By Kristy Siegfried @klsiegfried | 7 June, 2018
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
DR Congo tops list of neglected displacement crises. Five African countries top the Norwegian Refugee Council’s annual list of the 10 most neglected displacement crises, with the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the number one slot. The list, released today, aims to draw attention to displaced people whose plight rarely makes international headlines. “The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in DR Congo now has reached the same level as in Syria. Still, the world’s attention on these two crises are miles apart,” said Jan Egeland, the NRC’s Secretary General. By the end of 2017, a total of 4.5 million Congolese were internally displaced and 700,000 had fled to neighbouring countries. The situation has continued to worsen in 2018. Earlier this week, UNHCR reported that fighting in south-eastern Tanganyika province has forced increasing numbers of children out of school and into poorly paid jobs to support their struggling families. South Sudan is number two on the NRC’s list, followed by the Central African Republic, Burundi and Ethiopia.
At least 46 Ethiopians drown off Yemen’s coast. A smugglers’ boat carrying around 100 Ethiopian migrants from the port of Bossaso, in Somalia, capsized as it approached the coast of Yemen early on Wednesday morning. Forty-six people drowned and another 16 are missing , according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Survivors said they had no lifejackets and that passengers started panicking as the boat hit high waves. Despite the ongoing conflict in Yemen, IOM estimates that some 7,000 migrants cross the Gulf of Aden every month. Most hope to reach the Gulf States to find work, but many end up stuck in detention in Yemen or fall into the hands of traffickers.
WHAT’S ON OUR RADAR
Women asylum-seekers detained with men in northern Greece, says rights group. Human Rights Watch released a report today claiming that Greek authorities are routinely confining asylum-seeking women with unrelated men in the northern Evros region, near the land border with Turkey. HRW interviewed 12 women and girls in late May who said they had been locked in cells or enclosures at police stations and pre-removal detention centres for weeks with men or boys they did not know. Five of the women said they had severe psychological distress as a result. HRW is calling on the Greek authorities to immediately transfer single women, unaccompanied children and families to facilities that meet national and international standards.
France doubles number of French lessons offered to refugees. Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced this week that 400 hours of French lessons would be offered to refugees to help them integrate, double what was offered before. A civic training course, aimed at teaching refugees French values as well as such practicalities as how to access health care and housing, has also been extended from 12 to 24 hours. The measures aimed at improving integration are part of reforms to France’s migration policy introduced under President Emmanuel Macron.
The charities integrating refugees into the workplace. In recent years, social enterprises have sprung up across Europe that are helping young asylum-seekers and refugees overcome the legal, language and other barriers that can prevent them from entering the workforce. WikiTribune has profiled some of the charities filling in the gaps in national asylum and integration policies with training, mentoring and language programmes. Fuad Mahamed, a Somali refugee who now runs UK-based Ashley Community Housing, says refugees have vast potential, but need help and guidance to realize it.
UNHCR’s Innovation Service has rounded up 15 of the most inspiring TED or TEDx Talks given by refugees and the humanitarians working with them. First on the list is this talk by Somali journalist Moulid Hujale, who spent much of his childhood at Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. He started the Refugee Newsletter as well as RefugeePlus and has partnered with UNHCR and other organizations to provide skills training and jobs to Dadaab youth.
DID YOU KNOW?
As of 2 May, the 2018 regional refugee response plan for the Democratic Republic of the Congo was only 5 per cent funded.