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Executive Summary for May 13th

We review the latest issues related to refugees including the 90 percent drop in migrant arrivals to Greece in April, the attack at Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camp and Turkey’s plan to address the claims of increasing sexual assault cases in border refugee camps.

Published on May 13, 2016 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

Migrant Arrivals to Greece Drop 90 Percent in April

In April, 2,700 migrants arrived in Greece by sea, which is a 90 percent drop from the month before, Frontex, the European Union’s border agency, said on Friday.

The steep and sudden drop came after the E.U. and Turkey agreed to a deal to stem the flow of refugees making the perilous sea journey to Europe. Under the terms of the deal, all displaced people who arrived in Europe but were unable to obtain asylum would be returned to Turkey. In exchange, the E.U. has pledged $6.85 billion to assist Turkey in managing the its massive influx of refugees.

“The drop in the number of arrivals on the Greek islands was dramatic. The total for all of April is well below the number of people we often saw reaching just the island of Lesbos on a daily basis during last year’s peak months,” said Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri.

Meanwhile, Italy has seen a much higher number of migrant arrivals than Greece since the warmer season arrived. According to a Frontex report: “Due to the significant drop in arrivals on the Aegean islands in April, the number of migrants reaching Italy exceeded the totals for Greece for the first time since June 2015. The reversal occurred despite the fact that 8,370 migrants detected on the Central Mediterranean route represented a 13% fall from March and a nearly 50% drop compared to the same month of 2015.”

The majority of displaced individuals who arrived in Italy are nationals of Eritrea, Egypt and Nigeria. In Greece, Syrian refugees make up the majority of the arrival population.

Armed Attack at Rohingya Refugee Camp In Bangladesh

A group of armed men attacked a security post at a camp for Rohingya refugees in southern Bangladesh close to the Myanmar border on Friday, killing the post commander.

The attackers stormed the Nayapara refugee camp, shot dead the head guard and tied up other security personnel before stealing their weapons and fleeing the scene. They took 11 rifles and 570 rounds of ammunition, local police chief Mujibur Rahman told Agence France Presse.

“The miscreants could be hiding inside the camp,” a police inspector told AFP on the condition of anonymity. However, he added that “people can enter from any sides of the 0.75-square kilometer camp, which is surrounded by jungle and can easily hide among its crowds,” he said.

The camp is home to roughly 25,000 Muslim refugees who fled Myanmar after religious persecution, according to UNHCR. The Bangladeshi government has said that as many as 300,000 refugees are living, unregistered, in the area close to the Myanmar border.

Turkey to Investigate Sexual Assault Claims in Refugee Camps

The Turkish government issued a statement Thursday responding to claims that several refugees were sexually assaulted in a camp near the Syrian border.

A cleaning worker at the camp reportedly sexually assaulted at least 30 boys between the ages of eight and 12 over the last three months in a Gaziantep camp. He allegedly offered the children small amounts of cash if they followed him to locations that were not under the camp’s video surveillance.

The Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD), the main Turkish organization running the country’s refugee camps, said it has taken measures to ensure the victims receive the help they need and to prevent future incidents from occurring.

AFAD closely followed developments regarding the case and took all the administrative measures. The victims were provided with psychological support and measures to prevent a repeat of such cases were taken. We have taken the necessary steps and will continue to do so,” the statement said.

The suspect was apprehended and now faces up to a 289-year prison sentence.

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