Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 30 n°122

Posts Tagged ‘migrants’

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)

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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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Parliament advocates a centralised EU asylum system and legal ways to migrate

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 13 aprile 2016

european parliamentA centralised asylum system would allow the EU to better manage flows of migrants and asylum seekers, said the European Parliament on Tuesday. It also asked for safe and legal ways to be found for third country nationals to enter the Union without resorting to human smugglers at the risk of their lives. In a non-binding resolution, MEPs acknowledge the failure of the EU asylum system to cope with ever-rising numbers of migrant arrivals and call for a radical overhaul of the so-called Dublin rules. They propose establishing a central system for collecting and allocating asylum applications. The scheme, which could include a quota for each EU member state, would work on the basis of “hotspots” from which refugees would be distributed.The resolution, drafted by Roberta Metsola (EPP, MT) and Kashetu Kyenge (S&D, IT), was approved by 459 votes to 206, with 52 abstentions. The European Commission is currently considering a revision of the Dublin III Regulation (which determines which member state is responsible for processing which asylum application) and has pledged to present a legislative proposal before the summer. “There is no quick fix for migration, no magic silver bullet. We do not need more emergency solutions, we need a sustainable approach for the future”, said Ms Metsola during the plenary debate. “Migration should not be combatted, it should be managed”, added Ms Kyenge, insisting that the European approach should be based on solidarity and responsibility sharing. Parliament underlines that the current asylum system does not take proper account of the particular migratory pressures faced by member states with EU external borders. MEPs demand changes to ensure fairness and shared responsibility, solidarity and swift processing of applications.
The text calls on member states to fulfil their obligations with regard to urgent relocation measures, stressing that so far, only a minimal part of the 106,000 asylum seekers awaiting reassignment from Italy and Greece to other EU countries had actually been relocated. On resettlement, MEPs insist that the EU needs a “binding and mandatory legislative approach”.
MEPs demand new EU-wide “readmission” (return) agreements which they say should take precedence over bilateral ones between member states and third countries. They insist that migrants should be returned only if the country to which they are being returned to is safe for them.

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Alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and forced-return procedures

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 11 ottobre 2015

alternativesIn the context of its work in the area of migration, asylum and borders, FRA is today publishing a new paper, Alternatives to detention for asylum seekers and people in return procedures. The paper seeks to provide guidance to policy makers and practitioners on the use of measures for asylum seekers and people in return procedures that do not unnecessarily deprive them of their right to liberty.
Making use of the many alternatives to detention is of advantage both to the hosting state and migrants, as on the one hand they are more cost-effective and on the other they are less intrusive and more respectful of fundamental rights. According to the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, alternatives are far less expensive than detention, not only in the short term but also when it comes to longer-term costs associated with detention, such as the impact on health services or on the integration of migrants into EU society.
For asylum seekers as well as those already on EU territory whose applications for international protection or residence permits have been rejected, detention too often remains the default solution. At the same time, the majority of EU Member States provide for the possibility of alternatives to detention. This FRA paper discusses a number of such alternatives, and lists a number of legal and other instruments together with the general human rights and EU legal framework.The first section of the paper covers the international framework that safeguards the right to liberty, while the following sections focus specifically on alternatives to detention as follows:
Selected instruments on the right to liberty
Selected non-binding United Nations instruments on alternatives to detention
Selected non-binding Council of Europe instruments on alternatives to detention
Selected European Union law provisions relating to alternatives to detention
Selected case law from the European Court of Human Rights, the Court of Justice of the EU and the United Nations Human Rights Committee on alternatives to detention
Recently developed tools
Selected research publications (photo alternatives)

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Earlier treatment would cut spending on migrant healthcare in the EU: FRA study

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 3 settembre 2015

african_migrants.jpg.crop_displayWhile the issue of migrants at the EU’s borders is currently at the top of the European agenda, once in the EU irregular migrants often find themselves cut off from health screening and preventive treatment. However, new research by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) suggests that Member States would spend less on migrant health by treating them earlier, rather than waiting until they require emergency treatment.Access The cost of exclusion from healthcare – the case of migrants in an irregular situation summary and full report >> In the first such research to investigate the cost-effectiveness of providing access to healthcare for irregular migrants, FRA used economic analysis based on a decision tree model to estimate the expenditure necessary for timely access to screening and medical care for irregular migrants, compared with the cost of emergency treatment. The research examined the situation in Germany, Greece and Sweden for two of the most common healthcare issues in the EU: hypertension and prenatal care.Based on available data, providing regular healthcare to hypertensive patients could: generate savings of approximately 9% over the space of one year, rising to 13% after five years and 16% over a lifetime help prevent more than 300 strokes and more than 200 heart attacks per 1,000 migrants in each country
Improved prenatal care could generate savings of up to 48% in Germany and Greece and as much as 69% in Sweden over the space of two years.
As documented by FRA’s earlier report on access to healthcare for migrants in an irregular situation, varying legal frameworks and practical barriers lead to substantial differences in healthcare services provided to irregular migrants around the EU. With many countries reducing their spending on social welfare in the wake of the financial crisis, FRA’s findings are particularly relevant. Combined with the fact that adequate healthcare is necessary in order to meet EU Member States’ fundamental rights obligations, this is a powerful argument to improve healthcare provision for irregular migrants throughout the EU. The three countries covered by this research project were chosen because of their geographical spread, the very different financing models for healthcare funding and public authority involvement in healthcare provisions, and the fact that all three have sizeable communities of migrants in an irregular situation. The medical issues selected are common health needs among irregular migrants. However, broader research covering a greater number of countries and health issues is needed for more conclusive analysis.

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Migrants: Parliament approves search and rescue rules to prevent deaths at sea

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 29 agosto 2015

migrants euNew search and rescue rules to clarify how border guards serving in Frontex sea operations should deal with migrants and where they should disembark them were approved by Parliament on Wednesday. The regulation, already informally agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators, should enter into force before this summer.”These new rules will enable Frontex to respond more effectively and to prevent deaths at sea, thus reconciling our need to ensure security with our duty to protect human rights”, said rapporteur Carlos Coelho (EPP, PT). The draft regulation was approved by 528 votes to 46, with 88 abstentions.The regulation defines “emergency phases” for search and rescue operations and places a clear duty upon units participating in Frontex operations to engage and to save lives. The rules on search and rescue operations and the disembarkation of migrants will only cover operations that are coordinated by Frontex. This should help to dispel confusion created by EU member states’ differing interpretations of international law and practices.
The “operational plan” governing Frontex-coordinated border surveillance operations must henceforth include procedures to ensure that persons needing international protection, victims of trafficking in human beings, unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable persons are identified and given appropriate help. Only after migrants are identified may possible coercive measures be taken (the identification rules are mandatory, whereas the enforcement ones are optional).MEPs tightened up the text to ensure compliance with the “non-refoulement” principle, which says that individuals must not be returned to any country where there is a risk of persecution, torture or other serious harm. Border guards who consider landing intercepted or rescued people in a third country will have to follow certain procedures (e.g. identification, personal assessment, information on the place of disembarkation, etc).
“Pushback” operations on the high seas will be forbidden. Border guards may only “warn and order” the vessel not to enter in the territorial waters of a member state.MEPs have also inserted a recital saying that “the shipmaster and crew should not face criminal sanctions for the sole reason of having rescued persons in distress at sea and brought them to a place of safety”.
The draft regulation still needs to be formally approved by the EU Council of Ministers. It will enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the EU Official Journal and it will be directly applicable in the member states. (photo: migrants)

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MEPs call for monitoring of fundamental rights in EU member states

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 3 luglio 2015

European UnionThe Commission should set up a scoreboard to monitor democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in EU member states, Civil Liberties MEPs said on Thursday voting on a non-binding resolution on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU. They also raise concerns about the impact of austerity measures on fundamental rights and “hot return” procedures for migrants.The non-legislative resolution prepared for the Civil Liberties Committee by MEP Laura Ferrara (EFDD, IT), adopted by 32 votes to 25 with 1 abstentions, addresses the situation of fundamental rights in the EU 2013-2014.In the resolution, MEPs call for a “clear and detailed new mechanism”, based on international and European law and embracing all the values protected by Article 2 in the Treaty of the European Union, to monitor member states compliance with fundamental rights.To this end the Commission should establish a scoreboard, based on common and objective indicators, to constantly monitor democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights in member states and carry out annual country assessments, they say.MEPs deplore the way in which the financial, economic and sovereign debt crisis along with budgetary restrictions has “negatively affected economic, civil, social and cultural rights”. The EU institutions, as well as member states which implement structural reforms in their social and economic systems, are always “under an obligation to observe the Charter”, they stress.When adopting and implementing corrective measures and budget cuts, the EU institutions and member states should conduct an impact assessment on fundamental rights and guarantee that sufficient resources are still made available to safeguard the respect of fundamental rights, MEPs say. They add that “minimum essential levels of economic, cultural and social rights” in particular for the most vulnerable and socially disadvantaged groups must be ensured.
The EU and its member states should put solidarity and respect for fundamental rights of migrants and asylum seekers at the core of EU migration policies, MEPs say, calling, among other measures, “for the establishment of an effective and harmonised EU asylum system for the fair distribution of asylum seekers between member states”.MEPs express their concern at ‘hot return’ procedures, migrant reception and detention centres in member states and negative stereotypes and misinformation against migrants. The committee also condemns security measures at the EU’s borders “which now sometimes even takes the form of walls and barbed wire”, calling for “fundamental rights-sensitive border controls”.

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“Severe labour exploitation in the EU”

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 28 maggio 2015

bruxelles (1)Brussels Monday, 1 June 2015 16.30 Justus Lipsius building high-level conference, on 2 June 2015. Technical press briefing by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) on the findings of a first EU study that comprehensively explores all criminal forms of labour exploitation of migrant workers and those who have moved from one EU country to the other. The findings reveal not only that criminal labour exploitation is prevalent in a number of industries, particularly agriculture, construction, hotel and catering, domestic work, and manufacturing, but also that exploiters are at little risk of prosecution, punishment or the necessity of having to compensate victims.The research provides evidence that:
Severe labour exploitation is widespread in the EU in a number of industries (such as agriculture, construction, hotel and catering, domestic work, manufacturing).A lack of workplace inspections and monitoring of working conditions, coupled with ineffective investigations, lead to a situation of widespread impunity: offenders are at little risk of prosecution, punishment or the necessity of having to compensate exploited workers, a situation exacerbated by underreporting.The majority of consumers are not aware that products they buy or use may be the result of labour exploitation as there is no system of binding standards or clear branding.For example, in countries such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta and Slovenia, the laws on exploitative working conditions only protect third-country nationals in an irregular situation. In almost all EU Member States, workers with an irregular residence status from non-EU countries are protected from severe labour exploitation by means of criminal law provisions. EU nationals enjoy this level of protection in only four Member States (Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands).

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The EU’s migrant strategy: a welcome new impetus

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 maggio 2015

migrantThe publication of the Commission’s agenda on migration comes at a difficult time in humanitarian and political terms. In this context, the Juncker Commission faced a sensitive challenge because it needed to act quickly but had only limited room for manoeuvre.This Viewpoint by António Vitorino and Yves Pascouau underlines the positive aspects of the new agenda as far as solidarity and long-term vision are concerned on three key issues:
1. Solidarity by constraint: an innovative and politically active agenda
2. Confirming the existing situation: a pragmatic agenda
3. The long-term vision: an agenda usefully expanding the debate on migration (photo: Migrant)

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Joint Statement on Mediterranean Crossings

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 24 aprile 2015

Onu palaceUN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration and Development Peter Sutherland, and Director-General of the International Organization for Migration William Lacy Swing. A tragedy of epic proportions is unfolding in the Mediterranean. We, the undersigned, strongly urge European leaders to put human life, rights, and dignity first today when agreeing upon a common response to the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean.The European Union is founded on the fundamental principles of humanity, solidarity and respect for human rights. We urge EU Member States to demonstrate moral and political leadership in adopting a holistic and forward-looking action plan centred upon these values.The European Union response needs to go beyond the present minimalist approach in the 10 Point Plan on Migration, announced by the EU on Monday, which focuses primarily on stemming the arrival of migrants and refugees on its shores. As a paramount principle, the safety, protection needs, and human rights of all migrants and refugees should be at the forefront of the EU response. EU leaders must look beyond the present situation and work closely with transit and origin countries both to alleviate the immediate plight of migrants and refugees and address in a more comprehensive way the many factors that drive them to resort to such desperate journeys by sea. Enforcement alone will not solve the issue of irregular migration, but could increase the risks and abuse faced by migrants and refugees.We would therefore encourage bold, collective action to expand the range of measures under consideration to include:Setting in place a State-led, robust, proactive, and well-resourced search-and-rescue operation, urgently and without delay, with a capacity similar to Mare Nostrum and a clear mission to save lives.
Creating sufficient channels for safe and regular migration, including for low-skilled migrant workers and individuals in need of family reunification, and access to protection where needed, as safe alternatives to resorting to smugglers.
Making a firm commitment to receive significantly higher numbers of refugees through EU-wide resettlement, in addition to current quotas, and on a scale which will make a real impact, combined with other legal means for refugees to reach safety.
Bolstering arrangements to support those countries receiving the most arrivals (Italy, Malta, and Greece) and to distribute responsibility more equitably across the European Union for saving lives and protecting all those in need. Combatting racist and xenophobic rhetoric vilifying migrants and refugees.

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