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The Refugee Brief – 20 February 2019

By Kate Bond | 20 February, 2019

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

IFRC: Abuse, ‘survival sex’ a reality for child refugees and migrants. A new report from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warns that young refugees and migrants who make perilous journeys without an adult are vulnerable to being assaulted, sexually abused, raped, trafficked into sexual exploitation or forced into “survival sex”.Figures show the number of unaccompanied children undertaking such journeys has grown five-fold in five years. A recent report by UNHCR found that almost 11,000 unaccompanied children were among the nearly 140,000 people arrived in Greece, Italy and Spain in search of safety in 2018 . The heightened vulnerability of unaccompanied children on the move led many to engage in highly risky activities including sexual exploitation, sometimes as a means of earning money to pay smugglers.

Looming cyclones put Rohingya refugees at risk. Red Cross officials have warned that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, are at risk ahead of the upcoming cyclone season. According to the IFRC, most of them will struggle to withstand the heavy rains and winds anticipated in a few weeks. “If there is a direct hit from a cyclone, which is not unheard of in Cox’s Bazar, they will have next to nothing to protect them against the wind,” Red Cross spokesperson Matthew Cochrane told journalists. Over the past year, the Government of Bangladesh and humanitarian partners have gone to great lengths to upgrade living conditions in the camps and put in place disaster risk mitigation measures for monsoon and cyclone seasons. Last week, United Nations aid agencies and NGO partners launched the 2019 Joint Response Plan for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis, which seeks to raise US$920 million to meet the needs of more than 900,000 refugees from Myanmar and over 330,000 Bangladeshis in host communities – including further work to mitigate the risks posed by high winds and heavy rains.


WHAT’S ON OUR RADAR

Syrian refugee children die in fire in Canada. Seven children from a family of Syrian refugees have died in a fire that destroyed their home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the youngest victim just four months old. Friends of the family said they had planned to move out of the home next week. A local group that sponsored the Syrian family to come to Canada in 2017 is grieving.

How boxing is giving refugee women a fighting chance. The Lotus Flower is a British charity that supports women displaced by violence in northern Iraq by providing lessons in sewing, adult literacy, hairdressing, human rights and boxing. “They get to channel their emotion and it builds their confidence,” says founder Taban Shoresh. “Physically and mentally.”

Refugees living with disabilities face hurdles in Australia. A new report released by the Refugee Council of Australia and partners finds that refugees living with disabilities face barriers that impede their successful resettlement and inclusion in Australian society. The report identifies a number of ways to address these hurdles, including easier access to support services, better access to essential equipment and more accessible housing.


GET INSPIRED

Discover how running helped Guled Nur Hussain, a Somali refugee, find a home in his new country of Egypt. “I was watching Mo Farah in the 2012 Summer Olympics,” Hussain explains. “That’s when I decided to start running – he was so inspirational.”


DID YOU KNOW?

Around 5,500 unaccompanied children are thought to have reached Spain in 2018.

The Refugee Brief – 19 February 2019

By Kate Bond | 19 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Less than 5 per cent of refugee resettlement needs met last year. New data shows that despite record levels of worldwide forced displacement, only 4.7 per cent of global refugee resettlement needs were met in...

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The Refugee Brief – 18 February 2019

By Kate Bond | 18 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Experts see promise and potential in Global Compact on Refugees. Volker Türk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, opens a special issue of the International Journal of Refugee Law with some...

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The Refugee Brief – 15 February 2019

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 15 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW US sends first families to Mexico to await asylum. Reuters reports that the United States sent five Central American families, encompassing a total of 16 children and adults, to the Mexican...

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The Refugee Brief – 14 February 2019

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 14 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW EU asylum claims fall for third consecutive year. The number of people seeking asylum in the European Union fell for a third straight year in 2018, data released on Wednesday showed. The EU’s...

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The Refugee Brief – 13 February 2019

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 13 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Australia to reopen Christmas Island detention centre as Senate passes medical transfers bill. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Wednesday morning that the government would reopen an...

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The Refugee Brief – 12 February 2019

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 12 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Thousands fleeing new violence in South Sudan. In recent days, some 5,000 people from South Sudan have crossed into the Democratic Republic of the Congo to escape fighting and violence...

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The Refugee Brief – 11 February 2019

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 11 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Africa’s treatment of refugees “an example for the world”, says UN chief. African nations are setting an example for richer countries when it comes to the treatment of refugees, said UN...

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The Refugee Brief – 8 February 2019

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 8 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Myanmar villagers flee escalating violence. At a briefing in Geneva today, UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic stressed the agency’s concerns about the humanitarian impact of the continuing...

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The Refugee Brief – 7 February 2019

By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried   | 7 February, 2019 WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ‘Largest ever’ aid convoy reaches Syria’s Rukban camp. A convoy of 118 trucks carrying food, medicine, nutritional supplies, and vaccines reached the remote Rukban camp on Syria’s border with...

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