HRW – Europe‘ Refugee Crisis – An agenda for action

“ European Union governments should take urgent action to bring Europe’s response to the refugee challenge, now a full blown EU crisis, in line with their legal responsibilities and stated values.“ Human Rights Watch latest report.

“ The response of many EU governments to the crisis has been deeply flawed. The response has been characterized by deaths at sea, chaos, and deplorable humanitarian conditions at sometimes-closed or blocked land borders, and inadequate responsibility sharing and collective action. Many EU countries have tried to deflect responsibility onto countries outside the European Union.

The European Union and its member countries should work collectively to:

  • Save lives at sea through robust search-and-rescue operations in the central Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea;
  • Reduce the need for dangerous journeys by increasing refugee resettlement, facilitating family reunification, and providing humanitarian visas;
  • Resolve the chaos at Europe’s borders through increased preparedness and coordination, swifter implementation of an agreed-upon emergency relocation scheme, and access to fair and efficient asylum procedures – including at the Greek and Bulgarian land borders with Turkey – and decent reception conditions throughout the region;
  • Fix the EU’s broken asylum system, and start by replacing the flawed Dublin system with a permanent mechanism for distributing asylum seekers equitably and enforcing EU standards across all member states;
  • Respect rights in migration cooperation with countries outside the EU by carefully designing, carrying out, and monitoring programs;
  • Put human rights at the center of diplomatic and other efforts to tackle root causes of refugee and migration flows.“ (

Euducation for Syrian refugee children in Turkey – New HRW report

HRW released its latest report on the education situation of Syrian refugee children in Turkey („When I picture my future, I see nothing“). As inside Syria and in all neigbouring countries which hosts millions of Syrian refugees, the challenge for the education of the children remains pressing. Even though the term ‚Lost Generation‘ was created by the UN based on the huge need in the education system and for the future for Syrian children and youth already long ago with the clear aim of fighting against it – challenges remain.

„Prior to the conflict, the primary school enrollment rate in Syria was 99 percent and lower secondary school enrollment was 82 percent, with high gender parity. Today, nearly 3 million Syrian children inside and outside the country are out of school, according to UNICEF estimates—demolishing Syria’s achievement of near universal education before the war.“

„In Turkey’s 25 government-run refugee camps, approximately 90 percent of school-aged Syrian children regularly attend school. However, these children represent just 13 percent of the Syrian refugee school-aged population in Turkey. The vast majority of Syrian children in Turkey live outside refugee camps in towns and cities, where their school enrollment rate is much lower—in 2014-2015, only 25 percent of them attended school.“

„Overall, less than one-third of the 700,000 Syrian school-aged children who entered Turkey in the last four years are attending school—meaning approximately 485,000 remain unable to access education.

When borders close for Syrians

The NY Times – „As Doors Close, Syrian Refugees Despair“ (04.11.2015)

Syrians have been a main component in Europe’s
refugee crisis. Propelled by fear and desperation, the
huge flow of refugees has faced one hurdle after another.

Winter is coming

Winter is coming  – not only to Europe, but also to Syria and to its neighbouring countries. The challenges refugees and IDPs have to face during the cold and wet winter months are big and due to the funding crisis humanitarian organizations will not be able to meet the needs of all vulnerable people. People need shelter, fuel, clothes, medicine, food and much more all over the region. However, the gaps are vast and we all hope that this winter will be a mild one!

I also hope that Europe will be able to safe the people who seek for shelter during the cold winter. Reading the article ‚Winter is coming: the new refugee crisis in Europe‘ on The Guardian draws a very clear picture on the current situation in Europe – not only in general terms on how Europe deals with the growing number of refugees, asylum seekers and migrant, but especially i particular in light of the cold months to come.