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Tag: migration

Ain’t no wall high enough – as security trumps humanity on the Polish-Belarusian border, what is the fate of EU migration policy?

As Poland has been one of the primary victims of the crisis on the EU’s eastern border, one would hope that this experience would make it reconsider its hitherto staunch opposition towards a robust, solidarity-based EU migration policy. Instead, the go-it-alone approach of the Polish government and its reliance on physical barriers and pushbacks have undermined Poland’s human rights record, and demonstrated a missed opportunity to show the full potential of inter-EU cooperation. The fact that the Union itself has done little to change Poland’s approach, and has failed to bring migration policy into the picture, poses serious moral questions and risks future vulnerability to migration weaponisation.

January 31, 2022 - Agnieszka Widłaszewska

Lithuania fumbles with 4,200 migrants, pushing human rights aside

As of September 28th 2021, 4,163 migrants have illegaly crossed Lithuania’s border with Belarus. To deter migrants – now and for good – Lithuania has pinned its hopes on a fence along the frontier.

Rudninkai, a sleepy Lithuanian settlement of 500 inhabitants in the Salcininkai district along Lithuania and the EU’s border with Belarus, has been in both the local and international media spotlight this summer. Over 700 illegal male migrants had been placed for nearly three months in a makeshift tent camp, which is now eerily empty. All the migrants, mostly Iraqis, Kurds, Afghans and Sri Lankans, have been moved from the settlement to a former correctional facility in Kybartai, in the south-western district of Vilkaviskis near the Russian border. At the same time, around 400 vulnerable migrants have been moved to a refugee reception centre in Rukla, which is located in the central Jonava district. Some others are still living in municipal shelters, mostly crumbling dormitories in municipalities located along the 680 kilometre border with Belarus.

December 1, 2021 - Linas Jegelevicius

River and fog instead of fence and radars: guarding Lithuania’s easternmost border

Increasing migrant flows from Belarus mean that we need to do more patrolling, say border guards at Tverečius checkpoint in eastern Lithuania. As this section of the border is not equipped with surveillance systems, officers rely on assistance from local residents.

August 30, 2021 - Gytis Pankunas Justinas Stacevičius

Make yourself at home

The German city of Görlitz on the border with Poland is learning the challenges of integrating migrant communities. Thanks to the help of local activists, a lot of progress has been achieved in the last several years. Yet, the effects of the pandemic and rising social tensions has threatened to undo some of the important achievements.

June 22, 2021 - Joanna Urbańska

The care crisis

An interview with Kinga Milánkovics, the co-founder of the Hekate Conscious Ageing Foundation. Interviewer: Maja Móczár

June 22, 2021 - Kinga Milánkovics Maja Móczár

Pandemic response in Gdańsk

Interview with the mayor of Gdańsk, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz. Interviewer: Paulina Siegień.

July 20, 2020 - Aleksandra Dulkiewicz Paulina Siegień

Integration comes later. An immigrant in Gdańsk

Interview with Yuliya Shavlovskaya from the Gdańsk Support Center for Immigrants. Interviewer: Paulina Siegień

October 29, 2019 - Julia Szawłowska Paulina Siegień

The trials of Ahmed H.

During an electoral campaign dominated by anti-migrant rhetoric, a Hungarian court has upheld a verdict of terrorism against a Syrian citizen — and the symbolism is lost on no one.

March 19, 2018 - Maxim Edwards

Helping refugees in Russia. An act of bravery?

The influx of refugees has become one of the major challenges for Europe in recent years, which has required a response and mobilisation. In Russia, on the contrary, only a few non-governmental organisations are trying to help those who arrive to the country in a search of asylum. They face little compassion and a lot of bureaucracy.

According to the most recent figures from last October fewer than 3,000 people have refugee or provisional asylum status in the Russian Federation – a ridiculously small number for a country of 140 million. Thousands more who have applied will never receive such status and will be eventually deported. Yet, in Russia no one really pays attention to this problem.

February 26, 2018 - Natalia Smolentceva

Poland–Ukraine relations: The ball is in your court

Poland and Ukraine have recently been falling apart and it is clear that the undisputed friendship from the EuroMaidan days has been stalled.

October 31, 2017 - Oleksandra Iwaniuk

The Hungarian Lutheran church opens its doors to refugees

The Lutheran church is the smallest among the traditional denominations in Hungary, yet it is the most vocal in criticising the xenophobic campaign of Viktor Orbán’s government. By organising housing support for refugees, the church has sought to fill in the gaps of the dismantled state services.

October 15, 2017 - Eszter Neuberger

Hybrid deportation from Crimea

In February 2014 troops lacking military insignia invaded Crimea and swiftly took over key military and strategic sites. A referendum was hastily organised, even though it violated Ukrainian law and international norms. The Russian press claimed that 97 per cent of those who voted were in favour of annexation and 83 per cent of the electorate had turned out. While these figures were cited by international news media sources, a report by the President of Russia’s Council on Civil Society and Human Rights (that was posted at the president-sovet.ru web site) showed that only between 15-30 per cent of Crimean citizens voted for unification with Russia. With the bogus referendum swept under the rug, a treaty was signed between the newly proclaimed Republic of Crimea and the Russian Federation to initiate a process of integration.

July 24, 2017 - Greta Uehling

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