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.
Refugees in Europe: Refugees continue flocking to Europe despite the increasing harsh conditions of the approaching winter. Meanwhile, many European responses have focused on security and limiting the flow of refugees and migrants. Hungary’s response has included detaining asylum seekers for weeks at a time. Macedonia’s recent decision to only allow Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghans to cross the border with Greece has pit refugees against migrants who argue that while their countries may not be at war, they still have legitimate asylum claims. Meanwhile, after a deal with the European Union, Turkey has stepped up its own security measures and started to detain migrants attempting to reach Greece. These responses have compounded the hardships and challenges faced by refugee children, who make up one in five refugees in Europe.
The following video is a powerful visual of the vulnerabilities of refugees arriving in Europe, and underscores the need to place protection first.
US Refugee Resettlement: Following statements made by over 25 state governors in the US that they will not accept Syrian refugees, the federal government reminded them that “States may not deny...services to refugees based on a refugee’s country of origin or religious affiliation.” Granted if a bill passed by the US House of Representatives placing further restrictions and regulations on the resettlement of Syrian refugees passes the Senate, it may be a long while before any state sees an increase in the number of resettled refugees from Syria. Human Rights Watch this week launched a campaign calling for individuals to urge their Senators to reject that bill.
As the United States looks to further complicate refugee resettlement, Canada has moved to expedite it. The Canadian government has opened up a refugee processing center in Amman, Jordan to bring 25,000 Syrians to Canada by February 2016. Innovative humanitarian solutions such as this are a leading example of what other refugee resettlement nations could (and should) be doing.
International Days of Remembrance: This week, the international community celebrated World Aids Day and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. While HIV infection rates are declining around the world, experts urge for increased protections and services for vulnerable refugees and migrants, as people in transit often do not have access to the necessary medicine and medical attention they need. Special focus has also been given to refugees and migrants with disabilities as the challenges faced while on the move are multiplied for these populations.