refugees

UN asks world for help as Syrian refugee numbers exceed 5 million

The number of Syrians who have fled the war in their country has risen above 5 million, in what is the world's largest refugee crisis, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Thursday in Geneva.

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.

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.

US: 300 refugees eyed for "potential terrorism-related activities"

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that some 300 refugees in the United States are under federal scrutiny as possible terrorism suspects.

Syrian refugees arrive in Italy with help from Christian groups

A group of 50 Syrian refugees, more than half of them children, landed in Italy early Monday, entering the country on humanitarian visas obtained with the help of a lay Catholic NGO, Protestant organizations and the Italian government.

German court rules against automatic refugee status for Syrians

Syrians fleeing the multi-sided civil war in their home country do not have an automatic right to refugee status under the Geneva Convention, a German court ruled Tuesday.

Residents in northern Greece oppose refugee children attending school

There were renewed clashes between angry residents and police in the northern Greek town of Oreokastro on Monday, where some locals have for months opposed children from a nearby refugee centre being taught at the local school.

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.

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.

Backlash after British government caps child refugee scheme

The British government faced a backlash on Thursday after deciding to put a cap of 350 on a child refugee scheme.

US court ruling suspends Trump order, halts deportations

A US judge on Saturday granted an emergency stay against US President Donald Trump's order banning refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country.

Trudeau tells refugees to come to Canada after Trump ban

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has told refugees to come to Canada, after US President Donald Trump suspended his country's refugee programme for four months and indefinitely banned Syrians.

Merkel remains at loggerheads with allies over refugee limits

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has entered a critical election year with deep divisions remaining in her conservative political bloc over the nation's refugee crisis and opposition to her plans for a revamp of the country's security structure.

Children asylum seekers given presents from City of Zagreb

Ninety-three children who currently live in the accommodation centre for asylum seekers in Zagreb were given presents for the New Year holidays on Friday.

Nearly 20,000 migrants turned away at Germany's borders in 2016

German police are on track to turn away some 20,000 migrants this year at the country's borders, airports and sea ports, local media reported Wednesday.

Refugees send thank-you gift to Merkel, prompting police raid

Police stormed a post office in western Germany on Tuesday after two asylum seekers tried to send a package containing a thank-you gift for German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

20 Croatian families have refugees for Christmas lunch

Twenty Croatian families invited 50 refugees to their homes for Christmas lunch on Sunday as part of the "Christmas lunch with a refugee" campaign, launched by the Jesuit Refugee Service and aimed at encouraging meetings and communication between the local community and persons who have been granted or are seeking asylum in Croatia.

Prince Charles calls for tolerance of refugees, religious differences

Britain's Prince Charles appealed for greater tolerance of refugees and religious differences on Thursday, in a pre-Christmas message broadcast on BBC radio.

German police record 877 attacks against refugee homes this year

There have been 877 attacks against refugee homes in Germany so far in 2016, police said Saturday, suggesting that the total number will fall below the 1,031 reported for all of last year.

First Croatian newspaper for asylum-seekers, refugees launched

The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) on Thursday launched the first newspaper dedicated to asylum-seekers and refugees in Croatia.

Kenya delays closure of world's largest refugee camp

Kenya will delay the closure of the world’s largest refugee camp by six months, the government announced Wednesday after human rights activists criticized plans to shut the camp this month.

Migrants return to Belgrade by train, refuse to go to reception centres

A group of migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, who attempted to break through a barricade put up by the Serbian police at the Sid-Tovarnik border crossing and enter Croatia, have returned to Belgrade by train, but many of them refused accommodation in reception centres, Radio and Television Serbia (RTS) reported on Tuesday.

1 in 5 children displaced in Central African Republic, says UNICEF

Nearly one in five children in the Central African Republic (CAR) remain displaced following sectarian violence that has killed thousands of people, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said Tuesday.

Migrants give up on entering Croatia, return to Sid on foot

 A group of migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan who attempted unsuccessfully to break through a barricade put up by the Serbian police at the Sid-Tovarnik border crossing and enter Croatia, gave up their efforts and returned to Sid on foot, an official of the Serbian Migrants and Refugees Commission, Ivan Gerginov, said on Monday evening.

Germany expecting fewer than 300,000 new refugee arrivals in 2016

The number of newly arrived refugees to Germany this year will total fewer than 300,000, the country's migration officials estimate.

Pope to Europe: Don't take in more refugees than you can integrate

Pope Francis warned European governments on Tuesday not to take in more asylum seekers than can be integrated into their societies.

Offshore refugees to be banned from ever getting to Australia

Australia's government is seeking to ban for life all asylum seekers, even genuine refugees, currently held in offshore detention centres on Manus Island and Nauru, it announced Sunday.

Registration best way to prevent terrorists entering EU, says EPP official

The president of the European People's Party (EPP) Group in the European Committee of the Regions, Michael Schneider, said in Dubrovnik on Friday that borders within the European Union must not be a barrier to economic development of regions but that at the same time, the EU's external borders must be protected and that registration is the best way to prevent terrorists from entering the EU.

Conference on unaccompanied migrant children starts in Zagreb

A two-day conference called "On the Move and Alone", which started in Zagreb on Thursday, brought together approximately 70 experts from nine countries to discuss how to respond effectively to the needs of unaccompanied and separated refugee children in Southeast Europe and exchange experience gained with such children during the migrant crisis.

Germany calls for quick EU asylum overhaul, continued border checks

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere called Thursday for a quick reform of the European Union's asylum rules as well as an extension of temporary border controls, at talks with his EU counterparts on how to better manage migration flows to the bloc.

Merkel: Closure of Balkan route did not solve refugee crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has renewed her criticism of strict border controls along the so-called Balkan migration route and pointed to the EU-Turkey deal as the only sustainable solution in controlling the influx.

11,000 migrants saved, 38 dead in this week's rescues off Italy shore

More than 11,000 lives were saved and 38 bodies were recovered in two days of large-scale migrant rescue operations on the central Mediterranean, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday.

More than 4,600 migrants rescued, 28 bodies recovered off Italy shore

Some 4,655 migrants were rescued and 28 bodies were recovered in 33 operations on the stretch of sea between Sicily and Libya, the Italian coastguard said Wednesday.

Turkey: Mosul operation could create a million refugees, affect EU

The planned offensive on the Islamic militia stronghold Mosul in northern Iraq could create one million refugees if poorly executed, Turkey's Defence Minister Fikri Isik warned on Tuesday.

Migrants stranded in Serbia start protest march to Hungary

Around 350 migrants started a 210-kilometre march from Belgrade toward Hungary Tuesday, to protest the border barricade that is keeping them stranded.

Dacic: Serbia will not allow to be the biggest victim of migrant crisis

Serbia will not allow to be the biggest victim of the migrant crisis, it must be in touch with the countries of what is called the Balkan migrant route and it is preparing measures to protect its national interests, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said on Tuesday.

Hundreds of migrants arrive in Greece over four-day period

More than 600 refugees and migrants have arrived on the Greek islands from Turkey over the last four days, 280 of whom reached the country's shores by boat in the past 24 hours, the Greek refugee coordinating body announced Tuesday.

Ten dead among the 6,100 boat migrants rescued off Italy

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday there were 10 bodies among the more than 6,000 boat migrants who were rescued the previous day off the coast of Italy.

US takes in nearly 85,000 refugees in 2016, plans for 110,000 in 2017

The United States accepted just under 85,000 refugees in fiscal year 2016, the US State Department said Monday.

Kovac: Croatia will meet obligations concerning migrants

Croatia has committed to taking 1,600 migrants as part of the EU's resettlement plan and it will meet its obligations, while the higher number being mentioned in Croatian media is exaggerated, Kovac said after opening the "Model European Union Zagreb 2016" (MEUZ) conference in Europe House.

Turnout under 50 per cent renders Hungarian EU migrant vote invalid

Hungarian President Victor Orban's crusade against the European Union's migration policy fumbled on a technicality Sunday when a referendum on the EU refugee resettlement quota for the country failed to achieve the required 50-per-cent turnout.

Hungary referendum on EU migrant quota invalid due to low turnout

Hungary's referendum on EU migrant resettlement quotas did not reach the necessary 50-per-cent turnout and is therefore invalid, vice-chair of the governing Fidesz party Gergely Gulyas says.

Hungary's referendum on EU migrant quota

Hungary is voting in a referendum on the European Union's plan to resettle migrants and refugees in the country.

Muslim refugees "a challenge" for German society, minister says

The rising number of Muslims living in Germany as a result of the latest wave of refugees is "a challenge for the majority of society," Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble wrote in an opinion piece for the Sunday edition of Die Welt newspaper.

French police shut down pro-migrant protest near migrant "jungle"

A banned demonstration near a migrant camp in Calais on Saturday left three police officers and a journalist lightly wounded, a news report said.

Germans attack group of foreigners in northern town of Schwerin

Around 30 Germans attacked a group of foreigners at an outdoor tram station late Friday in the northern German town of Schwerin, where repeated confrontations between migrants and locals have led authorities to heighten security.

Germany revises down 2015 immigrant estimate to 890,000

The number of migrants who entered Germany in 2015 has been revised down from 1.1 million to 890,000, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere says.

North German mayor attacked over plans to establish home for refugees

The mayor of a town in northern Germany was knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant, apparently due to his plans to establish a refugee home in the local area, police said Friday.

EU-Turkey deal not yet forcing the return of Syrians from Greece

No Syrian asylum seekers have yet been forcibly returned from Greece to Turkey under a migration-stemming deal the European Union struck with Ankara in March, the bloc's executive said Wednesday.

NGOs denounce Italy's "Nazi-style" migrant repatriations to Sudan

Italy has started a "Nazi-style" policy of mass migrant repatriations to Sudan based on a secret police cooperation deal, in flagrant breach of international law, human rights groups said on Tuesday.

Hollande sharpens approach to "unacceptable" migrant camps in Calais

Makeshift migrant camps that are housing thousands of people near the northern French port city of Calais will be "definitively" dismantled, President Francois Hollande vowed Monday during a visit to the region.

Oreskovic: Cooperation with Serbia in tackling refugee crisis excellent

Croatia cooperates excellently with Serbia in efforts to solve the refugee crisis and is prepared for a scenario of of opening a new route of migration via Bosnia and Herzegovina, although this is not very likely, Croatia's caretaker Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic said in Vienna on Saturday after a summit meeting of leaders of countries along the Balkan migration route.

Merkel meets Balkan leaders to discuss migrants

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, stung by several setbacks at the ballot box over her refugees policy, was due in Vienna Saturday for potentially tense talks with the leaders of countries along the Balkan migrant route, AFP reported.

Germany's anti-migrant AfD party reaches new heights in polls

Support for Germany's new right-wing populist Alternative for Germany (AfD) has surged to its highest level ever amid a voter backlash against Chancellor Angela Merkel's handling of the country's refugee crisis.

Asylum applications in the EU up 6 per cent in second quarter of 2016

The number of people who filed first-time asylum applications in the European Union increased by 6 per cent in the second quarter of this year, new data released on Thursday showed, with Germany remaining their preferred destination.

Hungary's Orban wants refugees expelled "to an island"

Hungary's fiercely anti-immigration Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday suggested that the European Union should expel "to an island" more than 1 million people who arrived during the 2015-16 migration crisis.

Amnesty urges Europe to accelerate relocation of stranded refugees

London (dpa) - Amnesty International on Thursday blamed European leaders for the plight of refugees stranded in Greek camps and urged for a faster relocation to EU countries.

Countries increase pledges for refugees during US-hosted UN summit

Countries pledged to increase their humanitarian spending, double the number of resettled refugees and improve refugees' access to work and school during a high-level summit on Tuesday hosted by US President Barack Obama.

President: Croatia won't be able to let migrants pass due to closed borders

President Grabar-Kitarovic said that last year Croatia had let migrants pass through it while other countries, that is Slovenia and Hungary, had no barriers along their frontiers with Croatia, however, those frontiers were now shut.

George Soros vows to invest 500 million dollars to help migrants

Billionaire investor George Soros promised Tuesday to invest 500 million dollars in efforts to support global migrants.

Eighteen arrested for fire that destroyed Lesbos refugee camp

Greek police have arrested 18 migrants following a fire at a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos, the Athens-based newspaper Kathimerini reported Tuesday.

Syrian accused of throwing children out of window faces German court

A Syrian asylum seeker accused of trying to murder his three children by throwing them out of a window

Grabar-Kitarovic says migrant crisis not only Europe's problem

Speaking at a UN summit on refugees in New York on Monday, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said that the summit was being held at the right time because large movements of people were a global phenomenon that could not be prevented and that was not affecting only Europe.  

Refugees top Obama's agenda at final UN General Assembly appearance

US President Barack Obama will Tuesday deliver his final speech to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) which will provide one of his final chances to burnish his legacy.

Large fire in Lesbos refugee camp contained, arson suspected

A fire that forced thousands of people to flee a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos destroyed most of the camp but is now under control, eyewitnesses said Monday.

Slovenian PM calls on migrants to be patient while waiting for asylum

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar on Monday called on migrants and refugees demanding a faster processing of their asylum applications in Slovenia to be patient.

Merkel admits mistakes in refugee crisis after drubbing at polls

German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted on Monday that mistakes had been made in the refugee crisis but ruled out any major change in course despite her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) suffering heavy losses in a string of state elections.

Asylum applications to OECD countries doubled to 1.65 million in 2015

Some 1.65 million people applied for asylum in the world's most developed nations in 2015

Number of migrant arrivals in Greece rises sharply

The number of migrants reaching Greece has sharply risen, with at least 374 arriving from Turkey over the weekend, the country's migration crisis authority said on Monday.

Italy's Renzi fed up with useless EU summits, demands real action

The European Union cannot keep holding meaningless summits that take no real decisions, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Saturday, a day after blasting the bloc's latest get-together.

Pope: Welcoming migrants is best insurance against terrorist acts

Opening the door to migrants is the best way to prevent "hateful acts of terrorism," Pope Francis said Saturday, reiterating his concern for the millions of people who are fleeing from poverty and conflict.

Five injured in migrant home fire in southern Germany

Five people have been taken to hospital with complications resulting from smoke inhalation after a migrant home was deliberately set on fire in southern Germany on Saturday.

South Sudanese refugee count climbs above 1 million

The internal conflict in South Sudan has forced more than 1 million people out of the country, the UN Refugee Agency (UNCHR) said Friday.

Majority of Germans want upper limit set on number of refugees

The majority of Germans back calls for an upper limit to be placed on the number of refugees entering the country, an issue that has divided Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative political bloc.

Migrants using more diverse, "covert" routes to Europe, study finds

Hundreds of thousands of migrants are entering Europe via little-known "covert" routes increasingly used since some nations adopted stricter border controls, a think-tank said on Friday.

Vucic: Serbia can't be Europe's first, last line of defence against migrants

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said on Thursday that he was against setting up fences and walls but that Serbia could not be the first and last line of defence against migrants in Europe and that the EU should deal with the migrant crisis on its borders, according to the Belgrade electronic media.

UN: Over 200,000 Libyan refugees preparing to cross to Italy

Some 235,000 refugees are waiting in war-torn Libya to make the crossing across the Mediterranean Sea, according to UN figures.

German police break up brawl between right-wing extremists, migrants

German police broke up a brawl between right-wing extremists and asylum seekers overnight to Thursday in the eastern town of Bautzen, highlighting the growing unrest in Germany over the refugee policies of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Minister blames Merkel's refugee policy for terrorist sleeper cell

Bavaria's interior minister has blamed the presence of an Islamist terrorist cell in Germany on Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy, one day after three Islamic State suspects posing as asylum seekers were arrested in the country.

France to evacuate Calais camp, resettle migrants

The controversial migrant camp in the northern French city of Calais is to be dismantled and its inhabitants redistributed to migrant reception centres around France, French media reported Tuesday.

Merkel fan: Syrian refugee joins the chancellor's conservative party

Chancellor Angela Merkel might have faced tough criticism over her handling of Germany's refugee crisis but her conservative Christian Democrats have gained at least one new member as a result of her stance – a 41-year-old Syrian refugee.

EU has managed only 3 per cent of 160,000 planned refugee relocations

The European Union has fallen far behind its two-year plan to distribute 160,000 asylum seekers across the bloc, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Tuesday in Geneva.

EU court bans automatic deportation of migrant convicts with children

Non-EU citizens with a criminal record cannot automatically be evicted from the bloc if they are the sole custodian of a child with a European nationality, the bloc's top court found Tuesday in two cases relating to Britain and Spain.

Germany arrests 3 suspected Syrian terrorists who posed as refugees

Three Syrian men who entered Germany as refugees were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of planning an attack on behalf of the Islamic State terrorist group, prosecutors said.

Merkel's allies tweak policy on priority for Christian migrants

The sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU) has tweaked its manifesto after demands to give Christian migrants priority access to the country were met with opposition and scorn.

EU provides 115 million euros in aid for refugees in Greece

The European Union is giving humanitarian organizations 115 million euros (129 million dollars) in new aid to help improve conditions for refugees in Greece ahead of the quickly approaching winter, the bloc's executive said Saturday.

EU to provide 348 million euros in Turkey refugee cash card aid

The European Union will provide cash cards to fund the basic needs of up to a million Syrian refugees living in Turkey, the bloc's executive announced Thursday, calling the 348-million-euro (391-million-dollar) humanitarian aid scheme its biggest to date.

Police say attempts at illegal border crossing on rise, no danger yet of Balkan route reactivating

Over the past two months Croatian police have registered an increase in attempts by migrants to illegally cross the border from Serbia into Croatia, but there is still no danger that the Balkan migration route could become active again and have a major impact on Croatia, the Ministry of the Interior said on Thursday.

Merkel allies demand priority given to Christian migrants in future

Angela Merkel's political allies have increased their pressure on the chancellor to toughen up the nation's immigration and refugee laws by demanding priority be given to migrants with a Western, Christian cultural background.

Slovenia braced for recurrence of refugee crisis

Slovenia is braced for various scenarios of a possible recurrence of a refugee crisis such as last year's, said Slovenian official Bostjan Sefic, who is in charge of coordinating activities in response to migrant tides.

Rights group warns of refugees' dire situation at Jordanian border

Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees stranded at the Jordanian border are living in increasingly dire conditions, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned on Wednesday. 

City of Paris to open two new refugee centres

Paris plans to open two new reception centres for refugees in an attempt to improve its provision for migrants and prevent further ad-hoc camps.

Merkel ally lashes out, demands she change course on refugees

A key political ally fired a broadside at German Chancellor Angela Merkel Tuesday, saying her policies - which he blames for a humiliating weekend loss in a state election - need to be overhauled.

First day of Bled Forum focuses on growth of populism and nationalism in EU

A safe future of young generations, the spreading of populism and nationalism in the European Union over Brexit and the migrant crisis were some of the topics of a leaders' panel debate which on Monday, the first day of the Bled Forum, was also attended by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic.

Italy coastguard: 2,700 migrants saved, 15 bodies recovered from Mediterranean sea

More than 2,700 people were rescued and 15 bodies were recovered following 23 rescue operations in the central Mediterranean, the Italian coastguard said Monday in the latest update on the world's most dangerous sea migration route.

French lorry drivers block roadway in protest to Calais migrant camp

French lorry drivers began a blockade of a major roadway leading to the port of Calais on Monday, demanding that shanty towns housing refugees in the area be removed.

Merkel takes responsibility for election loss, defends refugee stance

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday took responsibility for the electoral losses of her Christian Democrats (CDU) in her home state, but defended her course in the refugee crisis, saying "the decisions taken in the last few months were right."

Merkel expresses no regrets on refugees as support slides further

Angela Merkel said Saturday that she has no regrets about her welcoming policy toward refugees, even as a new poll showed that fewer than half of Germans surveyed would trust her with a fourth term as chancellor.

Croatia doesn't expect refugee tide, however, it is prepared - FM

"Croatia is prepared for a situation like last year when refugees passed through Croatia in large numbers. If that were to occur, which we don't expect, we will be prepared. We will once again cooperate with our neighbours. We have already shown that.

Interior minister: Croatia is part of humane solution to migrant crisis

Croatia is part of a humane solution to the migration crisis and will continue to take in migrants in accordance with its commitments, Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic said in the eastern border town of Tovarnik on Friday.