Monday, 11/12/2017 | 6:10 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire
  • New Analysis: 1 in 12 Children Face “Bleaker Prospects” Than Their Parents. Here’s Why

    By: Joanne Lu on December 06, 2017

    The future doesn’t look so bright for 180 million children.

    Despite major improvements in child well-being around the world over the last 20 years, a recent UNICEF analysis found that children in 37 countries face “bleaker prospects” than their parents in escaping poverty, getting a basic education and avoiding violent death.

    “While the last generation has seen vast, unprecedented gains in living standards for most of the world’s children, the fact that a forgotten minority of children have been excluded from this – through no fault of their own or those of their families – is a travesty,” Laurence Chandy, UNICEF director of data, research and policy, said in a press release.

    In 2015, the UN celebrated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the predecessor to the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – as the “most successful anti-poverty movement in history.” A 15-year collaborative push by nations and international organizations lifted more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, almost halved the proportion of people suffering from hunger and enrolled more children in primary school than ever before.

    “Yet for all the remarkable gains, I am keenly aware that inequalities persist and that progress has been uneven,” then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote in the UN’s final report of the MDGs.

    In 14 countries, the share of people living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.90 a day) has increased, mostly as a result of unrest, conflict or poor governance. Major conflicts in CAR, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen have also caused an increase in violent deaths among children under 19. Meanwhile, financial crises, rapid population growth and conflicts have led to decreased primary school enrollment in 21 countries.

    At least one of the three key indicators – escaping poverty, getting a basic education and avoiding violent death – were found to be declining in: Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guatemala, Guyana, Guinea-Bissau, Jordan, Iraq, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Paraguay, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tonga, United Republic of Tanzania, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    Three of the 37 countries – CAR, Syria and Yemen – saw a decline in two of the indicators, but South Sudan was the only country in which prospects for children were found to be declining in all three aspects.

    The thing is, children are keenly aware of what issues are making the greatest impact on their well-being and futures.

    In a separate UNICEF study, 9- to 18-year olds in all of the 14 countries surveyed identified poverty, poor education and terrorism as the foremost issues they wanted global leaders to work on. Also across all 14 countries, violence against children were the respondents’ greatest worry, with 67 percent saying they worried “a lot.”

    Sadly, nearly half of the children surveyed are not optimistic that adults and world leaders will make good decisions for children.

    “In a time of rapid technological change leading to huge gains in living standards, it is perverse that hundreds of millions are seeing living standards actually decline, creating a sense of injustice among them and failure among those entrusted with their care,” Chandy said. “No wonder they feel their voices are unheard and their futures uncertain.”

    There was leeway for uneven progress in many of the MDG targets, but the SDGs put forth ambitious goals for 2030, like “end poverty in all its forms everywhere,” “ensure inclusive and quality education for all” and “end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children.”

    As the global community tries to accelerate progress toward the SDGs, this latest report shows there is no room to leave anyone behind – especially children, who either will be the beneficiaries of a sustainable future, or will have to pick up the pieces.

    Discussion

    comments…

    Read more
  • New Analysis: 1 in 12 Children Face “Bleaker Prospects” Than Their Parents. Here’s Why

    By: Joanne Lu on December 06, 2017

    The future doesn’t look so bright for 180 million children.

    Despite major improvements in child well-being around the world over the last 20 years, a recent UNICEF analysis found that children in 37 countries face “bleaker prospects” than their parents in escaping poverty, getting a basic education and avoiding violent death.

    “While the last generation has seen vast, unprecedented gains in living standards for most of the world’s children, the fact that a forgotten minority of children have been excluded from this – through no fault of their own or those of their families – is a travesty,” Laurence Chandy, UNICEF director of data, research and policy, said in a press release.

    In 2015, the UN celebrated the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – the predecessor to the current Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – as the “most successful anti-poverty movement in history.” A 15-year collaborative push by nations and international organizations lifted more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, almost halved the proportion of people suffering from hunger and enrolled more children in primary school than ever before.

    “Yet for all the remarkable gains, I am keenly aware that inequalities persist and that progress has been uneven,” then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon wrote in the UN’s final report of the MDGs.

    In 14 countries, the share of people living in extreme poverty (on less than $1.90 a day) has increased, mostly as a result of unrest, conflict or poor governance. Major conflicts in CAR, Iraq, Libya, South Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen have also caused an increase in violent deaths among children under 19. Meanwhile, financial crises, rapid population growth and conflicts have led to decreased primary school enrollment in 21 countries.

    At least one of the three key indicators – escaping poverty, getting a basic education and avoiding violent death – were found to be declining in: Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guatemala, Guyana, Guinea-Bissau, Jordan, Iraq, Kiribati, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Paraguay, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tonga, United Republic of Tanzania, Ukraine, Vanuatu, Yemen, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

    Three of the 37 countries – CAR, Syria and Yemen – saw a decline in two of the indicators, but South Sudan was the only country in which prospects for children were found to be declining in all three aspects.

    The thing is, children are keenly aware of what issues are making the greatest impact on their well-being and futures.

    In a separate UNICEF study, 9- to 18-year olds in all of the 14 countries surveyed identified poverty, poor education and terrorism as the foremost issues they wanted global leaders to work on. Also across all 14 countries, violence against children were the respondents’ greatest worry, with 67 percent saying they worried “a lot.”

    Sadly, nearly half of the children surveyed are not optimistic that adults and world leaders will make good decisions for children.

    “In a time of rapid technological change leading to huge gains in living standards, it is perverse that hundreds of millions are seeing living standards actually decline, creating a sense of injustice among them and failure among those entrusted with their care,” Chandy said. “No wonder they feel their voices are unheard and their futures uncertain.”

    There was leeway for uneven progress in many of the MDG targets, but the SDGs put forth ambitious goals for 2030, like “end poverty in all its forms everywhere,” “ensure inclusive and quality education for all” and “end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against children.”

    As the global community tries to accelerate progress toward the SDGs, this latest report shows there is no room to leave anyone behind – especially children, who either will be the beneficiaries of a sustainable future, or will have to pick up the pieces.

    Discussion

    comments…

    Read more
  • What Libya’s “slave auctions” tell us about the humanitarian system

    In the wake of the CNN report on human auctions in Libya, there has rightly been a surge in concern for the thousands of Africans languishing in inhumane conditions in detention camps.

    Political leaders in Europe and Africa, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki, have condemned the situation.

    Notable also has been the spontaneous attention of African and African-American celebrities in the face of the silence by official Hollywood goodwill ambassadors for various international organisations.

    After years of flailing diplomacy and lonely advocacy, it seems the world is finally ready to talk about the humanitarian disaster in Libya.

    But while this new wave of attention is welcome and necessary, it does raise key questions.

    Why did it take so long to have this near-unified voice of condemnation on a well-researched and well-covered issue that has been in the public domain for the better part of the last decade? Why now and not before? And more importantly, what does this delayed reaction say about race and racism in international humanitarian work?

    The CNN film has had such a major impact in part because of the starkness of the imagery – the visuals reminiscent of the trans-Saharan and trans-Atlantic slave trades.

    Although the men in the videos are not shackled, they are certainly imprisoned and, in a later part of the film, they detail the dire conditions in which they are held. Rape, beatings, starvation and murder all recur with alarming frequency in this contemporary slave trade.

    The impact of injustice

    Yet this information is not new. International organisations, politicians, and journalists have all reported the dire conditions facing African migrants in Libya from at least 2010.

    Rather, this new urgency can be attributed in part to the rise of new forms of organising for racial justice.

    Specifically, the Black Lives Matter movement has broadened the concerns of global racial solidarity, not just in the United States where it was born, but also across other racially divided societies like South Africa and Brazil.

    Read more

    Since you’ve been gone – the families migrants leave behind

    Disposable Africians – migration and its consequences

    The forgotten frontline of the migration crisis

    EU strategy stems migrant flow from Niger, but at what cost? 

    African diasporas in France and in the United Kingdom have also organised chapters to fight local racial battles. The call for a new global compact for racial justice demanded in the streets of Baltimore, New York, Paris, Johannesburg, and Tel Aviv is finally being heard in offices in Geneva and New York.

    Is global humanitarianism ready to talk about race? 

    It should be, considering that anti-black racism is the elephant in the room when it comes to the protection of refugees and migrants.

    The vast majority of the world’s refugees and migrants today are Asian and African, unlike in the 1940s when the original instruments of protection were negotiated.

    Most of these people remain in their region of origin. South-South migration is common in Africa where, for example, 20,000 Ethiopians and Eritreans try to reach southern Africa every year.

    It’s important to situate contemporary human mobility in its proper place. With the notable exception of the cruel and inhumane global slave trade, the search for better opportunities, particularly in young men negotiating patriarchal masculinities, is – and has long been – common.

    But the rules have changed.

    In the 19th century as more and more young men took to the sea from southern Portugal as part of exploration and colonisation missions, the women they left behind would sing mournful songs, lamenting their departure and willing them to return safely, songs collectively known as Fado.

    Now, hundreds of thousands of young African men and women die on their journeys abroad – from the North African deserts to the Mediterranean Sea, primarily as a consequence of increasingly inhumane policies towards human mobility. They are unmourned except when families finally get word that they have gone missing.

    Criminalising migrants

    Unlike European men in the last century who were celebrated for leaving home in search of opportunity or even adventure, young African men today are criminalised and punished, especially when they try to enter predominantly white societies.

    Take another example. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh and have been largely welcomed, if under-resourced, while Australia expends much force and energy to keep hundreds of refugees violently contained on Manus Island. The same can be said of South Americans attempting to cross into the United States, and of course the frame of existential crisis that populist parties in Europe reserve for Muslim refugees from the Middle East.

    If there is a global crisis of migration it is that societies are resorting to increasingly draconian measures to keep “The Other” out.

    Contrast this panic with the treatment of predominantly white migrants or “expats”. Most countries in the world have migration policies that favour immigration by “expats” while penalising similar migration from predominantly black and brown populations.

    This includes African countries like Kenya, which has kept half a million Somali refugees encamped with no legal status or pathway to citizenship for over 25 years.

    On the campaign trail earlier this year, French President Emmanuel Macron emphatically offered France as a “second home” to American climate scientists concerned about the anti-science proclivities of Donald Trump’s administration.

    But when African and European leaders met in Abidjan last week, Macron was equivocal in offering the same emphatic welcome to African migrants held in the detention centres in Libya – regardless of their qualifications.

    Everyone wants “good migrants” – where “good” means primarily white and/or wealthy.

    Ignoring the suffering

    At the same time, consider that the barter of African bodies in Libya is not a question of a handful of criminals in the desert. It is a global system that rises to the highest level.

    Deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi routinely used the threat of allowing mass migration of black Africans to Europe in negotiations for improved political relations.

    European governments have repeatedly paid African countries to take and keep African migrants and refugees in Africa. Black and brown bodies are constantly on sale in the modern era, but it is couched in the polite language of diplomatic negotiation and “helping them where they are”.

    And the very act of feigning shock at information that has been in the public domain – reported by survivors and journalists alike – for so long speaks to an unwillingness to see the suffering of Africans.

    Race and racism are at the heart of the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, but, to date, humanitarianism has been reluctant to talk about it in stark terms.

    The preferred language of protection is dry and technical, linked to statutes and conventions that were drafted at the time of Jim Crow and independence movements around the world.

    Consider that the refugee convention entered into force in 1951 when most of Africa and the Caribbean was still colonised and three years before Brown v. Board of Education desegregated US schools.

    New voices

    The convention was not designed with ethnic minorities in mind and has struggled to adapt as the dynamics of refugee protection have shifted. It responded to the white-on-white crimes of World War II and is predicated on the goodwill of states towards citizens that arguably has never been extended to black or brown people.

    Which is probably why, less than a week later, the momentum triggered by the CNN film is already fading. The United States has pulled out of the new global compact on migration, and the document agreed upon by EU and AU leaders in Abidjan is widely viewed as weak.

    The stark visuals of the CNN report have forced a conversation on humanitarian protection to be openly and explicitly framed as a question of racial justice.

    This has allowed new voices and new advocacy into the conversation. It remains unclear if this new momentum and direction of thought will translate into more meaningful action for those on the move.

    nn/oa/ag

    Read more
  • What Libya’s “slave auctions” tell us about the humanitarian system

    In the wake of the CNN report on human auctions in Libya, there has rightly been a surge in concern for the thousands of Africans languishing in inhumane conditions in detention camps.

    Political leaders in Europe and Africa, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres and African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki, have condemned the situation.

    Notable also has been the spontaneous attention of African and African-American celebrities in the face of the silence by official Hollywood goodwill ambassadors for various international organisations.

    After years of flailing diplomacy and lonely advocacy, it seems the world is finally ready to talk about the humanitarian disaster in Libya.

    But while this new wave of attention is welcome and necessary, it does raise key questions.

    Why did it take so long to have this near-unified voice of condemnation on a well-researched and well-covered issue that has been in the public domain for the better part of the last decade? Why now and not before? And more importantly, what does this delayed reaction say about race and racism in international humanitarian work?

    The CNN film has had such a major impact in part because of the starkness of the imagery – the visuals reminiscent of the trans-Saharan and trans-Atlantic slave trades.

    Although the men in the videos are not shackled, they are certainly imprisoned and, in a later part of the film, they detail the dire conditions in which they are held. Rape, beatings, starvation and murder all recur with alarming frequency in this contemporary slave trade.

    The impact of injustice

    Yet this information is not new. International organisations, politicians, and journalists have all reported the dire conditions facing African migrants in Libya from at least 2010.

    Rather, this new urgency can be attributed in part to the rise of new forms of organising for racial justice.

    Specifically, the Black Lives Matter movement has broadened the concerns of global racial solidarity, not just in the United States where it was born, but also across other racially divided societies like South Africa and Brazil.

    Read more

    Since you’ve been gone – the families migrants leave behind

    Disposable Africians – migration and its consequences

    The forgotten frontline of the migration crisis

    EU strategy stems migrant flow from Niger, but at what cost? 

    African diasporas in France and in the United Kingdom have also organised chapters to fight local racial battles. The call for a new global compact for racial justice demanded in the streets of Baltimore, New York, Paris, Johannesburg, and Tel Aviv is finally being heard in offices in Geneva and New York.

    Is global humanitarianism ready to talk about race? 

    It should be, considering that anti-black racism is the elephant in the room when it comes to the protection of refugees and migrants.

    The vast majority of the world’s refugees and migrants today are Asian and African, unlike in the 1940s when the original instruments of protection were negotiated.

    Most of these people remain in their region of origin. South-South migration is common in Africa where, for example, 20,000 Ethiopians and Eritreans try to reach southern Africa every year.

    It’s important to situate contemporary human mobility in its proper place. With the notable exception of the cruel and inhumane global slave trade, the search for better opportunities, particularly in young men negotiating patriarchal masculinities, is – and has long been – common.

    But the rules have changed.

    In the 19th century as more and more young men took to the sea from southern Portugal as part of exploration and colonisation missions, the women they left behind would sing mournful songs, lamenting their departure and willing them to return safely, songs collectively known as Fado.

    Now, hundreds of thousands of young African men and women die on their journeys abroad – from the North African deserts to the Mediterranean Sea, primarily as a consequence of increasingly inhumane policies towards human mobility. They are unmourned except when families finally get word that they have gone missing.

    Criminalising migrants

    Unlike European men in the last century who were celebrated for leaving home in search of opportunity or even adventure, young African men today are criminalised and punished, especially when they try to enter predominantly white societies.

    Take another example. Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh and have been largely welcomed, if under-resourced, while Australia expends much force and energy to keep hundreds of refugees violently contained on Manus Island. The same can be said of South Americans attempting to cross into the United States, and of course the frame of existential crisis that populist parties in Europe reserve for Muslim refugees from the Middle East.

    If there is a global crisis of migration it is that societies are resorting to increasingly draconian measures to keep “The Other” out.

    Contrast this panic with the treatment of predominantly white migrants or “expats”. Most countries in the world have migration policies that favour immigration by “expats” while penalising similar migration from predominantly black and brown populations.

    This includes African countries like Kenya, which has kept half a million Somali refugees encamped with no legal status or pathway to citizenship for over 25 years.

    On the campaign trail earlier this year, French President Emmanuel Macron emphatically offered France as a “second home” to American climate scientists concerned about the anti-science proclivities of Donald Trump’s administration.

    But when African and European leaders met in Abidjan last week, Macron was equivocal in offering the same emphatic welcome to African migrants held in the detention centres in Libya – regardless of their qualifications.

    Everyone wants “good migrants” – where “good” means primarily white and/or wealthy.

    Ignoring the suffering

    At the same time, consider that the barter of African bodies in Libya is not a question of a handful of criminals in the desert. It is a global system that rises to the highest level.

    Deposed Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi routinely used the threat of allowing mass migration of black Africans to Europe in negotiations for improved political relations.

    European governments have repeatedly paid African countries to take and keep African migrants and refugees in Africa. Black and brown bodies are constantly on sale in the modern era, but it is couched in the polite language of diplomatic negotiation and “helping them where they are”.

    And the very act of feigning shock at information that has been in the public domain – reported by survivors and journalists alike – for so long speaks to an unwillingness to see the suffering of Africans.

    Race and racism are at the heart of the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, but, to date, humanitarianism has been reluctant to talk about it in stark terms.

    The preferred language of protection is dry and technical, linked to statutes and conventions that were drafted at the time of Jim Crow and independence movements around the world.

    Consider that the refugee convention entered into force in 1951 when most of Africa and the Caribbean was still colonised and three years before Brown v. Board of Education desegregated US schools.

    New voices

    The convention was not designed with ethnic minorities in mind and has struggled to adapt as the dynamics of refugee protection have shifted. It responded to the white-on-white crimes of World War II and is predicated on the goodwill of states towards citizens that arguably has never been extended to black or brown people.

    Which is probably why, less than a week later, the momentum triggered by the CNN film is already fading. The United States has pulled out of the new global compact on migration, and the document agreed upon by EU and AU leaders in Abidjan is widely viewed as weak.

    The stark visuals of the CNN report have forced a conversation on humanitarian protection to be openly and explicitly framed as a question of racial justice.

    This has allowed new voices and new advocacy into the conversation. It remains unclear if this new momentum and direction of thought will translate into more meaningful action for those on the move.

    nn/oa/ag

    Read more
  • EU Trust Fund for Africa: new programmes adopted to reinforce protection of migrants and fight against smugglers and traffickers

    These new programmes will step up the EU’s ongoing work to strengthening protection of migrants, support sustainable reintegration and provide assisted voluntary returns. The programmes will also contribute to fight criminal networks across the region.

    High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “Last week we established a joint EU/AU/UN Task Force to accelerate our work to protect migrants and refugees and fight the criminal networks. With these new programmes, we will step up our commitments, save lives, guarantee the respect of human rights and of international standards, provide alternatives to those wishing to return to their homes and support to host communities. We already assisted over 14,000 people stranded in Libya to return and will support an additional 15,000 returns by February 2018. And we will support our partners to counter traffickers and smugglers, assisting them in bringing peace and security to the region.”   

    Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said: “The current challenges in the Mediterranean Sea remain a top priority for the European Union. The EU Trust Fund for Africa continues to take action to tackle the root causes of irregular migration and to defend the rights of people who risk falling into the hands of traffickers and smugglers. With our new programmes, we will help dismantle criminal networks in North of Africa, support migrants who wish to return to their home countries and facilitate access for migrants to legal advice. We will also promote socio-economic integration in Morocco and will foster socio-economic development of the Libyan Municipalities”.

    Regional programme Facility for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa, €10 million

    This programme will be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and will further contribute to the ongoing efforts under the assistance voluntary return scheme. It will strengthen protection of migrants, support sustainable reintegration systems in North Africa and provide assisted voluntary return to migrants wishing to return to their home from Northern Africa. This Facility is conceived as a regional flexible mechanism able to adapt to the specific needs of the countries. This is yet another action towards enhancing support to stranded migrants as well as reinforcing national return and reintegration systems across the North of Africa region.

    Regional programme Dismantling the criminal networks operating in North Africa and involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking, €15 million

    This project will focus on regional dimension of fight against smugglers and traffickers. It will target the public sector of the countries in the region (in particular the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Finance, and Health). Under this programme, implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), capacity-building as well as light equipment, such as IT and forensic tools, will be provided to actors dealing with law enforcement and criminal justice. The final beneficiaries will be the general public, victims of trafficking, smuggled migrants, and families of the latter two categories.

    Morocco Legal Empowerment for migrants, €4.58 million

    This programme implemented by the Belgian Technical Cooperation will reinforce the protection and resilience of migrants and refugees, displaced persons and host communities in Morocco. Whilst strengthening awareness on their rights and access to legal counselling, the project will also contribute to promote the socio-economic integration of migrants and facilitate migrants’ integration in the Moroccan society. This is a new very specific action complementing the EU support to the implementation of the Moroccan National Strategy on Migration (SNIA). The programme will support actors who help migrants and refugees access to their rights, such as lawyers, students, civil society associations and justice staff. It will develop and create legal clinics in Rabat, Casablanca, Tanger and Oujda.

    Objectives for 2018

    The Commission also outlined the priorities of the EUTF/North of Africa window for 2018. The situation in Libya will remain a top priority, with on the one hand increased efforts for the protection of migrants and refugees, including through the support for additional assisted voluntary returns and support for evacuation of the most vulnerable ones (in line with the recent decision of the EU-African Union summit); and on the other hand support to host communities. More specifically, funding will be provided to the UNHCR’s evacuation mechanism through the EUTF and discussions with the IOM on additional measures under the assisted voluntary return scheme are being finalised. The Commission is also working together with Italy on a new initiative to be presented to the Operational Committee early in 2018, which is aimed at fostering the socio-economic development of the Libyan Municipalities, on the basis of needs of local authorities and in close coordination with the PC/Government of National Accord (GNA).

    For More Information

    Valletta Declaration and Action Plan

    Communication of 25 January 2017: Migration on the Central Mediterranean route. Managing flows, saving lives

    Annex to the Communication

    Malta Declaration of 3 February 2017

    ‘North of Africa Window’ of the EU Emergency Trust Fund

    Regional programme – Facility for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa

    Morocco – Legal Empowerment for migrants

    Regional programme – Dismantling the criminal networks operating in North Africa and involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking

    Read more
  • EU Trust Fund for Africa: new programmes adopted to reinforce protection of migrants and fight against smugglers and traffickers

    These new programmes will step up the EU’s ongoing work to strengthening protection of migrants, support sustainable reintegration and provide assisted voluntary returns. The programmes will also contribute to fight criminal networks across the region.

    High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “Last week we established a joint EU/AU/UN Task Force to accelerate our work to protect migrants and refugees and fight the criminal networks. With these new programmes, we will step up our commitments, save lives, guarantee the respect of human rights and of international standards, provide alternatives to those wishing to return to their homes and support to host communities. We already assisted over 14,000 people stranded in Libya to return and will support an additional 15,000 returns by February 2018. And we will support our partners to counter traffickers and smugglers, assisting them in bringing peace and security to the region.”   

    Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said: “The current challenges in the Mediterranean Sea remain a top priority for the European Union. The EU Trust Fund for Africa continues to take action to tackle the root causes of irregular migration and to defend the rights of people who risk falling into the hands of traffickers and smugglers. With our new programmes, we will help dismantle criminal networks in North of Africa, support migrants who wish to return to their home countries and facilitate access for migrants to legal advice. We will also promote socio-economic integration in Morocco and will foster socio-economic development of the Libyan Municipalities”.

    Regional programme Facility for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa, €10 million

    This programme will be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and will further contribute to the ongoing efforts under the assistance voluntary return scheme. It will strengthen protection of migrants, support sustainable reintegration systems in North Africa and provide assisted voluntary return to migrants wishing to return to their home from Northern Africa. This Facility is conceived as a regional flexible mechanism able to adapt to the specific needs of the countries. This is yet another action towards enhancing support to stranded migrants as well as reinforcing national return and reintegration systems across the North of Africa region.

    Regional programme Dismantling the criminal networks operating in North Africa and involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking, €15 million

    This project will focus on regional dimension of fight against smugglers and traffickers. It will target the public sector of the countries in the region (in particular the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Finance, and Health). Under this programme, implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), capacity-building as well as light equipment, such as IT and forensic tools, will be provided to actors dealing with law enforcement and criminal justice. The final beneficiaries will be the general public, victims of trafficking, smuggled migrants, and families of the latter two categories.

    Morocco Legal Empowerment for migrants, €4.58 million

    This programme implemented by the Belgian Technical Cooperation will reinforce the protection and resilience of migrants and refugees, displaced persons and host communities in Morocco. Whilst strengthening awareness on their rights and access to legal counselling, the project will also contribute to promote the socio-economic integration of migrants and facilitate migrants’ integration in the Moroccan society. This is a new very specific action complementing the EU support to the implementation of the Moroccan National Strategy on Migration (SNIA). The programme will support actors who help migrants and refugees access to their rights, such as lawyers, students, civil society associations and justice staff. It will develop and create legal clinics in Rabat, Casablanca, Tanger and Oujda.

    Objectives for 2018

    The Commission also outlined the priorities of the EUTF/North of Africa window for 2018. The situation in Libya will remain a top priority, with on the one hand increased efforts for the protection of migrants and refugees, including through the support for additional assisted voluntary returns and support for evacuation of the most vulnerable ones (in line with the recent decision of the EU-African Union summit); and on the other hand support to host communities. More specifically, funding will be provided to the UNHCR’s evacuation mechanism through the EUTF and discussions with the IOM on additional measures under the assisted voluntary return scheme are being finalised. The Commission is also working together with Italy on a new initiative to be presented to the Operational Committee early in 2018, which is aimed at fostering the socio-economic development of the Libyan Municipalities, on the basis of needs of local authorities and in close coordination with the PC/Government of National Accord (GNA).

    For More Information

    Valletta Declaration and Action Plan

    Communication of 25 January 2017: Migration on the Central Mediterranean route. Managing flows, saving lives

    Annex to the Communication

    Malta Declaration of 3 February 2017

    ‘North of Africa Window’ of the EU Emergency Trust Fund

    Regional programme – Facility for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa

    Morocco – Legal Empowerment for migrants

    Regional programme – Dismantling the criminal networks operating in North Africa and involved in migrant smuggling and human trafficking

    Read more
  • Activities of Secretary-General in Côte d’Ivoire, 27–30 November

    United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres left New York on Monday, 27 November to attend the fifth African Union‑European Union Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  He arrived in Abidjan late on Tuesday, 28 November.

    On Wednesday, the Secretary‑General held bilateral meetings with the following Heads of State:  President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire; President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé of Togo.

    In the morning, he attended a trilateral meeting with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat; the President of the European Commission, Jean‑Claude Juncker; and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice‑President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini.  They agreed to put in place a joint African Union‑European Union‑United Nations task force to save and protect the lives of migrants and refugees along the routes, and in particular inside Libya, accelerating the assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin and the resettlement of those in need of international protection.

    Following a working luncheon hosted by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Secretary-General addressed the opening ceremony of the Summit.  He said that there was a need to change the relationship with Africa and establish a new cooperation platform that recognizes the huge potential of the continent.  (See Press Release SG/SM/18803.)

    He then met with representatives of the United Nations country team.

    The Secretary-General left Côte d’Ivoire on Wednesday night, 29 November, and arrived back in New York on Thursday afternoon, 30 November.

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  • Activities of Secretary-General in Côte d’Ivoire, 27–30 November

    United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres left New York on Monday, 27 November to attend the fifth African Union‑European Union Summit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.  He arrived in Abidjan late on Tuesday, 28 November.

    On Wednesday, the Secretary‑General held bilateral meetings with the following Heads of State:  President Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire; President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé of Togo.

    In the morning, he attended a trilateral meeting with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat; the President of the European Commission, Jean‑Claude Juncker; and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice‑President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini.  They agreed to put in place a joint African Union‑European Union‑United Nations task force to save and protect the lives of migrants and refugees along the routes, and in particular inside Libya, accelerating the assisted voluntary returns to countries of origin and the resettlement of those in need of international protection.

    Following a working luncheon hosted by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Secretary-General addressed the opening ceremony of the Summit.  He said that there was a need to change the relationship with Africa and establish a new cooperation platform that recognizes the huge potential of the continent.  (See Press Release SG/SM/18803.)

    He then met with representatives of the United Nations country team.

    The Secretary-General left Côte d’Ivoire on Wednesday night, 29 November, and arrived back in New York on Thursday afternoon, 30 November.

    Read more

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