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Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
News

Government Should Protect Refugees, Not Send People Back to Dangerous Conditions

The Kenyan government has again issued an ultimatum to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide a plan and timeline for closing the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps. Though the government has issued these demands before, its…
Photo: An aerial picture shows a section of the Hagadera camp in Dadaab near the Kenya-Somalia border, May 8, 2015.
News

New Decree Rolls Back Some of the Worst Aspects of Immigration Policy

It pledged last year to do so, and now the Italian government has restored some humanity to its immigration and asylum system. This week, the council of ministers adopted a decree that reverses many of the worst policies imposed by the previous…
Italians and asylum seekers from the local specialized reception center work together to clear debris after floods in Belluno, Italy, November 2018.
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The Government Should Condemn Intolerance

The recent arrival by sea in Sicily and Calabria of a dozen migrants who tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19 provoked several painful and unworthy reactions. In Amantea, a town in Calabria, residents protested the arrival of 24…
Men who were rescued off the Libyan coast in January, 2020 watch the city of Messina, Sicily from the deck of the Open Arms rescue vessel.
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Government to Pay US$12 Million in Compensation for Smelter Pollution

In a victory for environmental health, last week, a Kenyan Court awarded $1.3 billion Ksh (USD12 million) to residents of Owino Uhuru, a suburb of Mombasa, for damages related to pollution from a nearby lead smelter that recycled lead-acid batteries.…
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COVID-19 in Europe, the Central Eurasian Region, and Turkey

What are some of your biggest concerns about the coronavirus moving through Europe and Central Asia? Europe is one of the world’s epicenters of COVID-19 cases. There’s an awful death toll in Italy and Spain with the numbers of dead going up…
Military police officers patrol at a market in Budapest, Hungary, March 31, 2020.
News

New Naval Mission Designed to Avoid Sea Rescues

It is a craven, indefensible choice. Yesterday, European Union foreign ministers agreed to launch a mission in the Mediterranean Sea to enforce the United Nations-mandated Libyan arms embargo on the condition that it not focus on saving…
Migrants are transfered by Italian sailors from the German combat supply ship 'Frankfurt am Main' to the their ship 'Grecale' after being rescued during EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, March 29, 2016.
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Chance to Implement Humane Approach

Italy’s new coalition government, fragile as it may be, presents a chance for the country to move away from migration policies that put lives at risk and back to those grounded in respect for human rights, including the right to life.…
Migrants are crowded together on deck of the rescue ship "Eleonore" as it seaches for a safe port in the Mediterranean.
News

Activists Opposing these Plans have Faced Threats and Harassment

Environmental activists in Kenya scored a unique victory last week. On June 26, the National Environmental Tribunal revoked a license issued to Amu Power Company to establish a controversial coal-fired power plant in Lamu. …
Environmental activists and petitioners listen to a tribunal ruling over the construction of a coal-fired power plant, at the supreme court building in Nairobi, Kenya
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Activists in Lamu Challenge Power Despite Threats

Tell me about Lamu and the activists you spoke to. Lamu county is a beautiful, scenic tourist destination with long white beaches lined with palm trees and hotels and cafes catering to foreign and domestic tourists. The mostly-Muslim…
Residents and environmental activists  protesting against  lack of consultations and government failure to address environmental concerns in respect ofo the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project in Lamu island, Kenya, March 1, 2012.
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Preventing Rescue at Sea, Punishing Survivors on Land

The current Italian government’s inhumane approach to refugees and migrants has reached a new low. On September 23, news emerged that Italy had pressured Panama to revoke the use of its flag on the Aquarius, the only…
A wooden boat carrying 29 people, mainly Syrians, just before their rescue and transfer to the Aquarius. October 10, 2017
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Italy Should Immediately Allow Disembarkation

Update: Interior Minister Matteo Salvini authorized the disembarkation of 27 unaccompanied children on the night of August 22. All others remain on board. Engineered hysteria over boat migration across the Mediterranean – at…
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EU Should Support, Not Obstruct, Rescue at Sea

As an American living in Italy, I feel almost choked by despair. The country of my parents ripped young children from their parents and put them in cages. The country of my children is condemning people to drown in the Mediterranean.…
Migrants are seen onboard the charity ship Lifeline at Boiler Wharf in Senglea, in Valletta's Grand Harbour, Malta June 27, 2018.
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Italy and Malta’s Move Puts Lives in Danger

After a nerve-wracking stand-off and intense negotiations, 629 people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the Aquarius, a rescue ship run by two nongovernmental groups, SOS MEDITERRANEE and MSF, are finally heading towards Spain. Spain’…
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Europe Should Help End Cycle of Detention, Violence in Libya

A young Eritrean man died on Tuesday in Sicily of tuberculosis compounded by severe malnutrition. His name was Segen.* He was 22. There is so much about Segen we may never know. Did he prefer to read books or play football?…
Segen, a 22-year-old Eritrean, stares into the camera before disembarking in Pozzallo, Sicily, from the Pro Activa Open Arms rescue ship on March 13, 2018. He died several hours later.
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Temporary Closure Follows Protests About Degrading Conditions

Good news! The Italian Interior Ministry announced yesterday the temporary closure of an abusive migrant processing center on Lampedusa, Italy’s tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea. The government decision came after damning…
Migrants disembark from the SOS Mediterranee ship Aquarius at the Italian island of Lampedusa, April 18, 2016.
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UN Pollution Meeting Should Embrace Child Rights in its Resolutions

Bhopal, Chernobyl, and Minamata – these environmental disasters shocked the world. Yet, pollution results not only from catastrophic accidents but also from years of silent exposure. Children’s developing bodies are particularly…
“My name is Amina and I am twenty years old. I grew up here in the town of Bagega. I had six children. Three have died. Each time one died, I was so distraught and I was very traumatized.” Amina, Bagega, Zamfara state, Nigeria, 2011.
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Court ruling should encourage EU countries to relocate more asylum seekers

Hold the champagne. It’s more of a sparkling water moment. On September 6, the European Union's Court of Justice upheld the EU’s 2015 emergency plan requiring all member countries to relocate asylum seekers out of Italy and…
The entrance of the European Court of Justice is pictured in Luxembourg, January 26, 2017. Picture taken January 26, 2017.
News

Attacks in Italy on Efforts to Save Migrants’ Lives in the Mediterranean

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) searching for and rescuing migrants from rickety or even sinking boats in the Mediterranean are saving lives. Thousands of lives. Enough said? Apparently not. In Italy, NGOs have…
Migrants aboard a boat following their rescue from their drifting dinghies in the Mediterranean Seas by Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms