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Rwanda says UN refugee agency lying in British asylum policy case

Rwanda says UN refugee agency lying in British asylum policy case

RWANDA said the U.N. refugee agency had lied when the organisation told a British court this week that asylum seekers sent to the East African country could be moved on again to states where they risked torture or death. Lawyers representing the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told the court on Monday that Rwanda's asylum system was inadequate, as part of a challenge to the British government's policy to deport asylum seekers there. The lawyers said removing asylum seekers to Rwanda put them at risk of being transferred again in a banned process known as refoulement - building on past evidence which…
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Migrant numbers are rising: conflict, climate and harassment are forcing tens of millions to leave their homes

Migrant numbers are rising: conflict, climate and harassment are forcing tens of millions to leave their homes

THE number of forcibly displaced people increased to 108 million in 2022 and is expected to reach 117 million by the end of 2023, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Of these, just over 60 million were internally displaced – people who have been forced to leave their homes but have not crossed their (internationally recognised) borders. Almost 30 million were refugees outside their country of origin. The remainder were asylum seekers, stateless persons, returnees and persons in need of international protection. BORJA SANTOS PORRAS, Director Ejecutivo - IE School of Global and Public Affairs, IE University UNHCR…
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Over 1 million may flee Sudan conflict, UN refugee agency says

Over 1 million may flee Sudan conflict, UN refugee agency says

THE U.N. refugee agency warned that an earlier projection that conflict in Sudan would prompt 1 million people to flee across its borders is likely to be surpassed. So far, the conflict between warring military factions that began in mid-April has caused nearly 600,000 people to escape into neighbouring countries including Egypt, Chad, South Sudan and Central African Republic. "Unfortunately, looking at the trends, looking at the situation in Darfur, we're likely to go beyond 1 million," Raouf Mazou, UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Operations, said in response to a question about its estimate in April for the coming six…
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Global level of forced displacement climbs to record 110 million, UN says

Global level of forced displacement climbs to record 110 million, UN says

THE number of people forcibly displaced around the world has climbed to a record 110 million people, the head of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said, with conflicts in Ukraine and Sudan spurring millions of people to flee their homes. The increase of around 19 million people to 108.4 million by the end of last year is the biggest annual jump on record, UNHCR said in a report released on Wednesday. That number has since risen further to 110 million, mostly due to Sudan's eight-week-old conflict, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told journalists. "It's quite an indictment…
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UN refugee agency ‘greatly alarmed’ over mass displacement in Congo conflict

UN refugee agency ‘greatly alarmed’ over mass displacement in Congo conflict

THE U.N. Refugee Agency said it was "greatly alarmed" by clashes between government forces and armed groups in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that had caused hundreds of thousands to flee. Speaking to reporters in Geneva, UNHCR spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said the violence had prompted nearly 300,000 people to flee across Rutshuru and Masisi territories of DRC's North Kivu Province in February. "Civilians continue to pay the heavy and bloody price of conflict, including women and children who barely escaped the violence and are now sleeping out in the open air in spontaneous or organised sites, exhausted and traumatised,"…
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A tale of two refugee crises

A tale of two refugee crises

RACHAEL REILLY and MICHAEL FLYNN RUSSIA's brutal and devastating invasion of Ukraine has triggered the largest and fastest refugee movement in Europe since World War II. After only a single week, more than one million people had already fled the country. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) initially predicted that as many as four million people would flee; the UN now thinks that some 10 million will eventually be displaced. While the EU calls this the largest humanitarian crisis that Europe has witnessed in “many, many years,” it is important to remember that it was not so long ago that the…
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From text to tablet: how to learn in a lockdown

From text to tablet: how to learn in a lockdown

UMBERTO BACCHI AS a third lockdown traps millions of British schoolchildren at home, free tablets and televised lessons are being touted as alternative ways to learn in a lockdown. Globally, two in three school-age children lack internet at home, according to the United Nations, and ensuring equal access to education has become an acute challenge in the pandemic. With governments, charities and firms scrambling to get more people online or provide alternative learning sources, here are seven initiatives underway worldwide to boost remote learning: SOLAR RADIOS - Burkina Faso Burkina Faso began broadcasting lessons on radio, television and online after…
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Major violations at Tigray refugee camps

Major violations at Tigray refugee camps

THERE have been major violations of international law at two refugee camps in Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, according to the U.N.'s refugee agency (UNHCR). It said satellite imagery showed fires burning and fresh signs of destruction at the Shimelba and Hitsats camps for refugees from neighbouring Eritrea, who fled political persecution and compulsory military service before the conflict in Tigray. "These are concrete indications of major violations of international law," Filippo Grandi, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement. Reuters published satellite images on Tuesday from California-based company Planet Lab Inc that showed destruction in the two camps…
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Half of violence against African migrants is by law enforcers, UN says

Half of violence against African migrants is by law enforcers, UN says

CECILE MANTOVANI NEARLY  half of all the violence visited on African migrants during their journey to the Mediterranean coast is perpetrated by law enforcers, the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has said. According to a report by UNHCR and the Danish Refugee Council's Mixed Migration Centre (MMC), thousands of refugees and migrants suffer extreme abuse including torture and sexual or gender-based violence, and in some cases death. The report is based on nearly 16,000 interviews with refugees and migrants. "In 47% of the cases, the victims reported the perpetrators of violence are law enforcement authorities, whereas in the past, we…
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Nigerian villagers seek safety in Niger

Nigerian villagers seek safety in Niger

ONLY a few days into 2021, gunmen attacked Rambadawa, in northern Nigeria, to loot the village and steal cattle. "I was on my way home when I came face to face with the bandits," says Abdoulaye. "They said: ‘If you move, you're dead!' I barely moved a foot and they shot me in the leg." Abdoulaye fell to the ground, but somehow managed to reach a house to hide out. When the attackers left, two villagers were dead. Aisha, Abdoulaye's heavily pregnant sister-in-law, was at home when she heard gunshots. "They were firing in all directions, people were fleeing for…
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