Hundreds of thousands of refugees continue to flee conflict and political instability in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Many times, one of the only items they carry with them, their only safety net, is their phone. Phones provide access to information and connection to loved ones. Learn just how important these phones can be by watching the following video (best viewed from a mobile device).Read More
“Afghan Girl”: 12 year old Sharbat Gula had a face that not many could forget after her photo was featured in National Geographic. Gula’s photo was taken in a refugee camp in Pakistan in 1984. Her green eyes mesmerized and made her well known around the world. Gula’s photo helped put a focus on the thousands of Afghani refugees fleeing conflict with the Soviets.Read More
Ayasha H.* believes that her father is dead. He has been missing since the middle of 2013, when they lost each other during a chaotic night on the Iranian-Turkish border. Now, the 16-year-old is sitting with her mother in Birgit Koch’s office at the GRC Tracing Service in Nuremburg. One unfamiliar face after the other appears on the computer screen. Ayasha’s mother stares at the images, holding her daughter’s hand tight.
Early in September 2015, Ayasha and her mother Saida* travelled from Afghanistan to Germany with her four siblings: one brother and three sisters. Exactly two months and 24 days after fleeing – Ayasha counted – they finally reached Germany and claimed asylum.Read More
Shafiq wanted to study in Europe. He has now disappeared, like thousands of other Afghan migrants on the Balkan route.
Imagine how it must feel when your 15-year-old son calls you from Iran and asks your permission to go to Europe. This was the situation facing Haji Ghulam Mohammad in October last year. Shafiq was studying in Iran and staying with relatives there. Other relatives arrived from Afghanistan en route to Europe, and offered to take him with them.Read More
On February 23, the Macedonian government tightened its immigration restrictions on those entering the country from Greece by reclassifying those coming from Afghanistan as economic migrants rather than refugees, effectively banning them from applying for asylum within Macedonia. The move came after a similar decision by the Serbian government, and the immediate result was thousands of Afghans left stranded on the Greek side of the border with nowhere to go. This further congested the flow of refugees from other countries trying to cross from Greece.
Frustration erupted in a full-scale riot in the Greek border town of Idomeni on Friday, when Macedonia temporarily closed the border to all. Crowds of hopeful passers ran to the border and proceeded to push down a razor-wire fence on the Macedonian side, resulting in the use of violence and tear gas by Macedonian authorities. The Greek minister for migration, Ioannis Mouzalas, stated that the estimated number of people trapped in Greece "will be between 50,000 and 70,000" before the end of this month.Read More