Humanitarian Crisis

Voices of Idlib

Humanitarian Fallout of Conflict ICG The Syrian war grinds lethally on, as regime forces move to recapture rebel-held areas. In our first-ever illustrated commentary, Crisis Group explores one holdout, Idlib, where three million Syrians – many already displaced – chafe at jihadist rule but dread the coming onslaught. Voices of Idlib… Read More »

483 drown in the Mediterranean while rescue ships are trapped in port

On 10 June 2018 Italy’s new government closed its ports to NGO rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean Sea, leaving the humanitarian vessel Aquarius adrift with 639 migrants on board.  Shortly after another NGO ship, Lifeline, was also turned away. Care4Calais The two ships were finally allowed to dock in Malta following a tense agreement that the people on board would be relocated within the EU. On 2 July, the Sea Watch-3, which was by then the only operating rescue ... Read More »

Rohingya crisis: Bangladesh to deploy thousands of police to refugee camps to improve safety

Bangladesh is deploying thousands of extra police to Rohingya refugee camps in the south, officials said, after a series of mostly unexplained killings that have sown fear among hundreds of thousands of people who have fled from… Reuters ABC Since August, when a military crackdown in Myanmar forced many of the Muslim minority to cross the border into Bangladesh and seek shelter in the crowded camps, 19 people, some of them community leaders, have been killed. Police have made a ... Read More »

EU leaders reach breakthrough deal on migrant crisis

Brussels: European leaders meeting to solve the continent’s migrant crisis have reached a a deal of sorts after all-night talks in Brussels to overcome Italian demands for more help. The Canberra Times, Reuters, AP They struggled to overcome deep divisions at the tense summit that yielded vague pledges to strengthen external borders and explore new migrant centres. The meeting underscored how Europe’s 2015 spike in immigration continues to haunt the bloc despite a sharp drop in arrivals of people fleeing conflict ... Read More »

Aid agencies warn cholera and catastrophe loom in Yemen

As fighting rages for control of the key port of Hodeidah, there are fears that the harbor will be closed, cutting off vital supplies to millions Jonathan Gorvett Asia Times With fighting continuing in and around the key port city of Hodeidah, aid agencies warned this week that disruption caused by the battle could trigger another cholera epidemic in Yemen – and spell disaster for the millions in the country now dependent on imported… “If the harbour is closed, it ... Read More »

What is Europe’s migration fight about?

Europe can’t agree how to deal with migrants and refugees — here’s why. By JACOPO BARIGAZZI AND JAMES RANDERSON Politico Migration is back at the top of the political agenda in Europe. The issue is threatening to bring down the government of the EU’s richest country and tear through the European Council summit next week, but leaders seem further than ever from a solution. Here’s POLITICO’s guide to Europe’s boiling political crisis. Why is this news now? Two main reasons — Italy and ... Read More »

Keeping the Calm in Southern Syria

As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. ICG The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement. What’s new? Having retaken the last rebel-held areas in Syria’s western interior, the Syrian regime is turning southward. Regime forces are massing in preparation for a reconquest of the “de… Why does it matter? The south ... Read More »

It’s 34,361 and rising: how the List tallies Europe’s migrant bodycount

The deaths do not just occur at sea – but in detention blocks, asylum units and even town centres. Here’s how the List is put together The boat capsized in rough seas in March close to Italian territorial waters. by Niamh McIntyre and Mark Rice-Oxley, graphics by Niko Kommenda and Pablo Gutiérrez The Guardian A search and rescue operation fished bodies from the sea, dead and alive. Many of the ship’s passengers remained unaccounted for. No one knew quite how many. It’s a grimly familiar tale ... Read More »

Record 68.5 million people displaced worldwide: UN

A record 68.5 million people have been forced flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria, the UN said on June 19. GENEVA – Agence France Presse Hurriyet By the end of 2017, the number was nearly three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50-percent increase from the 42.7 million uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN refugee agency. The current figure ... Read More »

Yemen: Understanding the conflict

The military conflict now escalating in Yemen threatens the lives of more than 250,000 people in the port city Hodeidah while 8 million more people across Yemen already risk starvation. Kelly McFarland The Conversation The country is also facing the “worst cholera outbreak in modern history.” I am a scholar who has studied Yemen and worked as an Arabian Peninsula foreign affairs analyst for the State Department between 2011 and 2016. Here is what is happening in Yemen, now in ... Read More »

From the St Louis to the Aquarius: the history of refugee boats as archipelagos of misery

The Aquarius, a rescue ship in the Mediterranean carrying 629 people, is now on its way to Spain, after being refused docking in Italy and Malta. Simone Gigliotti The Conversation The crisis has caused a diplomatic row between France and Italy and highlighted the stalemate within the EU on asylum policy. Sadly, there have been many historical examples of boats laden with refugees, that were refused docking. In the aftermath of World War II, the historian Eugene Kulischer wrote: “The ... Read More »

Misery as Strategy: The Human Cost of Conflict

In conflicts across the world, levels of displacement and hunger are increasing. The tactics used by leaders, governments and non-state armed groups have much to do with that misery. Caroline Flintoft ICG From Syria to Yemen, from South Sudan to Venezuela, war and political crisis are causing human anguish on a scale unseen in a generation. That conflict and crisis take a high human toll is hardly new, of course. Yet the scope of suffering today is striking. The number ... Read More »

The Long Haul Ahead for Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugee Crisis

More than 700,000 Rohingya refugees from brutal military operations in Myanmar are stuck in Bangladesh, with returns to Myanmar unlikely soon and Bangladeshi goodwill being tested. ICG In Myanmar, international partners must be allowed access to northern Rakhine State. In Bangladesh, donors must help both refugees and their local hosts. What’s new? Since August 2017, nearly 700,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar’s brutal military operations in Rakhine State to Bangladesh, joining tens of thousands who left earlier in 2017. The two ... Read More »

UNICEF: 400,000 children on ‘verge’ of death in the DRC

The UN’s children’s agency calls for $88m of aid to address the ongoing crisis in Congo’s Kasai region. AlJazeera Up to 400,000 children are at risk of starving to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo unless humanitarian aid efforts are ramped up, the UN’s children’s agency has warned. Fighting between government forces and regional militia in the Congo’s central Kasai province has created a “perfect storm of poverty, deprivation and conflict for the most vulnerable children”, UNICEFsaid in a… It called for urgent ... Read More »

Rohingya demand justice as UN delegation visits Bangladesh camps

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees stage protest during UN Security Council delegation visit to Bangladesh camps. AlJazeera and News Agencies Rohingya refugees have demanded guarantees for a safe return to Myanmar during a visit to refugee camps in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district by a United Nations Security Council delegation. Representatives from the 15 member countries of the UN organ on Sunday spoke with some of the 700,000 people who fled what the UN has called“ethnic cleansing” in neighbouring Myanmar in a… At Kutupalong, hundreds ... Read More »

Julian Burnside: “I worry where our democracy is going”

Human Rights Arts and Film Festival kicks off at five cinemas across Melbourne on May 3. On May 12, the festival is screening the world premiere of Judy Rymer’s Border Politics, wherein human rights lawyer Julian Burnside AO QC travels the globe to compare how different nations are responding to the refugee crisis. Nick D TimeOut Burnside, 68, is a Melbourne-based commercial litigation barrister who became involved in human rights causes after 2001 when he was asked to act pro bono in ... Read More »