News from 12/2015

31 December 2015

The terms “refugee” “migrant”and “Asylum Seeker”  What do the terms mean?

According to the United Nations, refugees “are persons fleeing armed conflict or persecution”.

Migrants “choose to move not because of a direct threat of persecution or death, but mainly to improve their lives by finding work, or in some cases for education, family reunion, or other reasons”.

An asylum seeker is defined as a person fleeing persecution or conflict, and therefore seeking international protection



30 December 2015

More than one million refugees and migrants have reached Europe by sea since the start of 2015

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) confirm one million refugees have successfully crossed the sea to reach Europe this year.

"Increasing numbers of refugees and migrants take their chances aboard unseaworthy boats and dinghies in a desperate bid to reach Europe," the UNHCR said on its website. "The vast majority of those attempting this dangerous crossing are in need of international protection, fleeing war, violence and persecution in their country of origin."


29 December 2015

28 December 2015

Germany recruits 8,500 school teachers for Refugee children

About 196,000 children fleeing war and poverty will enter the German school system this year, and 8,264 “special classes” have been created to help them catch up with their peers, Die Welt said, citing a survey carried out in 16 German federal states.




27 December 2015

Refugees to live in East Germany Secret Police H/Q

GERMANY: Berlin has opened a shelter at the former headquarters of communist East Germany's feared Stasi secret police to help house a record influx of asylum seekers, weekend media reports said.




26 December 2015

Charitable Scots make it Happen

Winter aid packs donated by a Scottish-based campaign will be delivered to refugee camps throughout Europe on Boxing Day.




25 December 2015

Reflect on Christian values

David Cameron has urged people to reflect on Britain's Christian values in his Christmas message;

Mr Cameron highlighted the plight of people spending Christmas in refugee camps having fled the civil war in Syria, while Christians in some parts of the world would go to church in fear of persecution.



24 December 2015

2015 - The Year of the Migrant.

It's been an amazing sequence of events in which people have risked their lives to find peace in Europe.  One might say how fortunate it is that there has been somewhere for them to go. In fact it does attest to the need for a strong Europe, somewhere that is able to assimilate such large numbers of people.  For without Europe where would they have gone?



23 December 2015

Syrian refugee Ameer Mehtr swims his way to safety

 Syrian refugee Ameer Mehtr braved to make the perilous journey from Turkey to the Greek island of Samos swimming, according to an Independent report. - See more at:


22 December 2015

Terrestrial Journeys:an exploration of the refugee experience directed by British-Iraqi Dina Mousawi

Many of the actors in Terrestrial Journeys live in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra, Shatila and Burj el-Barajneh in Beirut. Thousands of Syrians have settled in these areas since the start of Syria's war, due to the availability of relatively cheap rents compared with other areas of the Lebanese capital. But this year, many have travelled onwards to Europe, dissatisfied with life in Lebanon.



21 December 2015

What happens when a refugee family arrives in London:

A small army of staff and volunteers are ready to help London’s newest arrivals, about 200 Syrian refugees due here by year end, and that network is spread across many different players in the city.







20 December 2015

Assad must go, says Turkey’s Prime Minister

Turkey's Prime Minister has dismissed any attempt at ending the Syrian war that does not include the removal of the country's President Bashar al-Assad.

The conflict in Syria has killed upwards of 300,000 people and displaced millions more, creating the world's worst refugee crisis since World War II.

Rather than announcing an unrealistic peace process, the entente need to decide on a common course of action first of all.



19 December 2015

The benefits of Refugees

Inside Story

A short debate about whether refugees contribute favourably to the host country structure/culture.



18 December 2015

17 December 2015

16 December 2015

Northern Ireland Welcomes Syrian Refugees

Denise Wright, co-ordinator for Refugee Asylum Forum, explained what would happen once the refugees arrived in Northern Ireland. 

"Over the next few days they will be going through the systems in order to get recorded on different databases and to make sure they get everything they are entitled to and link them up with key workers who will help them get through that process."

Ms Wright said the forum had been "overwhelmed" with people wanting to help.

The Department for Social Development has direct responsibility for overseeing the operation of…Read

15 December 2015

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has welcomed the first plane of Syrian refugees

The Liberal government has promised to bring in 25,000 Syrians before the end of February, more than twice the target of the Obama administration. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was ousted in the October federal election, was preparing to allow in 10,000 Syrian refugees. About 65 percent of Canadians support the Liberal’s refugee policy, according to a November poll by Nanos Research.



14 December 2015

DOING GOOD, MENDING THE WORLD says Rebecca Birk, a rabbi at the Finchley Progressive Synagogue,

“The Jewish imperative is very clear: it is about extending the hand, loving the stranger, always with the reinforcement that we know what it is like to be strangers. The Jewish identity is predicated on being a foreigner, relying on the kindness of strangers, it runs through our own theology really: doing good, mending the world. We talk of three pillars the world stands on — the Torah, divine service, and kind acts. It’s an anathema to be a Jew and only be concerned with oneself.”…Read

12 December 2015

Stop the War dinner attended by Jeremy Corbyn

Anyone who advocates continuing the war with Syria should read Eugene Rogun's "The Fall of the Ottomans," particularly chapter 8, The Ottoman Triumph at Gallipoli.  "The invasion force that Lord Kitchener had hoped to keep to, 75,0000 men had swelled to nearly half a million by the end of the campaign - 410,000 Britons and 79,000 French.  The Turkish army peaked at 310,000 men in Gallipoli (many of them wounded once or more and returning to service.  Of the roughly 800,000 men who fought in Gallipoli, over 500,000 were wounded, taken prisoner or killed in conflict. The casualty figures were neatly divided…Read

11 December 2015

Refugees welcomed in Germany like war heroes

Germans gathered by the hundred at train stations to welcome refugees arriving in their cities as if they were long-lost friends or returning war heroes.  The refugee crisis has been and still is an absolutely amazing series of events.  At one moment a totally sad experience, but then suddenly a complete reversal as people from Syria are welcomed into Germany as though they are returning sporting heroes.  Wonderful and so uplifting to see.  We've seen the effects of WW1 and WW2 but nothing like this before.  Stepping back, to consider…Read

9 December 2015

12,000 Syrian Refugees destined to live in Australia next year

The Social Services Minister, Christian Porter said,” many of the refugees would begin to arrive in December 2015, and that the program would "pick up speed" in January and February 2016.” He then commented that he was sure that the vast majority of Western Australians will make Syrian refugees very welcome when the main group comes, probably before Christmas.




8 December 2015

Riyadh meeting meant to bring rebels around the table for talks

"There will be no one representing the Syrian government in the three-day talks in Riyadh hosted by Saudi Arabia. Saudi is a pivotal state in the region and for it to take this step something must have happened  This meeting though, is only for the Syrian opposition. The aim is to unify and hopefully agree on one document to be able to propose in the Vienna talks in January.

'Welcoming refugees is the best strategy against ISIS' Nicolas Henin, French Journalist<…Read

6 December 2015

Canadians provide ‘red carpet’ treatment for Syrian Refugee family

Immigration Minister John McCallum says he hopes Syrian refugees receive “a super warm Canadian welcome” as people around the country come together to help those fleeing war.




5 December 2015

The border between Macedonia and Idomeni, Greece has re-opened

Authorities have now opened the border crossing allowing some refugees through, but only Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis. A map is attached showing how much further they have to travel.




4 December 2015

An out-of-control situation has arisen on the Greek-Macedonian Border

Hundreds of hungary and cold refugees have demonstrated on the Greece-Macedonia border, calling for the crossing to reopen for all migrants.

The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, voiced "deep concern" about the tensions, urging Greece and Macedonia to manage the border "in a manner consistent with human rights and refugee-protection principles."

However, based on the current situation it seems that the authorities have not planned for eventualities, like the provision of food and shelter and also telling the refugees what is being done in terms of, when…Read

3 December 2015

Britain has started bombing Syria

MPs voted 397 to 223 in favour of bombing Syria.

Aides to Jeremy Corbyn, who was forced by deep divisions in his party to give his MPs a free vote, said he was disappointed that airstrikes were going ahead, but expressed pleasure that a majority of his MPs and just over half the shadow cabinet voted in opposition. The result enhanced Corbyn’s authority, his team said. 

However, Tim Eaton, a project manager for Chatham House's Middle East and North Africa Programme's Syria and its Neighbours Policy Initiative and Chris Phillips a…Read

London’s Syrian community say ‘Dont Bomb Syria’

Britain set for war as 50 Labour MPs plan to revolt against Jeremy Corbyn over air strikes in Syria.



2 December 2015

Britain and the Bombing of Syria

Comparing the Battle of Britain with the bombing of Syria is nonsense and quite wrong.  Most Britain’s, I believe, feel shame and horror at seeing the bombing of innocent women and children, not to mention the drownings and ever increasing refugee queue to leave the Middle East.

The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn should lead a demonstration against the bombing of Syria, be seen to exhibit some genuine empathy with the refugees.  All the fine rhetoric before the General Election is not being followed up with meaningful actions.…Read

1 December 2015

Turkey to Provide Refugees with Processing facilities at the Border

After months of confusion and disputes on how to deal with the refugee crisis facing Europe, the European Union has finally come up with what it hopes will be the solution. They are going to pay Turkey to speed up the process of allowing Turkish citizens to visit the EU without a visa. This will require some form of electronic document reviewing system to enable a check to be made of asylum applications to confirm the authenticity of each refugee.  The success of the project will depend, to a large extent,…Read