SIHMA | Scalabrini Institute For Human Mobility In Africa

February Press Review


“Not the France I Imagined”

Human Rights Watch, 30 January 2024

A Human Rights Watch report highlights the plight of unaccompanied migrant children in Marseille, France, who face delays in age assessments, leading to negative outcomes that result in evictions and life on the streets. The report emphasizes the physical and mental health toll on these children, with many experiencing post-traumatic stress symptoms, difficulty accessing healthcare, and delays in education enrollment. The prolonged legal limbo also has implications for their future legal status and highlights the need for better protection of the rights of unaccompanied migrant children in accordance with international and European Union law.

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Italian leader Meloni unveils plan to promote Africa development and curb migration at summit

AP News, 29 January 2024

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni has introduced Italy's significant development plan for Africa at a summit of African leaders. The plan, named after Enrico Mattei, the founder of state-controlled oil and gas company Eni, aims to address migration issues, diversify energy sources, and establish a new, mutually beneficial relationship between Europe and Africa. With an initial endowment of 5.5 billion euros ($5.95 billion), the plan focuses on pilot projects in education, healthcare, water, sanitation, agriculture, and energy infrastructure to create jobs and opportunities in Africa and discourage dangerous migrations across the Mediterranean.

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House of Lords vote to delay Rishi Sunak's controversial Rwanda Bill

Rédaction Africanews with AP, 23 January 2024

The House of Lords in the UK has voted 214 to 171 to delay the ratification of a migration treaty with Rwanda, a move largely symbolic but indicative of increased opposition to the plan to return asylum seekers to Rwanda. The treaty is a key element of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's attempt to overcome the UK Supreme Court's block on deportations. Critics argue that the plan is incompatible with international human rights law, and the vote highlights the strength of opposition in the House of Lords, even though the Lords cannot block an international treaty directly.

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Sudan Conflict Fuels World’s Largest Internal Displacement

Human Rights Watch, 31 January 2024

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) recently reported that Sudan has the highest rate of internal displacement in the world, with 10.7 million people uprooted, including 9 million internally displaced since the conflict erupted in April 2023. Sudan faces severe humanitarian crises, including widespread hunger, dysfunctional hospitals, and millions of children out of school. Despite this, the international response has failed to prioritize civilian protection and hold warring parties accountable, while humanitarian efforts remain significantly underfunded, with only 3.1 percent of the required $2.7 billion funded for the 2024 Sudan Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan.

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Migration Along the Eastern Corridor (December 2023)

IOM, 29 January 2024

The Horn of Africa and Yemen is one of the busiest and riskiest migration corridors in the world travelled by hundreds of thousands of migrants, the majority of whom travel in an irregular manner, often relying on smugglers to facilitate movement along the Eastern Route. This regional report provides monthly updates on the complex migratory dynamics through Djibouti, Somalia, Yemen and Ethiopia based on diverse data sources and consultations with key informants in the four countries. Moreover, it provides information on the main protection concerns for migrants along the journey, information on the spillover effects of the conflict in the Sudan observed at the border with Ethiopia, a specific focus on children and information on the returns from Saudi Arabia to Ethiopia, Somalia and Yemen.

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Tunisian group accuses authorities of mass expulsions of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa

Rédaction Africanews with AP, 9 January 2024

Migration activists are raising concerns about mass expulsions and arbitrary arrests of migrants in Tunisia, accusing the government of prioritizing European demands over humanitarian considerations. The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights reports dire conditions, including arbitrary arrests and violence, particularly around Tunisia's borders with Libya and Algeria, as well as in the city of Sfax, a common stopover for migrants heading to Europe. Despite reports of systemic abuse, Tunisian officials dispute such claims, while activists urge the government to end deportations and provide migrants with safe haven and legal status.

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A digital leap for inclusivity: This YouTube channel sheds light on migrant lives in SA

IOL, 19 January 2024

Initiatives were recently launched in Cape Town and Johannesburg to support migrants and their families in South Africa. The efforts include the introduction of the Fusion Avenue YouTube channel, featuring videos created by migrants about their lives in South Africa, and the premiere of the documentary "Through Their Eyes," shedding light on the challenges migrants face, including documentation and discrimination. The online resources aim to provide guidance to migrants, emphasizing the secure use of digital technology to mitigate risks such as abuse, harassment, and identity theft. As of 2020, an estimated 2.9 to 4 million migrants were residing and working in South Africa.

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Southern Africa: Backsliding on Democracy Jeopardizes Rights

Human Rights Watch, 11 January 2024

The Human Rights Watch World Report 2024 highlights that Southern African governments targeted and suppressed political opposition, activists, and journalists in 2023. The region faced issues related to political instability, freedoms of expression, association, and equal participation, particularly in the context of elections, political unrest, and restrictions on civic spaces. The report calls for addressing escalating cases of abduction, arbitrary detentions, torture, and killings of opposition activists, emphasizing the need for respecting human rights, political plurality, and freedom of expression and association in the region.

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