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22 June 2018

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Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 40,944 in 2018; Deaths Reach 960

Posted on Fri. June 22, 2018​​

Geneva –  IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 40,944 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through the first 171 days of 2018. That total compares to 84,675 at this time last year, and over 215,997 at this time in 2016.

In other words: Mediterranean arrivals at this point in 2018 are running at significantly below half of last year’s total to date, and some 19 per cent of 2016’s volume at this same point during that year.  Deaths, too, are much lower than at comparable periods of the past two years. In 2017 IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported 2,133 deaths through 21 June; at this point in 2016 the figure was 2,911 – or over three times 2018’s estimated total of 960.

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Migrants stranded in Hudaydah are forced to wait for the resumption of IOM's return assistance. Photo: IOM

Migrant Returns from Yemen Postponed as Displacement Increases Due to Hudaydah Offensive

Posted on Fri. June 22, 2018​​

Sana’a – Due to the ongoing offensive, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has been forced to postpone its voluntary humanitarian return assistance to migrants stranded in Hudaydah until further notice. The same military operations have, so far, caused 5,775 Yemenis to flee their homes in the Hudaydah area since it began last Wednesday (13/06) – this figure is set to increase over the coming days.

“A few weeks ago, it was almost unimaginable that the situation in Yemen – already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis – could have deteriorated even further to the extent that the military offensive on Hudaydah has caused,” said Sarat Dash, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission. “We call on all parties to the conflict to show respect for human life, whether they be Yemeni nationals or a migrant caught in the conflict,” he added.    

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  • AP reported that Libya's coast guard has rescued three groups of more than 520 African migrants, including at least 10 women and 49 children, and recovered four bodies in the Mediterranean Sea east of the capital, Tripoli, over two days.
  • EFE-EPA, Xinhua reported that the European Commission on Thursday asked the EU-28 member countries to explore, in accordance with international law, the creation of regional processing centers to disembark irregular migrants back in Northern Africa, prior to next week's EU Heads of State summit. 
  • EU Observer reported that the European Commission is against creating a "Guantanamo Bay in Europe" for migrants, its migration commissioner insisted Thursday – while pushing vague plans to set up special centres in North African countries to prevent people boarding boats to Italy.
  • Anadolu Agency reported that EU leaders' support for “regional disembarkation platforms” outside the bloc for migrants is stirring debate throughout the union.
  • The Globe and Mail  ran an op-ed noting that there is no migration crisis, and that real crisis is political opportunism.
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation an op-ed noting that that national laws seemingly have become more powerful now than the international humanitarian law and even a sense of humanity.
  • The Conversation reported about how false assumptions have been used to justify the implementation of restrictive migration policies within Africa, making travel in the region more costly, secretive, difficult and dangerous.
  • Reliefweb reported that a growing body of evidence has shown that humanitarian crises can exacerbate pre-existing human trafficking trends – and give rise to new ones. 
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation reported about how language and technology open opportunities for refugees.
  • Asia News reported that 13,800 refugees arrived this year in Indonesia, and the Archdiocese of Jakarta is responding to the emergency in the overcrowded Cengkareng asylum center. 

  • NYT reported that the Italian fashion retailer known for its provocative campaigns repurposed two photos from a charity’s rescue operation, and even an anti-immigrant Italian minister weighed in.
  • BBC shared the stories of three migrants who arrived in Britain 70 years ago on the Empire Windrush, which was carrying passengers from the Caribbean and from Poland, invited by Britain to assist with post-war reconstruction.
  • Global Citizen reported that actors from “Harry Potter”, “Game of Thrones”, and “Sex in the City” have joined together with refugees to perform on video a rallying cry in defense of a compassionate refugee policy.