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The Refugee Brief – 17 August 2018

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 17 August, 2018


Ecuador and Peru tighten entry requirements for Venezuelans. Venezuelans entering Ecuador will soon be required to show their passports, rather than national identity cards, according to the country’s foreign ministry. Ecuador declared a state of emergency in three provinces last week in response to large numbers of Venezuelans entering the country. Authorities say up to 4,500 Venezuelans are crossing the Colombian border daily. Many are passing through Ecuador on their way to Peru, which, according to government sources, is also planning to make passports an entry requirement for Venezuelans. Obtaining a passport in Venezuela can be a long bureaucratic process that has been complicated by paper and ink shortages.

Rohingya refugees compile record of those killed in Myanmar. Reuters reports that a group of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh have been drawing up a list of Rohingya people killed by a brutal military crackdown and ethnic violence. Aid agency Médecins Sans Frontières has estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed during the peak of the violence in August 2017, but the survey was limited to one month and didn’t list individuals. The Rohingya list makers put the final tally at more than 10,000, including those killed during a previous bout of violence in October 2016. Victims are catalogued by name, age, father’s name, address and how they were killed. Myanmar’s military has said that the bodies of 376 Rohingya militants were recovered between 25 August and 5 September last year. Members of a commission established by the Myanmar government to investigate human rights violations in northern Rakhine state pledged to be independent and impartial at the commission’s first formal meeting in the capital on Thursday.


Schools for Palestinian refugee children to open on time, but more funding needed. Some 711 schools run by UNRWA for 526,000 Palestinian refugee children in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria will open as planned in September, but are only funded for a month. UNRWA has mobilized US$238 million to help meet shortfalls resulting in cuts to its funding by the United States, but another $217 million is needed to keep schools open until the end of the year.

Gay Afghan teenager denied asylum in Austria for not fitting stereotype. A gay Afghan 18-year-old who was seeking asylum in Austria because he feared persecution in his country had his application denied because the authorities said he did not act like a stereotypical gay man, citing his walk, behaviour and clothing, according to a Vienna-based organization that helps refugees. The organization, Queer Base, said the case illustrates the plight of many LGBT people seeking asylum in Europe. “Neither your walk, nor your behaviour nor your clothing give the slightest indication that you could be gay,” says an asylum authority document outlining the negative decision, which can still be appealed. Austrian authorities announced today that the case worker who issued the decision is no longer deciding asylum cases.

Pioneering organization in Sicily tackles migration myths. This profile of a multi-cultural Palermo-based social enterprise shows how the right attitude and a spirit of collaboration can provide sustainable solutions to migration challenges. Four years after its founding, Moltivolti ̶ which means many faces ̶ employs 20 people, mainly refugees, to run a for-profit bar and restaurant that fund a not-for-profit co-working space for more than a dozen socially oriented organizations. This month, Moltivolti launched a manifesto to tackle “the myth of an invasion” in Sicily and fight racism.


Under a scheme run by the Football Association of Ireland, coaches are using soccer to help refugees learn English. After learning new English words in the classroom, the refugees practice them on the football pitch.


In the first week of August, some 30,000 Venezuelans entered Ecuador.

The Refugee Brief – 16 August 2018

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 16 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Fleeing residents of besieged Afghan city share stories of hardship. After five days of intense fighting, Afghan officials declared on Wednesday that they had retaken control of Ghazni city...

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The Refugee Brief – 15 August 2018

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 15 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Malta allows rescue ship to dock. The Aquarius, an NGO rescue ship, has received permission to dock in Malta after being stranded at sea since Friday with 141 rescued asylum-seekers and...

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The Refugee Brief – 14 August 2018

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 14 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Humanitarian ship stranded again after Mediterranean rescues. After rescuing 141 refugees and migrants in two separate operations off the Libyan coast on Friday, the Aquarius, a rescue ship...

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The Refugee Brief – 13 August 2018

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 13 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Germany and Spain advocate for “fair distribution” of asylum-seekers. Speaking alongside Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez in southern Spain on Saturday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said...

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The Refugee Brief – 10 August 2018

By Kate Bond @katebonduk   | 10 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Ecuador declares state of emergency over Venezuela influx. Ecuador has declared a state of emergency in three northern provinces in response to the massive influx of Venezuelans who have arrived to the...

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The Refugee Brief – 9 August 2018

By Kate Bond @katebonduk   | 9 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Thailand grants citizenship to boys rescued from cave. UNHCR has welcomed a decision by Thailand to grant citizenship to three boys and their soccer coach who were among a group of 13 rescued from a...

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The Refugee Brief – 8 August 2018

By Kate Bond @katebonduk   | 8 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW UNHCR and UNDP urge improved conditions in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. Two months after a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding was signed by UNHCR, UNDP and the Government of Myanmar, the two UN agencies...

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The Refugee Brief – 7 August 2018

By Kate Bond @katebonduk   | 7 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Brazil reopens border to Venezuelans. A move by Brazil’s Supreme Court allowing Venezuelans to resume entering the border state of Roraima has been welcomed by UNHCR. Since 2015, over 32,000 Venezuelans...

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The Refugee Brief – 6 August 2018

By Kate Bond @katebonduk   | 6 August, 2018 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW South Sudan government and rebels sign peace deal. South Sudan's government has signed a ceasefire and power-sharing agreement with the country's main rebel group. The deal will see rebel leader Riek...

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