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EU tells Italy to stop collaboration with Libya

A group of suspected migrants are brought to shore by Border Force officers at the Port of Dover in Kent after a number of small boat incidents in the Channel in September. Photograph: Gareth Fuller/PART

 

In a letter sent to Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, the EU’s human rights watchdog has once again asked Italy to suspend its collaboration activities with Libya’s controversial coast guard.

Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights Dunja Mijatovic has called on Italy’s foreign minister Luigi Di Maio to “suspend co-operation activities” with the so-called Libyan Coast Guard. In the letter addressed to Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, Mijatovic urged the Italian government to “introduce human rights in the Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Libya.”

The government in Rome responded immediately through its permanent representative in the French city of Strasbourg, and said Italy is “fully conscious that the 2017 accord with Libya can be improved.”

It said, however, that the decrease in deaths in the Mediterranean, which has dropped by roughly 60% — from over 5,000 in 2017 to under 2.000 in 2019 –, “tells us that we must continue to work in this direction rather than disengage ourselves from this country,” the government said.

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Italy should suspend co-operation activities with Libyan Coast Guard and introduce #HumanRights safeguards in future #migration co-operation
Read my letter to #Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs @luigidimaio https://www.coe.int/en/web/commissioner/-/commissioner-urges-italy-to-suspend-co-operation-activities-with-libyan-coast-guard-and-introduce-human-rights-safeguards-in-future-migration-co-opera …

Commissioner urges Italy to suspend co-operation activities with Libyan Coast Guard and introduce…

 

In early February, Italy and Libya renewed the controversial 2017 agreement governing migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea for a period of three years. Under the terms of the new agreement, Italy will provide financial assistance to the Libyan authorities in order that Libya’s coast guard is trained in rescue operations.

Despite its record of abuses, Libya’s coast guard which receives training and funding from the EU continues to be the bloc’s preferred partner to prevent migrants from reaching European soil.

‘Serious violations in Libya’

In the letter, dated February 13, Mijatovic asked that Italy above all “fully acknowledge the current realities on the ground in Libya and the time it will necessarily take for any changes that may be secured to have an impact.”

READ  Libya: New evidence shows refugees and migrants trapped in horrific cycle of abuses

In light of the “great amount of evidence pointing to serious human rights violations faced by migrants and asylum seekers returned there,” Mijatovic called for the suspension of all cooperation activities in place with Libya’s coast guard that affect the return to Libya of persons intercepted at sea.

The EU’s human rights chief also highlighted the need, as part of the procedure of renewing said accord, to “conduct thorough human rights risk assessments” of the impact cooperation activities may have on the right to life of migrants and asylum seekers.

At the same time, the commissioner assured she would “continue to call for more solidarity from Council of Europe member states with those countries which, like Italy, are on the frontline of migration movements to Europe.”

Just last week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) called on EU states to ensure that migrants rescued at sea are not sent back to Libya. In a statement, IOM said over 2,000 migrants “remain detained in deplorable conditions” in Libya.

‘Confident that amended accord can be reached’

Italy “is confident that an amended accord with improved terms of cooperation can be reached in a timely matter,” the Italian government said in its response through its permanent representative in Strasbourg.

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It further said the objective of the accord was to guarantee “better protection of migrants and asylum seekers in Libya and gradually replacing the current system of detention centers with new models that adhere to the principles of the rule of law” in the framework of respect for human rights.

“Today, Italy is the only European country that carries out in Libya the humanitarian evacuation of hundreds of refugees to ensure them integration and well-being in Italian society,” the statement read.

Source: Infomigrants.net

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Displaced Yemen children at risk of the deadly impacts of severe food insecurity  

Migrants near Budapest

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition analysis released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners is extremely concerning. With limited access to food, humanitarian services and health care, displaced children in Yemen are at risk of the deadly impacts of severe food insecurity.

Around 26 per cent of the more than 156,000 people newly displaced this year, in the areas where the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has access, cited food as their main need. This is the second most cited need after shelter and housing, which 65 per cent of people reported as their main need. In areas where there are higher levels of displacement, like Al Hudaydah, Taizz, Al Dhale’e and Marib, higher levels of food needs have also been reported.

“Displaced Yemenis leave their homes with nothing and often find themselves seeking safety in locations where there are no job opportunities and barely enough services, including health care,” said Christa Rottensteiner, IOM Chief of Mission for Yemen.

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“This can leave vulnerable people without enough food to feed their families. Given that UN partners are reporting that acute malnutrition rates among children under five are the highest ever recorded in parts of Yemen, we are extremely worried about children in displaced families.”

The situation in Marib is particularly concerning given that an escalation in hostilities has displaced over 90,000 people to the city and caused a drastic shortage of services. Displaced people in Marib report food to be one of their most urgent needs. Of the displacement sites assessed by IOM in October, some reported that food shortages were a major concern for approximately 50 per cent of their residents.

In response to food insecurity, the emergency aid kits distributed under the Rapid Response Mechanism by IOM to newly displaced families include emergency food rations. IOM also carries out livelihood support activities for displaced communities to help them generate income. Most recently the Organization supported displaced women in making face masks which help their community combat the spread of COVID-19.

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IOM also operates a health centre in Al Jufainah Camp, Yemen’s largest displacement site, and multiple mobile health clinics. In addition to providing primary health care services to over 55 per cent of displaced people in Marib, IOM’s mobile health clinics provide community level access to malnutrition screening for children under the age of five and referral for treatment, in coordination with UNICEF. Given the high demand for such nutritional support, early intervention is vital to reducing avoidable morbidity and mortality among displaced children.

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Nigerians in Spain say no to genocide

Nigerians resident in Spain have kicked against bad governance and brutalitalisation of innocent citizens by security operatives in Nigeria.

They are in solidarity with the #Endsars protesters.

The #Endsars protest  started by young Nigerians to say no to brutality, impunity and gruesome killings in the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the government in the country saw security operatives using live bullets on the protesters last week, October 21, 2020.

In a statement signed by Afolabi Oloko, the Nigerians in Spain said: “In every part  of the world, including Nigeria, we believe protesting is a fundamental right of all citizenry that we can exercise whenever we deem it fit as long as it is civil and devoid of violence but such is not the case in Nigeria where the young future of the country are murdered by their very own government just because they made demands that there must be a reform to the notorious Police department and that the country be reformed in general. Have they asked for too much from a responsible and responsive government?

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“It is so disheartening that after Ten days that the youth refused to back down they resorted to killing, maiming of their own future generations just because they asked and begged for good governance and good policing. It’s a shame that young people are being killed all around the cities of Nigeria from Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Abuja, Ondo , Benin, Porthacort just to mention a few. It was horrendous seeing over seventy people being murdered at night while still protesting unarmed peacefully in Lekki area of Lagos state. They organised by switching off the street light while they carried out their evil deed against defenceless young people of the country and also took away the CCTV. The commander-in-chief of the Armed forces in person of President Muhamodu Buhari must be tried at the International court for genocide against it’s own people.

“We the compatriots far away in Spain are with our young brothers and sister on the streets saying no to bad governance as you’re in our hearts and prayers. We support you in the just cause you’re are fighting. Fighting for one’s future should not be seen as an affront to the authorities, rather they should look inward and realise that the system is rotten and should be cleansed but not killing innocent young men on the streets with Army being deployed to take lives of vibrant and resourceful, frustrated and change hungry citizens.
“Today, we came out in multitude in solidarity with our compatriots back home to say #ENDSARS! #ENDBADGOVERNANCE #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY #ENDCORUPTION #ENDTHEGENOCIDE”

READ  Libya: New evidence shows refugees and migrants trapped in horrific cycle of abuses

 

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ILO, IOM sign agreement to strengthen collaboration on migration governance

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) today signed an Agreement to create a framework for cooperation and collaboration to enhance the benefits of migration for all.

The framework includes joint support for improved migration governance, capacity building and policy coherence at national, regional and global levels. Other areas of work may also be developed.

The Agreement was signed by Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, and António Vitorino, the IOM Director-General, on Friday at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Ryder said, “this Agreement seals an important alliance between our two organizations. Together, we will be stronger and more effective in both fulfilling our individual mandates and in collaborating on areas that are crucial for reshaping the world of work so that it is more inclusive, equitable and sustainable.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having a brutal impact on economies and societies. Vulnerable groups, particularly migrant workers and their families, are being disproportionately hit. There could be no better time to reinforce our partnership and combine our strengths, so that we can help countries and our constituents build back for a better future.”

READ  Sudanese provides safe haven to fellow refugees in Libya

DG Vitorino said, “the agreement that we are signing today will help us further solidify our collaboration at the time when joint solutions are so much needed, with a pandemic that is hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. As we move towards post-pandemic recovery, we fully embrace the call to build a better world together, tapping into the added value of each partner. With ILO, we have much to co-create and we look forward to future cooperation within the broader UN family, with our partner governments, private sector and civil society.”

The new ILO-IOM Agreement builds on the agencies’ comparative advantages, expertise, and respective constituencies. By encouraging joint initiatives, the Agreement aims to strengthen international migration governance and boost cooperation, capacity building and joint advocacy to promote migrants’ rights and decent work opportunities.

By encouraging social dialogue, it will allow workers` and employers` organizations – who sit equally with governments in the ILO’s tripartite membership structure – to contribute to policy discussions.

READ  Asylum seekers and migrants not respecting lockdown

A workplan will be developed in the next six months to push forward the collaboration at global, regional and country levels and, more importantly, facilitate the implementation of the Agreement in the field, where both agencies are working directly with affected populations.

It will seek to enhance the agencies joint contribution to their member states, UN country teams, and societies to achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Agreement will also allow the ILO and IOM to strengthen support for their respective constituencies in implementing the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM), and contribute to other global and regional migration policy fora and debates.

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