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Refugees and Migrants

    August 31, 2016

    One year after the shocking image of Syrian boy Alan Kurdi’s drowned body caused international outcry, world leaders are still failing to respond to the refugee crisis, said Amnesty International today.

    Marking the 2 September anniversary of Alan’s death, the organisation drew attention to the plight of thousands of other refugee children let down by the dismal failure of world leaders to tackle the refugee crisis. In July, negotiations ahead of the 19 September UN Refugee and Migrant Summit put the “Global Compact on Refugee Responsibility-Sharing” proposed by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on ice until 2018.

    August 29, 2016

    By Gloria Nafziger: Refugee and Migrant Rights Coodinator

    On August 21, as Silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa finished a marathon at the Rio Olympics, he crossed his arms above his head in a gesture of solidarity with the Oromo people in Ethiopia. He is reported as saying, “The Ethiopian government is killing my people so I stand with all protests anywhere as Oromo is my tribe. My relatives are in prison and if they talk about democratic rights they are killed.”

    He did not return to Ethiopia, and is reported to be seeking asylum in either Brazil or the United States.

    Feyisa Lilesa is right to be concerned about human rights violations targeting the Oromo in Ethiopia.

    Early in August of this year, at least 97 people were killed and hundreds more injured when Ethiopian security forces fired live bullets at peaceful protesters across Oromia region and in parts of Amhara. A disproportionate violent police response to protests has resulted in over 500 protestors’ deaths recorded in Oromia region since November 2015 and over 100 others in the Amhara and Oromia region in the month of August.

    August 25, 2016

    By Anna Neistat, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty International

    “I have lumps in my breasts, in my throat, and in my uterus…” – Halimeh spoke softly, but as she quickly uttered these words, I noticed an immense sadness in her dark brown eyes. We were sitting on the rocks near the ocean, wary of wild dogs barking nearby, and melting in the scorching heat of this remote Pacific island. I could feel her fear, so common for any woman in her 30s who checks her breasts in the morning and knows something isn’t right. 

    Halimeh fled Iran three years ago, after she said several of her friends got executed there, because they converted to Christianity, something that she wanted to do as well. She aimed for Australia—a country where she was hoping to find peace and freedom from religious persecution.  

    August 18, 2016
    Refugees are proudly cheering on Team Refugees at screenings of the Olympic Games at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya thanks to a FilmAid project, supported by Amnesty International.

    For the first time ever, a refugee team is competing at the Olympic Games under the Olympic flag. 10 refugee athletes are acting as a symbol of hope for refugees worldwide and bringing global attention to the magnitude of the refugee crisis, by taking part in the Olympic Games in Rio.

    FilmAid, along with other key partners such as UNHCR and Amnesty International wanted to enable the refugee community in Kakuma, many of whom wouldn’t normally have the ability to watch the global event, to watch their team compete live with the rest of the world. Refugees now have a place as they support their team.
     

     

    August 17, 2016

    Responding to today’s reports that the Australian Government-run refugee detention centre on Manus Island will close Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research, said:

    “While welcoming the news that the centre will close Amnesty International urges the Australian Government to bring those currently held there to Australia. We must not forget that the Government set up a system of deliberate abuse of and cruelty towards almost two thousand people in two detention centres who are simply looking for a safe place to rebuild their lives.”

    “Amnesty International calls on Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton to urgently confirm the timeframe by which it will close the detention centre and safely settle refugees in Australia. Offshore processing can no longer be part of Australia’s response to those attempting to arrive here by boat seeking protection.”

    August 05, 2016
    Tonight, when millions of people tune into the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, they’ll see a team march into the stadium with no nation and no flag.

    For the first time in the history of the Olympics, 10 refugees are competing without a national team. The unprecedented team is a reflection of the global refugee crisis, with more people displaced by violence and persecution than at any time since World War II. It’s also an opportunity to help shape how the public thinks of refugees – and how governments treat them.

    August 03, 2016

    World leaders have wasted a critical opportunity to tackle the global refugee crisis, said Amnesty International today after talks for a new UN refugee deal ended falling far short of expectations.

    Late last night, the United Nations (UN) member states meeting in New York finalized a watered-down outcome document for adoption at a UN Summit meant to tackle the refugee crisis on 19 September. The Global Compact on Refugees proposed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is not included and will now not be agreed before 2018.

    “Faced with the worst refugee crisis in 70 years, world leaders have failed to the bear the weight of responsibility,” said Charlotte Phillips, advisor on Refugee and Migrants’ Rights at Amnesty International.

    “The Refugee Summit was a historic opportunity to find a desperately-needed global solution to the refugee crisis. Instead, world leaders delayed any chance of a deal until 2018, procrastinating over crucial decisions even as refugees drown at sea and languish in camps with no hope for the future.

    August 02, 2016

    Investigation on remote Pacific island finds deliberate abuse hidden behind wall of secrecy

    (Sydney, 3 August, 2016)—About 1,200 men, women, and children who sought refuge in Australia and were forcibly transferred to the remote Pacific island nation of Nauru suffer severe abuse, inhumane treatment, and neglect, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International said today. The Australian government’s failure to address serious abuses appears to be a deliberate policy to deter further asylum seekers from arriving in the country by boat.

    Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. They endure unnecessary delays and at times denial of medical care, even for life-threatening conditions. Many have dire mental health problems and suffer overwhelming despair—self-harm and suicide attempts are frequent. All face prolonged uncertainty about their future.

    July 24, 2016

    Released : 00:01 GMT/UTC on Monday 25 July 2016

    With just under a week to go, a group of unlikely bedfellows including Australia, China, Egypt, India, Russia, Pakistan and the UK, among others, risk bulldozing through the only worldwide effort under way to provide concrete action to deal with the global refugee crisis affecting 20 million people, warned Amnesty International today.

    By the end of July, United Nations (UN) member states meeting in New York plan to finalize the text of an agreement towards a Global Compact on Refugees to tackle the current crisis and deal with similar emergencies in future. In the coming days, states have a final chance to change their positions before an outcome document is locked in for adoption at a UN Summit in September.

    June 30, 2016

    Horrifying accounts of sexual violence, killings, torture and religious persecution collected by Amnesty International reveal the shocking range of abuses along the smuggling routes to and through Libya. The organization spoke to at least 90 refugees and migrants at reception centres in Puglia and Sicily, who had made the journey across the Mediterranean from Libya to southern Italy in the past few months, and who were abused by people smugglers, traffickers, organized criminal gangs and armed groups.

    “From being abducted, incarcerated underground for months and sexually abused by members of armed groups, to being beaten, exploited or shot at by people smugglers, traffickers or criminal gangs - refugees and migrants have described in harrowing detail the horrors they were forced to endure in Libya,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Interim Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Amnesty International.

    “Their experiences paint a terrifying picture of the conditions many of those who come to Europe are so desperate to escape.”

    June 27, 2016

    The European Union (EU) is set to open a dark chapter in its history unless it rejects the European Commission’s proposal on migration, a coalition of more than 100 NGOs warned on Monday. Shifting towards a foreign policy that serves the single objective of curbing migration, the EU and its member states risk further undermining their credibility and authority in the defence of human rights, the organizations say. They call on European leaders to reject the Commission proposal that would cement this approach, making deterrence and return of people the main objective of the EU’s relationship with third countries.

    June 24, 2016

    ---Media Advisory---

    June 24, 2016 - Ahead of the North American Leaders’ Summit, Amnesty International has called for the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico to adopt a robust human rights agenda in an Open Letter outlining continental human rights recommendations.  At a press conference on June 27th, the heads of Amnesty International Canada, Mexico and United States will call for action on the concerns outlined in the Open Letter, including:

    Migrant and refugee rights, particularly the practice in all three countries of holding migrant and refugee children in detention facilities; and Violence and discrimination against Women and Girls, particularly Indigenous women and girls.  

    Other recommendations deal with the Inter-American human rights system, Trade and Investment, Indigenous peoples, national and public security, climate change and human rights defenders.

    Event:                   Press conference

    June 22, 2016

    The “iron fist” security response pledged by Jordanian authorities in the wake of Tuesday’s car bombing of a military outpost along the border with Syria must not descend into closing the border and denying humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing armed conflict, Amnesty International said today.

    No group has yet claimed responsibility for the apparently well-coordinated attack, which killed six army border guards and injured several others. 

    More than 70,000 people are stranded in the desert area known as “the berm”, which is a raised barrier of sand marking the Jordanian limit of the Jordan-Syria border near Rukban and Hadalat crossings. A total closure of the border and denial of humanitarian aid to the area would inevitably lead to extreme hardship among those unable to find refuge and put their lives at risk.

    June 20, 2016
    Written by Amnesty Canada Refugee Coordinator, Gloria Nafziger @refugeescanada  Champions. Prevention. Solidarity. Rights. Empowerment

    I’m not at home, I’m a refugee. I left my rights behind.

    In the world today we need to ensure that no rights are ever left behind. 

    June 20, 2016

    On World Refugee Day, we talk to Ghias Aljundi, who fled to the UK from Syria 18 years ago. He is one of thousands volunteering to help refugees arriving in Greece since last year. But he’d never expected that one day he’d rescue his own family from a rubber boat.

    Only after the rescue did Ghias realise that this little girl is his three-year-old niece, Sirin. © Private

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