Hagos, a young man with a contagious smile diligently cleans the floor at the children’s ward in Mater Dei hospital while he waves joyfully to Maria, a young Maltese patient in a wheelchair. But Hagos’ warm smile does not reveal the painful experiences he went through leaving behind his home and family in Eritrea.
Syria is today engulfed in a bitter conflict where, according to reports, thousands of people have died and many have fled to neighbouring countries to find a safe haven. And even long before the current crisis erupted some groups in Syria have been struggling to have their voices heard. Lawand tells his story.
In Europe, the largest relative increase in annual asylum levels occurred in the eight Southern European countries which received 66,800 asylum requests during 2011, an 87 per cent increase compared to 2010.
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The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has issued a decision concluding that Italy violated the European Convention of Human Rights by intercepting and returning to Libya in 2009 a group of Somalis and Eritreans without examining whether this would constitute a real risk to their lives. The case is known as Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy.
UNHCR, IOM and Save the Children express concern over Italy’s decision to declare Lampedusa an ‘unsafe port’
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Save the Children – working together as partners since 2006 in the framework of Praesidium Project at the Reception and Rescue Centre of Lampedusa – are expressing their concern over the Italian authorities’ decision to declare Lampedusa an unsafe port.