Hundreds of child immigrants arrive alone, says NGO

According to NGO Save the Children, hundreds of children who arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa seeking refuge, arrived without parents or guardians. Of the 775 illegal migrant children who arrived on Lampedusa in the past three months, Save the Children cited that 82% arrived alone. According to the organization, the majority of children came from Etitrea, Somalia, Nigeria, and a lesser number from Ghana, Togo, Sudan, and the Palestinian territories. The report by Save the Children is part of a wider program called Praesidium III, jointly conducted with the UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration, and the Red Cross.

Full-text article available here. (Some news sites may require registration)

Dead immigrants to be honored with new memorial

A new memorial is expected to be unveiled on the island of Lampedusa, near Sicily, to serve as a memorial and reminder of the thousands of would-be migrants to Italy, that have died during their travels. It is not certain the number of migrants that have died in the past 20 years of this escalation in illegal immigration, but some estimated that as many as 12,000 may have perished in the journey. Most of the migrants trying to reach Italy come by way of North Africa, hoping to seek a better life in Italy. The Italian office of the UNHCR, the Italian Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the southern Italian regions of Puglia and Sicily will sponsor the memorial in Lampedusa.

From Baghdad to Britain

They come to Britain fearing for their lives back home, hoping for a new beginning. But for thousands of Iraqi asylum seekers there is no welcome and instead they face misery and destitution before they are deported. Hannah Godfrey hears their stories Hraz is 22, but looks much older. He worked for the Americans in Kirkuk guarding a petrol station, and has a bullet wound in his bottom from where he was shot by Ba’ath party supporters because of his involvement with the occupying army. But that was only the beginning of his troubles. His father joined the militant Kurdish Sunni group Ansar al-Islam and wanted Hraz to fight with him. He refused, because, he says, “I like life, I don’t want to kill people.” His father now wants to kill him, in punishment. His mother told him he had to leave the country to protect himself. The percentage of Iraqis who have had their asylum claims accepted by the British government has plummeted since the fall of Saddam Hussein five years ago. Before the 2003 invasion, almost half of Iraqi asylum claims were successful. Since then, the recognition rate has fallen to an average of less than 3%. This is despite the fact that, throughout the war, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has advised that Iraqi asylum seekers – particularly those from the central and southern areas – should be either recognised as refugees or provided with another form of protection. In the period preceding the invasion an average of 800 Iraqis were granted asylum each year in this country; since 2003 numbers have fallen to between five and 150, while applications have averaged about 1,500 per year during this period.

Slovenia: UNHCR says elderly refugees struggle to integrate

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says that Bosnian refugees living in Slovenia have a difficult time integrating in the country. Groups with special needs are often overlooked when there re mass refugee movements, and those who are above the age of 60 have a much harder time adapting than young and middle-aged refugees. Among the difficulties they experience are adapting to new homes, achieving economic self-sufficiency, legal-recognition, and absorbing the socio-cultural characteristics of the host country.