Oxfam International Blogs - migrants http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/tags/migrants es On World Refugee Day, Like Every Day - We See People, Not Refugees http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/82002 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong><span>Refugees are people who have left everything behind - escaping from war, violence or persecution. But they are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children - who still have dreams and ambitions. On World Refugee Day - like every day - we pause to honor&nbsp;</span></strong><strong>Humankind above all the figures. Being a refugee is not a choice.</strong></p><p>This week the UNHCR announced that, in 2018, there were nearly <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/news/press/2019/6/5d03b22b4/worldwide-displacement-tops-70-million-un-refugee-chief-urges-greater-solidarity.html" rel="nofollow">71 million people</a> across the globe who were either refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced.</p><p>That's 2.5 million more than in 2017.</p><p>That's 37,000 people forced to leave their home every day.</p><p>People that left everything behind - escaping from war, violence or persecution, fearing for their lives because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, political opinion, ethnic background or other.</p><p><strong>Being a refugee is not a choice</strong></p><p>Extreme violence in <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/19-03-26-seven-things-you-need-know-about-war-yemen">Yemen</a>, <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/hunger-crisis-south-sudan" rel="nofollow">South Sudan</a>, Afghanistan, Syria, DRC, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Iraq or the <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/18-08-24-working-women-rohingya-refugee-camps-make-toilets-safer">Rohingyas exodus</a> from Myanmar, among others - have meant millions and millions of people forcibly displaced over the past years.</p><p>Each refugee’s story is different, but in all cases, life changes drastically. In many cases it means leaving all their loved ones behind, hoping they will see them again, at some point in the future.</p><p>They leave their professional lives behind, in many cases moving into the black market or having no options for employment at all.</p><p><img alt="Photo of Za&#039;atari refugee camp: We see people, not refugees. Credit: Oxfam" title="Photo of Za&#039;atari refugee camp: We see people, not refugees. Credit: Oxfam" height="512" width="1024" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/see-not-refugees-see-people.jpg" /></p><p><strong>Leaving dreams behind</strong></p><p>They leave many of their dreams, hopes, plans and ambitions behind.</p><p>In many cases they entrust their life to smugglers, and undergo long and <a href="https://missingmigrants.iom.int/region/mediterranean" rel="nofollow">dangerous journeys with uncertain ends</a>. Some people do not even make it, and <a href="https://twitter.com/Refugees/status/1140545618240319488" rel="nofollow">die in the journey</a>.</p><p>They might be threaten, sexually abused or exploited, raped, humiliated, demonized, regarded with suspicion, denied their rights, feel like a stranger, uprooted even hopeless.</p><p>Amid and despite all of it, refugees find the necessary courage and determination to get on with their lives, seeking ways to rebuild their lives.</p><p>And they have so much to offer, <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/19-06-19-face-kindness-welcoming-refugees-lesbos-greece">enriching and contributing to society</a> in many different ways, they bring their cultural heritage, their experiences, knowledge, skills and energy to create.</p><p><strong>I cannot even start to imagine</strong> what it means to undergo such a traumatic experience. But what I know is that humankind is central to the answer. Refugees and displaced people are not numbers and statistics.</p><p><span>Some host governments, some citizens and political parties, even some of the media - have dehumanized them and turned them into statistics.</span></p><p>But “refugees” are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children. They are teachers, small farmers, nurses, musicians or taxi drivers with names, faces, stories - and the same right for a dignified future and fearless tomorrow, as we all have.</p><p><strong>It is time for solidarity, humanity and compassion</strong> - and also time for governments and the international community to take responsibility for the root causes that fuel and force millions of people to flee.</p><p>We have a legal, but most important a moral obligation. Being a refugee is not a choice.</p><p><em>This entry posted 20 June 2019, by Franc Cortada, Oxfam International Global Program Director.</em></p><p><em>Photo: The train station is also a transit camp for refugees trying to cross the border between Macedonia and Serbia. Credit: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Read more</strong></p><ul><li><strong>Blogs by <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/franc%20cortada">Franc Cortada</a></strong></li><li><strong>Blogs on <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/1857">Oxfam's humanitarian work</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>On World Refugee Day, Like Every Day - We See People, Not Refugees</h2></div> Thu, 20 Jun 2019 15:45:06 +0000 Guest Blogger 82002 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/82002#comments Children remind us that refugees and migrants deserve respect, like us all http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81391 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>Too often we put labels on people arriving by boat into Europe and we lose sight of the fact that they are people. In Poznan, children are leading the way in reminding us all that <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-10-11/oxfam-grave-abuse-shows-urgent-need-shift-eu-migration-agenda" rel="nofollow">respect and dignity</a> are something we all deserve.</p><p>In the “<a href="http://gallerywithouthome.com/" rel="nofollow">Gallery without a Home</a>”, just launched in Poland, children are sharing a message of welcome to <a href="https://oxfaminternational.exposure.co/crossing-the-serbian-border-to-hungary-with-nothing-but-hope" rel="nofollow">people seeking refuge in Europe</a>, through their own drawings and art. It is a “gallery” that is moving in more ways than one, as it will eventually reach people who are themselves on the move.</p><p>What is striking is that the children have not looked for excuses why you cannot or should not help. We know these excuses too well from the adult world of politicians and <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/tags/european-migration-agenda" rel="nofollow">decision makers</a>. Instead, 300 children in grades 1-4 wanted to express their interest in the fate of children on move, their care and compassion.</p><p>The written and spoken wishes accompanying colorful drawings aim to encourage, to bring joy to life, and to comfort. It is a message that leaders across Europe could do well to listen to and learn from.</p><p><img alt="Postcard" title="Postcard" height="874" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/dsc_7152-postcard-1240.jpg" /></p><p>So far the children have prepared more than 300 postcards (including the ones featured on this page), during 32 workshops in their schools, with more to come. Their postcards will be delivered to children living currently in camps in Greece, Serbia and Italy.</p><p>Support is growing for this welcome message.&nbsp; Already, there is a long waiting list of schools and city halls, libraries, museums, and galleries across Poland who would like to host “The Gallery without a Home” in the future. The Gallery will soon go on tour to other countries.<br><br>This campaign was developed and is being run by local Polish organisations <a href="https://www.cebam.amu.edu.pl/en/projects/cebam-projects.html" rel="nofollow">CEBAM Foundation</a> and <a href="http://www.migrant.info.pl/home.html" rel="nofollow">Migrant Info Point</a> as well as Oxfam, and it is supported by the Mayor of Poznan. To find out more, go to: <a href="http://gallerywithouthome.com/" rel="nofollow">www.gallerywithouthome.com.</a></p><p><em>This entry posted by Dr. Stana Buchowska, Central and Eastern Europe Migration Alliance Advisor, Oxfam, on 1 February 2018.</em></p><p><strong><img alt="Heart postcard" title="Heart postcard" height="874" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/dsc_7173-boat-rainbow-1240.jpg" /></strong></p><ul><li><strong>Read the blog: <a href="https://medium.com/@Oxfam/the-eu-needs-a-new-migration-policy-heres-how-to-make-it-work-for-people-bb9b72302add" rel="nofollow">The EU needs a new migration policy. Here’s how to make it work for people.</a></strong></li><li><strong>Read the report: <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/beyond-fortress-europe-principles-humane-eu-migration-policy" rel="nofollow">Beyond ‘Fortress Europe’: principles for a humane EU migration policy</a></strong></li><li><strong></strong><strong>Support <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/refugee-and-migrant-crisis" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's response to the refugee and migrant crisis</a></strong></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Children remind us that refugees and migrants deserve respect, like us all</h2></div> Thu, 01 Feb 2018 14:50:23 +0000 Guest Blogger 81391 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81391#comments Museum Without a Home, but with a Hope! http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81289 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This entry posted by Martha Roussou, Advocacy Officer in <a href="https://www.facebook.com/OxfamInGreece/" rel="nofollow">Oxfam in Greece</a>, on 26 October 2017.</em></p><p>As an advocacy officer, I have written various reports on the situation of migrants and refugees in Greece. I know the numbers, statistics and legislation by heart. But the people and the human stories behind the numbers and statistics are my driving force.</p><p>When I started looking for stories of items Greek people had given to migrants and refugees, I thought people would talk about functional things: clothes, food, water. And this is indeed what many Greek people said they had offered.</p><h3>A compelling solidarity</h3><p>I was very surprised though, to see that people on the receiving end talked about a hairbrush, a face cream or a cup of coffee as the most important things they had received! These were the things that made them feel human. These were the things that NGOs and government distributions did not cover. These were the things that showed them that they were accepted, not as poor helpless people, but as dignified human beings.</p><p>The campaign, designed and run by Oxfam and Amnesty International to celebrate the solidarity showed by the ordinary people towards migrants and refugees, was a success.</p><p>The compelling and moving video stories of the original items-exhibits of the <a href="http://www.museumwithoutahome.gr/en/ekthemata" rel="nofollow">Museum Without a Home</a> received thousands of views, the exhibits received <a href="http://www.greeknewsagenda.gr/index.php/topics/culture-society/6205-the-museum-without-a-home-an-exhibition-of-hospitality" rel="nofollow">extensive media coverage</a> when they were displayed in museums across Athens, including the Acropolis Museum, and people from all the ages and around the world offered enthusiastic comments on <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pg/OxfamInGreece" rel="nofollow">social media</a>!</p><h3>Dignity and safety for migrants and refugees</h3><p>But nothing prepared me for the pride and joy I would feel from the overwhelming emotion the campaign brought the very people that it was about.</p><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/PxURAlgDNJc?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><p>I remember showing little Ali in Filippiada his video and giving him a campaign poster of his 'touberleki.' He was so happy and proud of himself! <em>(photo below.)</em></p><p>It was only 2 months after interviewing him and he could speak Greek fluently! He insisted I take pictures of his Greek notebooks to show the film crew.</p><p><img alt="Ali sees the poster with his touberleki. Photo: Oxfam" title="Ali sees the poster with his touberleki. Photo: Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/ali-watching-the-poster-with-his-touberleki-1240.jpg" /></p><p>Or Spyros from Konitsa who saw via his mobile phone the video with Nassouh speaking about the jacket Spyros had given him. His eyes watered and he remained speechless for some time. He lit a cigarette and after a few minutes of silence he spoke: "Thank you for this. I hadn’t realized a jacket can be so meaningful and mainly I didn’t know Nassouh felt this way about me."</p><p>A year after the launch, the Museum Without A Home, An Exhibition of Hospitality has received the <a href="https://eu-pa.excellence-awards.com/winnerlist-2017-2/" rel="nofollow">European Excellence award for best NGO campaign</a> in 2016 and has travelled from <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ragg6uFFDc" rel="nofollow">Serbia</a> to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/127510857888948/" rel="nofollow">Ireland</a>, from the <a href="http://www.nvtv.co.uk/shows/focal-point-thursday-5-october-2017/" rel="nofollow">UK</a> to <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHy8bOO7Ct4" rel="nofollow">New York</a>, while there are more plans for this unique Museum to be hosted in Canada, and beyond. It has made a lot of people proud to be part of it and has showcased and celebrated the solidarity of the Greek people.</p><p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xHy8bOO7Ct4?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p><p></p><h3>Protecting human rights</h3><p></p><p>At Oxfam we believe that this campaign was so successful because when you take away the politics and the negative images and rhetoric used to frighten people about refugees and migrants - they know in their core opening our communities to people is search of safety and dignity is not only the right thing to do but also enriching.</p><p>As Oxfam, we are calling on governments around the world to stand up to their obligations and commitments under human rights and refugee law and follow the example of the Greek people. We hope and do know that it is not too much to ask…</p><p><em>This entry posted by Martha Roussou, Advocacy Officer in <a href="https://www.facebook.com/OxfamInGreece/" rel="nofollow">Oxfam in Greece</a>, on 26 October 2017.</em></p><p><em><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/refugee-and-migrant-crisis/oxfams-humanitarian-response-greece" rel="nofollow"><strong>Support Oxfam's response to the refugee and migrant crisis in Greece</strong></a><br></em></p><p><em><a href="https://actions.oxfam.org/international/protect-refugees-and-migrants/take-action-now/" rel="nofollow"><strong>Protect the lives of refugees and migrants now</strong></a> <br></em></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Museum Without a Home, but with a Hope! </h2></div> Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:36:52 +0000 Guest Blogger 81289 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81289#comments Helping migrants adjust to a new life in Greece http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81096 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>The story of a “stone soup” helps children open their hearts and accept their differences.</strong></p><p>Sunday morning: A cafeteria in the center of Ioannina - in the north-western region of Greece - is open and the tables are already set in a circle in the yard. The first people to arrive are a storyteller – with a suitcase full of materials, colors, and stories - an Arabic speaking cultural mediator, and some ARSIS staff.</p><h3>Who is ARSIS? And why the storyteller?</h3><p><a href="http://arsis.gr/en/" rel="nofollow">ARSIS</a>, is one of Oxfam’s partners working with refugees and migrants in Epirus. We provide safe spaces for men, women and children, as well as psychosocial activities.</p><p>Over the past several months ARSIS has expanded its programs to focus on the engagement between the different migrant communities and the local communities, including through activities for children. These activities are aimed at empowering both communities, cultivating autonomy and socialization, as well as building familiarity for migrants with the societies they live in.</p><p>Although migrants face many challenges, such as the language barrier or the different cultural background, feedback that ARSIS and Oxfam receive is that these activities have a positive impact on both the migrant and local Greek community. On the one hand, refugees and migrants are keen on participating and sometimes they even propose different activities and, on the other hand, local people tend to be open-minded and curious to meet and interact with different people. Of course, our experience with children of different nationalities shows that in childhood, using different kinds of communication (e.g. body language) is best-suited.</p><h3>A 'soup' of stones</h3><p>Back to the cafeteria…</p><p>Time goes by, the sun is brighter and everybody stops talking and starts getting together to listen to children laughing. More time goes by and the yard is full of children and adults, including parents and caregivers, and of course a lot of smiles!`</p><p><strong>The storyteller starts narrating</strong> with a warm and theatrical voice. Although she is Greek, the narration is not only in Greek, but also in Arabic and English, as the listeners are Greek, Syrian, Kurdish, Spanish and English. The fairytale gets livelier and the storyteller asks the audience for help and all of them – independent of their nationality - are more than eager to help.</p><p>First, the story indicates that the audience has to make a “soup of stones” so people really try to find stones! Then, the story indicates that the soup needs vegetables. Everyone tries to remember the different kinds of vegetables that exist and find suitable vegetables for the soup.&nbsp; They then put the imaginary ingredients in the pot, independently of how they call it, for example “carrot”, ” جزر“ or “καρότο” etc. And after that, the story indicates that everyone has to help in stirring, as the pot is big and full of imaginary soup! And everyone stirs!</p><h3>Accepting our differences</h3><p>When the soup is ready, the participants call everyone to “taste” it. The story now indicates that everyone is able to open their heart and accept differences, just like the soup “accepted” every ingredient, every stir and everyone’s help.</p><p>On that day, before the yard got empty again, the children got colors and drew on stones, which they offered to each other. Observing the whole procedure, the interaction process was the best part. The image of children of different nationalities interacting with each other, using words in English or Greek or even body language, was the most valuable experience of the day, teaching us that language is not a barrier if you do not allow it to be.</p><p>The image of children drawing all together, expressing themselves and exchanging their art was a reminder that playing is a right of every child, independently of their characteristics and background. And of course, the confirmation of a successful day, filled with loads of creativity and fun, was the children’s smiley faces on their way out! Oh, those big smiles!</p><p><em>Oxfam’s program in Epirus is funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (<a href="http://ec.europa.eu/echo/" rel="nofollow">ECHO</a>).</em></p><p><em>This entry contributed on 5 June 2017, by:</em></p><ul><li><em>Eleftheria Mitrogiorgou, Educator/CFS facilitator, ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth</em></li><li><em>Panoraia Grimpavioti, Educator/CFS facilitator, ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth</em></li><li><em>Vassilis Ladias, Educator/CFS facilitator, ARSIS-Association for the Social Support of Youth</em></li></ul><p><em>Photos:</em></p><ul><li><em>Storytelling helps migrants adjust to a new life in Greece. Credit: ARSIS/Oxfam</em></li><li><em></em><em>The "soup of stones" story. Credit: ARSIS/Oxfam</em></li></ul><h3>Read more:</h3><p><strong>More on <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/refugee-and-migrant-crisis/greece" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's humanitarian response in Greece</a></strong></p><p><strong>More blogs on <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/migrants">migrants</a> and <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/refugees">refugees</a></strong></p><p><strong>More than 65 million people around the world are now officially displaced from their homes by conflict, violence and persecution - donate now to help</strong></p><p></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Helping migrants adjust to a new life in Greece</h2></div> Mon, 05 Jun 2017 15:47:09 +0000 Guest Blogger 81096 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81096#comments Three ways cash is king for asylum seekers in Greece http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81012 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This entry posted by Stefania Imperia, Cash Program Officer, Oxfam in Greece, on 10 April 2017.</em></p><p>With tens of thousands of refugees and migrants stranded in Greece for an undefined period, providing cash grants to asylum seekers living in the Epirus region of north-west Greece may represent not only an efficient and dignified means to provide humanitarian assistance – but also an outlet to flexibility, empowerment and autonomy. I asked myself if this idea of an opportunity for a ‘normal life’ was equally felt by asylum seekers or was mainly a perception of humanitarians. What would cash assistance mean in practice for asylum seekers looking to rebuild their lives?</p><p>Since December 2016 Oxfam has been distributing pre-paid cards to hundreds of asylum seekers by implementing a Cash program funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (<a href="http://ec.europa.eu/echo/" rel="nofollow">ECHO</a>).</p><p>Although the program has been running across 15 sites in Epirus, common aspects quickly emerged allowing me to establish at least three true facts:</p><p><strong>1) Cash assistance can be a learning experience and an example of cooperation.</strong></p><p>In the previous months most beneficiaries, supported by Oxfam or other humanitarian aid agencies, had already experienced the cash distribution process either in Epirus or in other areas of Greece. Instructions and guidance material by Oxfam staff on how to use the pre-paid cards on the ATMs were important, but the exchange of information and support between asylum seekers who had learned to navigate the system and the newly arrived ones was equally essential.</p><p>As some of the most critical aspects started to emerge, cooperation and solidarity among the beneficiaries proved to be vital: from being physically present on the days that Oxfam was carrying out registration, verification and distribution processes, to being able to read the pin of the pre-paid cards correctly. The community would often help to ensure that everyone was present in the site so they wouldn’t miss the distribution or support staff in the process by asking others to queue in line so distributions could be safe and orderly. Many of the beneficiaries trusted each other for advice or support in taking money out, making cash assistance a tangible example of mutual help and cooperation when responding to a humanitarian crisis.</p><p><strong>2) Cash allows people to ‘help themselves’</strong></p><p>On the receiving end, cash assistance proved to be one concrete way for people to become more resilient. Having access to a monthly income allows people to prioritise urgent needs and make dignified choices and decisions, while offering some reassurance about their capacity to face possible emergencies. This has positive repercussions on their physical and mental health, and it is not difficult to imagine why. Having access to money means that people can buy their own food and clothes for example, as opposed to receiving handouts which can create negative dependencies on aid, and it also helps people move around by enabling them to use public transport, buy calling cards to call their loved ones in other European countries or access doctors to address their medical needs, such as dental care or physiotherapy.</p><p><strong>3) Cash assistance is a first step to ‘integration’</strong></p><p>Receiving cash assistance also means being able to go out into the centre of towns and villages and into shops, meeting locals and interacting with them. This is the first step to the integration process, offering an opportunity for exchange and interaction between asylum seekers and local communities on a weekly and sometimes daily basis.</p><p>“I am looking to merge with the community and to be well-integrated … cash helps us have to a normal life”. Hazem, Syrian, 19 years old.</p><p>Asylum seekers often feel like their lives are on hold until they receive a decision on their asylum claims. This means waiting to know they will be safe, waiting to be able to support themselves and their families with a job, waiting to invest in friendships that will last. Cash assistance is one empowering way for them to live their lives now, today, giving people a chance to choose what they need, to use their own voice to ask for it and to be part of the society they live in. This all happens by simply changing the way people are being supported during an emergency, and although it is not a long term ‘solution’ to their state of limbo, it is much closer to an outlet to a more ‘normal life’ for thousands of people in need of protection today.</p><p><img alt="Cash assistance allows people to rebuild their lives. Photo: Angelos Sioulas" title="Cash assistance allows people to rebuild their lives. Photo: Angelos Sioulas" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/credits-angelos-sioulas-cash-3-1240.jpg" /></p><p><strong>Oxfam is there</strong></p><p>Since December 2016 Oxfam provides Cash grants (pre-paid cards) to asylum seekers living in the Epirus region of north-west Greece, to help them cover some of their basic needs with greater flexibility, dignity and autonomy.</p><p>In general, provision of Cash transfers provides an opportunity for the beneficiaries to choose what they need and want, instead of pre-defined handouts of items or food defined by humanitarian organizations. Such rightful return of meal consumption control enables independence and increased self-respect. The availability of Cash gives households a sense of restored power over their immediate situation. In addition, there is evidence that receiving Cash may empower women within the household. Families or households are able to plan and prioritise, and in particular meet the needs of children.</p><p>In parallel, the injection of Cash through the distribution of financial assistance has a multiplier effect on the local economy in comparison to in-kind distributions. Through the provision of financial assistance, humanitarian organizations, like Oxfam, can support asylum seekers in Greece, while enabling a secondary outcome of improving the economic situation of the host community.</p><p><em>This Cash program is funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (<a href="http://ec.europa.eu/echo/" rel="nofollow">ECHO</a>).</em></p><p><strong>What you can do now</strong></p><p><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/refugee-and-migrant-crisis" rel="nofollow">Support Oxfam's humanitarian response to the migrant/refugee crisis</a><br></strong></p><p><em>This entry posted by Stefania Imperia, Cash Program Officer, Oxfam in Greece, on 10 April 2017.</em></p><p><em>All photos:&nbsp;Oxfam/ECHO cash assistance allows people to rebuild their lives. Credit: Angelos Sioulas</em> <br><br></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Three ways cash is king for asylum seekers in Greece</h2></div> Mon, 10 Apr 2017 17:41:09 +0000 Stefania Imperia 81012 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/81012#comments This is why migrants are living on the streets in arctic cold in Serbia http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/77942 <div class="field field-name-body"><h3>Lack of space in government facilities and fear of illegal deportations keep people out in freezing winter conditions</h3> <p>Up to 2000 refugees and other migrants are living on the streets in Serbia, risking their lives under appalling conditions in arctic temperatures. There are not sufficient places in government sites, and many people also fear illegal deportations by Serbian authorities. Oxfam is on the ground, working with local partners to distribute warm clothes and other essential items to migrants so they can stay warm and survive.</p> <p>In Belgrade alone, at least 1500 migrants, including hundreds of children, are living in inhuman conditions in abandoned barracks close to the city’s central station. More people, including families, are living in places close to the border in Hungary, hoping they will be able to travel further North soon.</p> <p>Farzin*, a 25 years old man from Iran, tells us of appalling conditions in Belgrade. “The situation is very bad”, he told humanitarian workers this week. “We don't have anything to boil water with. It's very cold, and we have no shoes. The snow is falling all the time.”</p> <p><strong>Most people in the barracks are sleeping on the floor</strong>, with just a piece of cardboard to protect them from the cold, while temperatures have dropped as low as 20 degrees below zero. Most of them are without proper clothing, shoes or blankets. There is one water pipe for 1200 people. The space is dirty and polluted by smoke from the fires they are using to keep warm. Scabies and lice are rampant.</p> <p>“I am sleeping in the barracks. There is a lot of smoke, no washrooms, no toilets. 60% of the people are sick – they are coughing, have fever. There are bugs and mice, it's a big problem”, says Afsar, 41 years, from Afghanistan. Adel, a 30-years-old Afghan, has similar experiences. “We have no doctors, a lot of people are sick. Most don’t have warm clothes, no jackets. There is no good place to sleep,” he told our partner organization.</p> <p><img alt="Migrants are living on the streets in arctic cold in Serbia. Credit: Bogdan Krasić/Belgrade Centre for Human Rights" title="Migrants are living on the streets in arctic cold in Serbia. Credit: Bogdan Krasić/Belgrade Centre for Human Rights" height="865" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/bathing-1240.jpg" /></p> <h3>Months-long government ban on NGOs and volunteers to support people in need</h3> <p>For months, and even with the beginning of what is one of the harshest winters in Serbia for years, the Serbian government has been barring organizations from supporting people in need. Authorities argued that providing support would only attract more people to live outside the official reception system – completely ignoring the clear lack of emergency shelter. It was only reports from international media on the inhuman conditions people are living in that made authorities unofficially loosening their ban temporarily.</p> <p>Oxfam has started an emergency program: through our local partner Miksalista, we are distributing essential items such as winter clothes, adequate shoes, sleeping mattresses and sleeping bags to all migrants in Belgrade living outside the official reception systems.</p> <p>Providing urgent humanitarian relief is not keeping migrants outside the official system, it is the bare minimum necessary to keep people alive. The government must allow NGOs and volunteers to provide the humanitarian response that is urgently needed both now and in the future.</p> <h3>Fear of illegal deportations</h3> <p>People have good reasons to stay away from government-run reception centers, they tell us. Not only is there a lack of emergency shelter, migrants also fear to be deported from Serbia.Indeed, the United Nations’ refugee agency UNHCR last month warned of illegal deportations in the region of at least 1000 people by authorities.</p> <p>Migrants reported that Serbia authorities duped them into the official reception system, just to deport them once they arrived to government reception centers.</p> <p>In one documented account, in December, Serbian authorities attempted to illegally push back a Syrian family at the border with Bulgaria. Members of the Serbian police and armed forces abandoned the group of seven, including a 2-years old child, in the woods in the middle of the night, with their documents confiscated. Luckily, the family was saved because they had the contact details of volunteers who had helped them in Belgrade.</p> <p>People are extremely fearful and distrusting, so much so they are risking their lives by sleeping outside. They prefer to stay away from government facilities rather than risk entering the system and being deported.</p> <h3>Serbia’s government needs to act immediately</h3> <p>Oxfam is calling on the Serbian government to ensure there is enough emergency shelter inside the official reception system, and adequate support for those outside the system is provided. The government must also fully investigate all reports of pushbacks and deportations across state borders. According to national and international law, people fleeing persecution have the right to seek asylum. If migrants are applying for asylum in Serbia, they must be hosted in a reception center for the entire duration of the asylum process.</p> <p>* Names of migrants changed</p> <p><em>This entry posted by Marco Savio, Oxfam’s operations lead for Europe, on 20 January 2017.</em></p> <p><em>Photos: Migrants are living on the streets in arctic cold in Serbia. Credit: Bogdan Krasić/Belgrade Centre for Human Rights</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/refugee-and-migrant-crisis" rel="nofollow"><strong>Support Oxfam's work with migrants and refugees</strong></a></p> <p> </p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>This is why migrants are living on the streets in arctic cold in Serbia</h2></div> Fri, 20 Jan 2017 18:13:48 +0000 Guest Blogger 77942 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/77942#comments ¿Un nuevo acuerdo para la población refugiada y migrante? http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/16-08-30-%C2%BFun-nuevo-acuerdo-para-la-poblaci%C3%B3n-refugiada-y-migrante <div class="field field-name-body"><p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/es/user/profile/pilar-barroso"><strong>Josephine Liebl</strong></a>, experta en políticas globales sobre desplazamientos de Oxfam, reflexiona sobre la reunión de alto nivel de las Naciones Unidas que tendrá lugar en Nueva York en septiembre y sobre las vertiginosas últimas semanas para negociar su resultado.</p> <p>La primera <a href="https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/es/summit-refugees-and-migrants" rel="nofollow"><strong>Reunión de Alto Nivel de las Naciones Unidas sobre Refugiados y Migrantes</strong></a> se celebrará en Nueva York el 19 de septiembre. Un día después, el presidente de los Estados Unidos, Barak Obama, presidirá la Cumbre de Líderes sobre los Refugiados. Mientras el resultado de esta cumbre de líderes es incierto, antes de irse de vacaciones, los diplomáticos negociaron un documento que los dirigentes mundiales aprobarán durante la reunión de alto nivel de las Naciones Unidas en septiembre. Aunque se trata de un paso positivo, la reunión de alto nivel no es más que el comienzo de un largo proceso, y no la solución para resolver los problemas a los que se enfrenta el mundo. Lo que ocurra el día después, y cómo haremos que los países rindan cuentas durante los próximos dos años, será crucial para dar una respuesta global a la mayor crisis de desplazados de nuestra era.</p> <p>Durante las interminables negociaciones que tuvieron lugar en julio, me preguntaba qué esperaban exactamente los Estados Miembros de las Naciones Unidas y el Secretario General cuando convocaron esta reunión de alto nivel. Al comparar las modificaciones en el texto y las diversas propuestas, parecía que habían olvidado su propósito: ofrecer una mejor protección a las personas refugiadas y migrantes, y compartir las responsabilidades para con algunas de las personas más vulnerables del mundo.</p> <p>Tal y como Oxfam reveló en julio, <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/es/sala-de-prensa/notas-de-prensa/2016-07-18/los-seis-paises-mas-ricos-del-mundo-acogen-menos-del-9-de" rel="nofollow"><strong>existe una diferencia abismal en el número de refugiados que algunos países acogen con respecto a otros</strong></a>, sin que esta diferencia se base en su capacidad de acogida. Los seis países más ricos del mundo acogen a menos del 9% de la población refugiada y los solicitantes de asilo, mientras otros países más pobres se ven obligados a asumir la mayor parte de esta responsabilidad. El mundo no puede seguir ignorando la realidad de un sistema que no funciona y el hecho de que sin compromisos concretos adecuados, nada cambiará. Pero, en vez de buscar soluciones prácticas, las ONG que asistimos a las negociaciones vimos cómo los participantes evitaban con maestría asumir compromisos que ayudarían a la población refugiada y migrante. Todas las promesas parecían incluir alguna salvedad del tipo “cuando proceda”, y todos los planes alguna contingencia del tipo “se contemplará”.</p> <p><strong>Defender los derechos y luchar contra la xenofobia</strong></p> <p>El resultado no ha sido completamente negativo. El documento final reafirma el derecho internacional de derechos humanos, los derechos de los refugiados y el derecho humanitario, así como el compromiso de los Gobiernos a respetar el principio de “no devolución” (la prohibición de enviar a una persona refugiada a un país donde pudiera sufrir un trato cruel o inhumano o ser perseguida). En un mundo en el que el derecho de asilo se viola de manera sistemática, es importante que la reunión de alto nivel reafirme este derecho. Pero esto es lo mínimo que se podría esperar de este documento, y en ningún caso esto debería sustituir al progreso real.</p> <p>En la reunión de alto nivel también se condenará la xenofobia, el racismo y la intolerancia, y recordará al mundo que la diversidad enriquece a la sociedad. Por muy obvio que parezca, es una declaración necesaria dado el sinfín de políticos que afirma exactamente lo contrario.</p> <p>El documento va más allá y demanda un “reparto más equitativo de la carga y la responsabilidad de acoger y apoyar a los refugiados de todo el mundo”, allanando el camino para que el texto sea adoptado en la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, que se celebrará justo después de la reunión de alto nivel. No obstante, sin unos compromisos sólidos ni una hoja de ruta clara para ponerlos en práctica, las palabras se quedarán en papel mojado, y será difícil saber cuándo llegará la respuesta mundial tan desesperadamente necesaria. Nunca antes había habido tantas personas desplazadas por la violencia y, sin embargo, por ahora los Gobiernos solo han aportado palabras vacías en vez de medidas concretas.</p> <p><strong>¿Más de lo mismo?</strong></p> <p>La Asamblea General convocó esta reunión de alto nivel para cambiar la situación. Pero, al presenciar las negociaciones, no dejaba de sorprenderme el número de diplomáticos que las aprovechaban para mantener el statu quo, el cual es más que insuficiente para hacer frente a la crisis. El documento final menciona la necesidad de fortalecer la cooperación internacional para la gestión de las fronteras, incluidas las necesidades en materia de formación. Por supuesto, son los Estados quienes tienen la autoridad para controlar sus fronteras, pero es difícil no caer en el cinismo en cuanto a qué se considera “buenas prácticas” tras las recientes revelaciones sobre el plan de la Unión Europea de financiar centros de detención y equipamiento para frenar la emigración en Sudán. Hay un interés enfermizo en ir más allá del principio de “no devolución” de refugiados y migrantes. Tras una propuesta del grupo africano, en el documento se llega incluso a sugerir que la decisión de un Gobierno de devolver a refugiados no debería estar “condicionada a la ejecución de soluciones políticas en el país de origen”. ¿Tal vez para justificar el cierre de un campamento para refugiados somalís en Kenia? Estados Unidos y otros países insistieron en incluir una referencia a la detención de niños y niñas migrantes, lo que supone un duro golpe a las normas internacionales de derechos humanos establecidas por las Naciones Unidas y que tanto costó conseguir.</p> <p><strong>El grupo de desplazados más numeroso, relegado al olvido</strong></p> <p>Pero lo realmente decepcionante es lo que no se abordará en la reunión de alto nivel. Apenas se menciona a las personas que se han visto obligadas a huir pero que siguen dentro de las fronteras de su país (las personas desplazadas internas), a pesar de ser dos veces más numerosas que la población refugiada. De Siria a Sudán del Sur, pasando por Yemen y Nigeria, a menudo su situación es tan crítica como la de los refugiados, pero generalmente menos visible, tal y como ilustra el nuevo informe de Oxfam sobre la crisis en la cuenca del Lago Chad (que afecta a Nigeria, Níger y Chad).</p> <p><strong>¿Transferir o repartir la responsabilidad?</strong></p> <p>El mayor fracaso de la reunión de alto nivel es que los Gobiernos no tomarán medidas concretas para repartir la responsabilidad para con la población refugiada en el futuro. Uno de los resultados más positivos de la reunión es la creación de un “marco de respuesta global para los refugiados” el cual detallará cómo debería responder la comunidad internacional a las crisis de refugiados, tanto ahora como en el futuro.</p> <p>Sin embargo, el marco no incluye ningún compromiso para que los Estados proporcionen una financiación adecuada. Ningún compromiso para recibir o proteger a una mayor proporción de la población refugiada a nivel mundial, ni para ofrecerles acceso a educación o trabajo. Ningún compromiso para reasentar al 10% de las personas refugiadas en el mundo, tal y como pretendían países como Turquía que ya acogen a una cantidad desproporcionadamente grande. Sin compromisos tangibles, ¿hasta qué punto es posible que cambie la situación?</p> <p>Partiendo de este documento, resulta difícil entrever qué va a cambiar realmente para la población refugiada y migrante tras el 19 de septiembre. No obstante, la cumbre paralela que el presidente Barack Obama ha organizado un día después –unida a su insistencia para que otros líderes mundiales “arrimen el hombro”, comprometiéndose con cifras concretas en cuanto a ayuda, reasentamientos y acceso a educación y trabajo – puede impulsar progresos. Suceda lo que suceda, es evidente que estos dos eventos son el comienzo (y no el final) para obrar el cambio que tanto necesitan las personas refugiadas, migrantes y desplazadas internas.</p> <p><strong>El camino a seguir</strong></p> <p>Será necesario aportar soluciones concretas, en gran parte después de septiembre. Por ello, tras las reuniones continuarán los <a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/es/actions/stand-as-one" rel="nofollow"><strong>llamamientos para que se lleve a la práctica un reparto equitativo de las responsabilidades</strong></a>.</p> <p>Los primeros ministros y presidentes que acudirán a Nueva York en septiembre no deben contentarse con el mínimo denominador común que se acuerde en la reunión de alto nivel de las Naciones Unidas. Los que acudan a la cumbre organizada por Barack Obama al día siguiente pueden subir el listón inmediatamente asumiendo compromisos más concretos. Por eso es tan importante que escuchen alto y claro que la ciudadanía espera más de ellos, tanto en septiembre como en el futuro.</p> <p>Tras las reuniones, habrá mucho trabajo por hacer. Los Gobiernos deberán demostrar que ponen en práctica el reparto de responsabilidades, incluido el marco de respuesta global para los refugiados, para que los millones de personas que huyen de los conflictos, la violencia, los desastres y la pobreza reciban el apoyo que necesitan. A lo largo de los próximos dos años, los Gobiernos negociarán pactos mundiales sobre la población refugiada y migrante, que deberán ser más sustanciales y presentar medidas más concretas para ayudar a los millones de personas que lo necesitan.</p> <p>Seguiremos ejerciendo presión sobre los dirigentes mundiales para que asuman compromisos más ambiciosos en septiembre y rindan cuentas, puesto que la respuesta a la crisis debe sustentarse en la humanidad, y no en la ignorancia, la elusión y los reproches.</p> <p><a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/es/actions/stand-as-one" rel="nofollow"><strong>Ayúdalos con tu firma. Pidea los paises de la Unión Europea que vuelvan a retomar el liderazgo en la defensa y protección de los derechos de las personas desplazadas de cara a la próxima Cumbre sobre Migración y Refugiados de Naciones Unidas.</strong> </a></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>¿Un nuevo acuerdo para la población refugiada y migrante?</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-08-24-new-deal-refugees-and-migrants" title="A new deal for refugees and migrants?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/16-08-30-vers-un-nouvel-accord-en-faveur-des-r%C3%A9fugi%C3%A9s-et-des-migrants" title="Vers un nouvel accord en faveur des réfugiés et des migrants ?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:32:44 +0000 Josephine Liebl 59933 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/16-08-30-%C2%BFun-nuevo-acuerdo-para-la-poblaci%C3%B3n-refugiada-y-migrante#comments Vers un nouvel accord en faveur des réfugiés et des migrants ? http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/59911 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/fr/user/profile/josephine-liebl"><strong>Josephine Liebl</strong></a>, responsable des politiques de déplacement pour Oxfam, évoque la perspective du Sommet des Nations unies qui se tiendra à New York en septembre prochain et se remémore les dernières semaines passionnantes qui ont servi à en négocier l’issue.</em></p> <p>Le tout premier <strong><a href="https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/fr/summit-refugees-and-migrants" rel="nofollow">Sommet des Nations unies sur les réfugiés et les migrants</a></strong> se tiendra à New York le 19 septembre. Le lendemain, Barack Obama organisera un Sommet des dirigeants sur la crise des réfugiés. L’issue probable de ce dernier reste incertaine, mais avant de partir en vacances, les diplomates ont négocié le <strong><a href="http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/08/HLM-on-addressing-large-movements-of-refugees-and-migrants-Draft-Declaration-5-August-2016.pdf" rel="nofollow">document</a></strong> que les dirigeants mondiaux adopteront lors du Sommet des Nations unies le mois prochain. Malgré les quelques progrès réalisés, le Sommet ne marque que le début d’un long processus et n’offre pas les solutions que le monde attend. Ce qu’il se passera dès le lendemain et la manière dont nous exigerons des pays qu’ils rendent des comptes au cours des deux prochaines années seront essentiels pour trouver une solution mondiale à la plus grande crise de déplacement de notre ère.</p> <p>Ce mois de juillet, tandis que j’assistais à ces interminables négociations, je me suis demandé quelles étaient les réelles attentes des États membres et du Secrétaire général lorsque ce Sommet a été convoqué. Au fil des modifications et des différentes propositions, ils semblaient oublier son but : mieux protéger les réfugiés et les migrants et partager les responsabilités pour ces personnes parmi les plus vulnérables au monde.</p> <p>Comme révélé par Oxfam en juillet, il existe <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/fr/salle-de-presse/communiques/2016-07-18/les-six-plus-grandes-puissances-economiques-mondiales" rel="nofollow">de frappantes inégalités en termes d’accueil de réfugiés, certains pays en accueillant bien plus que d’autres</a></strong>, leur répartition n’étant pas basée sur la capacité des pays à les accueillir. Les six pays les plus riches de la planète accueillent moins de 9 % des réfugiés et demandeurs d'asile du monde entier, tandis que les pays les plus pauvres endossent une grande part de cette responsabilité. La défaillance du système est évidente, et faute d’engagements concrets pour en faire davantage, rien ne changera. Mais, au lieu de voir les diplomates proposer des solutions pratiques, nous (les ONG venues assister aux négociations) les avons vus se dérober magistralement à leurs engagements en faveur des réfugiés et des migrants. Chaque promesse semblait accompagnée d’une réserve du type « le cas échéant », et chaque plan était « à envisager ».</p> <p><strong>Protéger les droits des réfugiés et lutter contre la xénophobie</strong></p> <p>Tout n’est pourtant pas perdu. Le <strong><a href="http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/08/HLM-on-addressing-large-movements-of-refugees-and-migrants-Draft-Declaration-5-August-2016.pdf" rel="nofollow">document final</a></strong> réaffirme les droits humains internationaux, les droits des réfugiés et les lois humanitaires ainsi que l’engagement des gouvernements envers le principe de non-refoulement (principe interdisant le renvoi de toute personne vers un pays où elle pourrait être traitée de manière cruelle et inhumaine ou persécutée). Dans un monde où le droit d’asile est systématiquement bafoué, il est important que le Sommet mette également l’accent sur ce droit. Si on ne peut en attendre moins de ce document, ces réaffirmations ne peuvent se substituer à de réels progrès.</p> <p>Le Sommet condamnera par ailleurs vigoureusement la xénophobie, le racisme et l’intolérance, et rappellera au monde que la diversité est une richesse dans nos sociétés. Ceci aurait tout d’une évidence, si un nombre incalculable de responsables politiques ne s’évertuaient pas à répéter précisément le contraire.</p> <p>Ce document appelle à « partager plus équitablement le fardeau et la responsabilité d’accueillir et de soutenir les réfugiés du monde entier », avant son adoption par l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies juste après le Sommet. Mais sans engagements contraignants ni de voie claire pour agir, ces belles paroles seront vaines et il reste difficile de savoir à quel moment la réponse internationale si nécessaire sera mise en œuvre. Alors que les violences n'ont jamais entrainé autant de déplacements de population qu'à l'heure actuelle, les gouvernements se sont contentés jusqu'à présent de paroles creuses, ne donnant lieu à aucune action.</p> <p><strong>Vers le statu quo ?</strong></p> <p>L’Assemblée générale a convoqué ce Sommet pour changer la donne. Mais en les écoutant négocier, j’ai été frappée à maintes reprises par le nombre de diplomates qui tiraient parti de ces négociations pour maintenir le statu quo, ce dont on ne peut tout bonnement pas se contenter. Le document final fait référence au besoin de renforcer la coopération internationale pour la gestion des frontières, notamment au besoin de formation. Bien entendu, les États disposent du pouvoir de contrôler leurs frontières. Difficile toutefois de ne pas faire preuve de cynisme lorsque l’on envisage ce à quoi ressembleront les « meilleures pratiques », suite aux <strong><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/06/eu-sudan-eritrea-migration" rel="nofollow">récentes révélations du projet de l’UE de financer des centres de détention et des équipements au Soudan</a></strong>.</p> <p>Une importance malsaine est accordée au retour des réfugiés et des migrants, au-delà du principe de non-refoulement. Suite à une proposition du groupe africain, le document suggère même que la décision d’un gouvernement de renvoyer les réfugiés et les migrants ne devrait pas être « conditionnée par la mise en œuvre de solutions politiques dans le pays d’origine ». Pourquoi ? Peut-être pour justifier <a href="http://www.nation.co.ke/news/1056-3215622-6lnkuxz/index.html" rel="nofollow"><strong>la fermeture par le gouvernement kenyan d’un camp de réfugiés somaliens</strong> </a>? Les États-Unis et d’autres pays ont insisté pour inclure une référence à la <strong><a href="http://firstperson.oxfamamerica.org/2016/08/toddlers-behind-bars-never-acceptable/" rel="nofollow">détention d’enfants migrants</a></strong>, qui bafoue les normes internationales en matière de droits humains établies par les Nations unies.</p> <p><strong>Les personnes déplacées, plus nombreuses que jamais, aujourd’hui oubliées du monde</strong></p> <p>Mais le plus décevant, ce sont les sujets qui ne seront pas abordés lors de ce Sommet. On ne parle guère des personnes contraintes de fuir et bloquées aux frontières de leur pays (les personnes déplacées internes), bien qu’elles soient deux fois plus nombreuses que les réfugiés. De la Syrie au Soudan du Sud, en passant par le Yémen et le Nigeria, leur situation est souvent aussi critique que celle des réfugiés, bien que généralement moins visible, comme l’illustre clairement le <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/fr/rapports/lac-tchad-theatre-dune-crise-meconnue" rel="nofollow">nouveau rapport</a></strong> d’Oxfam sur la crise dans le bassin du lac Tchad (au Nigeria, au Niger et au Tchad).</p> <p><strong>Transfert ou partage de responsabilités ?</strong></p> <p>Le principal échec du Sommet est qu’il n’aboutira à aucune action concrète pour que les gouvernements partagent à l’avenir leur part de responsabilité pour les réfugiés. Une des issues réjouissantes du Sommet sera la création d’un « <strong><a href="https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/sites/default/files/sg_report_french.pdf" rel="nofollow">Plan d’intervention global pour les réfugiés</a></strong> », qui détaille comment la communauté internationale devrait répondre à la crise des réfugiés actuelle et future.</p> <p>Toutefois, rien dans le plan d’intervention n’engage en réalité les Etats à débloquer les fonds suffisants. Aucun engagement n’a été pris pour accueillir ou protéger un plus grand nombre de réfugiés du monde entier ni pour leur offrir un accès à l’éducation et l’emploi. Aucun engagement n’a été pris pour réinstaller 10 % des réfugiés de la planète, tel que des pays comme la Turquie, qui en accueillent déjà eux-mêmes une part disproportionnée, le réclament. Sans engagements concrets, dans quelle mesure les choses changeront-elles ?</p> <p>Difficile d’entrevoir, à partir de ce document, ce qui changera pour les réfugiés et migrants du monde entier à compter du 19 septembre. Néanmoins, la tenue d’un autre Sommet le lendemain, organisé par Barack Obama, et le fait que ce dernier insiste pour les autres dirigeants mondiaux « y mettent du leur » (en s’engageant à verser des sommes concrètes pour l’aide humanitaire, à réinstaller des réfugiés et des migrants et à leur fournir un accès à l’éducation et à l’emploi) pourraient générer davantage de progrès. Quoi qu’il arrive, ces deux Sommets permettront clairement d’initier (l’issue semblant encore bien loin) le changement tant nécessaire aux réfugiés, aux migrants et aux déplacés internes encore plus nombreux.</p> <p><strong>La voie à suivre</strong></p> <p>Des solutions spécifiques devront être en grande partie apportées après septembre. C’est pour cette raison que nous continuerons, après ces deux sommets, de <strong><a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/fr/actions/stand-as-one" rel="nofollow">militer en faveur d’un partage équitable des responsabilités</a></strong>.</p> <p>Les Premiers ministres et présidents qui se rendront à New York le mois prochain ne doivent pas se limiter à un quelconque plus petit dénominateur commun qui émergera du Sommet des Nations unies. Celles et ceux qui rejoindront Barack Obama le lendemain ont le pouvoir de placer la barre plus haut en prenant des engagements plus concrets, ils doivent donc prendre conscience que leurs citoyennes et citoyens en attendent bien plus d’eux, en septembre et par la suite.</p> <p>Après ces sommets, il restera beaucoup à faire. Les États devront démontrer qu’ils partagent, dans la pratique, les responsabilités, y compris le « Plan d’intervention global pour les réfugiés », afin que les millions de personnes fuyant les conflits, les violences, les catastrophes et la pauvreté disposent de l’aide dont elles ont besoin. Au cours des deux prochaines années, les gouvernements négocieront des pactes mondiaux sur les réfugiés et sur les migrations qui devront être étoffés, et proposer des changements plus concrets pour venir en aide aux millions de personnes dans le besoin.</p> <p>Nous continuerons de faire pression sur les dirigeants mondiaux afin qu’ils prennent des engagements plus ambitieux en septembre et exigerons qu’ils rendent des comptes, car la réponse à la crise doit être humaine, non teintée d’ignorance, de blâme et d’esquive.</p> <p><strong>Unissons-nous avec les personnes contraintes de fuir pour suivre.</strong><a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/fr/actions/stand-as-one" rel="nofollow"><strong> </strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/fr/actions/stand-as-one" rel="nofollow"><strong>Faites entendre votre voix, rejoignez le mouvement et signez la pétition maintenant !</strong></a></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Vers un nouvel accord en faveur des réfugiés et des migrants ?</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_en first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-08-24-new-deal-refugees-and-migrants" title="A new deal for refugees and migrants?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="en">English</a></li> <li class="translation_es last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/16-08-30-%C2%BFun-nuevo-acuerdo-para-la-poblaci%C3%B3n-refugiada-y-migrante" title="¿Un nuevo acuerdo para la población refugiada y migrante?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> </ul> Tue, 30 Aug 2016 13:25:36 +0000 Josephine Liebl 59911 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/59911#comments A new deal for refugees and migrants? http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/59104 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/user/profile/josephine-liebl"><strong>Josephine Liebl</strong></a>, Oxfam’s global policy lead on displacement, looks ahead to the UN Summit in New York in September – and looks back on a heady few weeks negotiating its outcome.</em></p> <p>The first ever <a href="https://refugeesmigrants.un.org/summit-refugees-and-migrants-19-september-2016" rel="nofollow"><strong>UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants</strong></a> will take place in New York on 19th September. President Obama will host a Leaders’ Summit on refugees the day after. The likely results of the Leaders’ summit are all to play for, but before diplomats headed off for their holidays, they negotiated the <a href="http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/08/HLM-on-addressing-large-movements-of-refugees-and-migrants-Draft-Declaration-5-August-2016.pdf" rel="nofollow"><strong>document</strong> </a>that world leaders will adopt at the UN Summit next month. While it goes some way, the Summit is the start of a long process and not the delivery of the solutions the world is waiting for. What happens the day after and how we hold countries to account over the next two years will be crucial if we are to see the global response needed to address the greatest displacement crisis of our time.</p> <p>Sitting through the endless negotiations in July, I asked myself what exactly UN Member States and the Secretary General were expecting when this summit was called. Comparing tracked changes and different proposals, it seemed they had forgotten its purpose:  to better protect refugees and migrants and share responsibility for some of the most vulnerable people in the world.</p> <p>As Oxfam revealed in July, there’s a <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2016-07-18/six-richest-countries-host-less-9-refugees" rel="nofollow"><strong>stunning inequality in how some countries host far more refugees than others</strong></a>, and it’s not based on their ability to cope. The six biggest economies in the world host less than nine per cent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers while poorer countries are shouldering the bulk of the responsibility. Nobody can pretend the system isn’t broken and that without concrete commitments to do better, nothing will change. But instead of coming up with practical solutions, we – the NGOs listening to the negotiations – were treated to a master class in evading commitments that would help refugees and migrants. Every promise seemed to have a caveat like ‘where appropriate’, every plan something like ‘we will consider’.</p> <p><strong>Upholding rights and fighting xenophobia</strong></p> <p>The outcome is not all bad. The <a href="http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/08/HLM-on-addressing-large-movements-of-refugees-and-migrants-Draft-Declaration-5-August-2016.pdf" rel="nofollow"><strong>final document</strong></a> reaffirms international human rights, refugee, and humanitarian law, and governments’ commitment to non-refoulement (not returning anybody to a country where s/he could face cruel, inhumane treatment or persecution). In a world where the right to claim asylum is routinely violated, it’s also important that the Summit also underlines this right. But such reaffirmations are the bare minimum that should be expected from this document – they cannot substitute real progress.</p> <p>The Summit will also strongly condemn xenophobia, racism and intolerance, and remind the world that diversity enriches every society. That might seem like a statement of the obvious – if it weren’t that countless politicians were saying precisely the opposite.</p> <p>The document does go further, calling for ‘more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting the world’s refugees’, thereby  paving the way for this to be adopted by the UN General Assembly, which takes place just after the UN Summit. But without firm commitments and a clear pathway to act upon them these nice words are meaningless and it is hard to see when the global response desperately needed will come. More people are being displaced by violence than ever before yet governments have so far settled for empty words instead of action.</p> <p><strong>Business as usual?</strong></p> <p>The General Assembly called this Summit to change things. But listening to diplomats negotiate, I was repeatedly struck by how many managed to use the negotiations to endorse the status quo, which simply isn’t good enough. The final document refers to the need to strengthen international border management cooperation, including training. Of course states have the authority to control their borders.  But it is hard not to be cynical about what ‘best practice’ might look like after <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/06/eu-sudan-eritrea-migration" rel="nofollow"><strong>recent revelations of the EU’s plan to fund detention centres and equipment in Sudan</strong></a>. There is an unhealthy emphasis on the return of refugees and migrants beyond non-refoulement. Following a proposal by the Africa group, the document even suggests that a government’s decision to return refugees should not be ‘conditioned on the accomplishment of political solutions in the country of origin’. Why? Perhaps to justify <a href="http://www.nation.co.ke/news/1056-3215622-6lnkuxz/index.html" rel="nofollow"><strong>Kenya closing a camp for Somalis</strong></a>? The US and other countries insisted on including a reference to<a href="http://firstperson.oxfamamerica.org/2016/08/toddlers-behind-bars-never-acceptable/" rel="nofollow"><strong> detaining migrant children</strong></a>, which undermines hard-fought international human rights standards set by the UN.</p> <p><strong>Missing out the largest group of people displaced today </strong></p> <p>But it’s what the Summit will not say that’s so disappointing.  People who have been forced to flee and remain within their countries’ borders - Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) - are barely mentioned, despite comprising double the number than that of refugees. . From Syria to South Sudan, Yemen to Nigeria, their plight is often as grave as that of refugees, though often less visible, as <a href="http://policy-practice.oxfam.org.uk/publications/lake-chads-unseen-crisis-voices-of-refugees-and-internally-displaced-people-fro-618488" rel="nofollow"><strong>Oxfam’s new report on the crisis in the Lake Chad Basin</strong></a> (of Nigeria, Niger and Chad) makes clear.</p> <p><strong>Responsibility shifted or shared?</strong></p> <p>The biggest failing of the Summit will be that it won’t agree on any concrete steps for governments to share responsibility for refugees in the future. One of the Summit’s plum results will be a “Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework” which maps out how the international community should respond to current and future refugee crisis.</p> <p>But there is nothing in the framework that actually commits states to provide adequate funding. No commitment to welcome or protect a larger share of the world’s refugees or to offer them education and access to work. No commitment to resettle 10% of the world’s refugees, as countries such as Turkey that already host a hugely disproportionate share themselves had been seeking. Without tangible commitments, how much will actually change?</p> <p>From this document, it is difficult to see what will be different for the world’s refugees and migrants after 19th September. But, President Obama’s separate summit the next day, and his insistence that other world leaders ‘pay to play’ – offering real figures on aid, resettlement and access to education and work– may mean that there will be more progress. Whatever happens, it is clear that these twin Summits will be the beginning, very far from the end, of delivering the change that refugees, migrants, and still more so IDPs need.  <strong>The way ahead</strong></p> <p>Specific solutions will have to be achieved, largely, after September. That is why <a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/en/actions/stand-as-one" rel="nofollow"><strong>calls for putting equitable sharing of responsibility into practice</strong> </a>will continue after these Summits.</p> <p>As Prime Ministers and Presidents plan to go to New York next month, they should not limit themselves to whatever lowest common denominator comes out of the UN Summit. Those joining Barack Obama the following day can immediately raise the bar by making more tangible commitments, which is why they need to hear loud and clear that their publics expect them to do more there and beyond.</p> <p>Once the Summits are over, there will be so much to do. Governments will have to demonstrate that they will share responsibility in practice, including the <a href="http://www.un.org/pga/70/wp-content/uploads/sites/10/2015/08/HLM-on-addressing-large-movements-of-refugees-and-migrants-Draft-Declaration-5-August-2016.pdf" rel="nofollow"><strong>Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework</strong></a>, so that the millions of people fleeing conflict, violence, disasters and poverty get the support they need. Governments will be negotiating Global Compacts on Refugees and on Migration over the next two years where we need to see more meat on the bone, more tangible change to help the millions of people in need.</p> <p>We will continue to push for greater ambition in September and hold world leaders to account because what is needed is a humane response, not one borne of ignorance, avoidance and blame.<a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/en/actions/stand-as-one" rel="nofollow"><strong></strong></a></p> <p><a href="https://act.oxfam.org/international/en/actions/stand-as-one" rel="nofollow"><strong>Stand as one with people forced to flee. Add your voice, join the movement and sign the petition now!</strong></a></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>A new deal for refugees and migrants?</h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/16-08-30-%C2%BFun-nuevo-acuerdo-para-la-poblaci%C3%B3n-refugiada-y-migrante" title="¿Un nuevo acuerdo para la población refugiada y migrante?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/16-08-30-vers-un-nouvel-accord-en-faveur-des-r%C3%A9fugi%C3%A9s-et-des-migrants" title="Vers un nouvel accord en faveur des réfugiés et des migrants ?" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Wed, 24 Aug 2016 11:51:14 +0000 Josephine Liebl 59104 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/59104#comments The human dimension of EU migration: Greece’s escalating humanitarian crisis http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/41707 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>At every EU migration summit in recent months, border security has trumped the safety and wellbeing of people on the move. This has been causing human misery and suffering for the tens of thousands of women, men and children now stranded in Greece and the Western Balkans. Our Advocacy &amp; Policy Lead in Greece, Renata Rendón, reports from Athens on the harrowing situation, and warns about the escalating human cost of ever harsher border policies.</em></p> <p>In the middle of Athens lies Victoria Square, a public park that has become a gathering place for people unable to continue their flight from violent conflict and hardship due to recent border restrictions. Many of these people are from Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Africa, but there are also increasingly more Syrians and Iraqis who have been turned away at the borders of Greece’s northern neighbors.</p> <p>Already in February, several European countries closed their borders to some or even all asylum-seekers, but since EU leaders declared a shutdown of the “Western Balkans route” last week, the number of those stranded in Greece has ballooned. Since the beginning of 2016, an average of around 1,700 people have reached the Greek shores every single day – according to UNHCR over 45,000 people are now stuck in the country, where the reception capacity is stretched to the limit.</p> <p><img alt="Victoria Square, Athens, Greece. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam" title="Victoria Square, Athens, Greece. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam" height="533" width="800" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oes_29923-es-color-victoria-square-families.jpg" /></p> <h3>Squalor in makeshift camps</h3> <p>Victoria Square is only one of many public squares in Athens that are used as makeshift camps by those caught up in the turmoil caused by the haphazard border policies implemented recently. When I checked in with a few of the new arrivals last week the situation had clearly worsened compared to February.</p> <p>The lack of toilets engulfed everything in the smell of urine, there was no proper shelter, and I saw mothers putting their babies to sleep on cardboard mats out in the open. Only a few days earlier, two desperate Afghan men tried to hang themselves in the square.</p> <p>The night before my visit, more than 300 people had stayed in this spot, many covered only by flimsy emergency blankets, sleeping on the cold concrete ground. In daylight, the area turned back into a bustling square, but uncertainty and helplessness remained.</p> <p>One father from Afghanistan told us that going back was out of the question for them, even though several European countries had closed their borders to Afghans. “Would you return if you were me?”, he asked and added, “We have gone through hell and we will continue no matter what.”</p> <p><img alt="Refugees in Victoria Square, Athens, Greece. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam" title="Refugees in Victoria Square, Athens, Greece. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam" height="533" width="800" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oes_29913-wheelchair-victoria-sq-athens-greece.jpg" /></p> <h3>Thousands left out in the cold</h3> <p>For months, Oxfam has now been urging EU political elites to make sure the human rights and dignity of those on the move are not put on the line by border policies. But following the de facto shutdown of the “Western Balkans route”, last week’s EU-Turkey summit only introduced the possibility of more severe measures and collective push-backs that ignore the right to seek asylum.</p> <p>All the while, ways to find sanctuary in the European Union are still not sufficient, which means vulnerable people like the Afghan family of five are stuck in limbo – many without access to sanitation, shelter or adequate food.</p> <p>In Athens, all transit and day centers, public shelters, and even NGO-provided hotel rooms for those most at risk, are overcrowded. As the entire country can only provide around 30,000 safe places, tens of thousands are left out in the cold. In the city’s port area alone volunteers are overwhelmed by over 3000 people in urgent need of basic services.</p> <p>The Greek government is desperately trying to find more accommodation, but there simply don’t seem to be enough resources to ensure the safety and wellbeing of so many people. By now, the government has had to resort to bringing in the military to build transit centres and provide food. Right in front of our eyes a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in the European Union.</p> <p><img alt="Hassan Hussein, a refugee from Syria, pleads with police to allow his family into a registration centre for migrants and refugees in Preševo, southern Serbia, on October 5, 2015. Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam" title="Hassan Hussein, a refugee from Syria, pleads with police to allow his family into a registration centre for migrants and refugees in Preševo, southern Serbia, on October 5, 2015. Photo: Sam Tarling/Oxfam" height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/94589lpr-man-shouting-holding-child-1240_0.jpg" /></p> <h3>Political haggling hits already vulnerable people</h3> <p>For me, today’s meeting of EU leaders is a critical moment to finally put things right and prioritise human dignity instead of border security. If the meeting brings any more restrictions on people’s ability to seek safety, the drama on the ground in Greece could intensify.</p> <p>Further border closures and push-backs could see thousands more falling through the gaps, pushing them to continue their journey underground. Once in the hands of smugglers, these already vulnerable people would be even further out of the reach of help from governments and NGOs, putting them at great risk of abuse, exploitation, enslavement and sexual violence.  </p> <p>For my husband and me Greece is home, and it is heart-breaking to see this kind of tragedy unfold at our doorstep as a result of political games being played. It is especially infuriating because the suffering could be so easily avoided if European politicians took seriously the human cost of their decisions. The only way to prevent a further escalation of the current human plight is for leaders to pull together for a collective solution that isn’t motivated by security concerns but by a real commitment to human rights and to creating safe and legal routes.</p> <h3>Human dimension of crisis must be addressed now</h3> <p>Unlike our political leaders, young and old Greeks are already helping side-by-side with supporters from all over Europe to alleviate the hardship experienced by the people stranded in Greece. Despite the difficult economic situation in the country many locals are showing an extraordinary level of compassion, volunteering to help wherever they can.</p> <p>I saw an elderly woman out and about in Athens, looking after families and young men traveling alone, giving them a friendly smile and bringing them bowls of hot soup. She and her fellow helpers have really stepped up to face the human dimension of this crisis and European leaders must finally follow their example.</p> <p><em>This entry posted by Renata Rendon, Advocacy &amp; Policy Lead, Oxfam Greece Mission, on 17 March 2016.</em></p> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/refugee-and-migrant-crisis" rel="nofollow"><strong><em>Support Oxfam's response to the refugees/migrants crisis</em></strong></a></p> <p><em>Photos:</em></p> <p><em>Refugees arrive on the beaches of Lesbos, Greece. Photo: Pablo Tosco/Oxfam, 24 February 2016</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The human dimension of EU migration: Greece’s escalating humanitarian crisis</h2></div> Fri, 18 Mar 2016 12:40:55 +0000 Guest Blogger 41707 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/41707#comments