Executive Summary for September 27th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including Germany’s support for migrant deals with African countries, the UAE’s plan to welcome 15,000 Syrians and the UN’s warning that the closure of Calais’ “Jungle” camp puts child refugees at risk.

Published on Sep. 27, 2016 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

Angela Merkel Calls for ‘Migrant Deals’ With African Countries

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the E.U. should negotiate migrant deals with African countries, similar to the current agreement made with Turkey, in order to quickly return those who do not qualify for asylum.

Merkel made her argument on Saturday, during the E.U. summit in Vienna, explaining that “those who cannot stay for humanitarian reasons will be returned to their home countries.”

Merkel reiterated her point on Monday while at a tourism conference, reported Reuters. She added that the EU must tackle the root causes of migration and called for an increase in development aid in order “to prevent a repeat of the situation seen last summer” in reference to the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea.

Referring to African countries in particular, Merkel said, “It’s important that we give the African countries perspectives for the future … We either have to let people come to us, or we have to combat the root causes of migration so that people see prospects for staying there, close to their homes.”

UAE to Admit 15,000 Syrian Refugees

The United Arab Emirates will host 15,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years, said the UAE’s minister of international cooperation, Reem bint Ibrahim al-Hashemi, the Emirates News Agency reported.

This policy shift comes in addition to the $750 million the UAE has already spent to support Syrian refugees, mostly in neighboring countries. Speaking at the U.N. leaders’ summit last week, Hashemi said, “In refugee camps that the UAE has set up in Jordan, northern Iraq, even in Greece, we provide basic life-saving support such as shelter, food and basic health, water and sanitation services.”

Hashemi added that some 115,000 Syrians were living and working in the UAE before the Syrian crisis started and more than 123,000 have relocated to the country since 2011.

However, Middle East Eye reported that “none of these have refugee status, and are instead given permission to relocate as professionals on workers’ visas.”

The UAE will be the first Gulf state to give Syrian refugees asylum status, though Hashemi did not indicate how the UAE will select the 15,000 refugees or how much support the state will give them.

Closure of ‘Jungle’ Camp Puts Child Refugees at Risk

The closure of the Calais “jungle” camp will put many unaccompanied minors living there at risk of going missing or being subject to trafficking, the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, told Reuters on Monday.

“Before the bulldozers arrive, there must be robust plans to safeguard the hundreds of unaccompanied children currently stranded in the camp,” said Lily Caprani, UNICEF U.K.’s deputy executive director.

“If mistakes from the first eviction are repeated, we will see more children going missing, falling prey to traffickers and facing the winter without a home,” she added.

UNICEF has called on French and British authorities to accelerate the reunification process of child refugees with their families in the U.K.

“The U.K. must work with the French authorities to get children into appropriate accommodation, where they can have access to care and legal support, so they can reach their families [in Britain] safely,” said Caprani.

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