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Refugees and Migrants

    August 08, 2018

    The number of people drowning in the Central Mediterranean or being taken back to squalid detention centres in Libya has surged as a result of European policies aimed at closing the central Mediterranean route, Amnesty International said in a new briefing published today.

    The briefing, 'Between the devil and the deep blue sea. Europe fails refugees and migrants in the Central Mediterranean', reveals the devastating impact of policies which have resulted in more than 721 deaths at sea over June and July 2018 alone. It highlights new Italian policies which have left people stranded at sea for days and analyzes how European Union (EU) countries are conspiring to contain refugees and migrants in Libya, where they are exposed to torture and abuse.

    August 01, 2018

    Amnesty International USA Release

    Responding to reports that President Donald Trump may seek to cap U.S. refugee admissions at no more than 25,000 refugees for Fiscal Year 2019, the lowest goal in the history of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, Ryan Mace, Grassroots Advocacy and Refugee Specialist at Amnesty International USA stated:

    “The United States betrays both its values and long history of helping those escaping war, persecution, and horrific violence when it denies refuge to those for whom resettlement is the only option. The Administration’s policies are denying thousands of refugees a chance at a new life. Many refugees are also hoping to be reunified with their families here in the US – some of whom have waited years to see their family again.

    “People across the United States are ready to stand with the global community in welcoming refugees as their neighbors, colleagues, classmates, families, and friends. The Administration’s policies continue to keep people in grave danger.”

    More information:

    July 30, 2018

    In response to today’s damning coronial inquest findings into the tragic death of Hamid Khazaei, an Iranian man who died in Australia in 2014 from an infection acquired in the Manus Island detention centre, Amnesty International’s Refugee Researcher Kate Schuetze, who was present at the Brisbane court today, said:

    “The Coroner today outlined a litany of errors that lead to Hamid Khazaei’s death in 2014 following his detention in an Australian-run detention centre in Papua New Guinea. The inquest’s finding that Hamid’s death was completely preventable cannot be ignored by the Australian government.”

    “The Australian government has failed to provide adequate health care and facilitate medical transfers for refugees and people seeking asylum in its care as needed.

    “The Coroner recommends that this system be substantially overhauled and that medical care must be comparable to that which is available in Australia. The Coroner also stated that medically trained professionals should make transfer decisions based on the best interests of the person in need of medical care.

    June 26, 2018

    Myanmar: Military top brass must face justice for crimes against humanity targeting Rohingya

    Report names 13 officials with a key role in murder, rape and deportation of Rohingya Myanmar’s security forces committed nine distinct types of crimes against humanity; responsibility goes to the top of the chain of command Calls for accountability, including a UN Security Council referral to the ICC

    Amnesty International has gathered extensive, credible evidence implicating Myanmar’s military Commander-in-Chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, and 12 other named individuals in crimes against humanity committed during the ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya population in northern Rakhine State.

    June 22, 2018
    Member states need to reform asylum system at European Council meeting Current system is tearing families apart and sowing discord amongst EU partners Internal lack of solidarity pushing a dangerous agenda to dump refugees and asylum-seekers on countries outside Europe

    There is an urgent need for a new asylum system that is fair, efficient and compassionate said Amnesty International ahead of a mini-Summit of European leaders this Sunday and the European Council meeting next week.

    EU heads of state and government are expected to use the events to discuss measures to strengthen further control of the EU external borders and the reform of the Dublin Regulation.

    “Instead of concentrating on striking an agreement on Dublin reform, some EU leaders have come up with a last-minute pitch of having docking platforms for refugees and asylum-seekers – a notion as irresponsible as it is dangerous,” said Iverna McGowan, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.

    June 20, 2018

    Nuri Mohammed is just like other boys his age: he likes spending time with friends and family and dreams of what life will be like when he grows up. He hopes to one day buy a store and run his own business. But Nuri’s life changed completely when he came home one day to find the military in his village, killing his neighbors. The military killed his parents and eight of his siblings. His last memory of his mother was of her pleas for him to flee. Nuri ran to a nearby lake, where a bullet struck him and injured his leg. He continued on, walking for three days until he escaped from Myanmar to Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, where he reunited with his remaining two sisters.

    June 20, 2018

    An Amnesty International USA Release

    This World Refugee Day, Amnesty International USA is calling on all people living in the United States to welcome refugees and asylum-seekers into their communities. While some elected leaders would have us believe that those seeking safety do not deserve to be welcomed here in the United States, we know this to be false. Every day, we see the tremendous popular support that exists for welcoming refugees and asylum seekers in towns, cities, and public squares around the country. On this World Refugee Day, Amnesty International USA urges individuals to take action to welcome those in search of safety into their communities.

    June 20, 2018

    On World Refugee Day, Amnesty International calls on the international community to urgently step up international assistance for more than 900,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar District as they face severe monsoon weather.

    More than 200,000 Rohingya refugees are at risk of landslides and floods during the current monsoon season, according to the United Nations. Over the past five weeks, more than 28,000 people have been affected as 133 landslides have damaged more than 3,000 shelters.

    “The Rohingya refugees languishing in the overcrowded and threadbare camps in Cox’s Bazar are in urgent need of international assistance. A mere fifth of the United Nation’s appeal has been committed so far. The world cannot stand by while Bangladesh is left to shoulder the responsibility alone,” said Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty International’s South Asia Director.

    Camp conditions

    June 20, 2018
    New briefing published today

    Following the passing in Hungary of a package of punitive laws, including one criminalizing lawful migration-related work by activists and NGOs, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik said:

    “It is a bitter irony that as the world marks World Refugee Day, the Hungarian Parliament voted today to introduce a law that targets organizations and individuals who support asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants.

    "Criminalizing essential and legitimate human rights work is a brazen attack on people seeking safe haven from persecution and those who carry out admirable work to help them. It is a new low point in an intensifying crackdown on civil society and it is something we will resist every step of the way.

    “We will push back against the rising tide of institutional intolerance towards refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants and the attempts to stigmatize, intimidate and frighten Hungarian civil society organisations.   

    June 19, 2018

    In a bid to break down barriers, smash stereotypes and encourage people to take action, an innovative educational online course focusing on the rights of refugees will be rolled out globally to mark World Refugee Day (20 June), said Amnesty International. 

    The course, which is open to all, covers a spectrum of issues in a straightforward way. Human Rights: The Rights of Refugees includes modules on how to defend the rights of refugees, the role of governments in protecting refugees and preventing human rights violations against them and how to challenge discrimination.

    “Every day, all over the world, people make one of the most difficult decisions of their lives: to leave their country in search of a better, safer life. Yet, there is a still a lack of knowledge about the rights of the people who have been forced to flee. Our course provides a unique opportunity to learn about the rights of refugees in a simple accessible way, while encouraging and empowering the public to take action,” said Barbara Weber, Amnesty International’s Human Rights Education Director.

    June 18, 2018

    The sickening images of children cruelly separated from their parents and held in cages as a result of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ policy of ‘zero-tolerance’ will leave an indelible stain on the reputation of the USA, said Amnesty International today.

    “This is a spectacularly cruel policy, where frightened children are being ripped from their parent’s arms and taken to overflowing detention centres, which are effectively cages. This is nothing short of torture. The severe mental suffering that officials have intentionally inflicted on these families for coercive purposes, means that these acts meet the definitions of torture under both US and international law,” said Erika Guevara-Rosas, Amnesty International’s Americas Director.

    June 15, 2018

    Responding to the tragic news that a 26-year-old Iranian man reportedly died on Nauru this morning, Kate Schuetze, Refugee Researcher at Amnesty International said:

    “This is extremely sad and heartbreaking news. Amnesty International is extending our sincere condolences to the man’s family and friends.

    “This tragic death is the second death to occur in Australia’s offshore system in a matter of weeks, following the death of a Rohingya refugee on Manus Island on 22 May, and the 12th since this system was established.

    “How many more people need to die before the Government acts? Australia’s reckless and cruel refugee policies continue to endanger lives and must end immediately.

    “The fact that this man and his family have spent the last five years living in a tent in an Australian-run detention centre on Nauru is in itself disgraceful. He came to Australia seeking protection, a request that was denied, and was instead detained in appalling and inhumane conditions on the remote island.

    June 12, 2018

    As the SOS Mediterranee rescue ship, MV Aquarius, heads to the Spanish port of Valencia, Elisa De Pieri, Amnesty International’s Italy Researcher said:

    “By closing their ports the Italian and Maltese governments are trampling the principle of rescue at sea and undermining the entire search and rescue system. If allowed to go unchallenged, it will discourage and compromise the lifesaving work of NGO’s leaving thousands of migrants and refugees adrift in the Mediterranean.

    “Whilst the offer by the Spanish government to welcome the Aquarius is a moving example of solidarity, it also highlights the calculated callousness of the Italian and Maltese authorities. This sets a precedent that will inevitably cost lives.”

    For more information, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

    Background

    May 29, 2018

    Responding to a package of punitive laws tabled in Parliament today that will criminalize migration-related work by activists and NGOs, Amnesty International’s Europe Director, Gauri van Gulik said:

    “In their desperate drive to make Hungary the most hostile territory for asylum seekers and refugees in Europe, the Hungarian government has taken their attempt to enshrine intolerance, xenophobia and racism in law to a new level.

    “This cruel plan to hermetically seal their borders would criminalize legitimate activities such as offering information and providing legal advice to asylum-seekers. This could result in paralysis for organizations and leave already vulnerable people in an ever more precarious situation.

    “MPs should to do the right thing and vote down this brazen attack on activists, on NGOs, and on those seeking safe haven from persecution.”

     

    For more information please contact: Elizabeth Berton-Hunter, Media Relations 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca

     

    May 25, 2018
    Campaign and Local Organizing Committee of the 2018 Canadian Council for Refugees National Youth Action Gathering

    Brought together by shared passion and commitment for inclusivity, youth empowerment and human rights, the Local Organizing Committee for the 2018 Canadian Council for Refugees’ Youth Action Gathering (YAG) is working to bring together immigrant and refugee youth from across Canada to share, learn and network on strategies to address common challenges. The Local Organizing Committee consists of a partnership between York University’s  Centre for Refugee Studies (CRS) and Syria Response and Refugee Initiative, Amnesty International at York and the World University Service of Canada’s (WUSC)  Keele Campus Committee. All of them have been active long term participants in the York U Refugees Welcome Here! Campaign.

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