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Executive Summary for March 29th

We review the latest developments on refugee issues, including a new draft law requiring refugees in Germany to learn the language, a report from Oxfam slamming wealthy countries for failing to admit their fair share of refugees, and a spike in boat crossings from Libya.

Published on March 29, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

New German Law Would Require Refugees to Integrate or Leave

Germany’s interior minister Thomas de Maiziere is planning a new draft law that would require refugees to integrate into society and learn German, or risk losing their permanent residency rights, Reuters reports.

For those who refuse to learn German, for those who refuse to allow their relatives to integrate – for instance, women or girls – for those who reject job offers: for them, there cannot be an unlimited settlement permit after three years,” de Maiziere told ARD television.

The draft law is planned for May, Newsweek reports. It comes after German chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party lost votes in regional elections held in March. Many voters criticized her refugee open-door policy.

Report: Rich Countries Failing to Take ‘Fair Share’ of Syrian Refugees

Wealthy countries including France, the U.K. and the U.S. are failing to take their fair share of Syrian refugees, according to a new report from aid agency Oxfam.

According to calculations based on the size of a country’s economy, Oxfam says that only Canada, Germany and Norway have made resettlement pledges that exceed their “fair share.” Australia, Finland, Iceland, Sweden and New Zealand have pledged over half of their fair quota.

The U.K. has so far agreed to receive less than a quarter of its fair share, according to the Guardian.

The report comes ahead of a U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) summit on the refugee crisis in Geneva. Oxfam is calling on the countries attending the conference to admit at least 10 percent of the refugee population – about 480,000 people – by the end of the year.

Libyan Coastguards Stop Three Europe-Bound Boats

Libyan coastguards intercepted three boats carrying hundreds of people across the Mediterranean to Europe on Sunday, and forced them to turn back to Libya, Agence-France Presse (AFP) reports.

It is reported that the boats were mostly full of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa, including several pregnant women.

Coastguards “intercepted three large dinghies off the coast of Sabratha,” west of Tripoli, a spokesman for the Tripoli government’s navy told AFP.

AFP also reports that an additional 752 people were picked up by Italian and Libyan coastguards in the Mediterranean on Monday.

Migrants and refugees from sub-Saharan Africa who reach Libya have few prospects in the fractured country, and many are in limbo. There are concerns among E.U. leaders that the recent deal with Ankara to stem refugee crossings to Greece could result in an increase in crossings from Libya as the weather improves.

Recommended Reads

Top image: A Syrian man holds his son as they arrive with refugees and migrants on a dinghy from the Turkish coast at Mytilene, Lesbos island, Greece. (AP Photo/Manu Brabo)

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