Executive Summary for September 9th

We review the latest news related to refugees, including demands from German chancellor Angela Merkel’s allies for a migrant cap in the country, Greece being slammed for keeping refugee children in police stations and Pakistan extending its deadline for Afghan refugees

Published on Sep. 9, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Merkel’s Conservative Allies Call for Migrant Cap

Allies of German chancellor Angela Merkel have called for a migrant cap. Conservatives in Bavaria issued a list of demands following an election defeat for the ruling party in her home state.

Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) were beaten into third place in the poll in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania at the weekend, behind the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD).

Merkel’s allies in Bavaria – the Christian Social Union (CSU), which is part of the conservative ruling bloc – have responded by renewing demands for a limit on the number of refugees and migrants and calling for a burqa ban.

A five-page CSU paper seen by Reuters, which will be formalized this weekend, calls for a legally binding cap on the number of migrants permitted to enter Germany and the ending of dual citizenship.

“The number of a maximum 200,000 new refugees per year is the upper limit for successful integration and must be written into law,” it said.

It follows public criticism of Merkel’s open-door policy from her junior coalition partner, Sigmar Gabriel, of the Social Democrat party. The chancellor has previously ruled out a limit on migrants.

Greece Holding Refugee Children in Police Stations

Refugee children are being held in illegal detention in Greece, said Human Rights Watch. Lack of suitable shelter places means minors are being kept in “poor and degrading conditions.”

The watchdog urged Greece to stop using police facilities to house unaccompanied minors in a report released Friday.

“Human Rights Watch found that many children face degrading conditions in police station cells and in coast guard facilities, and unsanitary conditions in pre-removal detention centers,” the report said.

“Children were made to live and sleep in dirty, bug- and vermin-infested cells, sometimes without mattresses, and were deprived of appropriate sanitation, hygiene and privacy.”

Some 3,300 unaccompanied minors arrived in Greece in the first seven months of 2016, according to Greek authorities. Several hundred of them are in police stations and detention camps.

“Clearly a police station is no place to house children … (but in some cases) there was no other way to guarantee that the children would be safe,” Giorgos Kyritsis, a government spokesman, told the Associated Press.

Pakistan Extends Deadline for Afghan Refugees to Leave

Pakistan has extended the deadline for Afghan refugees to leave the country. The end-of-year date has been pushed back by three months to March 31, prime minister Nawaz Sharif said in a statement.

There have been several delays since the deadline was announced earlier in 2016 amid pressure from the international community.

Pakistan has the world’s second largest refugee population, with more than 1.5 million registered and about 1 million unregistered refugees from Afghanistan. Most of them fled the Soviet occupation of their country in the 1980s.

Despite the announcement, there are reports that Pakistani authorities have been forcing Afghans to go back home.

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