migrants crisis

Boy, 16, likely sole survivor of shipwreck off Libya; 146 missing

A 16-year-old boy appeared to be the sole survivor of a migrant shipwreck off the coast of Libya in which 146 are feared dead, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday.

Italy passes law to protect unaccompanied child migrants

Italy on Wednesday passed a law granting unaccompanied migrant children and teens the same protections as Italian minors.

Man gets prison sentence for smuggling 26, mostly Syrians, to Germany

A German court has sentenced a Turkish man to three years and nine months in prison for smuggling at least 26 people

Austria plans to leave EU refugee relocation agreement

Austria is planning to withdraw from an EU agreement to divide asylum seekers between countries in the bloc, government officials said Monday.

Interior minister says refugees don't wish to resettle in Croatia

Croatia has done all that is necessary for welcoming refugees from relocation and resettlement programmes but people simply do not wish to live in Croatia, Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said on Monday.

Merkel: Europe must find a joint solution to refugee crisis

Europe must find a joint solution to the refugee crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview with Italian news programme Tg1 broadcast on Friday evening.

Italy police grants asylum seeker humanitarian residency after attack

An Italian police commissioner on Thursday granted a humanitarian residency permit to a Nigerian asylum seeker after he barely survived a racially motivated attack.

Austrian minister balks at refugee relocations from Italy

Austria should not admit any asylum seekers from Italy under the EU relocation programme, Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil said Thursday, pointing to the large number that his country has already taken in.

Greek foreign minister calls on EU to boost help for refugee crisis

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias called on the European Union on Thursday to boost its support to help Athens handle the refugee crisis ahead of a meeting with his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel.

EU, African leaders hatch plan to shut down Libya migrant route

Human traffickers need to be combated, border surveillance needs to be boosted and deportations must be stepped up, argued EU and North African leaders as they concluded a summit aimed at shutting down the migration route from Libya to Europe.

Thousands of refugees rescued off Libyan coast

More than 3,000 migrants and refugees have been rescued off the coast of Libya in 24 hours, the Italian news agency Ansa reported on Sunday.

Austrian minister wants welfare benefits curtailed for EU migrants

EU countries should restrict social benefits for migrants from other member states to prevent the abuse of welfare systems, Austrian Foreign and Integration Minister Sebastian Kurz said Sunday.

Hungary's Orban blasts human rights court verdict as "absurd"

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Friday blasted the European Court of Human Rights over an "absurd" verdict ordering his government to compensate Bangladeshi asylum seekers for poor treatment.

Hungarian law calling for asylum seeker camps signed by president

A new law that would force asylum seekers in Hungary into special camps in transit zones has been signed by President Janos Ader, according to official notifications and press reports on Thursday.

EU countries register 1.2 million asylum seekers in 2016

EU member states registered just over 1.2 million first-time asylum applications in 2016, which is slightly lower than the number of asylum claims submitted in 2015, the European Union's statistical office said Thursday.

Turkey threatens to suspend EU refugee deal as diplomatic row deepens

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu threatened Wednesday to suspend a refugee deal with the European Union, amid a worsening diplomatic row with EU countries including Germany and the Netherlands.

Merkel praises Serbia for meeting European standards, pushing for peace

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Serbia on Tuesday for meeting European standards, fighting illegal migration and pushing for peace in Southeast Europe.

Merkel meets with Serbian prime minister, discusses migration crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Serbia on Tuesday for its role in helping deal with Europe's migration crisis, as she met with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic in Berlin.

Germany's upper house rejects bill for swift deportations to N Africa

Germany's upper house of parliament on Friday voted against legislation that would class Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco as safe countries of origin, thwarting government plans to speed up the deportation of asylum seekers from those states.

MSF demands Hungary investigate alleged police abuse of migrants

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Thursday urged Hungary to investigate allegations of brutality by Hungarian police against migrants intercepted at the border with Serbia.

Hungary warned migrant camps plan may breach European rights law

A new Hungarian law under which all migrants and refugees reaching the country would be placed in transit camps is likely to contravene European human rights law, the Council of Europe's rights chief warned Wednesday.

More than 100 migrants rescued at sea arrive in Greece

More than 100 migrants rescued at sea arrived in the Greek port city of Patras aboard a freighter on Wednesday morning, the coastguard said.

Austrian chancellor: Cut EU money to countries that refuse refugees

Austria's chancellor Christian Kern wants a major cut in European Union subsidies for countries that refuse to accept refugees, German media reported early Wednesday.

Far-right extremists charged with terrorism go on trial in Germany

Eight people accused of planning violent attacks against asylum seekers and their supporters went on trial in Germany on Tuesday in a case that could set a precedent for the conviction of right-wing terrorists in the country.

Refugee groups worry as Hungary moves to put asylum seekers in camps

All refugees and migrants who reach Hungary are to be placed in camps under legislation approved by the nation's legislature on Tuesday, a move the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said would have a "terrible impact" on traumatized people.

One year after Balkan route closed, region is stuck in crisis mode

Twelve months after the so-called Balkan route was shut, many migrants are still stuck - or have disappeared - in Greece, others pile up in Serbia, while Austria acts as if the refugee crisis is still in full flow.

Nearly 2,000 migrants rescued from Mediterranean in 2 days

Within two days authorities have saved nearly 2,000 migrants in the Mediterranean from possible drowning.

Several incidents caused by migrants reported in northern Serbia

Incidents caused by migrants have been reported in several villages in the northern Serbian province of Vojvodina as they attempt to reach the European Union through Hungary or Croatia, local media said on Friday.

Norway to check asylum seekers' mobile phones

Norwegian police should be allowed to check mobile phones and other devices owned by asylum seekers' so officers can vet possible security threats and clarify applicants' identities, under a new proposal put forward by the government Friday.

Bosnia wary of possible spring migrant wave from Serbia

Thousands of migrants currently staying in Serbia will probably try to reach EU member countries via new routes this spring, and a large number of them will try to cross into Croatia via Bosnia and Herzegovina, the head of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Service for Aliens, Slobodan Ujic, said on Friday.

Danish border controls bar almost 3,000 people from entry

Denmark has barred almost 3,000 people from entering the country from Germany since the introduction of temporary border checks in early 2016, the Danish government said Thursday.

EU calls on member states to step up migrant returns

EU member states should intensify efforts, close up loopholes and increase cooperation to more effectively return migrants who do not qualify for staying in the bloc, the European Commission said Thursday.

EU court lacks jurisdiction over migrants' EU-Turkey deal complaint

The General Court of the European Union said on Tuesday it does not have the jurisdiction to pass judgement on a case brought about by three asylum seekers against a migration deal struck between EU member states and Turkey.

As Europe hardens its line on migration, children bear the brunt

The number of children arriving on their own in Europe doubled in 2016, and is set to increase this year. But the response by governments has not matched the need, pushing some into criminality and prostitution.

Approx. 7,500 migrants prevented from illegally entering Serbia in past 8 months

In the past several months, the authorities have prevented the illegal entry of approximately 7,500 migrants on Serbian soil. Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday.

Germany expects long-term migration growth after revising estimates

Net migration to Germany is expected to be 200,000 annually in the coming years, according to a news report to be published Sunday.

Aid agency: 13 dead among dozens trapped in Libya container

The bodies of 13 migrants were found along with dozens of survivors trapped inside a transport container in Libya's western town of Khoms, an aid agency said Thursday.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

Merkel cabinet OKs new rules easing deportation of asylum seekers

The cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday agreed a package of measures to ease the deportation of criminal asylum seekers.

Red Cross: Bodies of 74 migrants wash ashore in Libya

The discovery of the bodies of 74 migrants washed ashore on the Libyan coast highlight the continued dangers facing people trying to get across the Mediterranean to Europe, warned aid agencies Tuesday.

Denmark registers sharp drop in asylum bids in 2016

Denmark saw asylum bids in 2016 drop by two-thirds compared to the previous year, the Scandinavian country's statistics agency said Monday.

Italian cops bust ring giving fake EU papers to 'enormous number'

Police said Monday they had busted a criminal ring that sold fake work papers to thousands of immigrants, allowing them to obtain Italian residency permits and access to the rest of the European Union.

Eleven injured as migrants storm Spanish enclave of Ceuta

Around 350 migrants managed to scale the 6-metre-high double border fence around the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Morocco early Monday.

Report: Illegal immigrant numbers in Germany fell sharply in 2016

The number of cases of illegal entry to Germany fell sharply in 2016 compared with the previous year, according to the country's federal police.

Hundreds of migrants stampede Moroccan border fence into Spanish city

Hundreds of migrants stampeded a six-metre border fence in Morocco on Friday and entered the independent Spanish city of Ceuta, Moroccan authorities said.

EU countries struggle to return migrants to other countries

Countries in the European Union struggled with returning migrants to third countries with less than 60 per cent of return decisions implemented in 2016, the EU border protection agency Frontex said in a report Wednesday.

Turkey hosting more than 3.5 million refugees, government says

Turkey is hosting more than 3.5 million refugees and migrants, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Wednesday, according to state news agency Anadolu.

Croatian, Austrian foreign ministers talk migrants, bilateral relations

A negligible number of migrants is arriving in Europe along the Balkan route which was closed a year ago, but a big problem is the Mediterranean, where the number of migrants has markedly increased, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in Vienna on Tuesday after talks with his Croatian counterpart Davor Ivo Stier.

Merkel hopes investment in Tunisians' future will curb migration

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday proposed funding and education incentives for Tunisians who voluntarily return to their home country as part of her bid to reduce migration to Germany from North African countries.

Amnesty: EU-Turkey refugee deal a disaster, must not be repeated

Amnesty International issued a plea to world leaders on Tuesday not to use the "disastrous" EU-Turkey refugee deal as a blueprint for similar schemes in Libya, Sudan and Niger.

Canadian PM Trudeau won't "lecture" Trump on refugees

Canada admitted 40,000 Syrian refugees last year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pointed out during a meeting with US President Donald Trump, who is seeking to block people fleeing the war in Syria from entering the United States.

Italian mayor blocks road to halt migrants

An Italian mayor has dumped a pile of earth on a road leading to a residential building to prevent migrants and refugees coming into his community, Ansa news agency reported on Monday.

Croatian Interior minister says Balkan migration route doesn't exist

The so-called Balkan route does not exist and the number of migrants arriving along it, is negligible, Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said in Zupa Dubrovacka on Monday.

Croatia can't meet relocation quota since refugees doesn't want to come

Croatia's Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic has said in an interview with Deutsche Welle that Croatia is committed to fulfilling its obligation in connection with the migrant relocation quota, but the problem is that migrants do not see Croatia as their desirable destination.

Merkel wants swifter deportations of rejected Tunisian asylum seekers

Tunisian asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected must be deported more quickly, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday in her weekly video podcast.

Thousands protest across Germany against deportations to Afghanistan

Thousands of demonstrators in several German cities called Saturday for a halt to deportations to Afghanistan, calling it an unsafe country and saying that Germany should not be forcing people to return there.

Italy unveils new asylum, repatriation measures

The Italian government on Friday approved new measures to speed up the processing of asylum claims as well as the repatriation of migrants who cross the Mediterranean in a bid to reach Europe.

Amnesty: Only 1 unaccompanied child refugee resettled in N Ireland

The British government "should be ashamed" that only one unaccompanied child refugee came to Northern Ireland as part of a scheme that has since been scrapped, Amnesty International said Friday.

Speedy return home for rejected asylum seekers core of German plan

The German federal government and the leaders of its 16 states have agreed upon a plan to hasten deportation of rejected asylum applicants, said German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.

Hungary setting up military camps on border with Serbia

Hungary has set up a new military camp near the Kelebia border crossing with Serbia and has announced that it would set up another three camps in Bacsalmas, Madaras and Hercegszanto, with authorities announcing that a second line of fences will be erected, Vojvodina media reported on Thursday.

16 European states agree stronger cooperation to prevent new migrant flow

Sixteen central and southeast European countries, including Croatia, agreed in Vienna on Wednesday to draw up plans in late April for stronger military and civil cooperation so as to secure their borders in case the European Union-Turkey agreement on refugees failed, Reuters reported.

Asylum applications reach 20-year high in Italy in 2016

Last year marked a new record for Italy as asylum applications reached a 20-year high, according to a new report out Thursday by a Milan-based think tank on migration.

Japan's own refugee controversy stops it from criticizing Trump's ban

US President Donald Trump's travel ban was met with stinging international criticism. But Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been silent, largely because Tokyo has done very little for refugees.

Illegal migrants found in parked truck in west Zagreb

Several illegal migrants were found in a truck parked in Zagreb's western suburb of Jankomir on Tuesday and were taken in by the police for identification.

Stricter controls of Schengen border to continue in five countries

The Council of the European Union on Tuesday adopted a recommendation by the European Commission to prolong internal border controls within the Schengen area currently implemented in five countries.

Sweden projects fewer asylum seekers in 2017

Swedish authorities expect a continued drop in asylum seekers this year, amid tighter border checks introduced by the European Union and individual European states.

Germany: EU's Mediterranean anti-migrant mission helping smugglers

The European Union's anti-migrant smuggling mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia, is actually helping people traffickers, the German government has admitted.

Asylum seeker in Germany with seven IDs cons his way to 22,000 euros

A Sudanese man who used fake identities to defraud the German state of nearly 22,000 euros (23,600 dollars) was handed on Monday a suspended prison sentence of one year and nine months.

Pahor: Razor-fence seemed necessary half a year ago, not so any more

Slovenian President Borut Pahor said on Monday that he believed that there was no longer any need for the razor fence on the border with Croatia.

Merkel tells sister political party: No ceiling on refugee numbers

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday ruled out imposing a ceiling for the number of refugees Germany will take should she win September elections, highlighting a key differences in her conservative political bloc regarding asylum seekers.

Aid workers save 1,600 in 'nightmare' scenes in the Mediterranean

There were more dramatic scenes in the Mediterranean Sea on Saturday morning as rescue workers saved 300 people in the Strait of Sicily, the Italian coastguard told news agency Ansa.

No major migrations along Adriatic route, Slovenian FM says

Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec has tried to shed light on Slovenian PM Miro Cerar's statement on Friday about the opening of an Adriatic route whereby migrants might reach Croatia and Slovenia which surprised Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic.

Croatian PM says knows nothing about Adriatic migrant route

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Malta on Friday he knew nothing about a new, Adriatic route whereby migrants would enter Slovenia via the Croatian peninsula of Istria, which was mentioned by Slovenian PM Miro Cerar to everyone's surprise.

EU wants stable Libya to stem migrant flow

The European Union vowed on Friday that it will contribute to Libya's stabilisation and help the Libyan government acquire control over its territory and the land and sea borders to fight human trafficking, while Italy committed to financing refugee camps in Libya with the EU's support.

Slovenian PM demands his associate's resignation over Aliens Act vote

Controversies about the passage of disputable amendments to the Aliens Act in Slovenia have continued this week with Prime Minister Miro Cerar demanding the resignation of Milan Brglez from the post of vice

Italy unveils 200-million-euro Africa fund to curb migration

Italy on Wednesday unveiled a so-called Africa fund aimed at preventing potential migrants from leaving their homelands and traffickers from exploiting them.

German government to give more money to freely returning refugees

The German government plans to give more money to refugees who decide voluntarily to return to their homelands, the Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday.

Fire breaks out in Bulgaria's largest refugee camp

A fire erupted in Bulgaria's largest camp for refugees and migrants, forcing the evacuation of 500 people, private broadcaster bTV reported Tuesday.

Three migrants injured in knife brawl in Serbia

Three migrants were injured in a knife brawl in the northwestern Serbian town of Sid on Monday evening, while around the same time groups of migrants hiding in truck trailers failed in their attempts to cross the Croatian border illegally, the Serbian broadcaster RTV said on Tuesday.

EU leaders to meet in Malta to show unity, discuss migration crisis

EU leaders are meeting in Malta this week to discuss stemming the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean and to show unity in the face of Brexit and a new US president who has sown seeds of discord within the EU.

Austrian cabinet toughens migration policies to avert early elections

Austria's centrist parties on Monday presented tougher integration policies for migrants and measures to fight unemployment, as key parts of a new agenda that is meant to stave off early elections.

NGOs say more than 100 migrants returned from Croatia to Serbia

More than 100 migrants were forcibly returned from Croatia to Serbia in the last six months and the human rights of migrants and refugees are systematically violated, non-governmental organisations from Serbia and Croatia told the TV B92 broadcaster on Friday.

German population at record high after refugee influx

Germany had a population of nearly 83 million at the end of 2016 - the highest in the country's history - due to an influx of refugees, the Federal Statistics Office Destatis said on Friday.

Slovenian parliament endorses new anti-migration law

The Slovenian Parliament on Thursday endorsed the government-sponsored bill of amendments to the Aliens Act with restrictive regulations for potential migrants and asylum seekers, criticised by international nongovernmental organisations and the Council of Europe.

German minister urges processing migrants outside of the EU

Migrants should be processed in camps outside the European Union in case of a "mass influx" of refugees, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said on the sidelines of an EU ministerial meeting in Malta Thursday.

EU proposes prolonging border controls, increasing support for Libya

Border controls instated by five EU countries inside the Schengen free-travel zone should be allowed to continue for three more months and the EU should increase its support for migration issues in Libya, the European Commission said Wednesday.

Rights watchdog hits out at Germany over deportations to Afghanistan

EU members including Germany should immediately stop the forced deportation of rejected Afghan asylum seekers, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday.

Second group of rejected Afghan asylum seekers returns from Germany

A group of 25 Afghan asylum seekers whose requests to live in Germany were rejected arrived back in their home country on Tuesday, according to border police at Kabul airport.

Serbia to receive additional EUR 4mn from EU for migrants

Serbia will receive an additional EUR 4 million in aid for migrants, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides announced in Belgrade on Saturday.

Slovenian interior minister says Geneva convention outdated

Slovenia will not let others run its asylum policy and mange its borders, and the Geneva convention on refugees is outdated, Interior Minister Vesna Gjerkes Znidar said in an interview with the Maribor-based newspaper Vecer following international criticism at the government-sponsored amendments to the Aliens Act.

Human Rights Watch: Croatian police forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia

Croatian police are forcing asylum seekers back to Serbia, in some cases using violence, without giving them an opportunity to lodge claims for protection, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

Croatian, Serbian ministers of interior discuss migrants

Croatian Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said on Thursday that he had agreed with his Serbian counterpart Nebojsa Stefanovic for the police chiefs of the two countries to meet and determine procedures to deal with new security challenges.

Germany and Austria push for extension of border controls

Germany and Austria want to extend controls at their border amid ongoing security threats, the countries' interior ministers said in Berlin on Thursday.

Mediterranean death toll exceeds 200 since January 1, IOM says

At least 219 people have died trying to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean in the first weeks of 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday.

Council of Europe human rights commissioner against Slovenian asylum bill

If the Slovenian parliament adopts amendments to the country's law on aliens that radically restrict the right to asylum, that will contravene Slovenia's international obligations and will send a very negative signal to countries along the Balkan migration route, Council of Europe Human Rights Commissioner Nils Muiznieks has told leading Slovenian media.

Denmark defends little-used law allowing seizure of refugee valuables

A controversial year-old Danish law that allows the seizure of assets from asylum seekers to make them pay for their stay has only been applied four times, according to a news report on Monday.

Trump says more countries could leave EU over migration

US president-elect Donald Trump criticized the European Union and Germany for their immigration policies in a joint interview published Sunday by Britain's The Times and Germany's Bild newspapers.

Migrants shivering in Serbia find no warmth in Hungary, minister says

Hungary will not open its border to refugees and migrants facing bitterly cold conditions in neighbouring Serbia, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto told a German newspaper.

Number of unaccompanied child migrants in Mediterranean doubles

The number of child migrants who crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Italy without family more than doubled to 25,800 last year, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Friday in Geneva.

Report: EU has disbursed 748 million euros to aid refugees in Turkey

The European Union has disbursed 748 million euros (797.2 million dollars) of 1.45 billion euros already set aside to support refugees in Turkey, the European Commission stated in a report on Thursday.