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Arkiveringsdatum 220125:

UNHCR 22-01-17:

Storbritannien/ UNHCR Observations on the Nationality and Borders Bill, as amended till sidans topp

1. When introduced in July 2021, the Nationality and Borders Bill followed almost to the letter the Government's New Plan for Immigration Policy Statement, issued on 24 March 2021, in some cases adding further restrictions on the right to claim asylum and on the rights of refugees. In October 2021, UNHCR therefore regretfully reiterated its considered view that the Bill is fundamentally at odds with the Government's avowed commitment to upholding the United Kingdom's international obligations under the Refugee Convention and with the country's long-standing role as a global champion for the refugee cause.

2. Since UNHCR published those observations a large number of amendments have been proposed, both by the Government and by other Members of Parliament. All of the Government amendments have been adopted.

3. UNHCR notes that none of the amendments that were adopted responded to the concerns expressed in its Observations, while some have only heightened those concerns. As the Bill makes its way through the Parliamentary process, UNHCR continues to stand ready to work with the Government to make the amendments necessary to bring the Bill into conformity with the United Kingdom's obligations under the Refugee Convention and international law.

4. We set out below our main areas of concern about the Bill, as amended, reflecting our supervisory role with regard to the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol (together, "the Refugee Convention").

5. We also add our observations on several new provisions of the Bill, introduced at committee stage, that allow for the deprivation of citizenship without notice, or otherwise potentially without a fair hearing. UNHCR's offers these observations in its capacity as the Agency entrusted by the UN General Assembly with a global mandate to provide protection to stateless persons worldwide and for preventing and reducing statelessness.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211231:

Human Rights Watch 21-12-18:

Bangladesh/ Bangladesh: Rohingya refugee schools face closure till sidans topp

Tens of thousands of students will lose access to education

The Bangladesh government should urgently reverse a decision to close thousands of home-based and community-led schools for Rohingya refugee students, Human Rights Watch said today. Unless the foreign minister or the disaster management minister overturns the action, approximately 30,000 children will lose their access to education.

The decision was issued on December 13, 2021 by the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner, a Bangladesh government official responsible for education policy in the refugee camps where about 400,000 school-age children are confined. Four Rohingya teachers and two community leaders confirmed the school closures, but said no rationale was provided. Humanitarian workers said they had no warning of the decision or ability to provide alternatives.

"Bangladesh's decision to close schools for Rohingya refugee children violates the right to education on a massive scale," said Bill Van Esveld, associate children's rights director at Human Rights Watch. "This cruel decision should be immediately reversed so that Rohingya children can get an education, which will be especially critical for their return to Myanmar when it is safe to do so."

The Bangladesh government saved countless lives when it opened its borders to ethnic Rohingya fleeing atrocity crimes by Myanmar's military in August 2017. However, as part of a policy to prevent refugees from integrating in the country, the authorities barred Rohingya children's access to public and private schools. They also severely restricted the education programs that humanitarian groups could provide inside the refugee camps in Cox's Bazar, near the Myanmar border. Now the alternative schools inside the camps are at risk.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211210:

UNHCR 21-12-03:

USA/ UNHCR comment on reinstatement of U.S. policy that endangers asylum seekers till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is aware of the United States government's announcement on reinstating the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program.

UNHCR has from the start expressed its serious concerns about the MPP and its impact on asylum seekers' safety and their due process rights. The announced adjustments to the policy are not sufficient to address these fundamental concerns.

UNHCR was never involved in implementing MPP and will not be supporting the reinstated policy. We supported the U.S. government's work earlier this year to end the MPP program and urge the United States to continue to follow through with those efforts, in line with the recent memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security.

We stand ready to work with all relevant authorities to ensure border and asylum measures and policies are in accordance with international refugee and human rights law.

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Sveriges Radio Ekot 21-12-04: Deportationer från USA till Mexiko återupptas (Extern länk)

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Human Rights Watch 21-12-07:

Storbritannien/ Draconian UK law puts vulnerable asylum seekers at risk till sidans topp

Perhaps the most draconian immigration bill in the United Kingdom's history is moving swiftly through parliament, currently in its final days of scrutiny in the Commons. The Nationality and Borders Bill seeks to dismantle core tenets of the international refugee regime, one which the UK helped establish. It would see vulnerable Afghans and other asylum seekers being criminalized and imprisoned for up to four years; pushed back at sea; sent abroad for offshore asylum processing, and afforded lesser rights as refugees simply for exercising their basic right to seek asylum in the UK.

Less than two weeks ago, at least 27 people died after their boat capsized crossing the English Channel. Among those rescued and brought safely to British shores was an Afghan soldier who had served alongside British forces in Afghanistan and his family.

Under the proposed law, refugees like this Afghan soldier, would face the prospect of being pushed back at sea or taken to an offshore detention site, which have essentially become protracted black holes for refugees when used by Australia in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, and the United States in Guantánamo Bay. Many Afghans are at imminent risk and don't have the luxury of waiting to see if they'll get a place under the UK's resettlement scheme, forcing them to hastily flee by boat or on foot. Under this bill, they would face pushbacks and, if lucky enough to arrive, criminalization, and discriminatory treatment in the asylum system.

Following the Taliban takeover in August, Prime Minister Boris Johnson committed the UK to doing everything it could to support the Afghan people, in particular those who helped the UK in Afghanistan. Despite these lofty promises, the two resettlement and relocation schemes the UK government have established have been heavily criticized for being unduly restrictive both in terms of who qualifies and the number of asylum seekers the government will accept. The main scheme is not even operational more than three months after the takeover.

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Arkiveringsdatum 211122:

EU-domstolen 21-11-16:

Ungern/ EU-domstolen: Ungerns lag mot stöd till asylsökande strider mot unionsrätten till sidans topp

Ungern har åsidosatt unionsrätten genom att göra det straffbart att organiserad verksamhet som syftar till att möjliggöra för personer som inte uppfyller nationella kriterierna för att beviljas internationellt skydd att inleda ett asylförfarande.

Kriminaliseringen av denna verksamhet utgör hinder för att utöva de rättigheter som unionslagstiftaren har garanterat i fråga om hjälp till personer som ansöker om internationellt skydd.

År 2018 ändrade Ungern vissa lagar om åtgärder mot olaglig invandring och antog bland annat bestämmelser som dels införde en ny grund för att avvisa asylansökningar, dels straffbelade organisation av verksamhet som syftar till att underlätta för personer som enligt ungersk rätt inte har rätt till asyl att ändå ansöka om asyl. Vidare infördes begränsningar av rörelsefriheten för personer som misstänks för att ha begått ett sådant brott.

Europeiska kommissionen ansåg att Ungern hade underlåtit att uppfylla sina skyldigheter enligt förfarandedirektivet1 och mottagandedirektivet2 genom att anta dessa bestämmelser och väckte därför talan om fördragsbrott vid domstolen.

Domstolen (stora avdelningen) bifaller i allt väsentligt kommissionens talan.

Domstolens bedömning

(...)

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Läs domen i mål nr C-821/19 (Extern länk)

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Amnesty International 21-11-16:

Ungern/ Court of Justice of the EU rejects anti-migrant "Stop Soros" law till sidans topp

Today the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that Hungary's "Stop Soros" legislation, criminalizing a range of legitimate migration-related activities making them punishable by up to one year in prison, violates EU law. In response to the ruling, Director of Amnesty International Hungary, David Vig said:

"Today's court ruling sends an unequivocal message that the Hungarian government's campaign of intimidation, targeting those who stand up for the rights of refugees and asylum-seekers cannot, and will not be tolerated.

"It is now time for the Hungarian government to implement the court's decision and immediately withdraw this piece of shameful legislation. We also urge the government to guarantee an environment where NGOs and activists can freely carry out their essential work without being intimidated."

Background

In today's decision the CJEU found that Hungary violated both the Procedures and Reception Directives of the EU, by allowing applications for asylum by those arriving in Hungary through "safe transit country" be rejected as inadmissible. The court also found that Hungary unlawfully criminalized the activities of those who provide assistance to asylum-seekers.

An vaguely-worded amendment to Hungary's Criminal Code criminalized a range of legitimate activities related to migration, making them punishable by up to one year in prison. These include: "border monitoring", "preparation or distribution of information materials", and "building or operating a network in support of facilitating illegal immigration".

Amnesty International challenged the constitutionality of the law in court, however, the Constitutional Court dismissed the complaint by not finding the legislation in breach of Hungary's constitution.

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Picum 21-11-18:

Spanien/ Spain adopts law to facilitate regularisation of young migrants till sidans topp

After months of negotiations, in October 2021, the Spanish government adopted a decree to facilitate access to residence and work permits for unaccompanied children as they turn 18 and transition into adulthood. This reform to the Regulation of the Aliens Act (Reglamento de la Ley de Extranjería) is expected to improve the lives of young migrants and is welcomed by civil society organisations and associations who have long advocated for such a change.

The decree came into effect in mid-November.

Who benefits from this reform? How?

The reform facilitates access to residence and work permits for unaccompanied children, as well as those who arrived as children and aged out (known in Spanish as Extutelados) and are now between 18 and 23 years old. The change is expected to improve living conditions and integration prospects for thousands of young people. According to government's data, approximately 15,000 people will benefit from this reform, of which 8,000 are children and 7,000 young people older than 18 years old.

Unaccompanied children

For unaccompanied children the reform:

+ simplifies bureaucratic procedures to access residence and work permits before they turn 18, in terms of documentation required and involvement of different public bodies;

+ extends the validity of residence and work permits to two years, which can be renewed once for a period of three years as long as they're underage. Previously, permits had to be renewed every year, which led to the saturation of courts and administration;

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211018:

UNHCR 21-10-11:

Storbritannien/ UNHCR Observations on the Nationality and Borders Bill till sidans topp

1. The Nationality and Borders Bill follows almost to the letter the Government's New Plan for Immigration Policy Statement, issued on 24 March 2021, in some cases adding further restrictions on the right to claim asylum and on the rights of refugees. UNHCR must therefore regretfully reiterate its considered view that the Bill is fundamentally at odds with the Government's avowed commitment to upholding the United Kingdom's international obligations under the Refugee Convention and with the country's long- standing role as a global champion for the refugee cause.

2. We set out below our main areas of concern, reflecting our supervisory role with regard to the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol (together, "the Refugee Convention"). Due to the length and complexity of the Bill, it has not been possible to respond to all of its clauses in the limited time available. Our lack of comment on any particular clause of the Bill should not be construed as expressing tacit endorsement of it.

The "first safe country" concept is unworkable and would undermine global cooperation

3. The Bill is based on the premise that "people should claim asylum in the first safe country they arrive in". This principle is not found in the Refugee Convention and there is no such requirement under international law. On the contrary, in international law, the primary responsibility for identifying refugees and affording international protection rests with the State in which an asylum-seeker arrives and seeks that protection.

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AYS 21-10-15:

Polen/ Poland legalizes pushbacks in a move that violates international law till sidans topp

As the humanitarian and political crisis at Poland's border deepens, the Polish parliament has done what just a few months ago would seem unthinkable, but now seems all too predictable: on Thursday, it legalized pushbacks of people on the move from its borders. The legislation, which openly flouts international humanitarian law, allows authorities to immediately expel people who enter Polish territory irregularly.

Polish officials also plan to build a ¤350m wall on the Belarusian border. The permanent barrier will replace the temporary barbed wire that currently stands along much of the border, and will come with a "surveillance system of cameras and movement sensors," media reported.

Activists are increasingly warning of potential mass deaths along the border, as temperatures drop lower each night. This Wednesday, a Polish police helicopter found the body of a 24-year-old Syrian man in a field near the Belarusian border. The man was the seventh recorded person to die along this border since the Poland 'border crisis' began this summer.

"What is happening at the border is some sort of hunger games, it's one big concentration camp," one activist told media.

"The number of attempts to cross the border is growing," the Polish government said in an attempt to justify the legislation.

Media also reported that up to 150 people per night were arriving from Belarus to Eisenhuettenstadt, a German camp near the Polish border.

Human rights advocates and legal experts are clear on the illegality of Poland's new legislation. "Forcing people back who are trying to claim asylum without an individual assessment of their protection needs is against European and international law," Eve Geddie of Amnesty International said in late September.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210921:

UNHCR 21-09-16:

Polen/ UNHCR observations on the draft act on granting protection to foreigners till sidans topp

UNHCR observations on the draft law amending the Act on Foreigners and the Act on Granting Protection to Foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Poland (UD265)

/Utdrag:/

4. UNHCR acknowledges that the sudden increase in the number of asylum-seekers arriving recently at the Polish borders poses challenges to existing reception and asylum systems. In UNHCR's view, these challenges can be overcome through the implementation of accelerated and/or simplified procedures that maintain procedural safeguards and adhere to international and EU law, including the protection against refoulement.

5. UNHCR regrets that the amendments significantly restrict the possibility to seek asylum for persons intercepted in the border area, creating de facto two categories of asylum seekers and penalizing those who have crossed the border irregularly. UNHCR stresses that the right to seek and enjoy asylum does not depend on the regularity of arrival of an asylum-seeker to a country, as asylum-seekers are often forced to arrive at or enter a territory without prior authorisation.

6. The Law Proposal introduces the possibility that asylum applications can be arbitrarily rejected by the asylum authority without examination of the individual circumstances, the consequences of the removal, and/or the availability of effective protection elsewhere. UNHCR is deeply concerned that this provision undermines the right to seek asylum as foreseen in the 1951 Convention and the EU asylum acquis.

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UNHCR 21-09-16:

Litauen/ UNHCR observations on the draft act on granting protection to foreigners till sidans topp

UNHCR observations on the draft law amending the Act on Foreigners and the Act on Granting Protection to Foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Poland (UD265)

/Utdrag:/

4. UNHCR acknowledges that the sudden increase in the number of asylum-seekers arriving recently at the Polish borders poses challenges to existing reception and asylum systems. In UNHCR's view, these challenges can be overcome through the implementation of accelerated and/or simplified procedures that maintain procedural safeguards and adhere to international and EU law, including the protection against refoulement.

5. UNHCR regrets that the amendments significantly restrict the possibility to seek asylum for persons intercepted in the border area, creating de facto two categories of asylum seekers and penalizing those who have crossed the border irregularly. UNHCR stresses that the right to seek and enjoy asylum does not depend on the regularity of arrival of an asylum-seeker to a country, as asylum-seekers are often forced to arrive at or enter a territory without prior authorisation.

6. The Law Proposal introduces the possibility that asylum applications can be arbitrarily rejected by the asylum authority without examination of the individual circumstances, the consequences of the removal, and/or the availability of effective protection elsewhere. UNHCR is deeply concerned that this provision undermines the right to seek asylum as foreseen in the 1951 Convention and the EU asylum acquis.

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Se även:

UNHCR observations on draft Amendments to the Law of the Republic of Lithuania on Legal Status of Aliens (No 21-29207) (Extern länk)

Se även:

ECRE 21-09-03: Litauen: Extraordinary Responses: Legislative Changes in 2021 (Extern länk)

Se även:

UNHCR 21-09-16: UNHCR observations on the draft law amending the Act on Foreigners and the Act on Granting Protection to Foreigners in the territory of the Republic of Poland (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210808:

UNHCR Refworld 21-07-28:

Litauen/ Observations on the amendments to the Law on Legal Status of Aliens till sidans topp

/Rekommendationer:/

UNHCR recommends Lithuania to ensure that detention of asylum-seekers is used as last resort and the required safeguards are foreseen; and encourages the use of alternatives to detention in border procedures. If restrictions on movement are applied in the initial phases of the asylum procedure, all due safeguards should be in place.

(...) UNHCR recommends ensuring that asylum-seekers have effective access to information and counselling on asylum procedures, interpretation services, psychosocial support, in particular for survivors of torture and trauma, and unhindered access to UNHCR and other refugee organizations. This should also apply in case of emergency situation and/or martial law.

(...) UNHCR recommends maintaining the exceptions specified in Article 76(6) of the current Aliens Law, which exempts unaccompanied minors, survivors of torture, rape or other forms of serious physical or sexual violence from the accelerated procedures and ensuring that this provision is not subject to derogation in case of emergency

(...) UNHCR recommends that asylum-seekers are not detained solely for their irregular border crossing, in line with Article 31 of the 1951 Geneva Convention, and restrictions on asylum-seekers' freedom of movement are applied with due safeguards

(...) UNHCR recommends that automatic suspensive effect is granted during the judicial review as a general rule, with derogations only on exceptional basis for subsequent applications, or in the case of manifestly unfounded or abusive claims. In those cases, guarantees for the applicant to request suspensive effect before a Court should be foreseen.

(...) UNHCR recommends reviewing the timeframes for appeal to ensure that they are reasonable in practice (minimum 15 days) to guarantee the right to effective remedy.

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African Union 21-08-02:

Danmark/ Press statement on Alien Act provision to externalize asylum procedures till sidans topp

The African Union condemns in the strongest terms possible, Denmark's Aliens Act, which was passed recently and which provides for Demark to relocate asylum seekers to countries outside the European Union while their cases are being processed. This law effectively externalizes and exports the asylum process beyond the borders of Demark. Denmark has decided to send applications for international protection outside its borders; which amounts to responsibility and burden shifting.

The African Union views this law with the gravest of concerns and wishes to remind Denmark of its responsibility towards international protection for persons in need of that protection as provided for in the 1951 UN Convention on refugees, to which Denmark is a state party.

Africa has a lot to show to the world as it continues to generously shoulder the burden of the world's 85% of the refugees, often in protracted situations, whereas only 15% are hosted by developed countries.

In addition, the African Union notes with great concern attempts and proposals to establish similar arrangements in Africa through bilateral arrangements, which is worrying and unacceptable. The African Union perceives such attempts as an extension of the borders of such countries and an extension of their control to the African shores. Such attempts to stem out migration from Africa to Europe is xenophobic and completely unacceptable.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210616:

AIDA 21-03-18:

Overview of the main changes since the previous report update till sidans topp

Asylum procedure

Consequences of COVID-19 on the asylum procedure: Following the outbreak of COVID-19, registration and asylum related activities have been temporarily suspended from 23 March to 11 May 2020. Subsequently, access to the asylum procedure and to reception conditions was suspended with no alternative solutions. This measure had no legal basis and mainly resulted from the lack of available civil servants within State agencies. On 30 April 2020, the Council of State urged the authorities to reopen access to registration in Paris.

Access to the territory: Reports of people being refused entry without their protection needs being taken into account at the Italian border persisted in 2020, as confirmed by the Council of State in a decision of 8 July 2020 in which it concluded that by refusing the entry to the territory the authorities had manifestly infringed the right to asylum. Intensified border controls and mass arrests have resulted in shifting migratory routes, forcing individuals to resort to more dangerous routes through the mountains. Cases of refusals of entry of unaccompanied children have also been reported in 2020, both at the Italian and Spanish borders, thereby violating the rights of the children. Thus, despite strong condemnation by monitoring bodies, civil society organisations, as well as court rulings condemning Prefectures for failing to register the asylum applications of people entering through Italy, access to the territory remains a serious matter of concern in 2020.

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UNHCR 21-06-03:

Danmark/ Filippo Grandi on the transfer of asylum-seekers to third countries till sidans topp

Today, the Danish Parliament approved amendments to the Danish Aliens Act.

The amendments will enter into effect if Denmark secures a formal agreement with a third country. This could see the forcible transfer of asylum-seekers and the abdication of Denmark's responsibility for the asylum process and for protecting vulnerable refugees.

UNHCR strongly opposes efforts that seek to externalize or outsource asylum and international protection obligations to other countries. Such efforts to evade responsibility run counter to the letter and spirit of the 1951 Refugee Convention, as well as the Global Compact on Refugees where countries agreed to share more equitably the responsibility for refugee protection.

Already today nearly 90% percent of the world's refugees live in developing or the least developed countries that - despite their limited resources - step up and meet their international legal obligations and responsibilities.

UNHCR has raised repeatedly its concerns and objections to the Danish government's proposal and has offered advice and pragmatic alternatives.

UNHCR will continue to engage in discussions with Denmark, which remains a valuable and long-standing partner to UNHCR, in order to find practical ways forward that ensure the confidence of the Danish people and uphold Denmark's international commitments.

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Dagens Nyheter 21-06-12: Ylva Johansson sågar Danmarks nya asylpolitik (Extern länk)

Danish Refugee Council: 21-06-03: Statement on the proposal on potentially externalize the asylum procedure (Extern länk)

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FARR 21-06-09:

Danmark/ FARR fördömer Danmarks migrationsutspel till sidans topp

Förra veckan röstade danska Folketinget ja till ett förslag som gör det juridiskt möjligt att förflytta personers asylprocess till ett tredjeland. Personer som tvingats på flykt och lyckats ta sig till Danmark kommer inte att släppas in där utan ska förflyttas till exempelvis Tunisien, Etiopien eller Rwanda för att genomgå asylprövning där. Detta är en i raden av humanitärt förkastliga förslag som har genomförts i Danmark de senaste åren.

Danmarks invandrings- och migrationsminister, Mattias Tesfaye, fick möjlighet att försvara förslaget i SVT:s program Aktuellt. FARR frågar sig vad det är som gör att förslag utanför all moral och internationell rätt kan diskuteras som rimliga och oförargliga, just när de handlar om flyktingar? Det är svårt att föreställa sig att en minister från ett auktoritärt styre skulle få sitta i svensk TV och förklara hur man enkelt kan tysta obekväma journalister, avskeda domarkåren eller förbjuda homosexualitet. Det kanske skulle kunna hända, men inte utan rejäla fördömanden och förklaringar varför sådant ses som uteslutet i övriga civiliserade länder. Men när det handlar om asylsökande kan en dansk minister framträda och förklara hur Danmark planerar att bli av med oönskade människor genom att dumpa dem i ett avlägset land som de inte har någon anknytning till, utan att först ta reda på vilka skäl de hade att fly. Saken har kommenterats som om metoden skulle vara den naturligaste sak i världen.

FN har dock skarpt fördömt att länder frånsäger sig sitt ansvar att ta emot asylsökande och se till att de får en rättssäker prövning. "Flyktingar är inte föremål som rika länder kan handla med", som Gillian Triggs från FN:s flyktingorgan kommenterat. Andra människorättsorganisationer och jurister har reagerat mot omänskligheten och cynismen i förslaget, bortsett från att det helt bryter mot internationell rätt på området.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210603:

Dansk Flygtningehjælp 21-05-25:

Danmark/ Massiv kritik af lovforslaget om overførsel af asylansøgere til tredjelande till sidans topp

"Usolidarisk og uansvarligt"

DRC Dansk Flygtningehjælp - og en lang række andre organisationer advarer imod lovforslag om overførsel af asylansøgere til asylsagsbehandling og eventuel efterfølgende beskyttelse i tredjelande, og opfordrer til, at lovforslaget ikke vedtages.

Forslaget til lov om ændring af udlændingeloven (L226), der vil skabe grundlag for overførsel af asylansøgere til asylsagsbehandling og eventuel efterfølgende beskyttelse i tredjelande færdigbehandles i Folketinget inden for de næste par uger.

Der er mange grunde til, at Danmark ikke bør udlicitere behandling af asylansøgninger og flygtningebeskyttelse til tredjelande og lovforslaget er blevet massivt kritiseret.

DRC Dansk Flygtningehjælp og en lang række andre organisationer og institutioner peger på følgende overordnede kritikpunkter:

Lovforslaget medfører stor risiko for overdreven magtanvendelse og menneskerettigheds krænkelser

Lovforslaget baserer sig på en snæver fortolkning af internationale forpligtelser og indeholder ikke tilstrækkelige detaljer om den praktiske implementering

Lovforslaget bidrager ikke til løsninger og vil have alvorlige konsekvenser for den globale flygtningebeskyttelse

Lovforslaget bygger på en falsk præmis. Det vil ikke skabe grundlag for en mere human flygtningepolitik eller forhindre at flygtninge udsættes for farlige rejser

Vi opfordrer til, at Lovforslag 226 ikke vedtages.

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UNHCR 21-05-28: UNHCR Note on the "Externalization" of International Protection (Extern länk)

Annex to UNHCR Note on the "Externalization" of International Protection: Policies and practices related to the externalization of international protection (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210520:

UNHCR 21-05-19:

Danmark/ UNHCR warns against "exporting" asylum, calls for responsibility sharing till sidans topp

Amid considerations by some governments to send asylum seekers abroad for processing, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is urging states not to externalize their asylum and protection obligations. UNHCR warns that such practices jeopardize the safety of those in need of international protection.

"UNHCR remains firmly opposed to externalization initiatives that forcibly transfer asylum seekers to other countries. Externalization simply shifts asylum responsibilities elsewhere and evades international obligations. Such practices undermine the rights of those seeking safety and protection, demonize and punish them and may put their lives at risk," said UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.

"It is ironic that, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, attempts are being made to weaken its principles and spirit. Instead, the priority must be to find more effective ways to guarantee the universal right to seek asylum and other rights provided by international refugee law."

Externalization attempts typically involve the forced transfers of asylum seekers to third, often developing, nations where human rights safeguards and resources may not be adequate. This may lead to their indefinite "warehousing" in isolated places or in punitive conditions, at great harm to their physical and mental health.

"I am dismayed by the argument that it is more cost effective to send and host asylum seekers in countries of the global south. I find this morally reprehensible - we must not put price tags on human lives. Refugees are not commodities that can be traded by wealthier nations. To do so is dehumanizing, exploitative and dangerous," warned Triggs.

"Externalization exploits both the vulnerabilities of overstretched, developing nations and those of refugees".

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210504:

UNHCR 21-05-04:

Storbritannien/ UNHCR Observations on the New Plan for Immigration policy statement till sidans topp

/utdrag/

The right to seek asylum does not discriminate based on mode of arrival

5. At the heart of the Plan is a discriminatory two-tiered approach to asylum, differentiating between those who arrive through legal pathways, such as resettlement or family reunion visas, on the one hand, and those who arrive irregularly on the other hand. For the latter, access to asylum and protection in the UK would become infinitely more challenging. While UNHCR welcomes the UK's continued commitment to legal pathways and better integration support offered to resettled and reunited refugee families, it remains clear that resettlement and other legal pathways cannot substitute for or absolve a State of its obligations towards persons seeking asylum at its borders, in its territory, or otherwise under its jurisdiction, including those who have arrived irregularly and spontaneously. This includes those arriving by boat. For the right to seek and enjoy asylum does not depend on the regularity of arrival of an asylum-seeker to a country. In reality, asylum-seekers are often forced to arrive at or enter a territory without prior authorisation.

6. The principle of non-refoulement, a foundational principle of international refugee protection, is central to this right. While the principle of non-refoulement does not entail a right to be granted asylum in a preferred State, in order to meet their obligations under the 1951 Convention, States are required to grant individuals seeking asylum access to their territory and to fair and efficient procedures, before taking action to effect their removal.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210314:

UNHCR 21-03- 10:

Ungern/ UNHCR concerned by Hungary's latest measures affecting access to asylum till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, deplores the recent decision of the Hungarian government to extend a decree that authorizes the police to automatically and summarily remove anyone intercepted for irregular entry and stay.

As a result of this decision, people who may be in need of international protection are denied access to territory and asylum procedures. Since 2016, the Hungarian authorities have forcibly removed more than 71,000 people.

The decree of 2016 declaring a 'crisis situation due to mass immigration', covering the entire territory of Hungary, was further extended on 27 February. This decision comes at a time when arrivals to the European Union, including Hungary, continue to decrease each year. The numbers of those arriving to the EU by sea and land in 2020 (95,000 people) decreased by 75 per cent when compared with 2016 (373,652).

This latest decision follows a string of concerning developments impeding access to asylum. In May 2020, the Government of Hungary introduced other extraordinary legislative provisions in response to the COVID-19 situation, requiring people seeking international protection to first express their intent to seek asylum at the Hungarian Embassy in neighbouring non-EU countries before they may be able to access territory and asylum procedures in Hungary.

"We urge the Government of Hungary to withdraw these legislative provisions and ensure that people who wish to seek international protection, many of whom are fleeing war, violence and persecution, have effective access to its territory and to the asylum procedure. UNHCR stands ready to support the Government of Hungary to review its asylum system to bring it in line with international refugee and human rights law," said UNHCR's Europe Bureau Director, Pascale Moreau.

(...)

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Choose Love 21-02- 26:

Grekland/ Under pressure - how Greece is closing in on civil society till sidans topp

Humanitarian work is essential and must be protected and respected.

The Greek government is making it impossibly hard for many vital humanitarian groups to operate - but protecting the rights of vulnerable people must come first.

Greek law requires all NGOs to register with the government, but by doing so they must fulfil a host of expensive and bureaucratic obligations. This controversial law will result in a vast number of small grassroots organisations, just like the partners we support, being prevented from doing their vital work.

This Greek registration process adds to the mounting criminalisation, intimidation and restrictions placed on NGOs worldwide.

We have just released a report detailing concerns that the walls are closing in on NGOs in Greece. Drawing on survey results from 70 organisations, our report calls for these laws to be brought in line with European and international standards on the freedom of association.

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UNHCR 21-03-08:

Danmark/ Observations from UNHCR on Danish law proposal on externalization till sidans topp

UNHCR's observations to the Danish government's law proposal on the possibility to transfer asylum-seekers to asylum processing and accommodation in third countries.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has submitted our observations to the Danish government's law proposal on transfer of asylum-seekers to asylum processing and accommodation in third countries.

The law proposal is introducing a new model, after which Denmark will no longer be carrying out the processing of an asylum-seekers request for asylum unless Denmark's international obligations require processing in Denmark. At the same time, the law proposal introduces a new model for processing and access to complaints as well as the possibility for detention.

The implementation of the law is relying on an agreement with a third country.

/Citat ur dokumentet:/

"In conclusion, UNHCR strongly urges Denmark to refrain from establishing laws and practices that would externalize its asylum obligations. UNHCR discourages national stand-alone initiatives, such as the present Danish proposal, which is not founded on solidarity and which may undermine the international protection system. Rather than developing initiatives that do not address the problem but just move it elsewhere, UNHCR encourages Denmark to use its strong engagement on global refugee issues as a foundation for working together in solidarity to develop regional and global responses to forced displacement with special focus in Europe and the current discussions on the proposed EU Pact on Migration and Asylum. "

Fetch UNHCR's observations (Extern länk)

ECRE 21-03-12: Danish externalization desires and the drive towards zero asylum seekers (Extern länk)

Centre for Advanced Migration Studies 21-03-19: The AMIS Seminar Report on Danish externalization politics is out (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210226:

UNHCR 21-02-24:

USA/ UN agencies begin processing at Matamoros till sidans topp

UN agencies today will begin to prepare individuals and families in the informal camp in Matamoros, Mexico for entry to the United States in line with the U.S. plan to terminate a policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that forced asylum-seekers to wait for their U.S. immigration hearings in Mexico.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Wednesday begins in-person registration of an estimated 750 people who have been living in the informal camp at Matamoros. A first group could be permitted to enter the United States later this week, pending authorization from U.S. authorities, who decide who will enter and when.

In addition to registration by UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is conducting COVID-19 tests to ensure protection of public health while the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is ensuring humane treatment of children and their families.

This action from UN agencies comes at the request of the U.S. and Mexican governments to assist with the re-entry into the United States of an estimated 25,000 people who have active immigration proceedings in the U.S. but were returned to wait in Mexico under the MPP program.

Both governments have prioritized the Matamoros camp due to the difficult humanitarian conditions there. Other individuals with active MPP cases residing outside the Matamoros camp will also be processed.

Following termination of the MPP program, a first group with active MPP cases entered the United States on February 19 at the San Ysidro port of entry between Tijuana and San Diego.

UNHCR, IOM and UNICEF support the termination of the MPP program and the addressing of the grave humanitarian situation of the thousands of people who have been waiting at the United States-Mexico border since as early as 2019.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210208:

Innovation Law Lab 21-01-28:

USA/ Asylum Seekers & Immigrant Groups Successfully Block "Remain In Mexico" till sidans topp

On Friday, February 28, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit blocked the Trump Administration's cruel and unlawful policy that returns tens of thousands of asylum seekers back to Mexico and forces them to remain there while their cases are considered in U.S. immigration court. Since the "Remain in Mexico" policy, officially known as "Migrant Protection Protocols" (MPP), went into effect on January 2019, more than 59,000 asylum seekers have been returned to Mexico. The federal appeals court held that the policy violates both federal law and U.S. treaty obligations, holding that the authority on which the Trump Administration relied on to implement the policy "simply does not exist."

In its decision, the Ninth Circuit rejected the government's argument that its "Remain in Mexico" policy protects migrants who will face harm upon return to Mexico, even though the policy does not require asylum officers to ask whether the individual fears return to Mexico. The court noted that several features of the "Remain in Mexico" policy-including its higher standard for overcoming removal and its limitations on an individual's right to an attorney-run counter to the government's humanitarian obligations under international law.

"The United States has an international obligation and a longstanding tradition of providing refuge to those fleeing persecution in their home countries," Tess Hellgren, attorney at Innovation Law Lab, explained. "The Remain in Mexico policy runs counter to those humanitarian obligations by forcing asylum seekers into dangerous conditions and obstructing their ability to advocate for their rights in U.S. immigration court."

(...)

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UNHCR 21-01-22: UNHCR brief before US Supreme Court on legality of "Stay in Mexico" program (Extern länk)

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The White House 21-02-04:

USA/ Executive order on resettling refugees and plan for climate impact on migration till sidans topp

Executive Order on Rebuilding and Enhancing Programs to Resettle Refugees and Planning for the Impact of Climate Change on Migration

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq., I hereby order as follows:

Section 1. Policy. The long tradition of the United States as a leader in refugee resettlement provides a beacon of hope for persecuted people around the world, promotes stability in regions experiencing conflict, and facilitates international collaboration to address the global refugee crisis. Through the United States Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP), the Federal Government, cooperating with private partners and American citizens in communities across the country, demonstrates the generosity and core values of our Nation, while benefitting from the many contributions that refugees make to our country. Accordingly, it shall be the policy of my Administration that:

(a) USRAP and other humanitarian programs shall be administered in a manner that furthers our values as a Nation and is consistent with our domestic law, international obligations, and the humanitarian purposes expressed by the Congress in enacting the Refugee Act of 1980, Public Law 96-212.

(b) USRAP should be rebuilt and expanded, commensurate with global need and the purposes described above.

(c) Delays in administering USRAP and other humanitarian programs are counter to our national interests, can raise grave humanitarian concerns, and should be minimized.

(...)

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Scott Roehm i Just Security 21-02-04: Biden's asylum EOs and where to go from here (Extern länk)

Roar 21-02-18: Biden's "business as usual" border regime (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201023:

Human Rights Watch 20-10-07:

Italien/ Finally, good news for asylum seekers in Italy till sidans topp

New decree rolls back some of the worst aspects of immigration policy

It pledged last year to do so, and now the Italian government has restored some humanity to its immigration and asylum system. This week, the council of ministers adopted a decree that reverses many of the worst policies imposed by the previous interior minister and current leader of the anti-immigrant League Party, Matteo Salvini.

The decree isn't perfect, but it's a step in the right direction.

The decree, adopted October 5, essentially re-establishes in Italian law the residency permit on humanitarian grounds that Salvini abolished in 2018, now called "special protection." This two-year permit is for people who don't qualify for asylum, but who shouldn't be sent away because they would face a risk of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment. The permit is also for people who have family and social links in Italy, or who suffer from serious physical or mental health issues. By one estimate, more than 37,000 people became undocumented since 2018 because humanitarian permits were abolished.

Crucially, the decree allows people to convert this and other short-term residency permits into longer-term residency permits based on employment. This will help prevent people falling into undocumented status. The decree reduces detention pending deportation to three months from six.

While the previous government restricted the nation's reception system to recognized refugees and unaccompanied children, the new decree opens the doors to asylum seekers awaiting a decision. It also ensures asylum seekers have the right to register with the city hall where they live, since a Constitutional Court ruling this past July found the denial of this right made it "unjustifiably difficult for asylum seekers to access the services to which they are entitled."

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200831:

Amnesty International 20-07-31:

Grekland/ Regulation of NGOs working on migration and asylum threatens civic space till sidans topp

New regulations introduced by the Greek government on the functioning of civil society organizations risk undermining their independence and further shrink the space for civil society, particularly for organizations that act to defend the rights of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. In the midst of an increasingly hostile climate for asylum-seekers, refugees and migrants, and those who try to assist them, Amnesty International is concerned that the new rules threaten the right to freedom of association in Greece.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200805:

Human Rights Watch 20-07-14:

USA/ Comment on proposed changes for asylum and withholding of removal till sidans topp

To whom it may concern,

Human Rights Watch respectfully submits this comment to the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Executive Office for Immigration Review on proposed changes to procedures for asylum and withholding of removal; credible fear and reasonable fear, EOIR Docket No. 18-0002, A.G. Order No. 4714-2020, issued June 15, 2020.

Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization. We operate in 90 countries and have been investigating, documenting, and exposing human rights abuses around the world for four decades. We have published numerous reports on the human rights of migrants and asylum seekers within the US immigration system, and on the persecution people have faced because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion in countries around the world.

The proposed regulation builds on three years of executive orders, proclamations, and regulations the administration of President Donald Trump has used to undermine the principles of refugee protection that have been enshrined in international law since the close of World War II. Administration policies have already seriously undermined the US asylum system - the proposed regulations would eviscerate it. The proposed rule would radically change long-established definitions and standards under US asylum law, in violation of international law binding on the United States.[1] If implemented, refugees will be sent back to persecution and other serious harm and non-refugees who are entitled to being protected from being tortured will likely be sent to places where they will face the threat of being tortured or killed.

Human Rights Watch therefore urges DHS to withdraw the proposed rule in its entirety.

The proposed rule appears designed to create insurmountable procedural barriers, evidentiary burdens, and qualification standards to prevent three groups, especially, from being able to exercise their right to seek and enjoy asylum in the United States: Central Americans fleeing gang violence; women fleeing domestic abuse; and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. That said, this regulation would set bars that would make it exceedingly difficult for all categories of people who qualify for and deserve asylum to be recognized as refugees and protected.

Hela kommentaren med beskrivningar av de kritiserade paragraferna (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 20-07-14: Trump wants to gut asylum claims. LGBTQ+ people will die (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200715:

UNHCR 20-07-09:

USA/ Statement by High Commissioner Filippo Grandi on U.S. asylum changes till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is concerned about planned changes to the asylum system in the United States. We are worried that the proposed "Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal, Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review", currently being circulated for public comment, mark a departure from humanitarian policies and practices long championed by the United States and rooted in international law.

The United States has for decades been a global leader in the field of refugee protection, on which the lives and freedom of many depend - providing access to asylum on its territory, resettlement places for extremely vulnerable refugees hosted elsewhere, and as the largest humanitarian donor to refugee programmes around the world.

However, the changes contained in the pending regulation, combined with separate restrictions enacted in recent years, would mean that many people fleeing persecution would be unable to request, or obtain, protection in the United States.

The obligation to provide a safe haven to those fleeing armed conflict, violence or persecution reflects fundamental values rooted in many legal traditions, and is a core aspect of modern international law. We have urged our interlocutors in the government of the United States - and in all governments around the world - to keep this in mind as they decide what policy decisions are appropriate.

The timeless beacons of human compassion and moral duty have always been the guiding lights of the U.S. asylum system. At UNHCR, we deeply value our longstanding partnership with the government and the people of the United States. As always, we remain ready to offer the technical expertise we have acquired around the world to support the United States in finding solutions to the challenges it faces today in maintaining an asylum system that is safe, fair and humane.

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UNHCR 20-06-29:

Ungern/ Access to asylum further at stake in Hungary - UNHCR till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is concerned about a legislative development in Hungary, the adoption on 17 June of the Act LVIII on Transitional Rules and Epidemiological Preparedness related to the Cessation of the State of Danger in response to the COVID-19 situation. This enactment further undermines the effective access to territory and asylum for those fleeing wars and persecution which had been already seriously constrained before.

Based on the new act, people arriving at the border of Hungary with the wish to seek asylum will be turned away and directed to declare such intent at a designated Hungarian Embassy. This may expose asylum-seekers to the risk of refoulement which would amount to a violation of the 1951 Refugee Convention and other international and regional human rights instruments to which Hungary is a State Party.

When presented with an asylum request at its borders, a State is required under international and EU law to provide admission at least on a temporary basis to examine the claim, as the right to seek asylum and the non-refoulement principle are otherwise rendered meaningless. Effective access to territory is an essential pre-condition to be able to exercise the right to seek asylum.

"Due to these fundamental concerns, we urge the Government of Hungary to initiate the withdrawal of the act and to review its asylum system to bring it into conformity with international refugee and human rights law as well as EU law," said UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.

While UNHCR understands the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, good practices across Europe and globally demonstrate that public health can be protected while ensuring access to territory and asylum, including through quarantines and health checks. UNHCR has compiled examples of such good practices and issued them together with further practical recommendations to States.

Läs mer (Extern länk)

UNHCR June 2020: UNHCR Position on Hungarian Act LVIII of 2020 on the Transitional Rules and Epidemiological Preparedness related to the Cessation of the State of Danger (Extern länk)

Boldizsár Nagy in EU Migration Law Blog 20-06-15: A - pyrrhic? - victory concerning detention in transit zones and procedural rights (Extern länk)

Elena legal update 20-06-26: Advocate General Opinion: National legislation of Hungary incompatible with EU asylum law (Extern länk)

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Greek Council for Refugees and Oxfam 20-07-01:

Grekland/ Greece's new asylum system designed to deport, not protect till sidans topp

The new Greek asylum system is designed to deport people rather than offer them safety and protection, warned the Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) and Oxfam today. This means that people who have fled violence and persecution have little chance of a fair asylum procedure, and even families with children are regularly detained in inhumane conditions.

In the report 'Diminished, Derogated, Denied', published today, the organisations show how the reformed Greek asylum law, which entered into force on 1 January 2020 and was later amended in May, exposes people to abuse and exploitation. This situation is further aggravated by the inhumane living conditions in Greece's refugee camps where people are now at risk of a devastating health crisis should COVID-19 reach the camps.

Evelien van Roemburg, Oxfam's Europe migration campaign manager, said:

"Greece's new law is a blatant attack on Europe's humanitarian commitment to protect people fleeing conflict and persecution. The European Union is complicit in this abuse, because for years it has been using Greece as a test ground for new migration policies. We are extremely worried that the EU will now use Greece's asylum system as a blueprint for Europe's upcoming asylum reform."

The organisations' analysis found that many particularly vulnerable people - such as children, pregnant women and people with disabilities - have been detained upon arrival on the 'hotspot' islands, without sufficient access to necessary care or protection. The asylum system also makes it extremely difficult for people seeking asylum to properly present their reasons for fleeing their home countries, like conflict or persecution, to the Greek asylum service.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200624:

Elena update 20-06-19:

Ungern/ New law on the lodging of asylum applications at embassies till sidans topp

On 18 June 2020, the Hungarian Government adopted Act VIII 2020 on Transitional Provisions related to the Termination of the State of Danger and on Medical Preparedness (the Omnibus Bill).

The Omnibus Bill follows Decree 233/2020 (V.26), which was introduced at the end of May 2020 and provides clarification of asylum procedures during the state of danger. In accordance with the Bill, those present at the territory of Hungary or at the border crossing points cannot apply for asylum in Hungary, but are directed to the nearest embassy. However, the Omnibus Bill does not restrict embassies to outside of the Schengen Zone, but allows the Government to issue a separate Decree that defines precisely at which embassies the statement of intent to make an application for asylum can be submitted.

Following the submission of a statement of intent, which may be made through a prescribed form, authorities may conduct remote interviews before issuing a single-entry permit to make an application for asylum. It is no longer possible to apply for asylum on the territory of Hungary, neither at the border crossing points with the exception of three categories of persons: those already holding subsidiary protection status in Hungary; those recognised as a refugee or as having subsidiary protection for their family members; and anyone subject to measures restricting their liberty unless they are found to have entered the territory irregularly.

The Bill will be in force until end of 2020, although it is possible that it may be extended.

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UNHCR 20-06-12:

Grekland/ Comments on the Law on "International Protection and other Provisions" till sidans topp

Part I - General Comments

1. UNHCR welcomes the effort made in the Law as stated in the Explanatory Report to codify legislation on international protection and, thus, reinforce legal certainty and effectiveness.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200523:

Human Rights Watch 20-05-19:

USA/ Abusive transfers of asylum seekers to Guatemala till sidans topp

Agreement denies Hondurans, Salvadorans effective protection

An agreement between the United States and Guatemala effectively compels Salvadoran and Honduran asylum seekers to abandon their claims, Refugees International and Human Rights Watch said today.

The joint report by Refugees International and Human Rights Watch, "Deportation with a Layover: Failure of Protection under the US-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement," shows that the US-Guatemala Asylum Cooperative Agreement, or ACA, does not meet the criteria in US law for a Safe Third Country Agreement that would enable Salvadorans and Hondurans to seek asylum in a safe country other than the US.

Under the agreement, the United States has rapidly transferred non-Guatemalan asylum seekers to Guatemala without allowing them to lodge asylum claims in the US. Given Guatemala's inability to provide effective protection and the risk that some transferees face the threat of serious harm either in Guatemala or after returning to their home countries, the US violates its obligation to examine their asylum claims by implementing the agreement, the report says.

Refugees International and Human Rights Watch interviewed 30 Hondurans and Salvadorans who had been transferred to Guatemala. They described abusive conditions at the US border before their transfer and danger, insecurity, and a lack of support upon arrival in Guatemala that made them feel pressure to return to their home countries despite fear of what they would face there.

"All the transferees we interviewed said the US never gave them an opportunity to seek asylum in the US or to explain why they fled their home countries," said Ariana Sawyer, US border researcher at Human Rights Watch and one of the report's authors.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200410:

Are You Syrious mfl 20-04- 01:

Slovenien/ Open letter to EU institutions regarding the response to the pandemic till sidans topp

Subject: The Government of Slovenia's military response to a health emergency

Dear Ursula von der Leyen, Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar, Michael O'Flaherty and Donald Tusk,

the civil initiative InfoKolpa, Radio ?tudent, Border Violence Monitoring Network, Are You Syrious? and Doctors for Asylees would like to bring to attention the alarming steps taken by the government of Slovenia in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The government of Slovenia is abusing the pandemic to continue its politics of fear and discrimination against one of the most vulnerable populations in Europe - migrants and refugees stuck on the Balkan route. In Slovenia, the politics of fear have led to a campaign in the parliament to invoke the controversial Article 37.a of the Defence Act. Activation of the article would give the Slovenian army unclear jurisdiction for the "protection of the broader border" area. However, there is substantial concern that such indefinite military power would expand into martial law across the country.

The new Slovenian government has been in power since 13. 3. 2020 and has already aggressively expanded its rule. It replaced the heads of the police force and the ministry of defense's intelligence and security service (OVS) and dismissed the head of the armed forces. Thus, bringing the state security apparatus directly under its control. Rapid personnel shifts in crucial institutions, barring journalists from press conferences, and media attacks amidst the pandemic demand close attention and caution.

As the world is experiencing a health emergency and humanitarian catastrophe, the Slovenian government is labeling the fight against the pandemic as a security threat. Consequently, the government called to grant the army police jurisdiction on the Schengen border with Croatia. Army's presence at the border would nominally be for the containment of the pandemic. However, in practice, it would prevent people from seeking shelter and international protection in the European Union (EU).

(...)

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ECRE 20-03-27:

Grekland/ Parliament ratifies emergency decree amid intensifying critique till sidans topp

UN Special Rapportour urges immediate action from the Greek authorities to stop violence, abuse and pushbacks at the Greek Turkish border. The Greek Parliament ratified on March 26, the controversial emergency decree suspending asylum procedures. The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament calls for the evacuation of 42,000 people from the Greek islands due to COVID-19.

Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants Felipe González Morales, expressed concern: "about the reported pushbacks of asylum seekers and migrants, which constitutes a violation of the prohibition of collective expulsions and the principle of non-refoulement." Morales was also alarmed by reports of assaults and violence against asylum seekers from Greek security officers and unidentified armed men and hostility and violence against humanitarian workers, human rights defenders and journalists in the country. When Greece suspended asylum procedures on 1 March the Rapporteur urged for a change of the decision and stated that it had: "no legal basis in international human rights law". ECRE member, Greek Council for Refugees applied on March 23 before the Council of State for the annulment of the act suspending asylum applications and urged the President of the Democracy to recall the act and the Greek Parliament not to ratify it.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200324:

Human Rights Watch 20-03-20:

Grekland/ Grant asylum access to new arrivals! till sidans topp

Authorities prevent access to services, plan transfers to mainland detention

Greek authorities have denied at least 625 people who arrived on the island of Lesbos between March 1 and 18, 2020 the right to seek asylum, Human Rights Watch said today.

The authorities are detaining 189 new arrivals on the island of Lesbos in unacceptable conditions. The other 436 were transported to a closed center in Malakassa, north of Athens, in conditions that are as yet unknown. On March 1, the Greek government suspended access to asylum for 30 days for people irregularly entering the country.

"For up to two weeks, the authorities have been holding women, men, and children - many of them fleeing war and persecution - in the open in cold temperatures, denying their right to seek asylum and preventing them from getting the humanitarian and legal assistance they need and are entitled to," said Belkis Wille, senior crisis and conflict researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Greece may be facing challenges on many fronts, from the coronavirus to a surge in arrivals, but it does not mean it can suspend fundamental rights or humane treatment."

The authorities have been holding the migrants and asylum seekers in three locations in northern Lesbos and at Mytilene harbor, and have prevented journalists from speaking with them. The March 1 decision calls for immediately deporting new arrivals "where possible, to their countries of origin" or to transit countries, such as Turkey, without registering them.

On March 17 the government, ostensibly as part of its response to the COVID-19 virus, announced that they are planning to transfer those detained and others who arrived on the islands after March 1 to closed facilities on Greece's mainland. On March 14, a Greek naval vessel transferred 436 migrants to a closed camp in Malakassa, north of Athens, pending their return to Turkey, local media reported.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200306:

ECRE 20-02-21:

Spanien/ New proposal restricting rights of asylum seekers till sidans topp

The Spanish government is working on a proposal for a reform of asylum law, seen by El Pais, that combines changes required to conform with EU legislation with new measures to speed up asylum procedures. The proposal comes to light in the aftermath of a controversial ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) on summary returns to Morocco and amid further reports of unlawful deportations to Mauritania.

The proposal includes the introduction of a 30-day deadline for new asylum applications after which the application will be inadmissible, in line with EU Asylum legislation. The proposal also limits access to protection in detention centers for aliens ('CIEs') and extends the grounds for refusal of applications. People in administrative detention will only have ten days to formalize their asylum application once they have been informed of their right to ask for protection. Any further attempts to apply for asylum will be considered efforts to delay their removal without the possibility to appeal at the court, a provision not contained in EU legislation.

The proposal also incorporates the EU's conception of 'internal flight alternatives' and 'safe country' into Spanish law, meaning that protection can be denied if certain areas in the country of origin are considered safe or if people had their habitual residence in a country considered 'safe', such as Morocco.

As an improvement to the rights of asylum seekers, the proposal also enshrines the recognition of the legal status of asylum applicants from the moment that they express their intention to claim asylum.

To speed up the processing of application, the proposal abolishes the involvement of an interministerial commission in the decision of asylum claims. Currently, the Office for Asylum and Refugees (OAR) is facing a backlog of 120. 000 asylum applications waiting to be processed, but is working to accelerate its pace.

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ECRE 20-02-21:

Grekland/ Fast procedures cutting the line - Turmoil over closed centres and transfers till sidans topp

According to Greek authorities the accelerated asylum procedure reduced the decision process for new arrivals in 2020 to 24 days, yet leaving out people awaiting decisions for up to two years. The government has been forced to halt expropriation of land to host closed centres for migrants in a showdown with authorities and residents on the Aegean islands and is facing protests from residents on the mainland refusing relocation from the island camps.

On February 15 Greek Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis praised the efficiency of the accelerated asylum procedure introduced in the controversial International Protection Bill in October 2019 and applied from January 1, 2020. The Minster also announced that rejections will lead to return as early as March orApril. The priority of processing cases of new arrivals under the accelerated procedure leaves out people who have awaited decisions for years and comes at the cost of reduced rights and procedural guarantees.

Mitarakis has suspended announced expropriations of land for the creation of new detention camps on five Aegean islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Leros and Kos giving local authorities a week to propose alternative locations for the facilities. The temporary halt followed treats of legal action and a suspension of all cooperation with mainland authorities by the council of the North Aegean Region. Local residents have also staged protests including a rally of hundreds of islanders in Athens to demand speedy transfer to the mainland of thousands of people now hosted in camps on the islands. The islands have also been the scene of police crackdowns of recent protests from inhabitants of the overcrowded camps with a capacity of a little more than 6000 and currently hosting 38,000 people under extremely harsh conditions deemed unsafe and unsanitary by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

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Amnesty International 20-03-02:

Grekland/ Inhumane asylum measures will put lives at risk till sidans topp

The inhumane measures which the Greek authorities are taking to prevent people from entering the country are an appalling betrayal of Greece's human rights responsibilities and will put the lives of people fleeing violence at risk, Amnesty International said today.

Yesterday, following a meeting of Greece's National Security Council, the authorities announced they would temporarily suspend the registration of asylum claims from people who enter the country irregularly. This measure will be coupled with the immediate return without registration of new arrivals if the return to their country of origin is "possible." It's not clear how the Greek authorities are interpreting "possible" in this context.

"Everyone has a right to seek asylum. Deporting people without due process could mean sending them back to the horrors of war or expose them to grave human rights violations, breaching the fundamental principle of non-refoulement," said Eve Geddie, Director of Amnesty International's European Institutions Office.

''The reckless measures being taken by the Greek authorities are a blatant breach of EU and international law that will put lives at risk. People seeking asylum are once again being used as bargaining chips in a callous political game."

Greece also announced that from today its armed forces will conduct exercises with live ammunition near the Evros land border and the Aegean Sea. Thousands of people have gathered at Turkey's land and sea borders since the Turkish authorities announced on 28 February they would no longer prevent people from crossing there.

According to reports thousands of people have arrived at the borders of Turkey with Greece. Since last Thursday, clashes have been reported between Greek police and people at the land border, with the police using excessive force and indiscriminately firing tear gas into crowds to stop them from crossing into Greece.

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Human Rights Watch 20-03-04: Greece/EU: Respect rights, ease suffering at borders (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch mfl 20-03-06: Open letter by 85 organizations regarding rights violations of refugees (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200125:

ECRE 20-01-10:

Italien/ Report on effects of the "Security Decrees" on migrants and refugees in Sicily till sidans topp

Borderline-Europe publishes its 2019 report "The situation of refugees in Sicily", focusing on the impact of the Decree Law 113/2018, implemented by Law 132/2018 on the asylum system. Despite a change of government in Italy in September 2019, the Law on immigration and security was neither abolished nor amended, resulting in profound consequences on the reception, protection and basic provisions in Sicily and across Italy.

With the aim to make the asylum system more effective, the Law transformed the System of protection for asylum seekers and refugees (SPRAR) to the System of protection of refugees and unaccompanied minors (SIPROIMI), excluding asylum seekers and beneficiaries of humanitarian protection status from the second-line reception centres. This means that the two groups are channelled into the existing Emergency Accommodation Centres (CAS), which do not offer integration opportunities and are often located in isolated areas. Additionally, the new Law massively reduced funds for CAS, which accommodates approximately 75-90% of all migrants, as well as funds for mediation and legal advice in them. Due to the reduction of funds, many CAS had to lower their services or close their facilities in Sicily.

The asylum procedure was affected through a legislate reform, abolishing the humanitarian protection status, which was frequently granted before the 2018 law reform. The report highlights how this led to the irregularization of migrants who were eligible for the humanitarian protection status, aggravating their access to the reception system and leaving them in destitution. The Law also repealed the rules governing civil registration, prohibiting asylum-seekers to register as residence, excluding them from basic health care and social coverage.

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Artikeln med länkar till rapporten och annan information (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 20-01-31: Italy: Revoke Abusive Anti-Asylum Decrees (Extern länk)

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AIDA 20-01- 06:

Grekland/ Government adopts a list of safe countries of origin till sidans topp

The Greek government adopted on January 4 a Joint Ministerial Decision that declares 12 countries as safe countries of origin. This includes Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, India, Morocco, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia and Ukraine.

The possibility for the establishment of a list of safe countries of origin is foreseen by the new International Protection Act (IPA) which has been heavily criticised for introducing several restrictions on individual rights and procedural guarantees in the Greek asylum system. Article 87(1) IPA thus provides the rules for the establishment of such a list by way of Joint Ministerial Decision and Article 83(9) IPA foresees that applicants originating from a safe country of origin are subject to the accelerated procedure.

Until last week, there was no national list of safe countries in Greece and the rules relating to safe countries of origin in Greek law were not applied in practice.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191214:

UNHCR 19-12-05:

Australien/ UNHCR statement on Australia's repeal of Medevac legislation till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is disappointed by the repeal of the Medevac legislation in the Australian Parliament on Wednesday, which may negatively impact vital care for asylum seekers in offshore processing facilities.

Since its commencement earlier this year, the medevac mechanism had proven to be a timely, effective and often life-saving programme for seriously ill asylum seekers at facilities at Manus Island in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

More than 3,000 refugees and asylum seekers have been forcibly transferred by Australia to the offshore processing facilities since 2013.

After more than six years of uncertainty regarding solutions, UNHCR is extremely concerned that the health situation of asylum seekers and refugees will continue to deteriorate.

In the absence of the now repealed Medevac mechanisms, UNHCR urges the Government of Australia to continue utilising pre-existing legislative processes in a good faith effort to evacuate individuals in need of urgent medical treatment.

As Australia retains responsibility for people forcibly transferred under its offshore arrangements, UNHCR urges the Government of Australia to find appropriate solutions including taking up the longstanding offer by New Zealand to resettle refugees and to prevent further harm.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191129:

AIDA 19-11-25:

Turkiet/ Proposed reform of the Law on Foreigners and International Protection till sidans topp

A bill submitted to the Turkish Parliament last week brings about various amendments to the Law on Foreigners and International Protection (LFIP) as regards the international protection procedure, qualification, reception conditions, as well as removal procedures.

International protection procedure and qualification

Cessation

Article 86 inserts a cessation ground in Article 85(1) LFIP. Cessation may be applied where a beneficiary of international protection voluntarily leaves Turkey, benefits from the protection of a third country or is admitted to a third country under humanitarian admission or resettlement. According to the Explanatory Memorandum, the rationale behind this measure is to avoid practical challenges faced by the authorities in providing services to persons who have already been resettled or transferred to another country.

Documentation

Article 83: The reference to six months as validity period for International Protection Applicant Identification Cards in Article 76(1) LFIP is repealed. Under the bill, the Ministry of Interior will be responsible for laying down the rules and procedures for renewing these Identification Cards.

Article 85: As regards the duration of validity of documents issued to beneficiaries of international protection, the reference to periods of three years for refugees and one year for conditional refugees and subsidiary protection holders in Article 83 LFIP is repealed. The duration of validity of these documents, along with the rules on format and content, is to be determined by the Ministry of Interior.

Article 74 amends Article 46 LFIP relating to the duration of validity of humanitarian residence permits. These no longer have a maximum duration of validity of one year.

International protection procedure

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Arkiveringsdatum 191120:

AIDA 19-11-18:

Nederländerna/ An end to legal aid at first instance till sidans topp

The Dutch State Secretary for Asylum and Migration has announced that asylum seekers will no longer receive state-provided legal assistance and representation during the examination of their claim at first instance.

Applicants in the regular procedure are currently appointed a lawyer during the six-day "rest and preparation period" following the registration of their claim. Under the plan, they will only be provided with a lawyer upon rejection of their asylum application by the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND).

The government's decision disregards advice from the "Van Zwol" committee of inquiry (Onderzoekscommissie Langdurig verblijvende vreemdelingen zonder bestendig verblijfsrecht) to invest in frontloading and to maintain the provision of legal aid from the outset of the procedure. The committee highlighted that the early appointment of a lawyer contributes to forming a relationship of trust with the applicant and to improving the quality and accuracy of the application.

The Dutch Council for Refugees has warned the Parliament to oppose the measure on the ground that it will result in a deterioration in the quality of IND decisions. This will in turn entail heavier workload and higher costs for courts, as well as an increase in subsequent applications.

The move comes amid increasing delays in the processing of asylum applications, with over 10,000 people waiting for an interview with the IND, some of them for over a year. Persisting delays in the procedure have exacerbated a shortage of reception places in the country. The State Secretary has commissioned an external evaluation of the implementation of the asylum procedure by the IND.

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Greek Council for Refugees 19-10- 23:

Grekland/ The asylum draft bill violates international, EU and national law till sidans topp

The asylum draft bill violates international, EU and national law and exposes thousands of asylum seekers and refugees, the majority of whom are women and children, in high risk

On the evening of October 21, and mere hours after the just 5 day-long public consultations were concluded, the draft bill "on International Protection" was submitted to Parliament through the urgency procedure.

The Greek Council for Refugees (GCR) underlines that the proposed draft bill leads to the blatant undermining of fundamental guarantees and rights of refugees and asylum seekers, in violation of international, EU and national law, as well as the principle of non-refoulement.

More specifically, with the submitted draft bill:

- Basic guarantees about the "fairness and effectiveness" of the asylum procedure are abolished, especially given the completely insufficient system of free legal aid and the systemically dysfunctional administration (indicatively: the shortening of deadlines within which asylum seekers can exercise their rights, fast-track procedures of application examinations, limiting of the applicant's opportunity to consult a lawyer before the examination of their application, abolishing of the right of continuation of the procedure, the interruption of which is often due to inadequacies of the administration etc.)

- The automatic suspensive effect of the appeal against the first instance decision is abolished for extended groups of asylum seekers, exposing them to the risk of being returned to countries where their lives are in danger, before the asylum procedure is completed, in direct violation of EU legislation.

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Human Rights Watch 19-10-29: Greece: Asylum overhaul threatens rights - Remove all abusive articles before passing law (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 19-10-24: Proposed bill on asylum downgrades EU and international law standards on refugees' protection (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191025:

ECRE 19-10-18:

Grekland/ Legislation reform and chaos on the islands amid expected surge in arrivals till sidans topp

The Greek authorities have introduced an announced overhaul of the country's asylum legislation and appeals to NATO as well as the EU over the expected increase of arrivals from northeastern Syria. Fire and violence caused havoc in Samos camp.

Greek authorities are alarmed by the situation in northeastern Syria where 160,000 people have been displaced since the Turkish military operations began on October 9. Athens called for increased NATO naval control of the Aegean and are appealing for EU solidarity during the European Council meeting in Brussels. Greek minister for migration Giorgos Koumoutsakos stated that: "Europe shouldn't be caught unprepared again nobody can be certain what is going to happen."

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Arkiveringsdatum 191017:

AIDA 19-10- 04:

Italien/ Decree lists 13 countries as "safe countries of origin" till sidans topp

The Italian government signed today a decree establishing a list of countries designated as "safe countries of origin". The concept was introduced for the first time in the Italian asylum procedure following the 2018 legislative reform.

The list, approved by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice on a proposal of the Ministry of Interior, contains 13 countries: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Ukraine, Ghana, Senegal and Cape Verde.

According to the latest available statistics, Ukraine (1,090) was the sixth main nationality of asylum seekers in Italy, followed by Morocco (894), Senegal (843) and Albania (791) during the period 1 January to 2 August 2019.

Asylum seekers coming from one of the designated "safe countries of origin" may be subject to an accelerated procedure, whereby Territorial Commissions decide on their application within five days unless they can invoke serious grounds to believe that the country concerned is not safe in their particular case. Territorial Commissions can reject such applications as manifestly unfounded if they deem that no risk of persecution or serious harm exists. The border procedure, applicable at the southern and north-eastern regions of the Italy according to a recent decree, can also be applied to nationals of these countries.

The list of "safe countries of origin" has been presented as a "return decree" (decreto rimpatri). According to the Italian Council for Refugees, however, the decree per se has no impact on Italy's return policy.

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ECRE 19-10-11: List of 13 Safe Countries of Origin to Boost Return Policies (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191002:

ECRE 19-09-13:

USA/ Supreme court lifts ban on safe third country policy, legal battle continues till sidans topp

The Trump administration can start implementing a 'safe-third-country' policy that denies asylum requests to people who have travelled through another country, such as Mexico, without seeking protection.

By a vote of 7-2, the justices said the administration can enforce the rule announced in July while a legal challenge is still on-going. They did not explain the reasoning behind their decision, which came after a District Judge had initially blocked the new rule from taking effect in late July, saying "it is inconsistent with the existing asylum laws." A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals narrowed that order, ruling it only applied in California and Arizona. Another intervention from the District judge was again overturned early this week.

A record number of Central American families have sought asylum in the United States. The Justice Department says there are more than 436,000 pending cases. According to the new rule, they can only claim asylum in the U.S. if their asylum claims in the country they transited has been rejected.

If asylum seekers are believed to face grave danger in their country of origin, their deportation can still be halted under the Convention Against Torture Non-refoulement principle. This "withholding of removal" is a lesser status that blocks their deportation but does not put them on a path to legal U.S. residency.

Dissenting Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that "the rule the Government promulgated topples decades of settled asylum practices and affects some of the most vulnerable people in the Western Hemisphere - without affording the public a chance to weigh in." The other dissenting judge commented "the Government implemented its rule without first providing the public notice and inviting the public input generally required by law."

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Amnesty International 19-09-12: Trump administration's asylum ban could be a death sentence for people seeking safety (Extern länk)

Human Rights Watch 19-09-25: US move puts more asylum seekers at risk (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190826:

Human Rights Watch 19-08-02:

USA/ Bill would shut doors to Central Americans till sidans topp

Legislation would effectively end asylum at southern border

The United States Senate Judiciary Committee on August 1, 2019, forwarded a bill to the full Senate that would all but shut US doors to Central American refugees, Human Rights Watch said today. The Secure and Protect Act (S.1494), introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham, would transform the Trump administration's draconian administrative measures into law, preventing Central Americans, particularly children and families, from seeking or obtaining asylum.

The bill would essentially extinguish the right of Central Americans to seek asylum, replacing it with an entirely discretionary refugee resettlement program. The resettlement program allows the United States to admit refugees from overseas but does not require it to do so. The change would leave the vast majority of Central American refugees unprotected.

"Senator Graham's bill would codify the cruel instincts of a president intent on scapegoating and vilifying refugees," said Bill Frelick, refugee rights director at Human Rights Watch. "This bill would make it that much harder to undo the great damage this administration has already done to Central American child refugees and their families."

The Graham bill would establish "refugee application and processing centers" in Mexico and three locations in Central America. Any national or resident of a Central American country that has such a center or who lives in an adjacent country would be ineligible for asylum in the United States. As a result, no one from Central America who could have applied for refugee admission in those countries would be allowed to seek asylum on arrival in the United States.

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Se även:

Immigration Impact 19-08-09: Rushing immigration court cases through 'rocket dockets' deprives families of due process (Extern länk)

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Helsingforsstiftelsen June 2019:

Polen/ HFHR report: access to asylum procedure at Poland's external borders till sidans topp

HFHR report: access to asylum procedure at Poland's external borders. Current state of affairs and future challenges

A recently published report of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights, entitled Access to Asylum Procedure at the external borders of Poland. Current State of Affairs and Future Challenges, discusses access to the asylum procedure at the Eastern border of Poland.

For a number of years, the HFHR has been alerting about the Border Guard's arbitrary refusals of the right to submit an application for international protection at Polish border crossing stations, in particular at Terespol and Medyka. Several judgements of Polish courts in cases concerning the refusal of entry and the ongoing legislative works on an amendment to asylum laws provided the impetus for the drafting of this report.

The report summarises the situation on the eastern border of Poland in the years 2015-2019. It presents an analysis of national, EU and international law on access to asylum, describes the case law of national courts and the European Court of Human Rights and sums up the findings of monitoring activities undertaken by non-governmental organizations, the Commissioner for Human Rights and the Ombudsman for Children. The report also outlines planned changes to asylum law. These changes include, among other things, new border procedures, lists of safe third countries and countries of origin and significant changes in the appeal procedure, which, according to the HFHR, will, in fact, legitimise forced returns of refugees arriving at Polish borders. A review of the proposed provisions and their rationale leads to the conclusion that the amendments' purpose is twofold: first, they aim at preventing the entry to Poland of persons declaring their intention to apply for international protection and, second, they are designed to facilitate the process of expulsion of asylum seekers while failing to provide them with any basic procedural guarantees, such as the right to an effective remedy.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190703:

AIDA 19-06-19:

Ungern/ New Police Department takes over responsibility for asylum till sidans topp

A Government Decree entering into force next month establishes a National General Directorate for Immigration (Orsz·gos IdegenrendÈszeti FQigazgatÛs·g) under the management of the Police, which will be responsible for immigration and asylum-related tasks.

The operation of the General Directorate for Immigration will be governed by the Police Act. According to Sections 1(1) and 1(2)(20) of the Police Act, as amended by Act XXXV of 2019, immigration and asylum tasks now come under the responsibility of the Police.

The General Directorate for Immigration will take over responsibility from the Immigration and Asylum Office (Bev·ndorl·si Ès Menek¸lt¸gyi Hivatal) on 1 July 2019, according to the amended Section 7/H of the Police Act and Section 6 of Decree 126/2019. The Decree specifies that employees of the Immigration and Asylum Office shall declare in writing before July 2019 whether they wish to become members of the new authority, i.e. cease their government employee status and join the police personnel.

According to Section 30 of Decree 126/2019, the Immigration and Asylum Office shall cease to exist by 1 July 2019.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190620:

Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project 19-05-01:

USA/ Presidential memorandum furthers attack on asylum seekers till sidans topp

In yet another step to punish refugees for seeking asylum, on April 29, 2019, President Trump released a memorandum enumerating his plans to further restrict asylum seekers' access to protection. The memo proposes policies that will fundamentally undermine asylum seekers' access to a fair day in court while also creating unnecessary and cruel obstacles that will make it exceedingly difficult for anyone to successfully navigate the asylum process. The policies that the president proposes display a complete lack of regard for established U.S. and international asylum law.

The memo instructs the Attorney General and the Secretary of Homeland Security to take action to alter the asylum application process in the following ways:

1. Impose a fee to apply for asylum, thereby creating a financial bar to protection. Already, asylum seekers are denied a public defender, forcing those who are unable to pay for a private attorney- 90-95% of detained immigrants in Arizona-to represent themselves in court. Our clients come to the U.S. fleeing danger, oftentimes leaving behind everything they have. Imposing a fee for asylum would make the relief inaccessible to the vast majority of our clients. Access to lifesaving protection should not be afforded to only those who can pay.

2. Speed the processing of asylum cases. This measure would mandate that all asylum cases, including appeal, be completed within 180 days. Such a regulation threatens immigrants' rights to due process by reducing the amount of time that they have to prepare their testimony and gather evidence of persecution. This will especially affect our clients, whose detention adds a significant barrier to accessing evidence and resources needed to defend their claims.

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Kristin Macleod-Ball in Immigraion Impact 19-04-17: The trump administration plans to incarcerate some asylum seekers indefinitely (Extern länk)

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AIDA 19-06-14:

Tyskland/ A controversial law package passes the Parliament till sidans topp

On 7 June 2019, the German Parliament (Bundestag) adopted several amendments which regulate immigration- and asylum-related issues. Amongst them is the very controversial "Orderly Return Law" (Geordnete-Rückkehr-Gesetz) which toughens the rules on deportations. The amendments are not yet enacted but will be passed on to the second chamber, the Bundesrat.

The following section provides a non-exhaustive summary of key amendments introduced, with a focus on the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz, AsylG), the Asylum Seekers' Benefits Act (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz, AsylbLG) and the Residence Act (Aufenthaltsgesetz, AufenthG).

I. Amendments to the Asylum Act (Asylgesetz, AsylG)

Counselling and legal assistance

One of the key changes is the transposition of a current pilot project into law, according to which the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) provides counselling and legal assistance to asylum seekers. This is regulated in a new provision:

Section 12a: the provision foresees that the Federal Office provides voluntary and independent legal advice on the asylum procedure in a two-step approach: (i) group counselling sessions which provide information on the asylum procedure as well as on return procedures; and (ii) individual counselling sessions, which can be carried out either by the Federal Office or by welfare organisations if necessary.

ECRE has already expressed concerns with regard to the quality of these new counselling arrangements as it raises questions over the independence and potential conflict of interests. Thus, ECRE insists both on the role and the importance of NGO counselling to adequately inform asylum seekers, as it ensures a fair and efficient asylum procedure.

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UNHCR 19-06-12:

Italien/ UNHCR urges Italy to reconsider proposed decree affecting rescue at sea till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is concerned at a recent decree from the Government of Italy that contains several provisions affecting refugees and migrants, including fines for NGO vessels engaged in saving lives at sea.

Sea rescue is a long-standing humanitarian imperative. It is also an obligation under international law. No vessel or shipmaster should be at risk of a fine for coming to the aid of boats in distress and where loss of life may be imminent.

"At a time when European states have largely withdrawn from rescue efforts in the Central Mediterranean, NGO vessels are more crucial than ever," said Roland Schilling, UNHCR Regional Representative to Southern Europe ad interim. "Without them, it is inevitable that more lives will be lost."

Of further concern to UNHCR is that the decree may result in shipmasters being penalized for refusing to disembark rescued people in Libya. In light of the extremely volatile security situation, widespread reports of human rights violations and routine use of detention for people rescued or intercepted at sea, no one should be returned to Libya.

UNHCR has stated repeatedly its view that robust search and rescue capacity, particularly in the Central Mediterranean, needs to be coupled with a regional mechanism allowing quick, predictable and safe disembarkation. Responsibility for rescued refugees and migrants needs to be shared among States, not left to one or two.

UNHCR is calling on the Italian Government to reconsider the decree and for Parliament to amend it with a focus on refugee protection and saving lives at its core.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190609:

Human Rights Watch 19-05-16:

Italien/ Reject Anti-Rescue Proposals - Criminal penalties could deter saving lives till sidans topp

The Italian government should firmly reject a proposal to fine shipmasters up to ¤5,500 for every person they rescue and take to Italy, Human Rights Watch said today. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has proposed this and other problematic anti-rescue measures in a decree to be examined by the government starting as early as today.

"Salvini's latest salvo in his war on humanitarian rescue puts a price tag on the right to life," said Judith Sunderland, associate Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "The rest of the coalition government should reject this naked effort to discourage saving lives at sea, including by merchant vessels."

Since becoming interior minister, Salvini has repeatedly sought to further restrict the already extremely tight Italian policies on rescues at sea and disembarkation of people rescued at sea. Italy has cut back on search-and-rescue operations, delayed or refused taking people rescued at sea to Italy, and supported efforts by Libyan coast guard forces to interdict asylum seekers and migrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean to Europe and return them to abusive detention in Libya.

The first draft of the decree would impose fines of between ¤3,500 and ¤5,500 per foreigner rescued at sea and subsequently taken to Italy in the event the rescuing ship did not comply with "the operating instructions issued by the authorities responsible for the area in which the rescue operation takes place or by the respective authorities of the flag state" or the laws of the sea.

The flag state is the country that has licensed the ship. In cases involving ships flying the Italian flag, the decree allows for temporary suspension or revocation of the license of vessels whose instances of rescue and disembarkation in Italy are considered "grave or repeated."

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Källor: Informationen på denna sida är hämtad från följande källor (externa länkar): EU (kommissionen, ministerrådet, parlamentet och domstolen), Europarådet (mr-kommissionären, domstolen, kommittén mot tortyr), FN:s flyktingkommissariat UNHCR, FN:s kommitté mot tortyr m.fl. FN-organ, Sveriges Radio, SvT, andra svenska media via Nyhetsfilter och pressmeddelanden via Newsdesk, utländska media till exempel via Are You Syrious och Rights in Exile, internationella organisationer som Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ECRE, Statewatch och Picum, organisationer i Sverige som Rädda Barnen, Asylrättscentrum, Svenska Amnesty, FARR och #vistårinteut samt myndigheter och politiska organ som Migrationsverket, Sveriges domstolar, JO, Justitiedepartementet m.fl. departement och Sveriges Riksdag.

Bevakning: Hjalte Lagercrantz och Sanna Vestin. Sammanställning: Sanna Vestin. Asylnytt är ett ideellt projekt. Sponsring avser prenumerationsavgifter. Tips emottages tacksamt.