This Week in Restoring Family Links News 08/10/15 - 08/14/15

Do you follow @intlfamilylinks (Restoring Family Links’ account) on Twitter? See an interesting article but just don’t have the time to read it? “This Week in RFL News” is a weekly blog segment that highlights and summarizes some of the news items posted by RFL’s twitter.

Greek Islands: On top of Greece’s financial crisis, the country is now struggling to cope with another crisis that has escalated just as quickly – the number of migrants and refugees arriving on Greece’s has surged dramatically, especially over the past few weeks, with 100-500 refugees arriving daily to the island of Kos. Reports describe conditions in Kos to be “wretched” and “shameful” UNHCR spokesman William Spindler said in a statement, "migrants have to endure inadequate living conditions and little or no assistance. We call on the Greek authorities to renew their efforts to provide decent reception conditions to refugees arriving in Greece."

Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

Yannis Behrakis/Reuters

This week, several reports circulated about chaos, abuse, and violence in Kos due to a sudden influx of migrants. After making it to shore, hundreds of migrants were relocated to a stadium and trapped inside for 18 hours in efforts to “maintain order”, police claim. Already famished from their boat journeys, many suffered dehydration after staying in the sports stadium with no food or water. Police officers also used batons and sprayed fire extinguishers in attempts to control chaos at registration areas, with one officer stabbing a man with a knife. "This situation on the island is out of control,” Kos Mayor Yorgos Kyritis said. “There is a real danger of uncontrollable situations. Blood will be shed."

On Tuesday, Greece and its international lenders reached a multi-billion euro bailout agreement after months of negotiations. In regards to the “Grefugee Crisis,” as 124,000 have arrived in Greece so far this year, Greece will undoubtedly need to address the situation moving forward.

Refugee being airlifted to safety / Reuters

Refugee being airlifted to safety / Reuters

Mediterranean Migration: Last week, we reported on the boat that capsized off the coast of Libya that carried over 600 migrants en route to the European Union. 25 bodies were found, and more than 200 are feared drowned from the incident. This week, the boat rescues continued. Up to 50 migrants are feared missing after Italian rescuers spotted a large, deflated raft on Wednesday. The raft was expected to have carried over 100 migrants, and Italian navy ships were able to rescue 52 of them. On Tuesday alone, Italian coastguard stated it had coordinated the rescue of more than 1,500 migrants from seven different vessels. Based on figures from this year, the Mediterranean has become the world's most deadly crossing zones for migrants. Last year, 3,279 migrants died in the efforts to cross the Mediterranean, and 2,000 have died so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration. 

Restoring Family Links in Italy: After a woman gave birth to a baby girl while living in a Nazi labor camp, German soldiers forced the woman to give her newborn daughter away. After so many years, the woman never thought she would see her daughter again. However, 71 years later, with the help of the Italian Red Cross and ICRC reconnecting families services,  the mother and daughter were reunited in Italy. This story was published on Tuesday, August 12 by The Washington Post! Check it out!