Media Listing May 2014


Focus on migration: how ICTs could protect human rights: International humanitarian law often cannot protect migrants’ rights. But ICTs can help to make migration regimes more transparent and using them to track migrants’ locations could be a step towards protection. (SciDevNet – 12/05/14)

UN experts call on governments to adopt legally binding treaty against forced labour: Independent UN human rights experts called on governments to adopt a legally binding international protocol to respond to the scourge of forced labour. The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants said that “many of the victims of forced labour are migrants who leave their country of origin due to pull-factors that are largely in response to unrecognized needs in the labour markets in countries of destination.” (UN News Centre – 23/05/14)


Could climate change spread kala-azar?: IRIN reports climate change combined with increased migration and displacements could further spread black fever in the Horn of Africa region if unchecked. (IRIN News – 8/05/14)

Risking it all for an illusion: Opinion piece on irregular migration from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe. (Daily Nation – 20/05/14)


Algeria backlash as Libya unrest shifts Africa migrant route: Reports of backlash from Algerians after hundreds of African migrants enter the country in a bid to reach Europe as worsening violence makes transit through neighbouring Libya more perilous. (AFP – 20/05/14)


East Africa’s refugee crisis compounds Djibouti’s drought crisis: (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 16/05/14)


Libya: The migrant trap: How migrants trying to reach Europe fall into the hands of Libya's militias. (Al Jazeera – 8/05/14)

Libyan navy intercepts 300 migrants heading for Italy: Libya's navy intercepted and rescued 340 illegal migrants off the coast of the western town of Sabratha when their boat began to take on water. The migrants were subsequently transported to detention centres in the North African state. The rescue came on the same day Italy's navy said at least 14 migrants had died when their boat sank between Libya and Italy, the latest in a string of shipwreck tragedies to hit the Mediterranean (AFP – 12/05/14)

Forgotten migrants who don't sail to Europe from Libya Europe is not the only place where sub-Saharan African migrants aim to start a new life. For years, oil-rich Libya was a magnet but with the country teetering on the edge of chaos they are finding it is no longer a promised land for jobs. (Reuters – 19/05/14)

BBC finds illegal immigrants held in squalor: In a news clip, a BBC reporter gains exclusive access to group of irregular migrants held by Libyan authorities while trying to make the crossing to Europe. (BBC News - 31/05/14)


UN rights expert urges Eritrean Government to end ‘widespread’ arbitrary arrest: The UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea has called on the Eritrean Government to put an end to widespread practices of arbitrary arrest, ill-treatment and persecution. Because the Government has not extended an invitation to the Special Rapporteur to visit the country, she conducted interviews with Eritrean asylum-seekers and migrants living in Europe to collect information on the human rights situation in Eritrea in March 2014. (UN News Centre – 6/05/14)

Close the Eritrean Embassies Not The Borders: Opinion – in the face of increasing numbers of Eritrean asylum-seekers arriving in Europe the EU should not close its borders, but instead it should close the Eritrean diplomatic posts, which directly benefit from the trade of human smuggling and extortion of its refugees. (In Depth News – 23/05/14)

Scores of Eritrean refugees enter Ethiopia daily - UNHCR: The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said that around 70 Eritrean refugees were currently entering Ethiopia on a daily basis. It is reported that as of the end of April, the total number of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia reached 93,000 (World Bulletin – 24/05/14)

Eritrea: Intelligence Briefing by The Director of National Security: Remarks by the head of the Office of National Security of the State of Eritrea at the Preparatory Meeting for the Regional Conference on Human Trafficking and Smuggling in the Horn of Africa, 21 May 2014, Khartoum, Sudan ( – 2/06/14)


11,000 South Sudanese flee to Ethiopia after fall of rebel-held town: UNHCR reported a sharp rise in number of refugees fleeing South-Sudan conflict after the Government captured a rebel-held stronghold. In a span of three days over 11,000 refugees crossed into the Ethiopia.   (UNHCR News – 6/05/14)

Ethiopians Abroad Rally to Help Compatriots Expelled from Saudi Arabia: The Ethiopian community in Finland has donated over EUR 7,700 towards IOM’s relief efforts to help destitute Ethiopians expelled from Saudi Arabia. The private donations will help needy Ethiopian returnees with vital medical assistance, food, transport, psycho-social aid, blankets and other essentials. By early May 2014, a total of over 163,000 Ethiopian returnees had arrived home from Saudi Arabia (IOM Press Briefing - 16/05/14).

Many Saudi-deported Ethiopians 'caught trying to return': Ethiopian authorities have been alarmed by a surge in the number of people previously deported by Saudi Arabia who are trying to return to the oil-rich kingdom despite a government ban on traveling there for work. 1,200 would be migrants were reportedly arrested attempting to cross the border into Somaliland on a journey to Yemen and onwards to Saudi Arabia. (World Bulletin – 19/05/14)

Ethiopia Situation Report: 121,000 South Sudanese have arrived in Ethiopia since mid-December 2013 bringing the total refugee population in the country to 536,742 as of April 2014.  (World Food Programme- 20/05/14)

South Sudan refugees continue stream in to Ethiopia despite truce: Despite an agreement to implement a ceasefire recently signed in Addis Ababa between the two SPLM rival leaders, South Sudanese have continued to cross borders to Ethiopia in large numbers, the UN refugee agency told Sudan Tribune on Friday. UNHCR’s senior public information officer in Addis Ababa, said South Sudan refugees continue arriving in Ethiopia at a rate of 1,000 per day (Sudan Tribune – 31/05/14) 


1,170 more migrants arrive in Sicily: Migrants arrive on the island after being rescued by Italian rescue missions in the Mediterranean. The migrants departed from the African coast and included Sudanese. (UPI – 2/05/14)

Migrants drowned as boats capsize off Greek coast: 22 people drowned and several are missing after boats capsized in the Aegean Sea. Survivors are said to have included 23 Somalis and 3 Eritreans.  (France 24 –6/05/14)

Italy lashes out at EU after latest migrant shipwreck: Italy criticized the European Union after 17 bodies were recovered and 206 people were saved from a migrant shipwreck. Italy demanded more assistance from Europe for border controls, or it would defy European asylum rules and allow migrants to head to Europe. (AFP – 13/05/14)

UN deeply concerned at rising deaths from boat accidents in the Mediterranean: The UN raised its concern for the rising death toll from boat accidents in the Mediterranean Sea this year as increasing numbers of asylum-seekers and refugees make the journey on unsafe vessels, often at the hands of ruthless smugglers. UNHCR estimates that over 170 people have died at sea trying to reach Europe so far this year, including those who lost their lives in waters off Greece, Libya, Italy and in international waters. (UN News Centre – 13/05/14)

Frontex publishes annual risk analysis in 2014: Frontex report reveals that, following Syrians, Eritreans were the second largest group crossing irregularly into the EU in 2013. In that year 11,298 Eritreans were detected; a four-fold increase from their numbers in 2012 (2,604). 5,624 Somalis were detected in 2013. The report also notes the importance of the migration flow from the Horn of Africa to the EU. (Frontex – 14/05/14)

Italian MEP candidates scaremongering on immigration: Opinion arguing that the politics of fear are taking the stage in the upcoming European elections in Italy. Scaremongering is being used by representatives of both the majority and the opposition, by leaders of the European People's Party Forza Italia and populist parties, as well as by high-level government officials (EU Observer – 15/05/14).

Europe’s Migration Emergency: Editorial piece opining that European states must support Italy in responding to the migration crisis in the Mediterranean. (The New York Times – 18/05/14)

Detention in Malta: Europe's migrant prison: Opinion, Malta's detention of asylum seekers is part and parcel of the racist and anti-immigrant frenzy now sweeping Europe. (Al Jazeera – 19/05/14)

Key to tackling migration is 'prevention' - Manuel Mallia: Maltese Home Affairs Minister suggests 4 steps to addressing irregular migration into Europe. They are: a) publicizing the dangers of irregular migration and realties in Europe; b) dismantling migrant smuggling networks; c) making legal migration alternatives available; d) making it safer and easier for asylum-applications to be lodged so people do not need to face grave risks or exploitation.  (Times of Malta – 21/05/14)

Italy tells migrants 'Welcome, you're safe', tells EU to help more More than 43,000 people from dozens of countries - including Syrians fleeing civil war and Eritreans evading military conscription - have been plucked from the sea in the seven months since Mare Nostrum began. That is the same number of people who completed the dangerous crossing or were intercepted during the whole of last year. Italy launched the mission last October as an emergency measure to prevent shipwrecks and hoped that other EU countries would eventually join the effort to stem the influx along one of the most popular migrant routes between Africa and Europe. (Reuters – 21/05/14)

French police clear hundreds of asylum-seekers from Calais migrant camps after outbreak of scabies: Two large asylum/migrant camps hosting 600 individuals were cleared by French police following an alleged outbreak of the skin disease. The camp was home to Eritreans, Somalis, Syrians, Afghans, and Pakistanis. (The Independent – 28/05/14).

Spain's Melilla enclave stormed by migrants: At least 1,000 migrants attempted to storm the border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla. 400 are estimated to have crossed successfully. The BBC reports that many attempting to make the journey come from Eritrea and Somalia. (BBC- 28/05/14)

Understanding the surge in migrant boat crossings to Europe: (IRIN News - 29/05/14)

No wonder they still try: Why so many Africans still risk their lives to reach Europe (The Economist – 31/05/14)

Italy rescues more than 3,500 migrants, Renzi asks for help: Italian navy patrol ships rescued more than 3,500 migrants including hundreds of women and children from boats coming from North Africa, authorities said on Saturday, while Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for help from the European Union. (Reuters – 31/05/14)


Donald Sterling's Comments Shed Light on the Underreported Plight of Israel's African Refugees: Opinion piece. (Huffington Post – 2/05/14)

African immigrant leader enters Israeli detention center: An asylum-seeker and leading spokesman for African immigrants living illegally in Israel began an indefinite sentence at a detention center after Israel's Supreme Court declined to freeze his detention order. (Los Angeles Times World - 5/05/14)

Deported Sudanese asylum seeker involuntarily returned to Israel: After spending eight nights in an Ethiopia airport, where authorities threatened to send him to Khartoum, an asylum-seeker was finally returned to Tel Aviv and subsequently transferred to Holot detention centre. (Haaretz – 11/05/14)

Improved mental health care for refugees in Israel: Thousands of African refugees and asylum seekers in Israel suffering from trauma and depression after fleeing abuses in their home country or surviving torture camps in Egypt are now getting improved mental health care, though more needs to be done, say refugee groups (IRIN News – 14/05/14)

Comptroller: AG must review Israel's position on asylum seekers: In a report the State Comptroller advised the Attorney General to reexamine his position on the rights of asylum seekers in Israel. The state’s treatment of asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea was criticized on the basis that it had failed to provide for the basic needs of foreign nationals who have been in Israel for some time and who cannot legally be deported. (Haaretz – 14/05/14)

Israeli authorities release 24 Eritreans wrongly detained in desert facility: The Immigration and Population Authority released 24 Eritrean asylum seekers from the Holot detention facility. They were being held there even though they did not meet the criteria for detention set by the authority itself. (Haaretz – 14/05/14)

Asylum seekers allegedly left to sleep outside of over-crowded Holot:  Allegations that detainees refused to return to their rooms after nine asylum seekers were forced to sleep outside due to lack of beds. The Prison Service responsible for the detention centre denies the charge. (Haaretz – 14/05/14)

Israel’s Supreme Court to state: Asylum-seekers also deserve due process: Israel's Supreme Court urges state to give asylum-seekers fair hearings before ordering them to detention. (Haaretz -  22/05/14)

Jailed in the desert, Israel’s top civil-rights leader keeps fighting: (Jewish Journal – 31/05/14)


Refugees & camps

UNHCR support helps end sleepless nights for struggling students in Dadaab: UNHCR has opened a new dormitory building in Dadaab to provide shelter for 80 of the neediest secondary school students, including refugees and locals. (UNHCR News – 2/05/14)

Dadaab: The world's biggest refugee camp: Foreign nationals in Kenya are trapped in Dadaab camp amid a security crackdown that has rounded up thousands of people. An account of some of their experiences. (Al Jazeera – 4/05/14)

Court stops relocation of 500 foreigners: The Kenya High Court has issued temporary orders preventing the Government from relocating 500 urban refugees to designated camps. (Standard Media – 7/05/14)

Journalists Seek Clarity, Exemption From Relocation (CAJNewsAfrica – 13/05/14)

Dadaab refugee camp: A hotbed of extremism? A report that raises questions which challenge the accepted narrative. (Thompson Reuters Foundation - 13/05/14)

Uniformed Robbers Kill, Beat, Rob Darfur Refugees in Kenya: A Darfuri trader was shot dead and another wounded in the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya. In response to the attack, a group of Dafuris presented a memorandum to the UN offices in Kakuma in which they demanded the UN and the Kenyan Government to do more to protect and to investigate the problems facing the Sudanese in refugee camps. (AllAfrica – 15/05/14)

Children need more support at Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp: Physical space and timely protection support for children are among the most pressing needs in northwestern Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp amid a continuing flood of people, for the most part minors, fleeing conflict in South Sudan. (IRIN News– 19/05/14)

500 Somali refugees sue to block exodus: A High Court judge in a case challenging the Kenyan government's directive requiring all refugees to return to camps highlighted that the order interrupts urban refugees’ lives. He also wondered why, in a day and age where transparent governance is required, government agencies still fail to give enough information and clear directives. (The Star -28/05/14)

39,000 South Sudanese flee to Kenya: UN: The number of new arrivals from South Sudan since mid-December 2013 when fighting broke out between pro-government and rebel forces in Juba has reached 39,000, the UN World Food Program (WFP) has said. Compared to other neighbouring countries, the refugee flow into Kenya has been fairly low in recent weeks, Xinhua quoted WFP as saying in its latest report Friday (Business Standard – 31/05/14)


Immigration control

Detained foreigners to be sent back home: According to the Mombasa County Commissioner, sixty four foreigners, mainly Ethiopians and Somalis, are to be repatriated to their respective countries after their arrest in Mombasa. (Daily Nation - 1/05/14).

50 illegal immigrants seized in Kiambu: Police arrested 50 illegal immigrants, allegedly from Ethiopia, after they were discovered hiding at a house on the outskirts of Nairobi. One individual said he choose to migrate because of a lack of economic opportunities in Ethiopia. His planned end destination was South Africa.  (Daily Nation  - 2/05/14)

12 foreigners held in swoop: 12 Ethiopians arrested in Nyandarua Country for being in Kenya without valid documentation.  (The Star – 5/05/14)

Somalis Returned from Kenya Say No Looking Back: As Kenyan authorities push ahead with a security crackdown -- targeting terrorists and their alleged supporters -- members of the Somali community are feeling increasingly unwelcome.  Fed up with being the targets of raids and security sweeps in Kenya, some Somalis say they have had enough and have decided to come home (Voice of America – 7/05/14)

50 aliens deported to Somalia as Congolese protesting screening injure officer: According to Standard Media, fifty more illegal aliens have been deported to Somalia after they were found to be in Kenya illegally in the ongoing security operation. The aliens were deported after staying in custody for almost two weeks. (Standard Media – 8/05/14)

Kenya deports more illegal immigrants amid security crackdown: Kenyan authorities deported 50 more illegal immigrants to Somalia. (Xinhua – 8/05/14)

Kenya sounds alarm over influx of aliens from Ethiopia: Kenyan prisons in border towns are reportedly overburdened by the arrival of irregular migrants that are stretching capacity of the cells and causing serious health risks.  (Xinhua – 9/05/14)

Babies left behind as parents sent to camps in Kenya mass arrests: Young children are being left behind in Kenya while their parents are deported or sent to camps, rights groups said, as police have rounded up thousands of immigrants in an anti-terrorist operation. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 12/05/14)

Stop illegal deportations and spare vulnerable refugees U.N. tells Kenya as crackdown continues The UN refugee agency says Kenya should stop rounding up vulnerable urban refugees and readmit those whose lives are at risk after being deported to Somalia. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 22/05/14)

Kenya: Mass Deportation of Somalis: According to Human Rights Watch, the Kenyan authorities have deported 359 Somalis, including at least three registered refugees, since the start of their security crackdown in early April 2014. (Human Rights Watch – 23/05/14)

Somalia Warns Kenyan Refugee Expulsion Will Lead to ‘Chaos and Anarchy’: (Inter Press Service - 27/05/14)

25 suspected illegal aliens arrested in Kitengela: Police have arrested 25 Ethiopian nationals on their way to Tanzania for being in the country without valid documents. The men, in their early 20s, were found hidden in a house waiting to be ferried to South Africa through Tanzania. (Standard Media - 28/05/14)

500 Somali refugees sue to block exodus: The Kenyan government was put to task over a blanket directive to deport Somali refugees in the wake of crackdown on terror. A judge hearing a case challenging the directive wondered why in this day and era when the constitution calls for transparency, government agencies do not give enough information and clear directives. (The Star – 28/05/14) 


Qatar UN review: Crucial reforms needed to protect women and migrant workers: Ahead of Qatar’s Universal Periodic Review before the UN Human Rights Council, which takes place this month, Amnesty International has called on Qatar to introduce sweeping reforms to protect migrant workers in order to meet international standards.  (Amnesty International News  7/05/4)


UN Warns of Looming Food Crisis in Somalia: The United Nations warns that Somalia is at risk of another famine due to drought, rising food prices and the lingering threat posed by al-Shabab militants. The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia said that current situation in Somalia has “troubling similarities” with the conditions seen in the country before the famine declared in 2011 [in which hundreds of thousands of Somalis were displaced across international borders]. (Voice of America – 19/05/14)

My refugee journey: Jamal Osman's video diary: From Somalia to South Africa, reporter Jamal Osman retraces the journey he took as a desperate refugee, fleeing Somalia's brutal civil war 18 years ago.  (Channel 4 News – 14/05/14)

Somalia scraps meeting to protest Kenya’s illegal deportation of refugees: Somalia has pulled out of talks with Kenya in protest at Kenya’s illegal deportation of Somali refugees living in Kenyan cities. The two states were supposed to meet to discuss the voluntary return of Somali refugees to Somalia. (Thomson Reuters Foundation – 27/05/14) 


My refugee journey: Jamal Osman's video diary: From Somalia to South Africa, reporter Jamal Osman retraces the journey he took as a desperate refugee, fleeing Somalia's brutal civil war 18 years ago.(Channel 4 News – 14/05/14)


Obama offers $50 million to South Sudan refugees: The United States has offered an extra $50 million to help tackle a growing refugee crisis spawned by fighting in South Sudan. The $50 million in extra emergency aid will be part of a $300 million grant the US has pledged and will bring total US humanitarian assistance since the start of the conflict to $433.6 million. The UN says $1.26 billion is to avoid a major humanitarian crisis threatening millions of people.  (AFP – 20/05/14).

70,000 South Sudanese flee fighting since May truce: In South Sudan, the number of people fleeing fighting continues to rise almost three weeks on from a truce agreement. Since the signing of the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement on 9 May in Addis Ababa, the number of internally displaced people has grown by 46,000 people to 1,005,096. Over the same period, the number of South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda has swollen by over 20,000 to 370,000 people. (UNHCR News – 27/05/14)


Hundreds of exhausted migrants arrive in Sudan: Hundreds of exhausted illegal migrants reached the safety of a northern Sudanese town (Dongola) after 10 people died when human traffickers abandoned them in the desert. The migrants were rescued along the Libya-Sudan border by troops of both states. (AFP - 3/05/14)

Sudan brought 600 illegal immigrants to trial: Sudan authorities brought over 600 Sudanese and foreign illegal immigrants, including those rescued days earlier, to the Dongola Court as part of its intensified crackdown on crime and human trafficking. The court ordered the repatriation of all the foreigners who are mostly of Eritrean and Ethiopian nationality. (Tesfanews – 6/05/14)

Sudan: Stop deporting Eritreans: According to Human Rights Watch, 30 Eritreans (including 6 registered refugees) were deported to Eritrea recently. It alleges Sudan did not give UNHCR access to the deportees and that many more Eritreans currently in Sudanese detention for immigration offences are at risk of deportation.  (Human Rights Watch – 8/05/14)

Khartoum prepares for international conference on human trafficking: Sudan hosts a preparatory meeting for a conference that will be held in September to tackle irregular migration and human trafficking. Several central and east African states were said to have participated at the meetings organized by the African Union and the International Organization for Migration. Eastern Sudan in particular is believed to be serving as a passage to migrants from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia who seek to reach Europe with the help of human smugglers. (Sudan Tribune – 19/05/14)

Food shortage forces hundreds of refugees back into Sudan: Driven by hunger, hundreds of Sudanese refugees in South Sudan's Maban County have returned to Sudan's war-torn Blue Nile state in a desperate search for food. The UNHCR representative in South Sudan said that the right to asylum has little meaning if refugees do not have food.  (UNHCR News – 20/05/14)


Leading either to money or the sea: mixed migration from the Horn of Africa to Yemen: An overview of mixed migration along a route replete with protection risks. (Humanitarian Exchange Magazine -  05/14)

Yemen migrants held at torture camps Human Rights Watch releases a report alleging that traffickers in Yemen hold African migrants in detention camps, torturing them to extort payment from their families, with the complicity of local officials (Human Rights Watch – 25/05/14)


Zanu PF, MDC-T MPs clash over Trafficking in Persons Bill: Members of Parliament belonging to the ruling party have called for a national human trafficking law to be bulldozed through to avoid international financial sanctions. Opposition members in turn have criticized the government for dragging its feet in domesticating the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Human Trafficking. [While Zimbabwe signed the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in 2000, it acceded to the Human Trafficking Protocol in December 2013]. (News Day – 22/05/14)

Contact Us

Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat
DRC East Africa & Yemen
Lower Kabete Road
(Ngecha Road Junction)
P.O.Box 14762, 00800
Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: +254 709867 000


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