Executive Summary for August 15th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda, an attack on Hazara refugees detained in Australia’s Manus facility and children stranded in migrant camps in Calais, France.

Published on Aug. 15, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Thousands Flee From War in South Sudan Into Uganda

Since South Sudan’s peace deal collapsed last month, some 70,000 people have poured over the border into neighboring Uganda.

The rapid influx of refugees is straining the capacity of aid agencies, whose work in the region was already underfunded, humanitarian workers say.

“In all my career, I’ve never had a situation where we were receiving over 8,000 refugees a day and international media had not picked up on it,” the Lutheran World Federation’s Jesse Kamstra told Voice of America. “No international attention, no additional funds.”

The refugees are living in poor conditions in overcrowded camps, and the United Nations is concerned about potential disease outbreaks.

Uganda has one of the largest refugee populations in the world – half a million refugees already live in the country.

South Sudan’s two-year civil war reignited in early July. Refugees arriving in Uganda told U.N. officials of a renewed wave of killings, sexual violence and child abductions.

Aid groups expect a further 80,000 South Sudanese to reach Uganda by the end of the year.

Refugees Detained in Australian Offshore Center Attacked by Locals

Two refugees detained in an Australian-run facility on Manus island, Papua New Guinea, were violently attacked by a group of local men last week, a human rights group said.

The two men were surrounded, robbed and beaten with an iron bar on August 10, according to human rights lawyer Daniel Webb and freelance photojournalist Matthew Abbott, who captured the aftermath of the attack.

The men are members of Afghanistan’s persecuted Hazara minority. Refugees who try to enter Australia by boat are detained and barred from resettlement in Australia.

News of the incident came days after the Guardian newspaper published more than 2,000 leaked documents detailing abuse at Australia’s other detention facility, on Nauru island.

Advocacy groups say local hostility toward refugees in Manus has increased since Papua New Guinea’s supreme court ruling in April that the detention center was illegal, leaving the detainees in legal limbo.

Child Refugees Promised Entry to U.K. Stranded In Calais

Refugee children who have a legal right to come to the U.K. have been left stranded in migrant camps in northern France, British opposition politician Yvette Cooper says.

More than 200 children living in the camps in Calais should be reunited with their families in Britain under the European Union’s Dublin regulation, but the U.K. has only admitted 40 of them.

A further 200 children in Calais should be admitted to the U.K. under Britain’s Dubs amendment on unaccompanied child refugees, but only 30 children have been accepted since May.

“At the current rate of progress it would take over a year to reunite every child with their family,” Cooper wrote in a letter to Britain’s home scretary.

“With each day that goes by these children and teenagers are at continued risk of abuse, sexual exploitation, trafficking, psychological trauma and disease in the Calais camp.”

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