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No Option but Europe

Asylum seekers arriving in Europe are often seen as part of an undifferentiated mass, and the complex stories of how they arrived are often submerged in the effort to control or manage migration. However, many of them are driven to seek protection in Europe only after seeking and failing to find safety elsewhere.

Read more here.

Rights in Exile Newsletter

Issue 67, February 2016

ISSN 2049-2650


News on Countries of Origin

News on Countries of Asylum

Detention and Deportation News

Short Pieces

Special challenges Eritrean refugees face in Europe

Read the full newsletter here.

Protecting some of the people some of the time: Civilian perspectives on peacekeeping forces in South Sudan

(Kampala, 15 December 2015) On the two-year anniversary of the outbreak of violence in South Sudan, IRRI has published a new report, “Protecting some of the people some of the time: Civilian perspectives on peacekeeping forces in South Sudan. The report examines civilian perspectives of peacekeeping forces in South Sudan within the broader context of the conflict and the protection challenges facing civilians, including the need for protection from atrocities.

Despite the fact that the speed and scale of what took place in December 2013 caught UNMISS by surprise, the mission responded by opening up a number of its bases to civilians fleeing the conflict. Our research found that civilians were grateful for the protection provided by this action. As one PoC resident in Juba said, “If it was not because of peacekeepers all of us would have been killed.” In interviews, UNMISS personnel spoke about this action as a way of upholding their responsibility to the population, recognising that this had avoided another “Rwanda situation”. The failure to act then has haunted peacekeeping missions since 1994.

Read the full press release.

Read the full report.

Read the press coverage of the report:
- African Arguments article
- NPR article
- Delaware Public Media article
- AllAfrica article
- Africa Times article
- article
- Sudan Tribune article

“Voluntary” departures from Israel leave asylum seekers without status and vulnerable

(08 September 2015) A new report launched today by the International Refugee Rights Initiative (IRRI) exposes how Israeli transfers of Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers to Uganda and Rwanda leaves them without status and vulnerable to exploitation. “Our research shows that Israel is not only failing to respect its own obligations under international law, but is directly increasing the vulnerability of these asylum seekers and contributing to migration flows to other African countries and to the EU,” said IRRI’s Executive Director Andie Lambe.

The report, “I was left with nothing”: “Voluntary” departures of asylum seekers from Israel to Rwanda and Uganda, is based on interviews with over 20 Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers who were sent from Israel to Uganda and Rwanda between February 2014 and May 2015. Despite claims that the departures are voluntary, all of the interviewees stated that they had left as a result of their detention or the threat thereof, and because they felt that they would not be able to acquire a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal, stable life in Israel. They chose to leave not because they wanted to go to the third countries offered, but because they could not go home. In the words of one Eritrean asylum seeker: “They said: ‘you can either go to your country or to Rwanda.’ I said: ‘if I could go to my country, why would I even be in Israel to begin with?’

Read the full press release (English, Hebrew)
Read the full report.

Read the press coverage of the report:
- Lucy Hovil, “Israel: Refugees not Welcome,” 21 September 2015
- The Guardian article
- Radio France International Interview
- Al Jazeera article
- Al Jazeera TV report (not available in U.S.)
- Fulton News article
- University of Oxford’s Border Criminologies article
- article (in German)