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Shortly after Denmark began telling Syrian refugees that parts of Syria are "safe" and stripped them of their temporary protected status, I talked to a 31-year-old refugee who voluntarily returned to Syria from Jordan in December 2020. He told me…
A streetview of destroyed buildings in a city
News
A staggering number of people die at Europe's borders. Almost all of them are brown or Black. The majority drown or disappear at sea. Others suffocate in trucks, are run over by cars, or die of hypothermia. For many, the cause of death is unknown, as…
Migrants and refugees on an overcrowded rubber boat during a rescue by the Spanish NGO Open Arms in the Mediterranean Sea, Feb. 12, 2021
News
After a short lull during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, migrants and refugees are once again boarding flimsy boats, mainly in Libya, in a desperate effort to cross the Mediterranean for European shores. Hundreds are drowning. Others are…
Migrants and refugees sit in a boat alongside the Maersk Etienne tanker off the coast of Malta, in this handout image provided 19 August, 2020.
News

The Reality for Refugees in the EU-Turkey Stand-Off

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s cynical move to open his western EU borders to allow refugees and migrants to leave - while keeping his southern border to Syria shut to asylum seekers desperate to escape the onslaught there - poses an enormous…
Refugee being taken away by Greek police
News
The Greek islands are under the spotlight again, as a new wave of tragic events has hit asylum seekers trapped there. On 29 September, a big fire broke out in Moria - the notorious camp on the island of Lesbos - killing one woman, and injuring at…
A Syrian man reads inside his tent at a makeshift camp outside Moria on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece.
News
Following his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel last week, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that he wanted “to make the Mediterranean a chance and not a fear.” But does he mean Europeans’ fears of foreigners,…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
News
"I get depressed here. I want to go to a good school to study," said a bright, 12-year-old girl from Afghanistan, who's been stuck for six months in the grim Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. "If we don't study we won't have a future and…
Children seeking asylum attend an art class at the volunteer-run Refugee Education Chios center on the Greek island of Chios on September 29, 2016.
News
The way people actually live, Niccolo Machiavelli famously argued, is so different than the way they should live, that if we focus only on the way things ought to be done and ignore how they are actually done, we will find ruin rather…
Migrants are seen in the town of Bani Walid, Libya March 25, 2018
News

The London summit this week could kick-start the revival of the stalled reform process in the region – but won’t if human rights and the rule of law stay off the agenda

  Western Balkan and European Union leaders meet in London this week for a summit that could be a chance to revive stalled reforms and focus attention on critical issues. Unfortunately, there is every chance it will turn out to be full of hot…
Migrants are seen in front of a dorm destroyed during Bosnian 1992-1995 war, in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina May 11, 2018.
News
Last week, the European People's Party (EPP) had a chance to stand up for its values and those of the European Union. But instead, it ducked the issue. The umbrella group of center-right and Christian democrat parties in European…
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel talks with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban before a photo at the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017.
News
Thousands of asylum seekers are trapped in crowded and filthy processing centers on the Greek islands, with many spending the winter in lightweight tents or even sleeping outside on the ground. Greece contends it has to keep the…
201710eca_greece_hotspots
News
It’s the middle of winter and six hundred or more asylum seekers and migrants, including more than 100 unaccompanied children, remain camped out in Calais in increasingly dire conditions, exposed to the elements and faced with routine police…
Migrants in Calais gather in the rain for a clothing distribution in an industrial zone on the outskirts of Calais, France. © Futuro Berg/Help Refugees, October 2017
News
In a no man's land along the Syria-Jordan border, an estimated 55,000 Syrians escaped the horrors of Syria's conflict only to languish, abandoned in the desert as one country after another evades responsibility for their safety and…
Syrian refugees carry belongings as they return to Syria after crossing the Jordanian border near the town of Nasib, in the southern province of Daraa, on August 29, 2017.
News
No one pretends there is an easy way for the European Union to manage the flow of asylum seekers and other migrants arriving by boat from Libya. Yet there are certain basic principles of human rights—and decency—that should guide the EU…
Migrants look at south Italy's coast as they approach on the Vos Hestia ship after being rescued by " Save the Children" crew on the Mediterranean sea off the Libya coast, June 20, 2017.
News

Regardless of if you look at United States, Europe, or the Pacific, the global asylum system is quickly falling apart.

The broad outlines of President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy veers from build-a-wall isolationism to jingoistic sabre rattling, but in one dimension it has been sadly consistent: the stance that refugees should…
Demonstrators march outside the Trump Building at 40 Wall St. as part of a protest against the US government's refugee ban in New York on March 28, 2017. © 2017 Reuters
News
595. A nice round number, right? It refers to the dead and missing in the central Mediterranean, mostly between Libya and Italy, in the first three months of 2017. The known dead died from drowning, exposure, hypothermia, and suffocation. Horrible,…
News

EU Commission’s Silence Undermining the Rights of Migrants

Migration was high on the agenda when the EU’s migration commissioner, Dimitris Avramopoulos, visited Budapest last week. But, after lengthy discussions with Hungary’s justice and interior ministers, his public remarks after the meeting on 28 March…
Migrants walk along Hungary's border fence on the Serbian side of the border near Morahalom, Hungary, February 22, 2016
News
Hungary’s governing party is cranking up the heat on nongovernmental organizations.  With its tight grip on parliament, and having undermined the courts and the media, the Fidesz government doesn’t like being held to account by pesky independent…
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks during his state-of-the-nation address in Budapest, Hungary, February 10, 2017.
News
Casting about for ways to manage refugee flows, some European policymakers speak of emulating Australia’s use of offshore processing centers in neighboring countries. But Australia’s approach to asylum seekers is fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt,…
2016-08-crd-nauru-child protest
News
Alexander Van der Bellen, who campaigned on moderation and tolerance, won Austria’s presidential election. But in the search for explanations as to how the country came close to electing a far-right populist as its president, some have suggested that…
Australia cartoon