Executive Summary for October 6th

We review the latest developments related to refugees, including the imminent closure of Manus Island detention center, Greece finalizing 500 new teachers for refugee children, the rescue of 10,000 people in the Mediterranean in two days.

Published on Oct. 6, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Manus to Begin Deportations Before End of Month

Deportations from the Manus Island migrant detention center will begin this month. Papua New Guinea is to close the facility that Australia uses to warehouse migrants.

Staff on Manus were told in a meeting that decisions on the asylum status of inmates would be made during October. Detainees who were not granted asylum would be deported to their country of origin, the Guardian reported.

“When processing is complete, it will no longer be a processing centre,” the meeting was told. “At this point ‘negatives’ – those whose claim for asylum has been rejected – will have no right to stay there. They will be obliged to return home.”

However, the vast majority of the roughly 800 men are expected to be given refugee status, and their future is unclear. Many of them have made clear their refusal to settle in Papua New Guinea, which has said it cannot shelter all of them. Australia has made it clear it will not resettle the men.

Greece to Appoint Extra Teachers for Refugees

The Greek Education Ministry said that 500 extra teachers would be appointed this week to begin lessons in refugee camps.

“We estimate that 500 teachers from the ministry lists of stand-by educators will be drafted, as well as kindergarten instructors,” said Yiannis Pantis, general secretary of the Education Ministry.

Greece is holding 60,000 refugees and migrants stranded in the country when its northern borders were closed. The E.U. has given Greece extra funds to improve conditions for the majority of these people, who are being sheltered at state-run facilities around the country.

Fresh Surge of Mediterranean Crossings Sees 10,000 Rescued

More than 10,000 migrants were rescued and at least 50 died in the Mediterranean Sea this week. The final toll from a host of operations on Monday and Tuesday was released by Italy’s coastguard on October 6.

A period of warmer, calmer weather has seen increased crossings – primarily from Libya. Thirty rescue missions in just two days found the majority of people launched into the Mediterranean on small inflatable and wooden boats.

Almost all the deaths were the result of overcrowding and people being crushed in the hold of wooden vessels in scenes akin to historic slavery ships, according to a Greek photographer who boarded a number of them.

The latest surge in new arrivals means at least 142,000 migrants have reached Italy since the start of the year and around 3,100 have died.

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