Tag Archives: European refugee crisis

Strong partnership with North Africa lacking but necessary in Europe’s refugee response

By Luca Orfanò When on 3 October 2013, a boat carrying migrants from Libya to Italy sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa, the entire world witnessed the ineptitude of the world’s richest continent in front of a group of terrorized and desperate refugees. That night, more than 350 women, children and men lost their […]

“Why does the media keep showing those same pictures?” A Greek host community’s ongoing struggle

By Erika Frydenlund The storybook setting of Molyvos, on the serene island of Lesvos, Greece, makes it easy to overlook the profound changes to the community wrought by the Syrian refugee crisis. Narrow cobblestone roads wind dramatically up the hillside, and small restaurants boast spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea and the shores of Turkey […]

Lives interrupted: impossible choices for Afghans in Greece

We saw the mob move towards us in the dimly lit night: twenty agitated men clutching sticks and stones. I grabbed Afsana’s hand and pulled her forwards, running down the railway track towards the police hut. We found the police watching TV. I pleaded for protection, willing them to accompany us to the tent where […]

The Forgotten Soldiers of Lesvos

By Shala Gafary The Trump supporters were right — militants are among the refugees arriving in Europe. Men who know how shoot a gun, kill their enemy, and pluck an aircraft of the sky. They are fanatic in their beliefs and relentless in their objectives. Our land is ours and we are willing to give up our […]

No endless summer of welcome: volunteerism in Germany since 2015

The so-called ‘European refugee crisis’ of 2015 – during which over 1 million people applied for asylum in Germany – was not perceived as a crisis by the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who rushed enthusiastically to assist them. The enthusiasm has dimmed since then owing to changing public perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers […]

A shout out to men of fighting age

‘They’re men of fighting age!’ scream the headlines, conjuring up images of threatening brutes. Aggressive rhetoric and hyperbole have coloured the migration debate in the UK throughout 2016, targeting young, male refugees in particular. British MP David Davies claims refugees are not ‘averse to lying about their ages’, and should undergo dental checks, sparking a […]

Book review: fiction captures the complex realities of Calais life

This summer, an independent publishing company in London released a book of short stories in an effort to bring more attention to the refugee crisis in Europe.  Titled breach, the book, though fiction, is based on the interviews that authors Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes conducted in the Calais refugee camp in northern France, in […]

A warning from an Australian: do not let your immigration detention centres out of sight

I’ve been living on Lesbos since November. As a volunteer, and then as an NGO employee, I moved freely in and out of temporary accommodation sites for refugees (otherwise known as refugee camps) doing my daily work. When the EU-Turkey deal came into force and the EU started deporting newcomers to Turkey, the camps on […]

Losing souls to save face: the EU-Turkey deal

There are only six kilometres in the strait of Mytilene between Lesvos and the Ayvalik islands in Turkey. In the summer the deep blues of the eastern Aegean are complemented by a backdrop of lush green and yellow hills from the surrounding islands. In the winter the calm seas swell to short sharp waves as […]

Facebook, flyers and drone surveillance: information and politics in refugee protection

The European refugee crisis highlights the competing interests of control and protection when dealing with irregular migration. States and refugees have opposing needs for information, while agencies that try to protect migrants sit uneasily in the middle. Ghaith, a young law student from Syria, crosses ten borders on his journey from Damascus to Gothenburg. Retold […]