Archiv der Kategorie: Lampedusa-solidarity

The deaths of around 300 migrants off the small island of Lampedusa on 3 October has brought the issue of migration in the Mediterranean sharply back into focus. Every year thousands of people, many fleeing conflict and instability in Africa and the Middle East, risk their lives in small, often decrepit vessels while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European territories.

The deaths of around 300 migrants off the small island of Lampedusa on 3 October has brought the issue of migration in the Mediterranean sharply back into focus.

Every year thousands of people, many fleeing conflict and instability in Africa and the Middle East, risk their lives in small, often decrepit vessels while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to European territories.

Then, on 11 October, more than 30 people died when another boat packed with around 250 people sank just off the coast of Malta.

Some 200 people were rescued, and Malta’s prime minister warned that the Mediterranean was in danger of becoming of a „cemetery“ for desperate migrants.

The UN says some 32,000 people have arrived in Malta and Italy so far this year.

At the weekend more than 200 migrants also arrived in Sicily after being rescued by the Italian coastguard and a merchant ship.

‚Age-old‘ issue

Rescued migrants, July 2013The Italian Coastguard rescues thousands of migrants each year

Migrants crossing in the central Mediterranean – from Libya and Tunisia – come mostly from Eritrea and Somalia, although increasing numbers of Syrians fleeing the country’s civil war are also making the journey.

Speaking to reporters, the UNHCR’s Adrian Edwards said: „The phenomenon of people travelling on small boats across the Mediterranean to Europe is age-old and involves issues of asylum as well as migration.

„Those on board the boat that sank off Lampedusa were nearly all Eritrean, and many are likely to have been in need of international protection.“

Migration charities believe that as many as 20,000 people may have died at sea trying to reach Europe in the last two decades.

The i-Map project was developed as a joint initiative by European border management agencyFrontex and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, and produces detailed maps showing the routes and major hubs used by migrants in the region.

Libya has become a popular starting point for many journeys, with people traffickers exploiting the country’s power vacuum and increasing lawlessness.

The relatively short distance between Libya and the Italian island of Lampedusa encourages more people to risk the journey.

The number of people using the various routes across the Mediterranean has ebbed and flowed.

From 2008-2012, large numbers of migrants crossed between Turkey and Greece via the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route, border management agency Frontex reports.

In response, Greece bolstered border controls with an additional 1,800 police officers.

However, Frontex suggests that the area remains problematic, and points to „uncertainties related to the sustainability of [Greek] efforts, and evidence that migrants are waiting in Turkey for the end of the operation“.

Over the last decade, the central Mediterranean route has experienced periodic surges in migrant traffic.

UNHCR figures suggest that some 25,000 people fled to Italy from North Africa in 2005, a number which dwindled to 9,573 in 2009.

In 2011, this figure rocketed back to some 61,000, driven by the conflict in Libya which culminated in the downfall of Col Gaddafi.

Numbers recorded using different Mediterranean migration routes

Earlier in the decade, the most popular route was from West Africa to Spain, including its North African territories of Ceuta and Melilla, and the Canary Islands, with some 32,000 irregular arrivals in 2006. This figure had dwindled to just 5,443 by 2011.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24521614

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Migrants in Libya ‚raped and tortured‘ – in the state-chaos, wich Nato bombed through – telling the world, it is for the people! The migrants each paid thousands of dollars to the gang, police said. The gang moves people across the Sahara to Libya, where they are detained in a camp until they pay at least $3,000 (£1,866), police said. The migrants have told the police that torture and rape goes on at the camp, the BBC’s Alan Johnston reports from Rome.

Lampedusa boat tragedy:
Migrants ‚raped and tortured‘

Rescuers carrying coffin of a Lampedusa migrant, 12 Oct 13The tragedy has not stopped migrants boarding unseaworthy boats in the hope of reaching Europe

People traffickers tortured and raped African migrants whose boat later sank off Lampedusa with the loss of more than 360 lives, Italian police say.

The police have arrested a Somali man on Lampedusa accused of committing crimes with the armed gang.

Most of the victims on 3 October were Eritreans and Somalis. Their fishing boat capsized near Lampedusa, a tiny Italian island off North Africa.

The migrants each paid thousands of dollars to the gang, police said.

The gang moves people across the Sahara to Libya, where they are detained in a camp until they pay at least $3,000 (£1,866), police said.

The migrants have told the police that torture and rape goes on at the camp, the BBC’s Alan Johnston reports from Rome.

Once the migrants make their payment, they are handed on to another organisation which – in return for more money – arranges a boat journey to Europe.

Motives unclear

The alleged captain of the Lampedusa boat, a Tunisian man named Khaled Bensalam, is being held in Sicily.

The 24-year-old Somali suspect was arrested after arriving on Lampedusa on 25 October with a group of migrants.

As he entered a migrant reception centre, he was attacked by some survivors of the disaster, police said. There were 155 survivors of the tragedy.

The migrants said they recognised him as one of the leaders of the group that had arranged their long and disastrous journey. He is now facing charges relating to kidnapping, sexual violence and people smuggling.

It is not yet clear why the suspect made the journey to Italy and put himself at risk of being identified by migrants that he allegedly mistreated. But the police say he might have been fleeing tensions within his people-smuggling network.

Another theory is that he may have sought to consolidate links with criminal partners in Italy. Or he might have simply decided that he too wanted to make a new life in Europe, our correspondent says.

Italian media say the Somali man’s arrest followed investigations by Sicilian police and anti-Mafia police based in Rome. He is now being questioned in Sicily.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24866338

Germany We are here to stay Africans living under the shadow of removal in Hamburg have been able to articulate their own agenda, writes Klaus Neumann, and football fans and residents are backing them

We are here to stay

Africans living under the shadow of removal in Hamburg have been able to articulate their own agenda, writes Klaus Neumann, and football fans and residents are backing them

05 November 2013

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Africans and their supporters demonstrating in St Pauli on 25 October.
HamburgNews

ON 25 OCTOBER, St Pauli Football Club played in front of a home crowd at Hamburg’s Millerntor stadium. The team was fifth on the ladder, and its fans were probably dreaming of promotion to the Bundesliga, the top German league, which St Pauli has joined only once in the past ten years. Almost 28,000 attended that Friday night match to watch their team take on lowly ranked SV Sandhausen. After ninety minutes, though, St Pauli could probably count itself lucky that the game ended in a nil-all draw.

If it hadn’t been for what happened next, the evening would have quickly been forgotten. Thousands gathered outside the southern stand wielding placards and banners, some of which had already been unfurled during the game. From the stadium they marched to St Pauli, the church that gave the suburb – and hence the football club – its name. The demonstrators leading the march carried a large banner with a text in English that read, “We are here to stay.” The police, who had anticipated the march but expected no more than 1000 demonstrators, estimated the crowd at 5000. The organisers claimed 10,000 people joined the march.

Given that it’s not long since St Pauli was relegated to the third division, “We are here to stay” might have reflected fans’ feelings about the club’s mixed fortunes on the football field. The demonstrators were calling not for the sacking of coach Michael Frontzeck, however; what they wanted was the resignation of Olaf Scholz, the head of Hamburg’s state government. But mostly they were chanting in support of those carrying the banner at the head of the protest march: a group of African men who have been threatened with removal by the state government.

In June I wrote about 300 irregular migrants who had arrived in Hamburg after they were reportedly released from a reception centre by Italian authorities and each given €500 and a temporary residence permit valid for all Schengen countries. According to an Italian newspaper report, at least some of the migrants were also given train tickets to Germany. The people who ended up in Hamburg – mainly from Mali, Ghana, Togo and Ivory Coast – had left jobs in Libya after the situation of sub-Saharan Africans in Libya became increasingly perilous following the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi. Their first port of call was the Italian island of Lampedusa, which lies only about 300 kilometres north of the Libyan coast.

The authorities in Hamburg made the Italian practice public in May. By then, the Africans had been in Germany’s second-largest city for almost three months. Until April, they had been supported by a winter relief program funded by the state government, but now they were homeless and living on the street. Their money had long run out, and their three-month residence permits were about to expire. For the authorities in Hamburg, the solution was obvious: Italy was the first country of asylum, and it was obliged to look after them. After some diplomatic wrangling, the Italians conceded as much, and on 30 May the German interior ministry announced that the Italian government had agreed to take the Africans back.

For the past six months, however, the Africans have been seeking support for their demands to remain in Hamburg. On 22 May, a delegation unsuccessfully tried to meet with Olaf Scholz. On 29 May, their plight occasioned heated debates in the Bürgerschaft, Hamburg’s state parliament, when the Left Party and the Greens accused the governing Social Democrats of violating the Africans’ human rights.

Following Italy’s offer to take them back, the state government announced that it would accommodate the Africans in a vacant school, where their identities would be checked by the police. This plan was immediately condemned by the leaders of the Protestant Church, who argued that the offer was designed to make it easier to process them and facilitate their removal.

On 4 June, the parish of St Pauli, with the support of the church hierarchy, offered shelter to eighty of the migrants. Asked by a journalist how long they would be allowed to stay in the church, St Pauli’s pastor said, “A host welcoming guests must not immediately ask: ‘When are you going to leave?’” He also clarified that his church was not offering asylum to the migrants, and that the willingness to help ought to be seen as an act of hospitality. Although the church didn’t invoke its traditional right to grant asylum to fugitives, so far the police haven’t attempted to enter its premises to question or detain the migrants.

Several trade unions have also come out in support of the Africans, some of whom have joined Ver.di, Germany’s largest and most powerful union, which represents public servants. The unions, the churches, refugee advocacy organisations, and a large number of locals support the Africans’ demand that they all be given residence and work rights, and reject the state government’s compromise plan for their cases be assessed on an individual basis. While the African men are often referred to as “refugees,” that term is used in a loose sense, without any reference to the legal definition in the 1951 Refugee Convention.

The protests over the government’s handling of the case have intensified since June. With the onset of autumn, the church hosting the Africans applied for a permit to erect accommodation containers. The state government refused to grant the permit, but it was outmanoeuvred by the local council, which sided with the church. Some of the Africans have agreed to reveal their identities in return for a Duldung, a temporary stay of removal until their cases have been investigated, but a majority of them still insists on a political rather than an administrative or juridical solution. Public support for the migrants remains strong. Another protest march on the 2–3 November weekend attracted twice as many demonstrators as the protest after the St Pauli–Sandhausen game.

THE drowning of hundreds of irregular migrants near Lampedusa in early October invited comparisons between European and Australian responses to “boat people.” Sociologist Claudia Tazreiter, for example, writing for the ABC’s Drumjudged “the reactions to the human tragedies of lives lost at sea attempting to find refuge” to be “shockingly divergent in the European and Australian case.” And it is certainly true that the rhetoric of European leaders after the tragedy in the Mediterranean starkly differs from that of Australian leaders after similar events off our shores. But both the European Union and Australia are committed to preventing the arrival of irregular migrants, irrespective of whether they turn out to be refugees as defined in the 1951 UN Convention. The Australian government has put a high-ranking military commander in charge of its attempts to thwart the arrival of asylum seekers, and the European Union’s equivalent efforts have been coordinated by the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, or Frontex, which was created in 2004 to block irregular access to member states. Neither in Europe nor in Australia has the militarisation of border control resulted in fewer deaths at the border.

Yet the events unfolding in Hamburg couldn’t have occurred in Australia. Why is that? First, the rhetoric of Hamburg’s political leaders is different from that of Australia’s leaders. In Australia, politicians from both major parties have been guilty of condoning, if not eliciting, irrational fears of “boat people” in the interest of electoral gain. In Germany, since the pogroms of Hoyerswerda (in 1991) and Rostock-Lichtenhagen (in 1992), in which rioting neo-Nazis tried to burn down asylum seeker hostels, German politicians seem to know that the vilification of asylum seekers releases a dangerous genie that can’t easily be put back into its bottle. Political and community leaders are usually quick in condemning local protests against asylum seekers, which still happen frequently, particularly in East Germany. Last weekend, for example, residents of the small town of Schneeberg in Saxonia rallied against the accommodation of asylum seekers in a former army barracks. As has been the case elsewhere, the protests were engineered by the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany. Perhaps surprisingly, the zero tolerance approach to overt xenophobia among all parties in federal parliament has not resulted in a vacuum on the right of the political spectrum; in the recent federal elections, the National Democrats won just 1.3 per cent of the vote.

Inner-city Hamburg is a world away from Schneeberg. Radical political positions that could exist only on the fringes in Australia enjoy the support of a significant section of the community, reflecting well-established political cultures that allow radical critiques to flourish. The metamorphosis of St Pauli FC is a good example of what that makes possible in some German cities. A few years ago, the club deliberately embraced an alternative political and cultural agenda, which enabled it to attract a new fan base. While other clubs in the Bundesliga struggled to control fans who heap racist abuse on opposition players and supporters, St Pauli fans pride themselves on their commitment to anti-racism and anti-sexism.

Hamburg is not the only German city that provides an environment conducive to protests by and in support of irregular migrants. In Berlin, some 200 asylum seekers – most of whom also entered Europe via Lampedusa – have been camping for more than a year at Oranienplatz in Kreuzberg. While Berlin’s state government would like to send them back to Italy, the local council has so far refused to play ball. Much like St Pauli and neighbouring suburbs in Hamburg, Kreuzberg has a vibrant alternative political and cultural scene; the gulf between it and mainstream Germany became obvious at the last local elections when the Greens and the Pirate Party shared half the vote while the Christian Democrats attracted only about 8 per cent.

Perhaps the most important difference between Germany and Australia, however, is not so much do with Germans or Australians as with the irregular migrants themselves. The Africans in Hamburg, much like similar groups in other German cities, have been able to articulate their own agenda. It was they, rather than their supporters, who first demanded that a political solution be found that allows all 300 Africans to remain in Germany. Admittedly, it is difficult to view that kind of agency in isolation – it only becomes possible in a cultural context in which the voices of people without rights are listened to, and in which these voices can then be amplified.

Because the people sleeping in the St Pauli church speak for themselves, the relationship between the Africans and their German supporters resembles a coalition (albeit with a junior partner whose resources are limited). In this case at least, refugee advocates cannot represent migrants as voiceless and sufferers, and have to respect the fact that the migrants’ political demands may differ from their own.

While refugee advocates in Australia are often driven by their own compassion, and then try to elicit compassion, if not pity, in their campaigns, much of the European response to irregular migrants is marked by a sense of solidarity. Even the Pope, discussing irregular migrants during his visit to Lampedusa in July, seemed to rate solidarity more highly than compassion. In the short term, the emotions directed towards the suffering victim can be immensely powerful. But such emotions are fickle, and they don’t offer a long-term perspective. In comparison to the surge of feeling associated with compassion, the energy generated by a sense of solidarity may be weak, but unlike compassion, solidarity anticipates a viable future relationship between partners.

In her book On Revolution, Hannah Arendt, who believed that solidarity could – and ought to – “inspire and guide action,” put her finger on why sentiments are of dubious value in the fight for social and political justice:

[W]ithout the presence of misfortune, pity could not exist, and it therefore has just as much vested interest in the existence of the unhappy as thirst for power has a vested interest in the existence of the weak. Moreover, by virtue of being a sentiment, pity can be enjoyed for its own sake, and this will almost automatically lead to a glorification of its cause, which is the suffering of others.

The supporters of the African migrants recently argued their case in their St Pauli Manifesto. They took a stance, they say, “because we want to, because we are able to, and because we have to… We are confident that what we do can, could be done by any neighbourhood in Hamburg or anywhere else in this country. We want to set an example, one example of many. Anybody could follow it.” While that might not apply to Schneeberg or Western Sydney, it seems worth keeping a close watch on what is possible in St Pauli. Maybe the unconventional success story of the local football club could be replicated in an arena where people are fighting for what Hannah Arendt called “the right to have rights.” •

Klaus Neumann is Professor of History in the Swinburne Institute for Social Research.

– See more at: http://inside.org.au/we-are-here-to-stay/#sthash.0bbNilG6.dpuf

http://inside.org.au/we-are-here-to-stay/

EU-Press-Declaration: European and African Union Commissions meet to pave the way for next Africa-EU Summit

European and African Union Commissions meet to pave the way for next Africa-EU Summit

European Commission – IP/13/353   24/04/2013

Other available languages: FR DE PT LV

 

European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 24 April 2013

European and African Union Commissions meet to pave the way for next Africa-EU Summit

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and six European Commissioners will meet their African Union (AU) counterparts on 25 and 26 April, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The high-level event, which takes place in year of the 50th anniversary of the Organisation of the African Union (OAU), will launch the preparations of the 4th Africa-EU Summit, due to take place in Brussels in April 2014.

The meeting will further strengthen bilateral cooperation and political dialogue between the two continents, promote shared interests and tackle common regional and global challenges within the Joint Africa-EU Strategy.

President Barroso said: „Africa and Europe are each other’s closest neighbours. The partnership between the European Commission and the African Union is becoming ever more relevant by the day. I look forward to our next College-to-College (C2C) meeting, an event which symbolises the cooperation, convergence and complicity between the two sister organisations that have been driving regional integration in both Europe and Africa. I am proud of what we have achieved together so far. And I am convinced that we can do much more in the future by jointly tackling our shared challenges, from climate action to regional security, eradicating poverty and sharing the benefits of trade and growth.“

The EU is the biggest trading partner for Africa and remains its most important donor. African countries received close to €24 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA) from the EU in the period 2007–2012.

Most recently, the EU granted €50 million to support the African-led International Support Mission to Mali (AFISMA) through the African Peace Facility, which supports the African Union and regional African organisations in carrying out peace-keeping operations such as AMISOM in Somalia and MICOPAX in the Central African Republic. Through the African Peace Facility, the European Union covers mainly the non-military costs of the force, such as the daily allowances, and transport and medical costs. Since 2004, the EU has provided more than €1.1 billion through the African Peace Facility to prevent conflict and promote peace, for example in Darfur, Somalia, and the Central African Republic.

The meeting between the two Commissions will start with keynote speeches from AUC Chairperson Zuma and President Barroso, followed by a plenary discussion and thematic meetings of Commissioners. The discussions will cover regional integration, trade and infrastructure, economic governance and raw materials, as well as customs and taxation. Other key topics will be the environment and climate action, sustainable energy and agriculture, food safety and security, resilience, education, employment, health and migration.

A common challenge for both Africa and Europe remains to consolidate sustainable economic growth and ensure that it is inclusive in creating jobs, especially for women and young people. This requires coordinated action at continental, regional and national levels. In this context, the issues of trade, regional integration, agriculture and raw materials will be high on the agenda. In addressing education, health, women- and youth empowerment and development of human capital, the Commissioners will look at ways to cooperate more closely on the structural challenges in helping economies to prosper.

Background

For this 6th annual College-to-College session, President Barroso will be accompanied by Commissioners Piebalgs (Development), De Gucht (Trade), Georgieva (International cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response), Hedegaard (Climate action), Cioloş (Agricultural and rural development) and Šemeta (Taxation and customs Union, audit and anti-fraud).

The Strategic Partnership between Africa and the EU pursues common objectives and aims to expand the political dialogue and concrete operation into new areas of shared interest, in a dialogue of equal partners.

80 Heads of State and Government from Africa and Europe adopted the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) at the Summit in Lisbon in December 2007. Both sides agreed to pursue common interests and strategic objectives together, beyond traditional development issues, beyond the exclusive geographic scope of Africa and beyond institutions with enhanced involvement of parliaments and donors, including the private sector, civil society and young people. The JAES outlines a long-term shared vision of the future of Africa-EU relations in a globalised world.

The next Africa-EU Summit is scheduled to take place in Brussels, April 2014.

The African Union and the African Union Commission

The AU, the successor of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), was created in 2002 and currently has 54 Member States. It is Africa’s leading continental institution and principal organisation in the area of Peace and Security. Its main objectives are to achieve unity and solidarity on the continent, achieve political and economic integration, promote peace and security, democratic principles and institutions, as well as sustainable development.

The AU Commission is the key institution in the day-to-day management of the African Union and main interlocutor for the European Commission in the Africa-EU Strategic Partnership. The AU Commission is composed of the Chairperson, a Deputy Chairperson and eight Commissioners. It has its headquarters in Addis Ababa and currently has some 1.500 staff members. A new College was elected in 2012, with Dr Dlamini-Zuma as Chairperson. Most of the new AU Commissioners have already taken office.

For more information:

MEMO/13/367: Key facts on the Joint Africa-EU Strategy

Background information on the Africa-EU Partnership:

http://www.africa-eu-partnership.org/

Contacts :

Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen (+32 2 295 30 70)

Leonor Ribeiro Da Silva (+32 2 298 81 55)

Raquel Maria Patricio Gomes (+32 2 297 48 14)

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-13-353_en.htm

AFRICAN COMMON POSITION ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT

AFRICAN COMMON POSITION ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT INTRODUCTORY NOTE The Executive Council Decision (EX.CL/Dec.264 on Migration and Development (VIII)) adopted during the January 2006 Khartoum Summit mandated the Commission of the African Union to convene an Experts’ Meeting on Migration and Development in Algiers, Algeria at the kind invitation of the Government of Algeria. The meeting took place as scheduled from April 3-5, 2006. Over 42 countries attended the meeting and the discussions were lively and exciting. A number of Regional, International and Non-Governmental Organizations and Institutions were also represented. These included: ILO, IOM, ALO, UN/AIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, ICMPO, ARLAC, OATUU, Vatican, ICRC, Pan-African Youth Organization, and FAO. In addition the following organizations working in the field of migration in the Diaspora attended the meeting: African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE), The Foundation for Democracy in Africa, and African Foundation for Development (AFFORD). The Draft African Common Position on Migration and Development also contains a set of recommendation at National, Continental and International level which are aimed at addressing migration and development issues. The delegates also adopted a Report of the Experts Meeting, which among other things, mandated the African Troika to address the issue of migration and development with the European Troika during their meeting in Vienna, Austria on May 8, 2006. The African Common Position on Migration and Development has since been endorsed by the Executive Council through the Executive Council Decision (EX.CL/Dec.305 (IX)) adopted at the Banjul Summit in July 2006.

1. INTRODUCTION
Africa is experiencing an important development in migratory flows. These movements occur essentially within the Continent. They are also occurring towards Europe, North America and some Middle East countries and could be voluntary (as a result of pull factors in destination countries) or involuntary/forced (due to push factors in countries of origin). These movements could be legal or undocumented and encompass all social categories, including refugees, internally displaced persons, nomads migrating in search of pasturelands, young and women setting off from the country side in search of job opportunities in the city, employment seekers, and, increasingly, qualified persons, women and children under the age of 18.
Migratory flows are occurring, however, in an African context still marked by the inadequacy of institutional capacities of some African countries to address the problems individually and collectively.
Of the 150 million migrants in the world, more than 50 million are estimated to be Africans. Given that the number of migrants is rising and that this trend is likely to persist in the foreseeable future, the management of migration has necessarily become one of the critical challenges for States in the new millennium.
In recent years, migration has been making its way steadily towards the top of the continental and international affairs agenda and now calls for the urgent attention of governments, whatever the nature of their involvement or interest in the management of migratory processes. There is a need for a comprehensive and balanced approach to migration taking into account migration realities and trends as well as linkages between migration and other key economic, social, political and humanitarian issues.
Another contemporary aspect of migration in Africa is the growing number of women who have also started to migrate in search for greater employment/economic opportunities.
The root causes of migration are numerous and complex. The push-pull framework gives insight into the different forces at work to explain migration. In Africa, poor socio-economic conditions, such as low wages, high levels of unemployment, rural underdevelopment, poverty and lack of opportunity fuel out-migration. These factors are usually brought about by a mismatch between the rapid population growth and the available resources, low level of requisite technology to exploit the available natural resources and capacity to create employment and jobs at the countries of origin.
In addition, various political and social factors induce migration. Among these, are poor governance, nepotism and corruption, human rights violations, political instability, environmental factors, conflict and civil strife, the real or perceived opportunity for a better life, high income, greater security, better quality of education and health care at

the destinations influence decision to migrate. Lower costs of migration, improved communication, greater information availability and the need to join relatives, families and friends are among the factors, which amplify push-pull factors. Whereas well-managed migration may have a substantial positive impact for the development of countries of origin and yield significant benefits to destinations States, mismanaged or unmanaged migration can have serious negative consequences for States’ and migrants’ welfare, including potential destabilizing effect on national and regional security. In response to the challenge posed by migration, the Eighth Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union in KHARTOUM from 16 to 21 January 2006 adopted the decision EX.CL/DEC.264 (VIII). In this context, Council decided to convene an experts meeting on migration and development in Algiers, Algeria at the invitation of the Algerian government in order to prepare a common African position. 2. PREAMBLE

MINISTERS RESPONSIBLE FOR MIGRATION FROM MEMBER STATES OF THE AFRICAN UNION
RECOGNISING the uneven impact of globalization on international migration and Africa’s role in migration management and development; ACKNOWLEDGING that migratory movements occur essentially within the continent and also towards developed countries and that every country has become either a country of origin, transit or destination or a combination of the three; AWARE that conflicts, poverty, poor governance, under development, lack of opportunities, environmental factors are some of the underlying causes of migration and that to effectively manage migration, the root causes of migration should be addressed; RECOGNISING that illegal or irregular migration is currently taking serious dimensions and alarming proportions that threatens peace, stability and security and must be adequately addressed through a comprehensive approach on to effective border management and within the context of strict observance of human rights and human dignity; CONCERNED that the emphasis on addressing illegal or irregular migration has been only on security considerations rather than on broader development frameworks and on mainstreaming migration in development strategies; RECOGNISING that the selective migration approaches adopted by developed countries including developed countries which targets African expertise constitutes an additional threat to African economies; CONCERNED about the loss of heavy investments made by African Governments in training and human resource development in priority sectors and the negative impact of the brain drain on these sectors;

the full text:     http://www.iag-agi.org/bdf/docs/african_common_position_migration_development.pdf

African Union refers to the AFRICAN COMMON POSITION ON MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT

AFRICAN COMMON POSITION
ON
MIGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT

INTRODUCTORY NOTE The Executive Council Decision (EX.CL/Dec.264 on Migration and Development (VIII)) adopted during the January 2006 Khartoum Summit mandated the Commission of the African Union to convene an Experts’ Meeting on Migration and Development in Algiers, Algeria at the kind invitation of the Government of Algeria. The meeting took place as scheduled from April 3-5, 2006. Over 42 countries attended the meeting and the discussions were lively and exciting. A number of Regional, International and Non-Governmental Organizations and Institutions were also represented. These included: ILO, IOM, ALO, UN/AIDS, UNDP, UNICEF, ICMPO, ARLAC, OATUU, Vatican, ICRC, Pan-African Youth Organization, and FAO. In addition the following organizations working in the field of migration in the Diaspora attended the meeting: African Federation of Women Entrepreneurs (AFWE), The Foundation for Democracy in Africa, and African Foundation for Development (AFFORD).
The Draft African Common Position on Migration and Development also contains a set of recommendation at National, Continental and International level which are aimed at addressing migration and development issues. The delegates also adopted a Report of the Experts Meeting, which among other things, mandated the African Troika to address the issue of migration and development with the European Troika during their meeting in Vienna, Austria on May 8, 2006. The African Common Position on Migration and Development has since been endorsed by the Executive Council through the Executive Council Decision (EX.CL/Dec.305 (IX)) adopted at the Banjul Summit in July 2006.

the full text:

 

 

http://www.iag-agi.org/bdf/docs/african_common_position_migration_development.pdf

Lampedusa the European island near Africa!

Lampedusa

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the Mediterranean island. For the Italian writer, see Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa. For the animal genus, seeLampedusa (gastropod).
Lampedusa
Native name: Lampidusa
Gregale cliffs lampedusa.JPG

North-Eastern cliffs of Lampedusa
Pelagie Islands map.png

Geography
Location Mediterranean Sea
Coordinates 35°30′N 12°36′ECoordinates35°30′N 12°36′E
Archipelago Pelagie Islands
Total islands 3
Major islands Lampedusa, Linosa andLampione
Area 20.2 km2 (7.8 sq mi)
Country
Italy
Region Sicily
Province Province of Agrigento
Communes of Lampedusa Lampedusa e Linosa
Demographics
Population 5,000

Lampedusa (pronounced [lam.pe.ˈdu.sa]SicilianLampidusaAncient Greek: ΛοπαδούσσαLopadoussa) is the largest island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. Thecomune of Lampedusa e Linosa is part of the Sicilian province of Agrigento which also includes the smaller islands of Linosa and Lampione. It is the southernmost part of Italy. Tunisia, which is about 113 kilometres (70 miles) away, is the closest landfall to the islands. Sicily is farther at 176 kilometres (109 miles); Malta is a similar distance to the east.[1]

Lampedusa, which has an area of 20.2 square kilometres (7.8 sq mi), has a population of approximately 4,500 people. Its main industries are fishingagriculture, and tourism. A ferry service links the island with Porto Empedocle, near Agrigento, Sicily. There are also year-round flights from Lampedusa Airport to Palermo and Catania on the Sicilian mainland. In the summer, there are additional services to Rome and Milan, besides many other seasonal links with the Italian mainland.

Since the early 2000s, the island has become a primary European entry point for migrants, mainly coming from Africa.[2] In 2013, Rabbit Beach, located in the southern part of the island, was voted the world’s best beach by travel site TripAdvisor.[3]

Etymology[edit]

The name Lampedusa derives from the ancient Greek name of the island, Λοπαδούσσα or Λαπαδούσσα (Lopadoússa/Lapadoússa). It has been suggested that the name derives from the word λέπας (lépas), which means ‚rock‘, due to the rocky landscape of the island; this word was also used by the Greeks for a kind of oyster and the island may have been called like this due to the abundance of this kind of oyster. Other scholars believe that the name derives from λαμπάς (lampás), which means ‚torch‘, because of the lights which were placed on the island for the sailors.[4]

History[edit]

Historically, Lampedusa was a landing place and a maritime base for the ancient Phoenicians,GreeksRomans and Arabs. The Romans established a plant for the production of the prized fish sauce known as garum. In 1553 Barbary pirates from North Africa raided Lampedusa, and carried off 1,000 captives into slavery.[5] As a result of pirate attacks, the island became uninhabited.

The first prince of Lampedusa and Linosa was Ferdinand Tommasi, ancestor of the famous writerGiuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, who received the title from Charles II of Spain in 1667.[5] A century later, the Tomassi family began a program of resettlement. In the 1840s, the Tomassi family sold the island to the Kingdom of Naples.[citation needed] In 1860, the island became part of the new Kingdom of Italy, but the new Italian government limited its activities there to building a penal colony.[citation needed]

In June 1943, during the Second World War, as a precursor to the Allied invasion of Sicily, the island was secured without resistance inOperation Corkscrew by the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Lookout and ninety-five men of the 2nd Battalion the Coldstream Guards. (Mussolini had given the garrison his permission to surrender because it lacked any water.) White flags had been sighted in the port, and when Lieutenant Corbett of Lookout approached the port in a motor launch, he was told that the island’s garrison wished to surrender.[6] The Governor’s formal surrender was accepted in the island’s underground command-post by a combined Army/Navy delegation sometime after 9:00 am on 13 June 1943. During this process, the governor handed his sword to the Coldstream company commander, Major Bill Harris.[7] A second unofficial claim has also been made regarding the capitulation of the island, when earlier that same day elements of the garrison had also attempted to surrender in unusual circumstances when the pilot of a Royal Air Force Swordfish aircraft landed after suffering problems with his compass.[8]

The first telephone connection with Sicily was installed only in the 1960s.[citation needed] In the same decade an electric power station was built.[citation needed]

In 1972, part of the western side of the island became a United States Coast Guard LORAN-C transmitter station. In 1979, Lt. Kay Hartzelltook command of the Coast Guard base, becoming „the first female commanding officer of an isolated duty station“.[9]

In the 1980s, and especially 1985 -1986 saw an increase in tensions and the area around the island was the scene of multiple attacks. On April 15, 1986, Libya fired two Scuds at the Lampedusa navigation station on the island, in retaliation for the American bombing of Tripoli andBenghazi, and the alleged death of Colonel Gaddafi’s adopted daughter. However, the missiles passed over the island, landed in the sea, and caused no damage.[10]

On 4 January 1989, U.S. Navy aircraft from the carrier USS John F. Kennedy shot down two Libyan fighters approximately 200 kilometres (124 miles) from the island.[11] The base commander was advised by U.S. Sixth Fleet Intelligence at La Maddalena that the Libyan president, Muammar al-Gaddafi, had threatened reprisals against the American commanders at Sigonella and Lampedusa.[12] An Italian media frenzy followed that event which put Lampedusa in the spotlight.[13]

The NATO base was decommissioned in 1994 and transferred to Italian military control.[citation needed]

North African immigration[edit]

Migrants arriving on the Island of Lampedusa in August 2007

Since the early 2000s, Lampedusa has become a prime transit point for immigrants from Africa, theMiddle East and Asia wanting to enter Europe. In 2004 the Libyan and Italian governments reached a secret agreement that obliged Libya to accept African immigrants deported from Italian territories. This resulted in the mass repatriation of many people from Lampedusa to Libya between 2004 and 2005, a move criticised by the European Parliament.[14]

By 2006, many African immigrants were paying people smugglers in Libya to help get them to Lampedusa by boat.[15] On arrival, most were then transferred by the Italian government to reception centres in mainland Italy. Many were then released because their deportation orders were not enforced.[16]

In 2009, the overcrowded conditions at the island’s temporary immigrant reception centre came under criticism by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The unit, which was originally built for a maximum capacity of 850 people, was reported to be housing nearly 2,000 boat people. A significant number of people were sleeping outdoors under plastic sheeting.[17] A fire that started during an inmate riot destroyed a large portion of the holding facility on 19 February 2009.[citation needed]

In 2011, many more immigrants moved to Lampedusa during the rebellions in Tunisia and Libya.[18] By May 2011, more than 35,000 immigrants had arrived on the island from Tunisia and Libya.[19] By the end of August, 48,000 had arrived.[20] Most were young males in their 20s and 30s.[21] The situation has caused division within the EU, the French government regarding most of the arrivals as economic migrants rather than refugees in fear of persecution.[22] The Libyan ambassador to Italy stated that Gaddafi controlled illegal immigration to meet his goals- „he wanted to turn Lampedusa black with Africans“.[20]

In July 2013, Pope Francis visited the island on his first official visit outside of Rome. He prayed for migrants, living and dead, and denounced their traffickers.[23] In October 2013 a boat carrying over 500 migrants, mostly from Eritrea and Somalia, sank off the coast of Lampedusa with the deaths of at least 300 people.[24] The press referred to the incident as the „Lampedusa boat disaster„.[25]

Geography and climate[edit]

Politically and administratively, Lampedusa is part of Italy, but geologically it belongs to Africa since the sea between the two is no deeper than 120 metres. Lampedusa is an arid island, dominated by a garigue landscape, with maquis shrubland in the west. It has no sources of water other than irregular rainfall. The fauna and flora of Lampedusa are similar to those of North Africa, with a few pelagic endemicspecies.[citation needed] Overall the island has two slopes, from west to east, and from north to south of the island. The south-western side is dominated by deep gorges, while the south-eastern part is dominated by shallow valleys and sandy beaches. The entire northern coast is dominated by cliffs: gently sloping cliffs on the east coast, and vertical sheer cliffs on the west coast.

The Isola dei Conigli (literally „Rabbit Island“), close to the south coast of Lampedusa, is one of the last remaining egg-laying sites in Italy for the Loggerhead Sea Turtle, which is endangered throughout the Mediterranean. The beach and the neighbouring island are part of a nature reserve: here the singer-songwriter Domenico Modugno spent his vacations, and died in 1994. Next to Parise Cape is a small beach accessible only by sea, through a low grotto. Other species living along the island’s coast include mantas and dolphins.

Climate[edit]

Lampedusa has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh). It has very mild winters with moderate rainfall and hot, dry summers.

The sea surrounding the island is relatively shallow. Water temperatures stay warm most of the year, with the warmest being in August when the sea typically reaches 28 to 30 °C (82 to 86 °F). The water stays warm until November, when temperatures range from 21 to 25 °C (70 to 77 °F). It is coolest in February and March, when it averages around 18 °C (64 °F).

[hide]Climate data for Lampedusa
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 22
(72)
23
(73)
25
(77)
27
(81)
30
(86)
32
(90)
36
(97)
36
(97)
35
(95)
31
(88)
28
(82)
25
(77)
36
(97)
Average high °C (°F) 15.5
(59.9)
15.5
(59.9)
16.4
(61.5)
17.9
(64.2)
20.9
(69.6)
24.5
(76.1)
27.4
(81.3)
28.5
(83.3)
27.0
(80.6)
24.0
(75.2)
20.2
(68.4)
16.8
(62.2)
21.22
(70.18)
Average low °C (°F) 12.1
(53.8)
12.4
(54.3)
13.4
(56.1)
14.9
(58.8)
16.7
(62.1)
20.1
(68.2)
23.0
(73.4)
24.3
(75.7)
23.0
(73.4)
20.1
(68.2)
16.7
(62.1)
13.5
(56.3)
17.52
(63.53)
Record low °C (°F) 6
(43)
7
(45)
9
(48)
10
(50)
11
(52)
15
(59)
18
(64)
18
(64)
16
(61)
11
(52)
8
(46)
7
(45)
6
(43)
Precipitation mm (inches) 42.6
(1.677)
29.7
(1.169)
23.6
(0.929)
21.5
(0.846)
6.0
(0.236)
2.3
(0.091)
1.0
(0.039)
2.8
(0.11)
15.5
(0.61)
59.3
(2.335)
63.3
(2.492)
51.5
(2.028)
319.1
(12.562)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 7.4 4.7 3.8 2.6 1.3 0.5 0.1 0.4 2.0 5.8 5.5 7.1 41.2
 % humidity 78 76 78 76 78 78 78 78 77 77 74 77 77.1
Source #1: Servizio Meteorologico[26]
Source #2: Weatherbase [27]
  • Aerial view from the west

  • Tourism is a major part of the island’s economy.

  • Coastline of Lampedusa

  • The Isola dei Conigli (Island of Rabbits)

Media[edit]

The movie Respiro (2002), written and directed by Emanuele Crialese and starring Valeria Golino, was filmed entirely on Lampedusa.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ When the British planned to make Lampedusa part of the Maltese Islands Publisher: The Times of Malta. Published: 17 July, 2011. Retrieved: 11 October, 2013.
  2. Jump up^ Refugee crisis on Lampedusa
  3. Jump up^ „Tripadvisor’s top 25 beaches“.
  4. Jump up^ „History of Lampedusa, Italy“Italy This Way. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  5. Jump up to:a b „Lampedusa Island„. Encyclopædia Britannica
  6. Jump up^ Carl Cranmer (14 June 1943). „Actual surrender of Lampedusa described by reporter on scene“Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. p. 1.
  7. Jump up^ Quilter, D. (1947). No Dishonourable Name. London: Clowes and Sons. pp. 56–64.
  8. Jump up^ Relman Morin (14 June 1943). „Sergeant Cohen Reigns As „King of Lampedusa““Youngstown Vindicator. Associated Press. p. 1.
  9. Jump up^ U.S. Coast Guard Women’s History
  10. Jump up^ Libyan Missiles
  11. Jump up^ Gulf of Sidra incident (1989)
  12. Jump up^ Commanding Officer’s Log, USCG Loran Station Lampedusa, January 4, 1989
  13. Jump up^ Commanding Officer’s Log, USCG Loran Station Lampedusa, January 5–9, 1989
  14. Jump up^ European Parliament resolution on Lampedusa, 14 April 2005
  15. Jump up^ Out of Africa: The human trade between Libya and Lampedusa
  16. Jump up^ Bitter harvestThe Guardian, 19 December 2006
  17. Jump up^ UNHCR Concerned over Humanitarian Situation in Lampedusa, Italy
  18. Jump up^ Reid, Sue (4 April 2011). „Special dispatch: Gaddafi’s diaspora and the Libyans overwhelming an Italian island who are threatening to come here“Daily Mail (London).
  19. Jump up^ „Hundreds more migrants reach Italy from Africa“Reuters. 14 May 2011.
  20. Jump up to:a b AFP Friday, Aug 26, 2011 (2011-08-26). „Gaddafi planned to turn Italian island into migrant hell“. News.asiaone.com. Retrieved 2013-03-26.
  21. Jump up^ Guterres, António (9 May 2011). „Look Who’s Coming to Europe“The New York Times.
  22. Jump up^ [1][dead link]
  23. Jump up^ „Pope Francis visits Italy’s migrant island of Lampedusa“BBC News. 8 July 2013.
  24. Jump up^ „Italy to hold state funeral for shipwreck migrants“BBC News. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
  25. Jump up^ „Lampedusa boat disaster: Aerial search mounted“BBC News. 5 October 2013.
  26. Jump up^ Pelagie Lampedusa „LAMPEDUSA“. Servizio Meteorologico. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  27. Jump up^ „Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Lampedusa“.

External links[edit]