Aegean Sea refugee crossings rise 35 fold year-on-year in January – watchdog

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

by Damien Gayle

More than 52,000 crossed in January, says IOM, as Merkel defends open-door policy and says most refugees will eventually return home

More than 52,000 refugees and migrants crossed the eastern Mediterranean to reach Europe in the first four weeks of January, more than 35 times as many as attempted the crossing in the same period last year.

The daily average number of people making the crossing is nearly equivalent to the total number for the whole month of January as recently as two years ago, according to the International Organisation for Migration.

More than 250 people have died attempting to make the crossing this month, including at least 39 who drowned in the Aegean Sea on Saturday morning after their boat capsized between Turkey and Greece.

Turkish coastguards rescued 75 others from the sea near the resort of Ayvacik on Saturday, according to the Anadolou news agency. They had been trying to reach the Greek island of Lesbos.
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Syrian refugees waiting in GTA hotels face hurdle in cost of housing

Posted by admin on Feb 3rd, 2016

Many Syrians look for homes in Mississauga, Hamilton, Burlington

When Maher Azem went to meet government-assisted Syrian refugees at a hotel in Toronto’s west end, he expected to be helping out with translation or transportation.

He certainly didn’t expect that it would become his job to find them housing.

But today, Azem is spending almost every spare hour he has helping find housing for dozens of government-assisted refugee families. He heads up a volunteer housing committee for the newly formed Syrian Canadian Foundation.

It’s a frustrating task made harder by the fact that the families are often large and landlords aren’t always too keen on housing people with no credit history.

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Indigenous groups in Winnipeg helping Syrian refugees learn culture

Posted by admin on Feb 2nd, 2016

Link to video

Shaneen Robinson
APTN National News
Thousands of more Syrian refugees will soon be calling Manitoba their new home.

With one of the highest Indigenous populations in Canada, Winnipeg groups have partnered with refugee organizations to learn about each other.


Why Migration Should Be Central to Paris COP21 Climate Talks

Posted by admin on Nov 30th, 2015

By: Harsha Walia

Climate refugees and displaced peoples bear the brunt of environmental violence.

“We live in constant fear of the adverse impacts of climate change. For a coral atoll nation, sea level rise and more severe weather events loom as a growing threat to our entire population. The threat is real and serious, and is of no difference to a slow and insidious form of terrorism against us.” – Prime Minister of Tuvalu Saufatu Sapo’aga at the United Nations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, world leaders are closing their borders to refugees and cracking down on civil society participation in the upcoming climate negotiations. Over the past 15 years, the War on Terror has allowed for increased state powers while curbing fundamental rights, especially of racialized bodies marked as threats. Meanwhile, violence against the majority of humanity – including the devastation caused by climate change in places like Tuvalu – continues on with international impunity.

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Voices for Refugees Welcome

Posted by admin on Oct 3rd, 2015

Sunday, October 11 at 2:00pm

YWCA 733 Beatty Street (near Stadium Skytrain)

As part of 10 Days for Refugees Welcome (, No One Is Illegal-Vancouver – unceded Coast Salish Territories invites you to a panel discussion on what it means to be a refugee in Canada.

We assert Refugees Welcome! Freedom to move, stay and return.

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