Debates over EU responsibility to rescue and save these migrants from drowning have become more contentious in recent years and at the center of the current debate are the humanitarian NGOs trying to fill the gap left by the EU’s increasingly draconian migration policies.
Colombia marked a major milestone this week in ending its 52 year-long conflict with FARC when the UN certified disarmament of the rebel group as complete. This is a step — and a very consequential one — toward an enduring peace for the country.Still, despite this accomplishment, the road to a lasting peace is still quite long–with some big obstacles in the way.
Afghanistan is witnessing a particularly violent month with multiple bombings, street protests and a violent crackdown by police.And in this mayhem, several countries are actively deporting Afghan refugees back to the country.
Today marks World Refugee Day. Once again, this past year was record breaking for refugees and the forcibly displaced, albeit all the wrong records.Refugee hosting and resettlement remains a controversial topic among the countries most able to contribute, while new crises threaten to continue to overwhelm the international refugee system.
The Battle of Mosul that began last October is becoming increasingly deadly for the civilians still trapped in the city. Recent reports of civilian casulaties have led to questions about the level of scrutiny potential targets are given before being attacked. Further afield, the growing death toll also raises questions about criminal accountability for these civilian deaths — both now and in the future.
A member of the court since 2003, there is ample evidence that serious crimes have been committed in Afghanistan by all sides of the conflict. But the prospect of opening a formal investigation there also means that US forces and officials could come under scrutiny by the ICC, a development that could have major ramifications for the court.
It is understandable that policymakers would want to clamp down on drug use within the country. But after campaigning for tough reforms, the approach that Duterte and his government is taking has shocked people both inside and outside the country.
Nearly a year of protests against land reform issues and heavy-handed government policies is starting to take its toll on Ethiopia, who earlier this month announced a six-month state of emergency. Often hailed as a rising star and economic stronghold of Africa, the growing discontent highlights the limits of authoritarian development as well as the hypocrisy of the West when it comes to human rights abuses.
This week France started the long-awaited shutdown of the notorious Jungle refugee camp outside the city of Calais. Billed as a humanitarian measure, the eviction of nearly 7,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the camp is becoming just as controversial as the camp itself as questions remain about what will happen to those who once called the Jungle home.
According to the International Organization for Migration, for at least the third year in a row the Mediterranean represents the most deadly migratory route in the world. With three main methods of crossing the Mediterranean, known deaths in the Mediterranean account for almost 75 percent of global migrant deaths.
Delegates of the Refugee Congress meet with members of the U.S. Congress as part of their national meeting. Sharing their stories, of how they came to the U.S. and their experiences once here, gives insight to the lawmakers responsible for setting refugee policy and programs designed to help new refugees integrate into their new lives in America.
Yesterday saw the trial of Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi at the International Criminal Court for the intentional destruction of world heritage shrines in Timbuktu during the 2012 occupation of the city by the Islamic rebel group Ansar Dine. The trial marks two important milestones for the court: this is the first time a suspect plead guilty, and also the first case of cultural destruction as a war crime.
Australia announced yesterday that it would be closing its controversial migrant detention center on Manus island in Papua New Guinea following a court order earlier this year. Refugee and human rights groups welcomed the announcement, although it remains unclear what lays ahead for the more than 800 asylum seekers currently housed at Manus and the many others in the same situation at other offshore detention facilities.
At a time when immigration has again become a hot-button political topic across the West, President Obama announced new measures last month to help people from Central America escape the daily violence that defines many of their lives.
Despite being considered one of the most stable democracies of southern Africa, Zambia is facing a serious political crisis ahead of local, parliamentary, presidential elections and a constitutional referendum. With only a week left before the polls, changes to the constitution, questionable appointments to the Constitutional Court and an expected close election makes many observers worried that a contested result is now an inevitable outcome.
Earlier this month, Turkey experienced a surprising coup attempt that shocked the country and international community. A week later, the aftermath is still unfolding. However current developments highlight that while Turkey survived the coup attempt, democracy there is still under threat.
The Brexit fallout contains multitudes, and there is now a good chance that thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants will soon have a far easier time making it to British soil. This could bring the Syrian refugee crisis to the UK in a way it has largely escaped until now.
Three months after the EU-Turkey deal went into effect, very few of the estimated 2,000 refugees on the Greek island of Chios feel lucky. Instead, out of the international spotlight and with no information on what their future may hold, they feel forgotten and left behind.
The regional organization is facing serious problems due to severe budget shortfalls and deeply divided opinions on how to address the ongoing political and economic crisis facing Venezuela. The crisis could have profound implications for human rights, stability and the rule of law in the Americas.
Unlike other refugee groups that fall under the mandate of UNHCR with the 1951 Refugee Convention, the UN created the Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in 1949. The long-standing nature of a temporary agency has led to some unique challenges in serving those who have held refugee status for 66 years.
The World Humanitarian Summit set out to coordinate an international relief effort by asking attendees to commit to specific action on issues from education to emergency response. Some participants were optimistic about the outcome, but there was also skepticism from aid agencies and humanitarian observers.
The World Humanitarian Summit ended yesterday evening — and though it may come as a surprise to many, much of the discussion in Istanbul focused squarely on the Sustainable Development Goals – the set of 17 anti-poverty goals established at the United Nations Summit last September.
UN Dispatch talked with Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council and special advisor to the Syrian peace talks on the issue of humanitarian access and the protection of civilian. As one of the largest organizations in the world working on the issue of displacement, Egeland is in a great position to explain what needs to come out of the summit, as well as what needs to be done now.
As the international community met in Istanbul today to call for greater accountability in adhering to humanitarian law and upholding the rights of those forcibly displaced around the world, the Greek government announced that it plans to clear a large refugee camp that has built up at the Macedonian border.
Of the many aims of the World Humanitarian Summit, one at the top of the list is reshaping the way aid is funded and delivered. A two-way approach – targeting both donors and service providers – is called the Grand Bargain, and it is driving much of the discussion here in Istanbul.
The international community meets next week in Istanbul for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit. Over the course of two days, key issues such as humanitarian financing and the global refugee crisis will be discussed as governments, aid agencies and the private sector try to develop a new way forward in addressing humanitarian needs.
As the international community prepares to address the ongoing needs of the global refugee crisis at the World Humanitarian Summit later this month, it got a nasty surprise last week when Kenya announced it would be closing the Dadaab refugee camp in central Kenya.
More than 20 years after the Bosnian war ended, the International Criminal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) convicted Radovan Karadžić on 10 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and violations of the customs of war. There are hopes that the verdict will serve as an important step for Bosnians to move on from a war that ended more than two decades ago.
While there are many reasons to believe the deal made between the EU and Turkey to stop the flow of refugees will ultimately fail, its existence highlights the lengths Europe is willing to go to get refugees off its doorstep, regardless of the potential human cost.
Today the International Criminal Court reached an historic decision, finding former Congolese vice president Jean-Pierre Bemba guilty of murder, rape and pillaging. This verdict marks the first ICC conviction for rape and gender based violence.