Executive Summary for October 12th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including the slow pace of Greek efforts to shelter unaccompanied refugee children, the U.S. suspension of deportations to Haiti and IOM’s warning that refugees from Myanmar need more aid.

Published on Oct. 12, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Greece Says It Will Take a Year to Shelter Lone Refugee Children

Greece says it will take one year to find proper shelters for 2,200 refugee children who arrived in the country on their own.

Around a thousand lone children have been placed in shelters so far, migration minister Ioannis Mouzalas said. Another 1,200 children are living in camps around Greece, many of which are squalid and overcrowded.

Eighty percent of the children are over 15 years old, while five percent are under 8 years old, according to AFP.

“It would be lying to say a solution will be found in under six months. We think a year is necessary,” Mouzalas said.

He promised that the 25 unaccompanied children still being held in Greek police stations would be moved to other accommodations this week. Human rights groups have warned Greece that locking up unaccompanied minors leaves them vulnerable to abuse and sexual violence.

Some 60,000 asylum seekers are stranded in Greece after European nations tightened their borders earlier this year.

U.S. Suspends Deportations to Haiti After Hurricane

U.S. authorities suspended deportation flights to Haiti after a Category 4 storm devastated the country last week.

Hurricane Matthew has killed at least 500 people in Haiti, with the death toll expected to rise sharply once remote areas become accessible. The storm destroyed homes, crops and basic infrastructure across the country, prompting a rise in cholera cases and at least 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid.

Last month, the United States resumed deportations of undocumented Haitians after a six-year hiatus. Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson said the deportations were temporarily suspended after the hurricane, but will resume in future.

There has been a recent surge in Haitians hoping to enter the United States via Mexico, resulting in overflowing Mexican shelters. Mexican officials warned the numbers may rise further following the hurricane.

IOM Says Myanmar Refugees Need More Protection, Aid

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) warned that the thousands of refugees from Myanmar who have sought shelter in neighboring Bangladesh need more help.

“The humanitarian situation here is fragile, and is not getting the global attention it requires,” IOM’s director of emergency operations, Mohammed Abdiker, said on a visit to unofficial camps near the Myanmar border.

“Tens of thousands of people are at risk of malnutrition, disease and violence, due to the insufficient water and sanitation facilities and the overall vulnerability of the displaced Rohingya community,” he said.

Clashes broke out this weekend in Rakhine state, home to the marginalized Rohingya minority, raising concerns of a renewed exodus of refugees.

Over 100,000 people, mostly Rohingyas, remain in displacement camps after fleeing violence in Rakhine in 2012.

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