Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 321

Posts Tagged ‘migrant’

MEPs demand an end to migrant deaths across the Mediterranean Sea

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 14 giugno 2018

Ahead of the next EU summit on 28-29 June, MEPs urge EU leaders to show real political will and draw up genuine solutions to finally end the migration crises. In a debate with European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and Deputy Minister for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU, Monika Panayotova, on Tuesday morning, MEPs laid out their priorities for the next crucial EU summit in Brussels on 28-29 June.Some of the political groups urged EU leaders at the summit to put an end to formal discussions on migration and start working towards an agreement on the so-called “Dublin system”. They referred to the new Italian government’s recent decision to refuse a boat carrying migrants, the MS Aquarius, to dock in the country over the weekend as a “disgrace” and “a scandal”. EP President Antonio Tajani also called on EU leaders at the summit to press ahead with overhauling the Dublin rules, whilst pointing out that the European Parliament has adopted a clear position on the matter, based on solidarity. Some groups further stressed the need to build new European reception centres to assist migrants arriving in transit countries. Others highlighted that a solution to solve the migration crises, based on quotas and mandatory reallocation of refugees, simply cannot work, as demonstrated so far, and that other options need to be put on the table. MEPs also discussed US trade barriers and reforming the Eurozone, calling on the European Council to take further action with revamping the EMU.

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Member States still struggling with migration situation

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 25 agosto 2017

migrantsThe migrant situation continues to challenge a number of EU Member States, according to the latest issue of FRA’s monthly report on migration-related issues. Some reception facilities are in a poor state, and the lack of resources is testing Member States responses, putting migrant children particularly at risk.Some of the main areas of fundamental rights-related concerns identified in the latest summary report include: A tightening of border policies is limiting access to asylum in some Member States. This includes shorter time frames for registering asylum applications. In addition, procedures are often lengthy with little access to counselling and information about rights and how to apply for asylum.
Some reception centres still face problems with overcrowding and conditions remain poor. The extreme summer heat in some regions also posed a problem due to a lack of protection from the heat. NGOs also reported alleged incidents of police violence and intimidation.
Child protection remains a worry. Guardianship systems continue to be under-resourced and over-burdened in many Member States with unaccompanied children in particular being kept in poor conditions and being made to wait over 15 months to be interviewed in some instances. The number of children reported missing from reception centres also continues to be a concern.
There were a number of notable legal and policy changes over the summer, several of them restricting asylum and migration rights. For example, Italy established six new migration hotspots. The EU’s Court of Justice also proposed dismissing attempts by Slovakia and Hungary to challenge the legality of the mandatory relocation of asylum seekers from Greece and Italy. The Court also ruled that Croatia was responsible for asylum applications of people who had passed through Croatia on the way to Slovenia and Austria. This reaffirmed the so-called Dublin principles which describe which Member States should process asylum applications. In addition, the European Commission and national interior ministries proposed a code of conduct for NGOs operating in the Mediterranean Sea around Libya that was criticised by NGOs. Anti-migrant incidents also continued to be reported in many Member States ranging from public demonstrations and campaigns against migrants, rising hate speech and hate crime including violent attacks. An international network of racist and far-right organisations also rented vessels trying to obstruct save-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea carried out by NGOs.
The European Commission asked the Agency to collect data about the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. The reports cover 14 Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. Due to the summer holidays, there is no information from Finland in this August overview. (photo:  migrants)

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Migrant child protection still a grave concern

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 aprile 2017

migrantesThe treatment of asylum-seeking and migrant children continues to be worrying in many parts of Europe. This is one of the main concerns from the latest summary report of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on migration-related fundamental rights in selected EU Member States which points to inadequate living conditions and support leading to ill-heath. The Agency’s latest summary identifies pressing fundamental rights issues that need addressing in various EU Member States. Some of the main findings include:
Asylum-seeking and migrant children continue to suffer in many countries. Unaccompanied children often receive little support and can be housed with adults they do not know. Their health and wellbeing can also deteriorate, resulting in suicide attempts, as they approach adulthood or face moving to other parts of the country or being returned following failed asylum claims. Methods for assessing age, where, for example the Swedish Migration Agency found 60% of all cases to be insufficiently investigated, pose problems for children in many cases. In addition, not enough guardians, staff lacking the skills or time to deal with migrant children, and too few places in adequate and secure facilities, all compound the difficulties children face.
The pattern of new arrivals is changing with numbers rising in Greece but particularly in Italy, and dropping significantly in Hungary, where a smart fence with speakers warns against irregular crossing in different languages. In Spain, the use of small boats to arrive grew by 62% in the first three months of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016.
Asylum patterns are also changing with applications rising in Italy and falling in Germany and Hungary. In Hungary, the transit zone policy has left some 8,000 people waiting in Serbia to enter and only 5 people per working day are being admitted to each of the two transit zones.
Overcrowding, poor facilities and the growing use of detention remain problematic, particularly in hotspot and reception facilities. Healthcare for people with mental health issues or suffering anxiety and depression, and privacy for women continue to be issues.
Hate speech, particularly online, continues to remain high. In the Netherlands over a fifth of all online hate speech was found to target asylum seekers and migrants.
In some countries the political response to the migration situation continues to become more restrictive. Legislative initiatives in several Member States aim at restricting appeals, increasing detention, and facilitating and accelerating returns. Society in many Member States is also becoming more polarised with demonstrations for and against migration and asylum.
The European Commission asked the Agency to collect data about the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. The reports cover 14 Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden.

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A labour shortage looms in Asia

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 febbraio 2017

labour-shortageTHE agencies are anonymous and unobtrusive amid the glamorous hustle of Shanghai, the better to stay in the shadows. They deal in an illegal but highly desirable product: people, specifically Filipina domestic workers to serve China’s growing middle class. Filipina helpers, says one agent, will follow your exact instructions, whereas locals are choosy and tend to handle only one task: if they clean, for instance, they will not look after children. Filipinas’ diligence makes them popular: the Philippine consulate in Hong Kong estimates that more than 200,000 undocumented Filipinas work as domestic helpers in China, earning 5,000 yuan ($728) per month, far more than they could make back home. As for legal troubles, the agents are reassuring: fines can be hefty but are rarely imposed. One agent admitted that a client was caught employing an illegal worker; the worker was sent home, but the client was not fined.Another Filipina no doubt took her place: the Philippines abounds with labour, and China needs domestic workers. This exemplifies two demographic trends in Asia. Poor, young South and South-East Asian countries suffer low wages and underemployment, while richer, ageing countries in the north need more people to bolster their workforces. Theoretically, this problem contains its own solution: millions of young workers should go north and east. Receiving countries would benefit from their labour, while their home countries would benefit from their remittances and eventually from the transfer of skills when the workers return, as many migrant labourers do.Practice, however, is less accommodating than theory. The Asian “model” of migration tends to be highly restrictive, dedicated to stemming immigration, rather than managing it. Entry is often severely curtailed, permanent settlement strongly discouraged and citizenship kept out of reach.Asia is home to about half of the world’s population, but is the source of only 34% of its emigrants and host to only 17% of its immigrants. About a third of Asians who have left their country have laid their hats somewhere else in Asia. But despite wide income and age gaps between one end of Asia and the other, three-quarters of intra-Asian migrants remain in their own part of the region: South Asians migrate elsewhere in South Asia, East Asians stick to East Asia, and so on.Much of this labour is irregular. Thailand, for instance, may have as many as 5m migrant workers, mainly from neighbouring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. Many of them lack visas—particularly those in construction and services. Around three years ago, a rumoured crackdown on illegal labour sent around 200,000 Cambodians fleeing for the border. The resulting paralysis of the construction industry, among others, prompted Thailand to reverse course quickly and implement a brief amnesty during which workers could apply for temporary documents. Some workers do not bother with those, complaining that the process of getting them is too time-consuming and expensive. Still, millions remain willing to take the risk of working illegally or semi-legally in Thailand because wages back home are so low.China has long been able to satisfy its demand for labour by moving rural citizens to cities: every year around 150m Chinese temporarily leave the countryside to staff factories, cook in restaurants and clean homes. But with China’s population ageing, foreign workers have begun filling the gap: as many as 50,000 Vietnamese illegally cross the border into the southern province of Guangxi each spring to help harvest sugarcane. In 2015 the provincial government started a programme to bring Vietnamese workers into local factories in one city; off to a good start, it is being introduced in other parts of Guangxi.China remains a net exporter of labour, but the balance is shifting quickly. Over the next 30 years China’s working-age population will shrink by 180m. How China handles this fall will play a large role in shaping Asian migration patterns. Manufacturers can move factories to labour-rich countries, or invest in automation. Other industries lack that option: the ILO forecasts that China will need 20m more domestic workers as it ages.Impending workforce collapse is not an exclusively Chinese problem. To keep the share of its population at working age steady, East Asia would have to import 275m people between the ages of 15 and 64 by 2030. South-East Asia would have to attract 5.9m, though that number masks wide gaps: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and especially Thailand need workers, while Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines have too many. South Asia, meanwhile, could afford to lose 134m workers—India alone could send more than 80m abroad—without worsening its dependency ratio (photo: labour shortage) (by The Economist)

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Icy conditions threaten migrants’ health

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 22 gennaio 2017

migrantsThe Agency’s latest summary identifies pressing fundamental rights issues that need addressing in various EU Member States. Some of the main findings include: In many countries new arrivals continue to fall. For example, arrivals to Greece in December 2016 dropped 98% compared to the same month in 2015. However, the extreme cold in south eastern Europe severely affected people on the move resulting in some, including children, dying from or being hospitalised with frostbite. Others were made to wait in the cold in self-made tents in transit zones for the chance to apply for asylum; as a result at the Hungarian-Serbian border every second person is sick, many with fever, colds or the flu.
Overcrowding remains a persistent problem at hotspot and reception facilities with many housed in buildings without heating despite the harsh weather. Immigration detention also continues to be common practice in many Member States and is increasing in some places.
Problems in accessing protection procedures continue to be reported during initial registration and asylum processing. Unaccompanied children can be left waiting in transit zones for admission for over two months and families for over six months. Lack of information and a shortage of interpreters further exacerbate the situation.
People facilitating the arrival of migrants without profit continue to be prosecuted and sometimes imprisoned in various countries. In Denmark, migrants helping family members or others arrive may be expelled in addition to a fine or a prison sentence.
When it comes to returns, there is concern about the lack of information and advance notice in some countries; for example in Austria a child was taken from school during a lesson. In Sweden, the police increasingly ask municipal services for help in locating undocumented migrants who have dependent children and receive benefits.
Child protection remains problematic in many countries. The lack of standardised methods for assessing age, overburdened or insufficient numbers of guardians, too few places in adequate and secure facilities, and little attention being paid to the child’s right to be heard remain common concerns. Hate speech online and off, and violent crime continue to remain high with intolerance in society and in public speech against asylum seekers and migrants on the rise. In Germany, the media refrain from naming reporters covering demonstrations as a result of violent attacks. In northern Italy, the regional governing party has called on mayors to name places associated with the Muslim community to strictly control Islamic worship in the region.
In some countries the political response to the migration situation is hardening. Legislative initiatives in several Member States aim at reducing basic benefits, restricting family reunification and facilitating and accelerating returns. However, especially over the Christmas period, there have been numerous charitable and civil society initiatives to support migrant groups in many Member States.
The European Commission asked the Agency to collect data about the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States particularly affected by large migration movements. The reports cover 14 Member States: Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden. FRA has published overviews since September 2015. The next focus will be on torture and trauma. (photo: migrant)

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Refugee and migrant families risk being split up during the journey to the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 settembre 2016

jovan-vitanovskOver a third of new arrivals in the past year were children, who often arrive unaccompanied as they become separated from their family. The latest FRA summary report on migration-related fundamental rights throws the spotlight on how the present situation is affecting family tracing and reunification.
Access the focus section on family tracing and reunification and the monthly data collection highlights. Respect for family life is a fundamental right guaranteed in the EU. Family reunification is an important enabler of this and facilitates the longer-term integration of migrants into society. However, the current situation is putting this right to the test as some Member States have made reunification more difficult.This report looks at the challenges and good practices related to family tracing and reunification that can help the development of effective rights-compliant solutions at EU and national level. Some of the main findings include:
Most Member States use the Red Cross’ fundamental rights-compliant tool ‘Trace the Face’ to search for family members. Refugees and migrants mainly use social media networks, online databases and the Red Cross tool to trace family members.
However, practical obstacles impede family tracing. These include a lack of documentation among migrants, errors in processing names, the speed with which migrants move between countries, and the slow identification of those who have died crossing the Mediterranean. In addition, although national offices of the Red Cross play a leading role in family tracing, in most Member States there is no NGO specifically responsible for this.
Displaced People At Dadaab Refugee Camp As Severe Drought Continues To Ravage East AfricaThere are no systematic and reliable data on how many asylum seekers arrive with or without their family, nor on the exact number of requests for family reunification.
Some Member States have reduced the timeframe for applying for family reunification or have made the process more complicated. The dissemination of information about family reunification also varies from Member State to Member State. Additional obstacles include the length of proceedings, the absence of valid travel documents, the cost of processing documentation including translation, and limited access to legal assistance.
Under the EU’s Dublin Regulation for determining which Member State is responsible for examining asylum applications, family considerations such as keeping families together can be taken into account. However, practical, legal and administrative obstacles can impede such considerations. These include a lack of information about the process, the absence of proof of family relationships, and long and complex procedures with no chance to appeal decisions, etc.
Overall, family reunification seems to have become more difficult due to the recent changes in Member States’ policies and practices. Family tracing, which is often the necessary first step before applying for family reunification, is complicated for various reasons, despite some promising practices. More precise and specific data would be needed to better assess national practices on family reunification and family tracing and to develop effective solutions in line with fundamental rights at EU and Member State levels.The European Commission asked FRA to collect data about the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States, particularly affected by large migration movements. The countries covered are: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Sweden.FRA has published overviews since September 2015. Each overview covers different issues including:
initial registration and asylum applications;criminal proceedings initiated for offences related to irregular border crossing;
child protection;reception conditions for new arrivals;access to healthcare;public response such as rallies of support, humanitarian assistance or voluntary work;
racist incidents such as demonstrations, online hate speech or hate crime.
While this month has a section looking specifically at family tracing and reunification, last month’s focus was on migrants with disabilities and victims of torture. Next month will review the most important fundamental rights issues from the past year that still require priority action. (photo: Jovan Vitanovsk)

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Local involvement key to tackling EU’s migrant situation

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 20 luglio 2016

Local communities are facing a number of challenges resulting from the large influx of Female refugees and asylum seekers, as FRA’s latest summary report of migration-related fundamental rights concerns shows. It provides a snapshot of the impact the asylum crisis is having on some local communities, including the challenge of having to provide and finance housing and education. However, it also reveals good practices, strong goodwill and the potential boost to the local economy that are offsetting some of the problems.
Access the monthly data collection highlights and the impact on local communities >>The report points to a growing awareness of the important role that local involvement plays in the long-term integration of migrants. However, it also notes there is no general guidance or strategy for municipalities to deal with the challenges, which is giving rise to differing local responses. Drawing on data from two places in each of the seven Member States that are most affected by the migration flows, FRA has identified five issues that most local areas share. These include:Many local authorities do not actively inform the local population about the migrant situation. This is vitally important to counter negative reactions. Websites, public information events and campaigns have been used as information channels.In most places the local reaction has been positive, with large numbers of volunteers. Municipalities, civil society and local volunteers have mobilised to receive migrants and help them integrate. However, there have also been many protests and attacks against refugees.The unprecedented number of arrivals of asylum seekers requires immediate action and coordination from different bodies, especially when it comes to providing adequate housing. This also applies to unaccompanied children. There are differences when it comes to reception countries as opposed to destination countries; in the latter there is a need to avoid creating areas with large concentrations of asylum seekers and refugees.
Limited capacity when it comes to places and teachers for schooling, language training and integration classes is an additional challenge, particularly in destination countries. Enrolment can be low in transit countries where refugees are passing through.
Local economies are being affected in different ways and to varying degrees. While tourism has dropped by 80% in Lesvos compared to 2015, in other places the skills and additional labour migrants bring are being viewed as a potential boost to the local economy. However, some areas are undergoing economic hardship, even though the budgets of local authorities are often supplemented by the State.The information collected is not representative of the situation in all the Member States covered; it is meant to illustrate some of challenges that are being faced. It also identifies good practices that are being used: these could serve as models for other communities to help them better manage and integrate the large numbers of asylum seekers and refugees in their local area.
The European Commission asked FRA to collect data about the fundamental rights situation of people arriving in Member States, particularly affected by large migration movements. The countries covered are: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Sweden. FRA has published overviews since September 2015. Each overview covers different issues including:
initial registration and asylum applications;
criminal proceedings initiated for offences related to irregular border crossing;
child protection;
reception conditions for new arrivals;
access to healthcare;
public response such as rallies of support, humanitarian assistance or voluntary work;
racist incidents such as demonstrations, online hate speech or hate crime.
While this month has a section looking specifically at the impact on local communities, last month’s focus was on gender. Next month will be on disability.

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Safe and legal ways to Europe only solution to migrant situation in Calais

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 17 luglio 2016

calais campMore must be done to open “safe and legal ways for people who are desperate to come to Europe so that they do not need to put their lives in the hands on human traffickers”, says MEP Ana Gomes (S&D, PT) who Wednesday headed a visit from the Civil Liberties Committee to facilities for refugees and migrants in the vicinity of Calais in Northern France. Only by creating safe alternatives to the lethal businesses of human smugglers through political asylum, legal migration and family reunification can the flow of refugees and migrants be managed, avoiding situations like Calais is currently experiencing, she added.An 8 MEP strong delegation from the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday 13 July visited the refugee camp La Linière in Grande-Synthe and the day centre Jules Ferry close to “the Jungle” near Calais and met with local authorities, NGOs and the French-British border authorities.
After the visit, Ana Gomes (S&D, PT), who headed the delegation, commented:“We came to Calais to find out directly what is happening, what are the measures taken by the authorities, at the different levels, to deal in a human way with the afflux of migrants and refugees wishing to cross the channel into the UK.The situation in terms of inflow of people has not improved, because nothing has significantly disrupted the networks of smugglers, which make big money and reach far beyond the EU territory.Actually, all the security driven apparatus at the border only makes the criminal networks increase their smuggling prices and make more profit. And people keep coming… We saw two very different camps: One, in Grande-Synthe, has seen a reduction of people living in the camp and is successfully run by the mayor cooperating with civil society organisations, with no need for policing in the site. The other camp, in Calais, known as “the jungle” or “La Lande” provides now basic health services, protection for some unaccompanied minors and for women and schooling for some children but the lodging conditions are dire and there is heavy security and often inter-ethnic tensions.An increased administrative and social effort to persuade people to apply for asylum in France is needed. But it is also necessary to speed up in the UK the family reunification process for many of the inhabitants of those camps. Anyway, that does not solve the continuing inflow of new asylum seekers and migrants. Smugglers use any pretext – like Brexit – to feed the illusion that people will be able to cross the Channel. The only way to disrupt smugglers business is to open safe and legal ways for people to ask for asylum or migration permits into the EU in their countries of origin or of transit”.

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Civil Liberties MEPs visit migrant and refugee camps around Calais on Wednesday

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 13 luglio 2016

calais campA 9-strong MEP delegation from the Civil Liberties Committee will be in Calais on Wednesday 13 July to visit facilities for migrants and refugees, in the vicinity, which for years has been a gathering spot for people trying to cross from France to the UK. MEPs will meet with local authorities, NGOs, the French-British border authorities and the refugees and migrants themselves in order to assess the situation on the ground.The delegation, led by MEP Ana Gomes (S&D, PT), will visit the refugee camp called La Linière and the Jules Ferry day centre as well as reception facilities.A major overhaul of the EU asylum system is currently under way, including a revamp of the Dublin rules determining which EU country is responsible for processing an asylum application, as well as revisions of the EU rules on the redistribution of asylum seekers, stepping up controls at EU external borders and the possibilities of returning migrants who do not meet the criteria for international protection. The delegation’s findings will feed into the committee’s legislative work on these issues.

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Justice and care for migrant women

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 8 marzo 2012

More women than ever before are migrating alone in search of a better life, but Caritas Internationalis says systems aren’t in place to prevent them from being exploited or abused. In a report published for International Women’s Day, Caritas says governments and social services dealing with migration need to address migrant women’s needs. In its report The female face of migration:advocacy and best practices for women who migrate and the families they leavebehind, Caritas documents the challenges faced by some of over 104 million women who are seeking opportunities outside their homelands and travelling independently from their families. Some find better jobs, education opportunities and greater freedoms. But too frequently on their journey and upon arrival they are cheated, abused, raped or discriminated against.
Caritas wants female migrants to be able to migrate in security and safety. Caritas calls for countries to adopt measures that will protect women, including pre-departure counselling, refugee registration, and labour inspection. Governments should review migration policies to assess their impact on female migrants. Caritas wants more care for families in which the mother is separated from her children. “Many women leave children behind, sometimes to take care of other people’s children abroad,” says Liebsch. “Left with relatives, their own children grow up without a mother. We need policies that keep families together at best–and at the least offer social protection to the children left behind.” Women who flee from terrible work situations, and even torture, risk going to jail when their work permit is tied to the employer who has abused them. Caritas wants female migrants, whatever their legal status, to be able to seek redress and claim their basic human rights. Migrant women have a lot to offer their own countries and the countries where they work. “Female migrants are not victims by nature but are victims of inequitable systems, prejudices and abuse,” says Liebsch. “It’s time we value their contribution by making migration policies favourable for them and by protecting them.”

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Migrants stranded on Egypt Libya border in need

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 5 marzo 2011

A Caritas team has been assessing needs of migrant workers fleeing violence in Libya and stranded on the Egyptian-Libya border in Salloum. Around 6000 migrant workers are stranded in Salloum and around 5000 people are arriving daily. Asian and African migrants wait two to six days to be processed through the border. They are the difficult cases because of the lack of documentation or lack of embassy support to assist in repatriation efforts. The team says most of the basic needs of migrants in Salloum are being met, but there is an urgent need to speed up the repatriation process.
Caritas has sent another Emergency Response Teams to the Libyan-Tunisian borders in order to assess the refugee’s needs and set up emergency aid. In addition to that, Caritas is working in close collaboration with its national member organisations in Niger and Libya. According to IOM, 172,874 people, mainly migrant workers, had left Libya up to 2 March. Of those, 79,199 went to Egypt, 91,175 to Tunisia and an estimated 2,500 to Niger. However, the IOM pre-crisis migration figures for Libya were estimated at 2.5 million migrant workers, of which ca. 1 million were Egyptian workers (Source: IOM and UNHCR Joint Appeal for Massive Evacuation of People fleeing Libya into Tunisia, presented to Member States on 2 March in Geneva

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