Árborg municipality, South Iceland, will shortly be receiving several Syrian refuges. Minister of Social Affairs and Children Ásmundur Einar Daðason and Árborg Mayor Gísli H. Halldórsson recently signed an agreement to that effect, according to the ministry’s website. The agreement involves the reception, assistance and services for five refugees 2019 through 2021. The people arrived in the country in May, along with 42 other refugees who settled in Hvammstangi and Blönduós. All of them are so-called quota refugees, that is, refugees invited to the country by the Icelandic State, in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This is the second time Árborg receives refugees invited by the Icelandic State, so the community has acquired substantial experience and knowledge in this area. In cooperation with UNHCR and the Red Cross, Icelandic authorities have in recent years increased the number … [Read more...] about “Refugees welcome” stickers distributed in Reykjavik
Rome, Italy - In June 2018, two Italian populist parties formed a new government with an anti-immigration agenda. Italy started turning away NGO rescue boats at sea, evicted refugees from a camp and an abandoned building in Rome, and introduced a decree that scrapped a whole category of humanitarian protection. But the government's far-right platform has also boosted solidarity initiatives. NGOs that offer programmes for refugees to live with local families have reported an uptick in applications by Italians. "Almost everyone cites the will to react to the political climate," says Sara Consolato, spokesperson for Refugees Welcome Italy. "It seems to have had a mobilising effect." Participation is estimated at only a few hundred people across the country, but organisations contacted by Al Jazeera say numbers almost doubled in the second half of 2018. Al Jazeera spoke to refugees who live or have lived with Italian families about their experiences and what they make of Italian culture. … [Read more...] about What do refugees think of their Italian hosts?
Activists have marked the third anniversary of a controversial migration deal between the EU and Turkey by projecting a slogan on to the walls of the Acropolis. Two weeks after Brussels claimed the migration crisis was over, Amnesty International projected the words “humanity first: refugees are welcome” on to the ancient citadel above Athens to highlight the plight of thousands of people trapped on Greek islands as a result of the accord. The political stunt aimed at sending “a clear message” to European leaders over the suffering endured by an estimated 15,000 refugees and migrants marooned on Lesbos, Samos and other Aegean isles close to the Turkish coast. “The EU pretending that the crisis is over and this is a successful deal flies in the face of reality,” said Giorgos Kosmopoulos, a researcher with Amnesty speaking from Lesbos on Wednesday, three years after the deal came into effect. “What it has done is condemn thousands of people to a … [Read more...] about Activists project ‘refugees welcome’ on Acropolis to show crisis not over
Plans to double the number of new refugees welcomed into Sheffield this year has sparked debate among Star readers. Sheffield previously welcomed 75 refugees a year and became the first City of Sanctuary in 2004 when the council adopted the Gateway Protection Programme. But now, with funding from the Home Office, the authority is planning to double the number of people it helps resettle this year to more than 150. Dozens of readers have taken to Facebook to have their say on the matter.Some were in favour of the move. George Sanders said: “People deserve refuge.” Rick Fawley posted: “Welcome to Sheffield” and added that “mostly we're okay and it's a nice place.”But others suggested resources should be spent elsewhere.One woman said: “Our elderly who have worked hard all their life are having their care cut to a bare minimum and are suffering because of lack of funding. People are living on … [Read more...] about Sheffield Council planning to increase number of refugees in city this year
A group of 25 people with their faces masked "ransacked" the centre in the coastal town of Castelldefels south of Barcelona in the early hours of Sunday and "tried to attack teachers and minors", the regional government of Catalonia said in a statement. Three people were injured -- two teachers and a minor who suffered an anxiety attack, the statement added. Catalan regional police have questioned the injured and witnesses but have not arrested anyone so far, a spokesman for the police force told AFP. Castelldefels city hall downplayed the incident, calling it a fight between migrants from the centre and locals youths, but the Catalan regional government suspect the attack was racially motivated. "We are talking about a very serious incident which has a racist connotation... this is not a simple fight between youths," said the regional social affairs minister who is responsible for immigration, Chakir El Homrani. … [Read more...] about Refugees welcome? Police probe racist attacks on migrant youth centers in Catalonia