Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 30 n° 340

Posts Tagged ‘migrants’

CEC commemorates Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 12 dicembre 2018

The Conference of European Churches commemorates today the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) adopted by the United Nations in Paris on 10 December 1948.The CEC Governing Board with the Executive Committee of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe marked this occasion recently by issuing a statement All are born free and equal. “This historic milestone in international human rights law continues as a source of inspiration for states and people in the fight for the dignity of all,” reads the statement.“The 70th anniversary of the declaration reminds us that human rights are universal, belonging to every human being. This same yearning is found throughout the deep and rich traditions of Christianity. The opening passages of our Holy Scriptures affirm this equality in dignity and support the idea of rights that all enjoy by virtue of their common humanity as all are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27),” it reads. In this statement, the CEC Governing Board “joins with all people of goodwill in working to promote, engage, reflect on, and advance the achievements of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We recall in all our work, as simply stated in Article 1, ‘All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and right’.” The CEC statement also puts emphasis on freedom of religion or belief in Europe and beyond, as well as migrants and refugees. “Our human rights horizon also extends beyond European borders, with repeated calls for migrants and refugees to have safe passage and warm welcome here. Human rights exist for all humanity and can only be effectively advanced when we see ourselves as part of this bigger picture,” reads the statement. CEC is deeply committed to the promotion and protection of human rights and dignity. In this area, CEC recently produced a short documentary Justice for Spanish Pastors, shedding light on the case of Protestant pastors seeking justice and equal treatment in Spain. Another documentary released by CEC is Standing UP for Minority Rights, where young adults of the Serbian minority in Croatia and of the Croatian minority in Serbia met and visited the European institutions and their representatives.CEC’s work in its various programmatic areas – economy, social equality, climate change, bioethics, digitalisation, theological and inter-religious dialogue – is closely related to an understanding of human dignity inspired by the Gospel, and the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

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This Christmas, European church leaders unite for refugees and migrants

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 7 dicembre 2018

Brussels. In the spirit of Christmas, European church leaders are affirming the values of dignity, respect and compassion for refugees and migrants. Today a strong Christmas statement signed by church leaders from Europe and beyond was jointly issued by the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and was presented to Mairead McGuinness, First Vice-President of the European Parliament in Brussels.
More than thirty signatories of the statement come from diverse church traditions across Europe, including Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and African-Instituted, among others. At the same time, regional and international Christian organisations, chapters of Christian world communions and ecumenical organisations have endorsed the statement.Speaking after the handover ceremony, Vice President McGuiness commented, “This statement is timely, challenging and is really worth reading. It calls upon all of us who have strong shoulders to bear greater weight than those who have less strong shoulders. It reminds us that everyone has a responsibility and that we need to care and if we don’t care at Christmas time than what is the best time to care for those less fortunate.”“We commit to more fervently articulating and working towards our vision of an inclusive and participatory society – for newly arrived and all inhabitants,” reads the statement.
Offering theological reflection on the story of Christmas and displacement the statement subthemes read: “Jesus became human, Jesus the refugee, Jesus the stranger”. The statement features a Christian approach to action and policy in church and society arguing for safe passage to protection and realistic labour migration policies in Europe. The church leaders also stress the need for solidarity as a guiding principle for governing migration and refugee reception.“While drafting the statement and collecting signatures we recognised how broad the consensus is on this topic among churches. This, I see as sign of hope, just before Christmas, in the normally very bitter and controversial debate on this topic,” said CCME General Secretary Torsten Moritz.“This declaration signed by many Christian authorities in Europe points out the plight of those currently on the roads of exile and knocking at Europe’s doors,” said CEC President Rev. Christian Krieger. “We address this call to peoples and nations in Europe, to political leaders and the churches,” he added.The Christmas statement is available in English, French, German and Russian.

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Libya: situation of migrants and rescue operations up for discussion

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 26 novembre 2018

Bruxelles Tuesday, 27 November, from 11.45 to 13.00European Parliament in Brussels, József Antall (4Q2)The situation of migrants in Libya and the conditions under which the Libyan coast guard is conducting rescue operations will be up for debate in the EP on Tuesday.
Civil Liberties Committee MEPs will try to get clarification from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), Frontex and the Search and Rescue Observatory for the Mediterranean (SAROBMED) about Libya being assigned a Search and Rescue area in the Mediterranean. Being in charge of managing a SAR area implies that vessels carrying migrants and refugees can be ordered to disembark in Libya.Representatives of UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will also update the committee on the situation of migrants and asylum seekers stranded in Libya, particularly in detention centres, and on the progress of the programme for Voluntary Humanitarian Return to countries of origin, managed by IOM.Regional disembarkation platforms and controlled centres. Finally, the EP Legal Service will present the MEPs with their views on the lawfulness of the “regional disembarkation platforms” and “controlled centres” proposed by the European Council last June as a means to improve the processing of migrants and refugee flows into the EU.

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Sharing a meal with migrants and refugees and sharing hope

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 14 giugno 2018

Rome 19th June 2018 Caritas Rome soup kitchen “San Giovanni Paolo II”, via Marsala 109. Caritas will invite migrants, refugees in Rome to share a meal with public and Church figures as part of its Share the Journey campaign. The meal, which will take place at the Caritas soup kitchen at Rome’s Termini Station, will be a moment for migrants and refugees to share their migration stories and experiencesThe Rome meal is part of Caritas’s Share the Journey campaign’s “Global Week of Action” 17-24 June. During that week, the 165 member Catholic confederation will promote meals and activities with migrants and refugees across the globe to mark World Refugee Day. See map for activities in other parts of the world.Speakers at the event will include migrants and refugees plus a family which has welcomed a refugee to live in their home. Other speakers include:
· Msgr. Enrico Feroci, Caritas Rome director
· Michel Roy, Caritas International secretary general
· Oliviero Forti, head of Caritas Italy’s migration department
· Laura Baldassarre, councillor for the community from Rome City Council
Alessandro Gisotti, a journalist from Vatican News, will present the event. Pope Francis launched the Share the Journey campaign in September 2017, emphasising how migration is a reciprocal journey made both by migrants and communities.“Hope is the force that drives us “to share the journey”, because the journey is made jointly: by those who come to our land, and by us who go towards their heart, to understand them, to understand their culture, their language.” Read more.Share the Journey is part of a global effort to build stronger relationships between migrants, refugees and with the communities which they want to leave, where they travel through, where they make their home.

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Libya: EU efforts should focus on protecting migrants, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 31 maggio 2018

The protection of migrants and refugees in Libya and their conditions in detention centres should be improved and the Libyan authorities should close facilities that are not in line with international standards as soon as possible, MEPs recommend. They also ask the EU Council, Commission and External Action Service to step up international efforts to dismantle migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks and continue and intensify the work of EUNAVFOR Med Operation Sophia to disrupt the business model of traffickers and smugglers.During an official delegation of the European Parliament to Libya on 20-23 May 2018 – the first since 2012 – MEPs confirmed “the European Parliament stands ready to support the national dialogue amongst Libyans”.
Parliament’s rapporteur Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT) said: “With this report, we did not confine ourselves to providing a realistic picture of the situation in Libya, but we wanted to set out the path that we should be following to try to get out of the current crisis. It is necessary to frame the process of reconstruction of Libya within a broader regional strategy to tackle many problems such as the disarmament of the militia, immigration and violations of human rights”.

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Migrants in Libya: Civil Liberties Chair insists detention centres must be closed

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 30 maggio 2018

Detention centres in Libya, where migrants and asylum-seekers live under appalling conditions, must be closed, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes insisted on Tuesday.Speaking ahead of the debate in plenary of the Parliament’s draft recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on Libya, Mr Moraes (S&D, UK) referred to his recent visit to the country as part of an EP delegation.“Our visit to the Tariq Al Siqqa Detention Centre in Tripoli last week showed us once more the human cost if resettlement is not taken seriously by the EU and its Member States”, Mr Moraes noted. While in Libya, MEPs visited a detention centre, a shelter for internally displaced people and met with local authorities and representatives of international organizations.Mr Moraes valued the comprehensive recommendation prepared by Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D, IT) on the situation in Libya. For the Civil Liberties Committee, the key concerns are the reception of persons in need of international protection, the fight against smuggling and trafficking in human beings, resettlement, readmission and reintegration, and the use of EU funding for these aims.
“To fully understand migratory flows to Europe and to work towards a more coherent and human EU approach in Libya, we need to understand the regional context. Many migrants and refugees are coming from Niger and other countries, and returning, under the assisted voluntary return scheme to Niger, fleeing human rights abuses and appalling condition in Libya’s detention centres”, explained the LIBE Chair.Mr Moraes welcomed the call, included in the draft recommendation, for adequate funding for the voluntary return scheme for those stranded in Libya and warned about the likely funding gap if the current pace of voluntary returns continues.

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Journalists Religious leaders call for UN to offer brighter future to migrants and refugees

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 29 aprile 2018

Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders will be calling on countries to ensure safe and legal pathways for migrants and refugees as well as inclusive societies and the right to remain at home. They will also be describing how organizations flowing from their faith traditions serve those in their places of origin, in transit, and destination.The conference featuring interfaith leaders will be held at the United Nations in New York on May 3 in the run up to intergovernmental talks later in May on improving the way the world assists migrants and refugees.The Sharing the Journey of Migrants and Refugees: An Interfaith Perspective on the Global Compacts event includes the Venerable Gijun Sugitani, Rabbi David Rosen, Sheikh Mohamad Abou Zeid, Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis and Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and will be chaired by Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.The panel is aimed at ensuring the UN Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants respect the rights of all migrants and enshrine a shared responsibility for refugee reception.Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Tagle said in anticipation of the conference, “Faith leaders are urging governments to improve their response to the mass movements of people and reduce the suffering of millions. Our different religions share a universal message of ‘love thy neighbour.’ The Global Compacts offer a once-in-a-generation chance to challenge the rising tide of xenophobia.”Lebanon’s Sheikh Mohamad Abou Zeid said, “Ibrahim, Moses, and Jesus were great religious leaders who lived part of their lives ‎away from their homeland as immigrants.‎ Islam talks about migration as a justified choice for those who are under threat, or being ‎persecuted, or oppressed.”
Caritas is concerned by the wide gap between what the Compacts say and the current policies and practises on the ground. Greater consistency between the two Compacts is also needed. They must ensure that no one is left behind, by creating legal pathways not just for asylum seekers, but for migrants in general. Shared responsibility in supporting refugees fleeing conflict, climate change and poverty must also be achieved.On child migration, Caritas believes, the best interest of the child should always come first. For this reason, the practice of detaining children on the basis of their or their parent’s migration status should be abolished.Caritas urges countries to address human trafficking, slavery, and labour and sexual exploitation, in particular of women and children. The Global Compacts must similarly address the exploitation of migrants who are deprived of their rights.Pope Francis launched Caritas’ Share the Journey campaign in September 2017 to create opportunities for encounters between migrants and local communities around the world. Caritas believes that encounters not only contribute to changing the debate around migration, but also successfully break down fear and racism.
The May 3 Sharing the Journey of Migrants and Refugees: An Interfaith Perspective on the Global Compacts panel is co-sponsored by Caritas Internationalis and the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York.

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QIAGEN’s QuantiFERON-TB® Gold Plus Gains Endorsement for Latent Tuberculosis Screening in Immigration

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 15 marzo 2018

QIAGEN N.V. (NYSE: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) announced today that its QuantiFERON-TB® Gold Plus (QFT-Plus), the gold standard in accurate, cost-effective testing for latent tuberculosis (TB) infection, has been endorsed for immigration medical screening by the International Panel Physicians Association (IPPA). IPPA is a not-for-profit physician education group that works with countries that receive immigrants and refugees, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. IPPA will hold its 2018 Intergovernmental Physician Training Summit from March 12-16 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
In a statement the IPPA called the modern class of TB tests known as interferon gamma release assays (IGRAs) “essential to the safety and efficacy of screening programs designed for early detection of TB infection.” Panel physicians, who are medically trained, licensed and experienced doctors practicing overseas and appointed by receiving country governments to handle the mandatory pre-departure medical examinations of migrants, will now be required to use IGRAs for TB screening. For the United States, more than 760 overseas panel physicians worldwide are responsible for examinations of more than one-half million migrants a year receiving permanent lawful residence in the U.S.IPPA said it “endorses the use of QFT-Plus, which is an FDA-approved IGRA that has been rigorously studied and validated by independent peer reviewed journals.” QuantiFERON-TB Gold Plus, the fourth generation of QIAGEN’s market-leading IGRA technology, is the only IGRA endorsed by the panel physicians group. The physician group also noted that “IGRAs have notable advantages over the TST, including higher accuracy especially in BCG-vaccinated persons, a single visit to obtain a result, and quantitative electronic laboratory-reported results that are confidential and with little to no subjectivity.” Many non-U.S.-born persons have been BCG-vaccinated, particularly individuals from countries with a high prevalence of TB.

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Migrants in Tunisia/Libya: MEPs to assess search and rescue operations

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 settembre 2017

tunisi1Tunisi. A Civil Liberties Committee delegation will be in Tunisia from 18 to 22 September to assess cooperation in migration management between the EU and countries in the region.MEPs will evaluate “search and rescue” operations in the Mediterranean and the current situation in Libya. They will discuss visa liberalisation and readmission agreements with national and local authorities, as well as representatives of the EU, other international bodies, and NGOs.In the context EU cooperation with Africa on migration and of their current legislative work on readmission agreements, MEPs aim to understand better the situation of migrants and asylum-seekers as well as the new partnership framework between the EU and Tunisia.”Just last week the LIBE committee held discussions with the Commission on readmission agreements, taking into account the ongoing negotiations between the EU and Tunisia. The delegation visit is timely and will support the work of the committee in assessing a future readmission agreement with Tunisia”, says Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) and delegation Chair, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK)MEPs will also discuss EU Trust Fund for Migration projects in Libya with NGOs, including the UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration. “Monitoring of EU funds, training as well ensuring that the principle of non-refoulement is respected are issues that continue to resurface in our committee’s discussions on migration and it is key that we use this delegation to assess whether adequate mechanisms to monitor human rights safeguards are in place”, adds the Chair.
MEPs will hold a press conference in Tunis on Thursday 22 September (TBC).List of members
Claude MORAES, Chair (S&D, UK)
Marie-Christine VERGIAT (GUE/NGL, FR)
Juan Fernando LOPEZ AGUILAR (S&D, ES)
Judith SARGENTINI (Greens/EFA, NL)
Frank ENGEL (EPP, LU)
Jaromír ŠTĚTINA (EPP, CZ)
Emil RADEV (EPP, BG)

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Migrants and refugees in Italy: MEPs assess the situation ahead of the summer

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 8 giugno 2017

European_Investment_Bank_-_LuxemburgEuropean Parliament (Brussels) Paul-Henri Spaak (PHS) 3C50, Thursday, 8 June at 10.30 (situation in Italy) and at 16.00 (children in migration) MEPs on the Civil Liberties Committee will assess the situation of migrants and refugees in Italy and the ways forward as summer approaches. Italy is the main arrival point to the EU for migrants and asylum-seekers since the closure of the Balkan route and the EU-Turkey deal. In the first five months of 2017, already more than 60 000 people have arrived on its shores, compared to 47 883 in the same period in 2016. This trend is likely to continue during the warmer months, when better conditions at sea lead to more people attempting to cross over.According to UNHCR data, 1 778 persons have died or gone missing trying to reach Italy since the beginning of the year.Under the two emergency relocation decisions adopted in 2015, 39 600 asylum-seekers likely to be granted refugee status should be transferred from Italy to other EU countries, but so far only 6 502 have been moved (as of 2 June).
In a separate debate, MEPs will discuss with the European Commission how to better protect children in migration. Around 30% of persons seeking asylum in the EU in 2015 and 2016 were children, many of them travelling alone. Unaccompanied minors face a higher risk of becoming victims of violence, trafficking and exploitation.

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Access to education failing many migrants

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 21 maggio 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:
Children in immigration detention have no access to any form of education in nine out of the 14 Member States covered by this report. This is mainly because Member States expect short detention periods, which may also be shorter than needed to perform the administrative and medical checks for schooling. In the other countries informal education is offered. Education, independent of the time spent in detention, is only on offer in three Member States.
Very few Member States specifically address the educational needs of those who have been unable to attend school regularly before arriving. As a result they may also lag behind students of a similar age. This is particularly a problem in many Member States when it comes to educating children who are above the compulsory school age without the necessary skills.
Traumatised children often have difficulties integrating due to behavioural issues or because they are withdrawn. In four Member States, there is some form of psychological support but it does not specifically target refugee children. Teachers receive support through training or guidance in dealing with traumatised children in only three Member States.
Early childhood education can help students learn better and prevent them from leaving school early. However, long waiting periods, language barriers, long distances, insufficient guidance to families, lack of information, low allowances for asylum applicants to cover expenses, and the treatment and integration of traumatised children are all factors limiting access to early childhood education. For example, over 40% of Dutch municipalities with reception centres have no childcare facilities at these centres.
In four Member States, asylum seekers and refugees have no access to formal schooling in some parts or regions of the country. Although almost all Member States have special support classes to help children follow or join regular schools, in five they spend up to two years in separate preparatory classes outside schools until they can attend public schools.
Once enrolled in school, migrant children generally benefit from the same services as national children. In some Member States they are also eligible for additional support such as language courses or allowances for buying school supplies.
Problems in recognising non-EU diplomas hinder access to third-level education and employment in many Member States.
Most Member States increased their budgets and staffing for education following the 2015/2016 migration crisis. For example, in Austria staffing for basic care has quadrupled since the large-scale increase in migration.
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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Asylum: MEPs demand urgent reform of the Dublin system and effective relocation of migrants

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 24 aprile 2017

dublinThe current Dublin Regulation, which determines the member state responsible of dealing with each asylum claim, needs an urgent reform, according to MEPs of the Civil Liberties Committee in mission in Italy. MEPs also insisted that other EU countries must host some of the asylum-seekers now in Italy and Greece, as agreed in 2015.On Friday, at the end of a four days visit, Barbara Kudrycka (EPP, PL) and Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D, ES), heads of the delegation, said: “We came here to observe and listen to the way Italy manages the high number of arrivals of migrants and refugees at its sea borders. Italy is currently one of the biggest entry points of Europe, therefore the current migration situation is a European, not just an Italian issue. Observations and findings of the delegation are very relevant to the current work of the European Parliament for revising EU asylum legislation, in particular the Dublin Regulation.The delegation is impressed and pays tribute to the efforts of the Italian authorities, population, and all stakeholders, specifically in Sicily, to ensure that the fundamental rights of all migrants and refugees are respected and best processing practices, including for registering arriving migrants and ensuring the protection of external borders, are observed by all stakeholders. The delegation could also observe good cooperation between Italian authorities, NGOs, and EU agencies, and noted the valuable support of EASO, Frontex and Europol.The efforts made by Italy and the extraordinary example of the Sicilian people are not just commendable to Italy but they also safeguard the values of the EU as a whole. The efforts to save lives at sea through search and rescue while fighting against smuggling and trafficking of human beings are tremendous. This is all the more important given the increasing instability and worrying situation in neighbouring countries, notably Libya.The new legislation on unaccompanied minors, although it still needs to be put to the test of reality, seems to be a step in the right direction. It is very much needed, given the arrivals of ever-higher figures of minors of ever-lower age among which increasing numbers of trafficking victims.But of course there are still issues to be addressed:
– We realised that many authorities, including local authorities but also the judiciary, are facing important limitations as far as financial and human resources are concerned, recognising that Italy shoulders a greater relative burden in dealing with the migration situation.
– Visiting Italy gave us yet more evidence that the current Dublin regulation does not work, and given the current pitfalls there seems to be an urgent need for reform.
– Relocation of asylum seekers to other Member States needs to be implemented as agreed, to demonstrate solidarity in practice.
– The need for large scale search and rescue operations demonstrates that Europe must create safe and lawful routes for migration. Resettlement in particular needs to be reinforced.
What Italy is dealing with should be wake-up call to Europe for a more collective response and fairer sharing of responsibility.”

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Stop inciting fear and hatred of migrants and refugees, urge MEPs

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 15 dicembre 2016

migrants-2EU member states should “refrain from inciting fear and hatred among their citizens towards migrants and asylum-seekers for political gain”, MEPs say in a resolution on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU, passed on Tuesday. “The European Union should not just deal with societal, legal and economic problems. The EU must also deal with the issue of fundamental rights and should set a good example”, said rapporteur József Nagy (EPP, SK).The resolution addresses key fundamental rights challenges in the EU in 2015, notably in the fields of migration, protection of children and online threats. It was passed by 456 votes to 138, with 104 abstentions. The rights to free movement and life-saving abortion are also stressed.MEPs deplore the “increasing levels of hate speech from within certain institutions, political parties and media” and expect the EU to set an example of opposing hate speech within its institutions.Member states should also step up their efforts to promote “European values, tolerance and a sense of community, without stigmatisation” to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism while developing positive information campaigns to help citizens view integration in a better way, says the text.
Vulnerable groups, in particular children on their own, should be identified as soon as possible, say MEPs. They call on member states to strengthen guardianship systems for unaccompanied children and encourage them to keep families together.Citing a Europol report that at least 10,000 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children went missing in the EU in 2015, MEPs call on member states to register and identify children in a child-friendly way to prevent their disappearance. They also recommend reinforcing existing tools for tracing missing children, such as the European hotlines.
To counter risks that children face on the internet, such as sexual exploitation, child pornography or cyber-bullying, MEPs ask that Europol and Eurojust be given appropriate resources to identify victims, fight networks of abusers and accelerate the referral of child abuse material. They also call for awareness-raising campaigns and school programmes to teach children about potential risks related to the internet and call for further cooperation between the public and private sectors to this end. MEPs also stress the challenge presented by the implications of widespread internet use and the need to consider the impact of new technologies, such as drones, on fundamental rights and privacy.

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Almost 23 million children in the EU are poor

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 1 dicembre 2016

europeMore women and men are living on the edge of poverty and social exclusion today compared to 2010, according to a new study by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE). Young people, lone parents, migrants, people with disabilities and families with three or more children are most at risk of poverty.
Today, almost 23 million children in the EU grow up in poverty. There is also clear evidence that a heavy dependence on a father’s income in many families increases the risk of poverty and insecurity. Especially when unexpected life events occur, such as job loss, family break-up, serious illness or even death. The study shows that if a father were to lose his job, 70 % of couples with children would fall into poverty.“We need to ensure better career options for women, fair wages and better social systems, such as pension schemes that consider the different needs and challenges women and men face. These will help protect not only women against poverty, but also the whole family, including men and children”, said Virginija Langbakk, EIGE’s Director.
Employment is crucial in safeguarding people against poverty, however a job is not always enough. A third (36 %) of men and a quarter (25 %) of women who are poor are employed. Many working men live in poor households because their wives or partners are out of the labour market or earn very low income. Women with children have a relatively low employment rate. Only half (55 %) of women with three or more children have a job. With the arrival of each additional child, the economic independence of women shrinks. The need to care for children, parents or sick and disabled relatives keeps many women out of paid work and this has life-long consequences for their career, financial situation and ultimately on pensions.‘In an inclusive society, people’s well-being and life chances should not be pre-determined by their gender or other social factors. Nor should children create a poverty risk’ said Virginija Langbakk.

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Don’t incite fear and hatred of migrants and refugees, MEPs urge EU countries

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 19 novembre 2016

Erifugiati sirianiU member states should “refrain from inciting fear and hatred in their citizens towards migrants and asylum-seekers for political gains”, said Civil Liberties Committee MEPs voting a resolution on fundamental rights in the EU on Thursday. The rights to free movement and life-saving abortion are also stressed in the text, which will now be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole.The non-legislative resolution, drafted by József Nagy (EPP, SK), addresses the key fundamental rights challenges in the European Union in 2015, notably in the fields of migration, protecting children and the online environment.”This is an exceptional agreement! “, said Mr Nagy. “The mass of unsolved problems Europe-wide cause discontent among the public and fuels extremism. We call on the EU and its member states to provide more help to those in need, show more understanding towards minorities and ensure that institutions work fairly. With regard to the security and migration crisis, we ask for reasonable solidarity and responsibility, more cooperation and effective protection of our external borders”, he concluded. His resolution was passed by 41 votes to 4.
MEPs urge member states to guarantee that reception facilities do not deprive people of their fundamental rights to dignified living conditions and to pay special attention to the needs of vulnerable groups, such as asylum seekers with special needs, and women and children, in particular those who are on their own.They note that appointing guardians for unaccompanied children is an important safeguard to ensure their best interests and also encourage member states to keep families together.MEPs call on member states to develop “positive” public information campaigns to accelerate the integration of migrants and refugees and to share best practices in this field. They stress that access to education is vital for integrating refugees.They deplore the “increasing levels of hate speech from within certain institutions, political parties and media” and call on the EU to set an example by “opposing hate speech within the institutions”.
MEPs also call on the Commission to support member states’ efforts to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism by promoting European values, tolerance and a sense of community, and by preventing the stigmatisation of any religious or ethnic group.Citing a Europol report that at least 10,000 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children went missing in the EU in 2015, MEPs call on member states and EU agencies to step up their information exchanges and joint investigations to fight child trafficking, sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation.
Member states should register and identify children in a child-friendly way to ensure that they enter national child protection systems and prevent their disappearance, MEPs say. They also recommend reinforcing existing tools for tracing missing children, such as the European hotlines.To counter risks that children face on the internet, such as sexual exploitation, child pornography or cyber-bullying, MEPs ask that Europol and Eurojust be given appropriate resources to identify victims, fight networks of sexual abusers and accelerate the referral of child abuse material. They also call for awareness raising campaigns and school programs to teach children about potential risks related to the internet and for member states to address cyber bullying.MEPs recall that all persons have the right to privacy and the right to access personal data concerning them as well as the right to have personal data erased and the right to be forgotten in accordance with EU and national legislation. The draft resolution on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU 2015 is Parliament’s reply to the Commission’s annual report on fundamental rights in the EU. It is to be put to a plenary vote in December in Strasbourg.

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Migrants: from fear to compassion

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 29 ottobre 2016

migrantsMass migration prompted by global conflict and ecological crises has stirred up unresolved fears in European societies. Understanding and responding to this was the central theme of a dialogue seminar that took place on 24 October between churches and the European Commission.Participants in the seminar identified two widely experienced types of fear. The first is the fear of rejection, violence, and exclusion many migrants and refugees face both on their way to Europe and following their arrival. The other is the fear known by many in Europe who feel their values and way of life is under threat by the arrival of these migrants and refugees. Although non-EU migrants represent only 4% of the total EU population (of which 9% are refugees), a so-called moral panic emerges, which is sometimes amplified by media and social media activity.Openly expressed fears are sometimes based on a particular historical context. Participants sought constructive ways to address and dispel these fears, including through the establishment of listening and discussion space.The unique experience of children in migration formed an important part of the day’s discussion. Up to 100,000 unaccompanied children reached the EU in 2015. Children often suffer disproportionally and experience disruption in their education. This hinders their social inclusion and that of their whole family. Participants urged all to see children not only as the future of our societies, but an integral part of our present reality.Those gathered advanced a diversity of solutions, but all were rooted in the promotion of education, dialogue, and media education. Through these processes, both migrants and Europeans can come to know their shared vulnerabilities and move from fear toward compassion and solidarity.Representatives from the European Commission presented a number of programmes designed to transform fear into solidarity within the framework of the EU competences. They expressed their wish to work more closely with churches on promoting integration of migrants. The exchanges of this dialogue seminar will feed into the annual EU religious leaders’ summit, scheduled for 29 November. The dialogue was organised by the Directorate General Justice and Consumers of the European Commission jointly with COMECE, CEC, and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe. (foto: Migrants)

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Persistent migration challenges needing urgent action

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 27 ottobre 2016

rifugiatiThe report highlights these four priority areas after reviewing data collected over the past year. It signposts key areas that should be addressed to better safeguard the rights of asylum seekers and migrants. Some of the main findings include: Unaccompanied children – inadequate first child reception facilities often result in missing children. Qualified staff and clear guidance to identify children at risk are often lacking. Guardianship remains problematic with delays in appointment or the temporary use of reception staff hindering child protection and family reunification. In addition, children face legal and practical obstacles to access asylum procedures. They may also be detained to protect and prevent them from absconding.
Violence and hate speech against migrants – hate crime and hate speech continues to be a major concern and seems to be worsening and spreading in some Member States. It spans physical attacks and murder, damage to property including arson, threats to aid workers and service providers, and hostile demonstrations against refugees. Such incidents are often politically-motivated and in part being carried out by vigilantes. There also have been incidents of police violence.
Safety and protection at reception facilities – While they may have various protection and safety measures, incidents of abuse and sexual assault on women and children have been reported. This points to the need for specific measures to protect vulnerable people against violence that are often lacking.
Impact on local communities – The lack of information and contact between local and refugee communities is contributing to growing hostility in many local communities. However, shifting budgets to the local level to deal with the impact of arrivals and integrating migrant children into local schools seems to be improving. Numerous challenges still remain to safeguard asylum seekers and migrants. This report underlines persistent issues from the past year that the EU and its Member States need to urgently address. 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 countries covered are: Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy and Sweden. From next month, the Agency will extend reporting to Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Spain. Future reports will be shorter, including main findings for the Member States covered together with a thematic focus section. Specific findings for the Member States will include references to these for a better understanding of the challenges which affect several EU Member States or the EU as a whole. (photo: europe)

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Calais: MEPs demand solutions for migrants, truck drivers and local people

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 5 ottobre 2016

tendopoli-di-migranti-a-calaisThe situation in and around the port town of Calais is untenable for everyone: migrants and asylum seekers living in the informal camps, truck drivers crossing to the British Isles and the local population, said MEPs in a plenary debate on Tuesday. Most urged the EU Commission, France and the UK to work together to find a long-term solution. Many speakers pointed to the terrible conditions in the camp known as “the jungle” and showed special concern about the high number of unaccompanied minors in the area and the risks they face.“We are aware of the situation”, Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos assured MEPs, stating that his aims are to ensure that the border functions properly, improve the management of migration flows and guarantee better living conditions for migrants and asylum seekers.
Mr Avramopoulos welcomed the French government’s plans to dismantle “the jungle” by the end of the year and encouraged the French and UK authorities to coordinate the work of their border and security forces to ease traffic flows and guarantee safety in the area. (foto: Tendopoli-di-migranti-a-Calais)

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Help for migrants with disabilities hampered by screening gaps

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 20 agosto 2016

migrantsRefugees and migrants arriving in the EU may also have a disability which can pass unnoticed, preventing them from receiving the particular support they need and are entitled to under EU law. As there is little information on migrants with disabilities and victims of torture, the latest FRA summary report on migration-related fundamental rights throws the spotlight on these issues.
The report looks at the challenges and good practices related to identifying migrants with disabilities, the reception conditions they face, as well as mental health issues which may be brought on or exacerbated by the ordeals they have endured during migration. Some of the main findings include: Formal procedures for identifying people with disabilities and victims of torture are inadequate. This can have significant knock-on effects for the provision of targeted support and assistance which Member States are obliged to offer throughout the arrival, registration and asylum procedures. Some individuals do not disclose disabilities to the police, social services or migration authorities for fear this may affect their asylum application.
Health screening, an important step in process of identifying disabilities and victims of torture, is often subject to long waiting periods. Screening also tends to focus on ‘visible’ impairments. It also relies on the expertise of individual staff which further reduces the likelihood of migrants with disabilities receiving the particular protection that is granted them as ‘vulnerable people’ under EU law.Mental health problems, relating to trauma both in the country of origin and along the migration route, are particularly common. However, efforts to address such issues are hampered by a lack of resources and inadequate training for relevant staff in reception and detention centres. For women in particular, mental health issues are often linked to experiences of gender-based and sexual violence.There are no systematic data on how many migrants have a disability and, if so, what type.
All seven Member States have some arrangements in place for people with disabilities in reception and detention centres. These include specific accommodation arrangements, steps to make facilities more accessible, and the provision of assistive devices such as wheelchairs and hearing aids. However, formalised support for victims of torture, such as access to rehabilitation programmes in reception and detention centres, is lacking in many locations.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. (photo: migrants)

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