, 2017. File Photo: REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi

Facebook Lambasted over Ransom Video of Traffickers Abusing Migrants

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) London – People smugglers are using Facebook to broadcast the abuse and torture of migrants in order to extort ransom money from their families, the UN migration agency said on Friday.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) lambasted the tech giant for failing to police the platform and help crack down on traffickers.

One video hosted on the site since June shows Libyan gangmasters threatening emaciated and abused migrants – mostly Somalis and Ethiopians – huddled in a concrete room. 

IOM said the traffickers had sent clips to the captives' families via the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp – a Facebook channel – along with threats that their loved ones would be killed unless ransoms of up to $10,000 were paid.

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IOM X is the International Organization for Migration's innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking. The campaign is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Read more


Mariia: “Being a migrant means learning to be more organized, more persistant and in some cases stronger than everyone else.”
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Franck Düvell, Senior Researcher & Associate Professor at the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society, University of Oxford, talks to GMDAC on whether we can “measure” irregular migration.
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Migration in the News

  • The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook is once again in hot water for allowing objectionable videos on its website, this time drawing a rare rebuke from IOM.
  • The BBC shared the story of Yaya who lost his wife and sons after they drowned during their attempt to cross the Mediterranean.
  • The Huffington Post reported that an examination of the wider situation in the Mediterranean casts doubt over whether fewer NGO rescue boats would actually lead to fewer migrants making their way to Europe.
  • Xinhua reported that Iraqi forces battling so-called Islamic State (IS) militants on Saturday liberated most of the city of Talafar as they recaptured eight neighborhoods during the day, including the old citadel of Talafar in the center of the city.
  • Jamaica Observer reported that based on a feasibility survey issued to members of the Diaspora, the Government of Jamaica has rejected calls to allow Jamaicans living overseas to vote in upcoming general elections. Nonetheless, the government has shifted focus towards increasing Diaspora investment in the country.
  • Bangladesh Today reported that speakers at a workshop on Sunday said dissemination of accurate information at the right time through proper channels can save many lives during natural disasters, including flood and landslides.
  • Bdnews24 reported that Canada is providing C$262,500 through the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund for immediate assistance to over 10,000 flood victims in Bangladesh.

Trending on the Internet

  • SBS reported that the ancient language of Sanskrit, spoken by only a tiny number of people in its homeland of India, has been given a new lease on life in Australia by an enthusiastic group of migrants in Sydney.
  • The Guardian shared photos from a project called Migrate where photographers used polaroid cameras to share stories of refugees.


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