july 2006

Rabat conference July 10-11, 2006

- Opening speech of Benita Ferrero-Waldner

- Appeal of the IFHR/Plateforme Euromed/NHREM on the Rabat Conference

- Appeal of MEPs against the security treatment of the migration issues

- Speech of Antonio Guterres (HCR) during the Rabat Conference

- The action plan that was defined at the Rabat conference is composed of 62 recommendations on the fight against the trades of Human beings (breaking up of smuggler networks), the reinforcement of admission possibilities of illegal aliens in their countries of origin, the cooperative surveillance of borders and migration routes, the creation of a Euro-African observatory for migrations, actions to make people aware of the problems,...

Externalisation

- The Commission announces that an operational program will be installed in Mauritania. The program follows the logic of the Rabat conference and of the European policy for immigration management. Mauritania will receive 2.45 million euros (quick reaction funds) in order to face the mass arrivals of migrants in the Canaries islands. Several different actions are financed : reinforcement of the control skills (training, fake papers detection, four patrol boats lent by Spain from September 2006 to February 2007), aid for migrant detentions and return, legislation revision in order to facilitate maritime arrests...

- The European commission, in partnership with the HCR, released 100 million euros to install international norms for asylum and immigration in central Asia. These funds are released in the framework of the TACIS program.

- The Spanish council of ministers decided on the 7th of July to give 10.5 million euros to Morocco for the migratory flow management

- The conclusion of the re-admission agreement between the EU and Pakistan has been put back to September by the latter

- The European Commission suggested different proposals, and would in particular recommend to install border guard teams around Europe, who could be able to intervene quickly in case of mass arrivals of migrants at the EU borders.

- Malta refused to welcome erythean migrants, who have been arrested near the Libyan coasts. Malta asked Libya or Spain to take care of them. They have been split up, after spending several days in the sea, without permission to accost anywhere. [They have been sent to Malta, Spain, Italy, Libya and Anderre. In 48hrs 324 subsaharians were apprehended

- Article by Ali Bensaad on the separation and retrenchment process between northern and southern countries, because of (material or immaterial) walls, in Europe as well as in America.

- Fight against illegal emigration in Morocco and Libya : between the 20th and 25th of July, Moroccan authorities arrested 383 “illegal emigrants”. As for Libya, it declares that 1293 illegal migrants, who were leaving this country, were arrested between the 15th and 25th of July.

- Italy also asked for the support of the European Union
. Control reinforcement off the Canary Islands diverted the migratory routes toward Italy. The commissioner Franco Frattini accepted the request and decided therefore to install co-joined patrols, to which Italy, Greece and Malta will participate. From August, they will start patrolling off Malta and Lampedusa Island.

Member States/ Third States

- 11,000 migrants have accosted in the Canary Islands since the beginning of 2006, i.e. more than for the whole year of 2002.

- A crisis team has been installed in Oran, following the Ceuta and Melilla events. Oran is a town on the migration route for the sub-Saharan migrants.

- EU/Asia teamwork has been created by the IOM on the issue of work migration. Representatives from Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and the European commission attended it. They worked on the optimisation of the migration for work, for the origin countries as well as for the EU countries.

- Collective arrests of irregular aliens, a very little after the Rabat conference

- Great Britain announced a reinforcement of border controls in order to improve the control of entries and departures. Biometric ID will be used for border controls. Efficiency and speeding up of asylum procedures are also part of the new measures.
AFP and RTRS

- Shipwrecked to Europe

Camps

- 35 detainees of the detention centre of Vottem in Belgium signed a letter that denounces the system of foreigner imprisonment, as well as the detention conditions in centres.

- The White Book on the CPTs in Italy, written by centre-left MPs. Meanwhile the investigation Commission, installed by the interior minister Amat0, starts its work.

- Suicide of an 18-year-old asylum seeker, held in the Campfield House detention centre, in the UK

- Press release from several associations (CIRÉ, MRAX, la Ligue des Droits de l’Homme, Point d’appui, Aide aux Personnes Déplacées, Jesuit Refuge Service, Centre Social Protestant, Médecins sans frontières), because of the aggressions that happened in the protestant social retention centre in Vottem.

- Seven policemen appeared in court for the act of violence made in the retention of Capuchinos in Malaga

- Report of 12 MEPs who visited Tenerife and Fuerteventura centres

- Many minors are held in British retention centres. Several associations started a campaign to denounce this system

Mobilisations

- Refugees and asylum seekers in Morocco protested against the lack of undertaking, which the HCR witnessed : precariousness, no health care, no rights, no schooling etc. Several of them organised a sit-in in front of the HCR in Rabat. ARCOM (Association Congolese refugees and asylum seekers in Morocco) supports this initiative, as well as the Collectif des Réfugiés au Maroc. Migreurop denounced this situation and explained it was a consequence of the externalisation policy of asylum by the European Union and asked UNHCR to be up to its role