Several boats are left in distress at sea in the Central Mediterranean and in Malta’s and Greece’s SAR zones, despite authorities being informed. SAR NGOs rescued hundreds of people in different operations in the Central Mediterranean: more than 800 people on board Sea Watch and SOS Méditerranée were finally disembarked in Italy, while the 659 people rescued by MSF are still waiting for a safe port of disembarkation, as of 2 August 2022. On 25 July 2022, about 100 people were pushed back to Libya by the commercial ship Vos Triton.
According to the recent report from Caminando Fronteras, 978 people died en route to Spain in the first six months of 2022. At least 44 people died in two separate shipwrecks en route to Spain’s Canary Islands. According to AMDH Nador, the number of people reported missing after the massacre of Nador-Melilla of 24 June 2022 has now risen to 64.
After being pushed back to Lebanon in September 2020, 2 Syrian refugees are bringing Cyprus to the European Court of Human Rights to end this illegal pushback policy. 6,882 Afghani and Pakistani citizens were deported from Turkey in 2022. In the last week of July 2022, more than 1,000 people crossed the English Channel to reach the UK.
Check out more updates from 28th June to 19th July 2022 on country pages below:
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that “rescue at sea is a duty and port State controls must not be used arbitrarily against NGOs in the future to detain ships and prevent them from doing their work”. The Court also says that victims of shipwrecks cannot be considered as mere “passengers”. The ruling represents a victory against the criminalization of SAR NGO ships and a legal security for SAR NGOs.
OLAF’s investigation into Frontex reveals the Agency’s knowledge about the systematic pushbacks carried out by the Greek Coast Guard. The EU is developing AI software to predict migration flows that could be misused to restrict the rights of refugees.
Mapping policies and practices in the EuroMed region
The research provides an overview of the current return policies and practices in the Euro-Mediterranean region and sheds a light on the violations of human rights entailed by this “return obsession”, which is shared across Member States, EU institutions and third countries alike. The report covers national return policies and practices in the Mashreq and Maghreb regions, focusing on returns from Turkey and Lebanon to Syria, and on readmission agreements between Italy and Tunisia, Spain and Morocco as well as France and Morocco. It also looks at returns from Germany and Italy to Egypt. Read More