As Schengen crumbles – Refugee crisis news roundup

We’ll see how this goes… Since the writing about volunteering has ended, yet I’m still following everything as closely as I can back on Chios and the refugee trail, I thought I would try to do a small news roundup of the more striking pieces of news coming out of the refugee crisis to see how that resonates with you all. Better than posting each of these individually on Facebook. Warning: It’s mostly (but not all!) depressing.

Especially this one:

10,000 refugee children are missing, says Europol

“At least 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees have disappeared after arriving in Europe, according to the EU’s criminal intelligence agency. Many are feared to have fallen into the hands of organised trafficking syndicates.”

Deadliest January on record for refugees raises alarm

“As of January 29, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) recorded the deaths of at least 244 refugees and migrants who tried to reach Europe via the Mediterranean Sea, nearly three times the 82 people who died last January, and overwhelmingly more than the 12 people who died in January 2014.”

With Schengen going to pieces, EU is isolating Greece

“Despite choppy seas and wintry conditions, more than 2,000 people are arriving in Greece daily, according to EU figures. Athens is under pressure to register and keep those coming in. Several EU nations have said that they could isolate Greece by closing off their borders so that incoming refugees would have to remain there.”

‘Hundreds’ of masked men beat refugee children in Stockholm

“Wearing all-black balaclavas and armbands, the men “gathered with the purpose of attacking refugee children,” Stockholm police spokesperson Towe Hagg said.”

Fear and paranoia lead Finns to form vigilante groups that ‘protect women’ from asylum seekers

“On a frigid night in this industrial city, three local men pulled up to a curb in a beat-up van sporting the stars and bars of the American Confederacy (because, they said, they just liked the look of it). Soon, they joined a dozen other beefy vigilantes gathering on a sidewalk for their first patrol to keep “our women” safe.

These are the Soldiers of Odin, a new far-right citizens group sprouting chapters across Finland. Its members are multiplying as this northern nation becomes a case study in the fear and suspicion gripping Europe after multiple sexual assaults allegedly committed by asylum seekers and others on New Year’s Eve.”

Syrian refugee children found working in Next and H&M factories

“Two of Britain’s high street giants have found Syrian refugee children working in their clothing factories in Turkey, leading to calls for other retailers to investigate their own supply chains.

H&M and Next were the only retailers that admitted to identifying child labour in supplier factories in Turkey, but there are fears that the phenomenon could be far more widespread after several other companies failed to answer questions on the use of Syrian workers in their factories.”

Syria conflict: Jordanians ‘at boiling point’ over refugees

“For decades Jordan welcomed people escaping wars on its borders – Palestinians, Iraqis, and now so many Syrian refugees they make up nearly 20% of the population.

“For the first time,” King Abdullah says, “we can’t do it any more.”

Friends and Refugees in Need

“Obama did not cause this Syria problem, and he can’t fix it alone — but it’s not going to get fixed without U.S. leadership. I have shared the president’s caution about getting involved on the ground in Syria. But I now believe we need to take another look at establishing some kind of U.S./E.U./NATO safe zone inside Syria and Libya to create space for refugees to remain in these countries. It’s not a panacea or cost-free, but letting this refugee disaster fracture the E.U. will be a lot more expensive.”

Greek match delayed as players stage sit-down protest over migrant deaths

“As the match kicked off all 22 players plus coaches and substitutes sat in silence for two minutes in a show of respect to the hundreds of refugees who have lost their lives trying to escape conflict or persecution in countries such as Syria and Iraq.”

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