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65 million people displaced in 2015, a new record: UN

Geneva, (AP/UNB) – The U.N. refugee agency says persecution and conflict in places like Syria and Afghanistan raised the total number of refugees and internally displaced people worldwide to a record 65.3 million at the end of last year. The previous year, 2014, had already seen the highest number of refugees worldwide since World War II, with 60 million displaced ... Read More »

Kuwait domestic helper offices’ owners slam new law

Kuwait: In a recent session, the parliament approved amending the law to establish a closed shareholding company to recruit domestic helpers and referred it to the government. The first article of the law stipulates establishing a closed shareholding company that would only make profits of a maximum 10 percent of the total cost of recruiting a domestic helper. Read More »

Deadly Week in the Mediterranean

Judith Sunderland Over 880 women, men, and children are feared drowned in the Mediterranean last week. While smugglers bear direct responsibility for sending overcrowded and unseaworthy boats from the coast of Libya and elsewhere, European governments share moral and political responsibility for failing to do more to prevent these horrific deaths. Read More »

Mediterranean black hole: Over 700 feared dead in ship wrecks

Pozzallo (AP/UNB) — Survivor accounts have pushed to more than 700 the number of migrants feared dead in Mediterranean Sea shipwrecks over three days in the past week, even as European ships saved thousands of others in daring rescue operations. The shipwrecks appear to account for the largest loss of life reported in the Mediterranean since April 2015, when a ... Read More »

Over 4,000 migrants rescued in single day

Rome (AP/UNB) — More than 4,000 would-be refugees were rescued at sea Thursday in one of the busiest days of the Mediterranean migrant crisis, and at least 20 died trying to reach Europe as Libyan-based smugglers took advantage of calmer seas to send desperate migrants north. The death toll was likely to grow far higher, however, as the Libyan coast ... Read More »

Bangladesh’s urban slums swell with climate migrants

By Rafiqul Islam Dhaka (IPS) – Abdul Aziz, 35, arrived in the capital Dhaka in 2006 after losing all his belongings to the mighty Meghna River. Once, he and his family had lived happily in the village of Dokkhin Rajapur in Bhola, a coastal district of Bangladesh. Aziz had a beautiful house and large amount of arable land. But riverbank ... Read More »

Migrant crisis: EU ‘to grant Turkey visa-free travel’

The European Commission will grant Turkey conditional approval for visa-free travel within the EU’s Schengen area, sources have told the BBC.The move is part of a deal in which Turkey has agreed to take back migrants who have crossed the Aegean to Greece.But Turkey must still meet EU criteria, BBC Europe Editor Katya Adler says, and the deal must be ... Read More »

Pope visits refugees in Greece

Pope Francis has arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos to show support for refugees who are trying to reach northern Europe.The Pope is heading to a detention camp holding more than 3,000 people, some of whom may face deportation to Turkey.Francis said he was travelling to witness “the worst humanitarian disaster since the Second World War”. Thousands are now ... Read More »

Bangladeshi maids abused in Middle East

Dozens of Bangladeshi maids lured with the promise of a good job in the Middle East are being tortured and raped by their employers.Around six months ago, a woman from Kurigram who went to Saudi Arabia as a housemaid, was raped by her master and got pregnant. She took shelter at the Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh and was sent back ... Read More »

EU to support reintegration of undocumented migrants after return

Dhaka – The European Union (EU) has offered cooperation to Bangladesh in designing a special programme for the reintegration of returnees as Bangladesh wants a ‘return and reintegration package’ for its ‘irregular’ migrants living in European countries, UNB news agency has reported. The package might include training, skill development and small business for the returnees with the help of the ... Read More »

Dubai’s Taqdeer Award an excellent model in labour practices: ILO official

Taqdeer Award is an outstanding initiative to encourage employers to improve their employment practices and the award can well be a model for countries in the area to enhance their labour welfare steps, said asenior official from the International Labour Organisation. Dr. Ruba Jaradat, International Labour Organization (ILO) Regional Director for Arab States, stated: “We encourage stakeholders in other countries ... Read More »

Bangladeshi migrants among 150 held in Lesbos

A first group of 150 migrants from Pakistan and Bangladesh late on Monday were transferred – handcuffed and under police escort – from the island’s registration centre to a passenger ferry that would take them to the mainland by early morning.They had arrived on Lesbos on Sunday and would be taken to immigration offices in Athens, a police spokesman said.Following ... Read More »

EU/Turkey: Contradictory positions on protection jeopardise refugees

Brussels – The European Union outline deal with Turkey announced on March 8, 2016, contradicts EU principles guaranteeing the right to seek asylum and against collective expulsions. EU and Turkish leaders meeting in Brussels announced an agreement in principle to stem migration and refugee flows from Turkey to Greece, including massive returns of all “irregular migrants” crossing into the Greek ... Read More »

Border restrictions violate 1951 Refugee Convention

By Thalif Deen In recent days, some countries are building barriers to limit the flow of refugees to Europe. Credit: Ashfaq Yusufzai/IPS United Nations (IPS) – When the United Nations commemorated “Zero Discrimination Day” on March 1, there was an implicit commitment by the 193 member states to abhor all forms of discrimination – including against women, minorities, indigenous people, ... Read More »

Study indicates immigration not to blame for terrorism

Migration is overall not a source of terrorism, according to new research from the University of Warwick. In fact, the study indicates that more migration could create a decrease in the number of terrorist attacks, not an increase. The research was designed to establish whether migration helps spread terror attacks between countries. The lead author, Vincenzo Bove, associate professor in ... Read More »

NATO to fight against human smuggling

Nato ships are being deployed to the Aegean sea to deter people-smugglers taking migrants from Turkey to Greece, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg says.The announcement followed a request from Turkey, Germany and Greece at a defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels.Mr Stoltenberg said the mission would not be about “stopping or pushing back refugee boats”.Nato, he said, will contribute “critical information and ... Read More »

New British envoy assures easing visa for Bangladeshis

New British High Commissioner Alison Blake has assured the foreign minister of her “cooperation” to make visa processing easier for Bangladeshis.She called on Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali on Tuesday.The foreign ministry said the minister highlighted the role of Bangladesh diaspora in the UK and urged the High Commissioner to make the visa processing easier for Bangladeshi nationals.The envoy also ... Read More »

Norway/Russia: Don’t Jeopardize Asylum Seekers

Norway should stop using fast-track procedures to return asylum seekers to Russia based on the presumption that it is a safe country of asylum for them, Human Rights Watch said today. Russian and Norwegian authorities plan to meet on February 3, 2016, to come to an agreement about which migrants and asylum seekers, if any, may be immediately returned to ... Read More »

Zaha Hadid distances self on Qatar labour issue

by Neha Bhatia Meanwhile, Architect Zaha Hadid has reportedly distanced herself from the Qatari government’s 2022 FIFA World Cup preparations, saying the country should work on improving the rights of the migrant workers it employs. Hadid has designed Al Wakrah Stadium, the centrepiece of Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup preparations. Qatar has been in the spotlight for its failure to ... Read More »

FIFA under pressure to reform

By Lasse Højstrup Sørensen Unions and the sporting goods industry have had enough of FIFA and demand a showdown with the past and reform of football’s governing body. At last week’s forum on the future of FIFA, held in the European Parliament, the tone against FIFA sharpened. The International Trade Union Coalition (ITUC) is uncompromising in their demands of significant ... Read More »

The coming wave of oil refugees

by Michael Meyer Nairobi – The idea that oil wealth can be a curse is an old one – and it should need no explaining. Every few decades, energy prices rise to the heavens, kicking off a scramble for new sources of oil. Then supply eventually outpaces demand, and prices suddenly crash to Earth. The harder and more abrupt the ... Read More »

Right wing renaissance

By Hassanal Noor Rashid With 2016 still at its infancy, the beginning of the year has been marked with extraordinarily explosive events that may very well set the trend for the year and will continue to persist for a longer time. New Year’s eve saw reports of mass sexual assaults in Cologne, termed Taharrush in the Arabic tongue or known ... Read More »

Qatar to recruit 3 lakh BD labour

Qatar has shown interest to recruit about three lakh overseas jobseekers from Bangladesh over the next two years.Qatar Administrative Development and Labour and Social Affairs Minister Issa Saad Al-Jafali Al-Nuaimi said this at a bilateral meeting with the visiting Bangladesh delegation, headed by Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Development Minister Nurul Islam in Doha.To move ahead with the goal, a joint-working ... Read More »

Refugee children missing in Europe

More than 10,000 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children have disappeared in Europe, the EU police agency Europol said on Sunday, fearing many have been whisked into sex trafficking rings or the slave trade.Europol’s press office confirmed to Al Jazeera the figures published in British newspaper The Observer.The number relates to the last 18-24 months.The agency’s chief of staff Brian Donald ... Read More »

Sweden to expel up to 80,000 refugees

Sweden intends to expel as many as 80,000 refugees and migrants who arrived in 2015 and whose applications for asylum have been rejected.”We are talking about 60,000 people, but the number could climb to 80,000,” Interior Minister Anders Ygeman was quoted as saying by Swedish media.He added on Wednesday that the government has asked police and authorities in charge of ... Read More »