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UNHCR supports release of 434 asylum-seekers from immigration detention  in Mexico

  • Provides humanitarian assistance to 3,330 asylum-seekers

 

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says it has supported the release of 434 asylum-seekers from immigration detention in Mexico from March 16, 2020 till date.

The UNHCR’s spokesperson Shabia Mantoo , during a press briefing held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, also says 3,330 asylum-seekers who have recently arrived in Mexico have received humanitarian assistance, allowing them to find rental accommodation since the beginning of March.

According to Mantoo: “While a number of countries throughout Latin America and the rest of the world have closed their borders and restricted movement to contain the spread of coronavirus, Mexico has continued to register new asylum claims from people fleeing brutal violence and persecution, helping them find safety.

 

“By designating the registration of new asylum claims an essential activity, Mexico has ensured that people receive protection from being forced to return to their countries of origin, where their lives may be in danger, as their cases are processed.”

 

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, says these practices show that long-standing principles of international refugee law can be upheld even as governments take measures to protect public health.

READ  Canada, Nigeria partner to combat migrant smuggling, human trafficking and irregular migration

 

“Even though border restrictions in Central America have meant a 90 per cent drop in average weekly asylum claims in Mexico in April, hundreds of people continue to apply for refugee status in the country. This highlights the level of violence and persecution that many people continue to face in their countries of origin, even during the pandemic.

 

“In the first three months of the year, asylum applications in Mexico were up by 33 per cent, compared to the same period last year. The nearly 17,800 new asylum claims in 2020 were principally from nationals of Honduras, Haiti, Cuba, El Salvador and Venezuela.

 

He added: “Although Mexican authorities have suspended the legally mandated processing times for asylum claims due to the pandemic, UNHCR is helping Mexico’s refugee office, COMAR (Comisión Mexicana de Ayuda a Refugiados), to move to remote registration and processing of asylum claims. This will aim to respect physical distancing guidelines throughout the process and will also prevent a further increase in processing backlogs which have developed in recent years.

 

“UNHCR has also supported the Mexican authorities to release asylum-seekers from migration detention centres. Release from detention has become even more critical given the danger that COVID-19 poses for detainees.

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“The recent announcement by Mexican immigration authorities to release all detained migrants and asylum-seekers is therefore a welcome step. The measure is consistent with the recommendations of the Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

 

Since March 16, Mantoo said: “UNHCR has supported the release of 434 asylum-seekers from immigration detention.

 

“Those released are generally housed in shelters run by civil society organizations or the Catholic Church, or they move into rental accommodation with UNHCR assistance. UNHCR has supported 93 shelters to implement preventive measures to prevent spread of the coronavirus, trying to ensure that refugees and asylum-seekers remain safe and healthy.

 

“Shelters are on the front line of the humanitarian response during the COVID-19 pandemic, and UNHCR has facilitated webinars with WHO experts so that shelters can take appropriate sanitary measures.

 

“In coordination with other international organizations, UNHCR has distributed antibacterial gel and cleaning products to shelters and is installing temporary sinks to facilitate handwashing.

 

“Many shelters have also established isolation areas for those with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections. These spaces have been equipped with thermometers, cleaning materials, personal care items and emergency mobile phones.”

READ  UN laments humanitarian challenges in Venezuela

 

He noted that: “Another 65 shelters in the country have stopped receiving new arrivals. To address this, UNHCR has increased humanitarian assistance to asylum-seekers so that they can pay for other forms of accommodation. This will help reduce the demand for shelter space and help ensure that asylum-seekers can maintain physical distancing.

 

“Since the beginning of March, 3,330 asylum-seekers who have recently arrived in Mexico have received humanitarian assistance, allowing them to find rental accommodation.”

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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  Conflicts, disasters displace 12 million children in 2019- UNICEF

 

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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.”

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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  UN laments humanitarian challenges in Venezuela

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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Stop enslavement of Africans in other continents- Experts tell African leaders

The second international migration summit by the Journalists International Forum For Migration (JIFORM) ended on Friday, October 16, 2020,  at the Pensioners FM, Ibadan, Oyo State, with a call to  African leaders to deliver good governance to halt continued enslavement of the Africans in other continents through irregular migration.

The conference themed: Migration governance and media strategy for development   with physical and virtual presentations was attended by hundreds of journalists and other participants across the world.

President of JIFORM, Ajibola Abayomi, in his remark after signing a memorandum of understanding with the Diaspora Innovation Institute (DII), US, on training and investment opportunities for journalists, said the global media body with over 200 journalists spread across the continents as parts of the fallouts of the summit would produce glossary of terminologies for over 10,000 journalists and media houses beyond Africa.

Speaking at the occasion, Governor Oluwaseyi Makinde of Oyo State hailed JIFORM’s  advocacy and identified poverty as the root cause of irregular migration pledging commitment to reverse the tide through good governance.

Represented by Barrister Olubunmi Ogunniran, Director General of Legal Administration, Oyo State Ministry of Justice, the governor said apart from rescuing trafficked indigenes of the state abroad and creating diaspora unit, he had inaugurated a task force against human trafficking, sexual offenders with prosecute department and further engagement of the youths through economic activities.

READ  Violence in Burkina Faso forces Malian refugees to return home

Minister of Labour Sierra Leone, Mr Alpha Timbo; Ghana Ambassador to Egypt, Lebanon and Sudan, Nii Okai Hammond, and the United Nations Youth Ambassador (Ghana), Lilian Addo, all praised what they tagged courageous movement by JIFORM and promised to support the body in its quest to further spread its advocacies.

Chairman of the summit, Patrick Lumumba,  rued the faulty labour and trade laws in Africa limiting development and called on the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) for ntervention to remove migration barriers causing undue frictions between Ghana and Nigeria ditto for the African Union to end the xenophobic attacks in South Africa against other African nationals.

He blamed the crisis on misapplication of resources and corruption among African leaders and urged them to retrace their steps to save the youths from desperate migration to other continents through the desert and the Mediterranean Sea.

Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora Matters, Tolulope Akande-Sadipe lauded JIFORM’s efforts to eradicate irregular migration and vowed to rescue and end the suffering of stranded Nigerians lured through human trafficking to the Middle East and other Arabian nations through collaborations.

READ  IYAMIDR, Italian institution to train Nigerian youths in marine welding, others

Member of African Union Advisory Committee on Labour Migration, (Ghana) Dr Princess Ocansey urged the African nations to end the Kafala bilateral agreement entered into with some Middle East countres that permitted the en-slavery of mostly African women.

“African leaders must wake up to save the youths from deadly work they are being subjected and replace that with decent work. The Kafala system is a shame and very dehumanizing” she said.

Former Canada Minister of Immigration, Gerry Weiner while delivering his presentation urged the African youths to acquit themselves with the right processes to tap into numerous diaspora opportunities in Canada and elsewhere.

Weiner, who had 12 years working experience in Africa, said only safe and regular migration, would guarantee the actualization of the desire to be part of  economic activities in the world.

The summit had participation from several international speaker that Prince Akin Ojomo from DII; included Johanna Mac from Erich Brost Institute, Germany; Barrister Samuel Adeusi and Ms Omotola Fawunmi both from the US; International Organization for Migration (IOM), Nigeria and Gambia; Rescue African Mission; Synergy Rescue Mission; ThisLebanon Lebanon; Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM); National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP); Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Ghana Immigration Service; Diaspora Innovation Institute, New York, America; and Ghana Immigration Service.

READ  IOM, UNHCR, seek support for Venezuelan refugees, migrants

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