Skip to main content

The plight of refugees...continuing into 2016

If there is one topic which dominated the news in 2015, it was probably refugees, in their thousands upon thousands, seen fleeing the Middle East and seeking haven in Europe.    Sad to say, 2016 isn't shaping up to be a better year for those who continue to still be fleeing persecution

"The number of people forced to flee war is expected to far surpass 60 million in 2015, the United Nations said on Friday, warning that violence around the globe is likely to push a record number of asylum seekers even higher in the coming year.

At least five million people were forcibly displaced from their homes in the first half of the year, adding to the 59.5 million displaced people the United Nations refugee agency had recorded by the end of 2014. One in every 122 humans today is someone who has been forced to flee from home, the agency said.

Most of the people on the move in 2015 were displaced within their own country, but as many 839,000 people fled across international borders in the first half of the year, more than a third of them trying to escape the war in Syria.

To make matters worse, the funds available to help the increasing number of people fleeing conflict had fallen far behind the level of need, António Guterres, the departing United Nations high commissioner for refugees, told reporters in Geneva.

“It’s clear humanitarian actors are no longer able to provide the minimum support both in relation to core protection and lifesaving activities,” he said.

Moreover, few refugees were able to return to their own country. Only 124,000 such people returned home in 2014, down from a million a decade ago. The United Nations reported that the number of returning citizens dropped an additional 20 percent in the first half of this year.

The refugee agency’s assessment came as the International Organization for Migration said the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe would likely exceed a million arrivals for the year in a matter of days.

By Wednesday, total boat arrivals had reached 956,456, more than 80 percent of them landing in Greece. Unlike previous years, when cold weather and stormy seas discouraged migration by boat, the flow of asylum seekers in the Aegean was “robust and dangerous,” Joel Millman, a spokesman for the organization in Geneva told reporters.

The dangers facing those still trying to reach Europe — more than 30,000 refugees had arrived by boat in Greece this week — remained grave. An 80-year-old man and a 9-month-old child drowned off the island of Lesbos on Wednesday when a boat carrying 85 people capsized in strong winds and high waves, according to Doctors Without Borders.

“2015 will be remembered as a year of human suffering and migrant tragedies,” William Lacy Swing, the director general of the International Organization for Migration, said in a statement released Friday. Over 5,000 migrants and asylum seekers had died in search of protection and a better life, he said, “and millions have been made into scapegoats and become the targets of xenophobic policies and alarmist rhetoric.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Donald T: First seduced..... then betrayed!

All those supporters of Trump - who, heaven's only knows, got him headed for the White House - are in a for more than a rude awakening and shock.   Whatever Trump "promised" is just not going to happen....as Paul Krugman so clearly spells out in his latest op-ed piece "Seduced and Betrayed by Donald Trump" in The New York Times.

"Donald Trump won the Electoral College (though not the popular vote) on the strength of overwhelming support from working-class whites, who feel left behind by a changing economy and society. And they’re about to get their reward — the same reward that, throughout Mr. Trump’s career, has come to everyone who trusted his good intentions. Think Trump University.

Yes, the white working class is about to be betrayed.

The evidence of that coming betrayal is obvious in the choice of an array of pro-corporate, anti-labor figures for key positions. In particular, the most important story of the week — seriously, people, stop focusing on Trum…

Snooping..... at its worst

The Brits have just brought in legislation which allows for unprecedented "snooping" in a Western democracy - says Edward Snowden.   Let truthdig explain....

"On Tuesday, the United Kingdom instated the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, a piece of legislation described by whistleblower Edward Snowden as “the most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.”

The law, informally known as the “Snooper’s Charter,” spent over a year in Parliament before it was passed. The Guardian reported:

"The new surveillance law requires web and phone companies to store everyone’s web browsing histories for 12 months and give the police, security services and official agencies unprecedented access to the data.

It also provides the security services and police with new powers to hack into computers and phones and to collect communications data in bulk. The law requires judges to sign off police requests to view journalists’ call and web records, but the measure has been descri…

A "Muslim Register"

Outrageous is the word which immediately comes to mind - the idea of a  Muslim Register which Trump has floated.     And how and by or through whom would this Registry comes into being?    Let The Intercept explain.....

"Every American corporation, from the largest conglomerate to the smallest firm, should ask itself right now: Will we do business with the Trump administration to further its most extreme, draconian goals? Or will we resist?

This question is perhaps most important for the country’s tech companies, which are particularly valuable partners for a budding authoritarian. The Intercept contacted nine of the most prominent such firms, from Facebook to Booz Allen Hamilton, to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry, an idea recently resurfaced by Donald Trump’s transition team. Only Twitter said no.

Shortly after the election, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty wrote a personal letter to President-elect Trump in which she offered her congratulation…