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ReliefWeb - Updates

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    Source: Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    Country: Afghanistan, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan

    Tehran, August 6, IRNA - The people of Japan has contributed 2,983,722 million dollars to UNHCR-Iran within the framework of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), a regional, multi-year strategy, supporting voluntary repatriation, sustainable reintegration and assistance to host countries. Japan donates $2.9 million to Afghan refugees in Iran

    This donation will directly impact UNHCR and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s efforts to ensure that refugees have the education and skills, and are in good health, in order to earn a living upon their voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan, while also enabling them to contribute to society during their stay in Iran, according to a UNHCR-Tehran press release.

    In education, the Japanese funding will assist UNHCR in continuing its support to the Government in the construction of schools in provinces with a high number of refugee students to ensure greater access to quality primary education.

    The generosity of the People of Japan will also support technical and vocational training programmes the UNHCR conducts with the Technical and Vocational Training Organization and the World Relief Foundation to enhance self-reliance and livelihood opportunities for refugees. This will empower them with the necessary knowledge to provide a source of income for their families in Iran and upon return to Afghanistan.

    The contribution will complement the Ministry of Health’s primary health care services to refugees including vaccinations, antenatal care, maternal and child health, and family planning. Also in collaboration with State Welfare Organization, UNHCR assists refugees in receiving timely treatment and rehabilitation assistance in settlements and urban areas.

    “We are glad to be able to continue to support the activities of UNHCR Iran in the areas of voluntary repatriation, livelihoods, education and health care. We hope our contribution will help enhance the human security of Afghan refugees in Iran,” said the Japanese Ambassador to Iran, Koji Haneda. UNHCR’s Representative in Iran, Sivanka Dhanapala, added that, “We greatly appreciate the humanitarian commitment of the People of Japan in supporting and protecting Afghan refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is important that in spite of escalating crises in other parts of the world and the global economic turmoil, that Japan stands committed to supporting solutions for Afghan refugees.”

    For more than 30 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted and supported one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world, and presently hosts almost a million Afghan refugees who left their home due to generalized violence and war.

    **1377


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, China - Taiwan Province, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    December 2015 – Trends

    - Deteriorated situations

    Afghanistan, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Niger

    - Improved situations

    January 2016 – Watchlist

    - Conflict risk alerts

    Burundi

    - Conflict resolution opportunities

    Libya


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    Source: Food and Agriculture Organization
    Country: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chile, China, Comoros, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Niue (New Zealand), Norway, Oman, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United Republic of Tanzania, United States of America, Uruguay, Viet Nam, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Genetic diversity of livestock can help feed a hotter, harsher world

    Despite growing interest in safeguarding biodiversity of livestock and poultry,genetic erosion continues

    27 January 2016, Rome - Livestock keepers and policy makers worldwide are increasingly interested in harnessing animal biodiversity to improve production and food security on a warmer, more crowded planet, according to a new FAO report issued today. The agency nonetheless warns that many valuable animal breeds continue to be at risk and calls for stronger efforts to use the pool of genetic resources sustainably.

    According to The Second Report on the State of the World's Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, some 17 percent (1,458) of the world's farm animal breeds are currently at risk of extinction, while the risk status of many others (58 percent) is simply unknown due to a lack of data on the size and structure of their populations. Nearly 100 livestock breeds have gone extinct between 2000 and 2014.

    Country data shows that indiscriminate cross-breeding is considered as the main cause of genetic erosion. Other common threats to animal genetic diversity are the increasing use of non-native breeds, weak policies and institutions regulating the livestock sector, the decline of traditional livestock production systems, and the neglect of breeds considered not competitive enough.

    Europe and the Caucasus, and North America are the two areas in the world with the highest proportion of at-risk breeds. In absolute terms, the highest number of at-risk breeds can be found in Europe and the Caucasus.

    Both areas are characterized by highly specialized livestock industries that tend to use only a small number of breeds for production.

    Why biodiversity matters

    Genetic diversity provides the raw material for farmers and pastoralists to improve their breeds and adapt livestock populations to changing environments and changing demands.

    "For thousands of years, domesticated animals, like sheep, chickens and camels, have contributed directly to the livelihoods and food security of millions of people," said FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva, "That includes some 70 percent of the world's rural poor today."

    "Genetic diversity is a prerequisite for adaptation in the face of future challenges", according to the Director-General, who added that the report will "underpin renewed efforts to ensure that animal genetic resources are used and developed to promote global food security, and remain available for future generations."

    Among the future challenges are climate change, emerging diseases, pressure on land and water, and shifting market demands, which make it more important than ever to ensure animal genetic resources are conserved and used sustainably.

    Currently, some 38 species and 8,774 separate breeds of domesticated birds and mammals are used in agriculture and food production.

    Rise in national gene banks and improved management

    A total of 129 countries participated in the new global assessment, which follows nearly a decade after the release of the first global assessment of animal genetic resources in 2007.

    "The data we've collected suggests there's been improvement in the number of at-risk breeds since the first assessment," says Beate Scherf, Animal Production Officer at FAO and co-author of the report. "And governments overall have definitely stepped up efforts to halt genetic erosion and more sustainably manage their national livestock breeds."

    The study finds that governments are increasingly recognizing the importance of sustainably using and developing the genetic resources embodied in livestock.

    When FAO published the first global assessment in 2007, fewer than 10 countries reported having established a gene bank. That number has now risen to 64 countries, and an additional 41 countries are planning to establish such a gene bank, according to the new report.

    And these efforts are bearing fruit, experts say: "Over the last decade, countries across Europe have invested heavily in building shared information systems and gene banks as security measures," according to Scherf.

    Regional collaborations like the new European Gene Bank Network (EUGENA) are key to managing and improving breeds in the future, she says, and should be supported by in situ conservation of live animals in their natural habitat.

    In situ conservation also recognizes the cultural and environmental value of keeping live populations of diverse animal breeds.

    Some 177 countries additionally have appointed National Coordinators and 78 have set up multi-stakeholder advisory groups to aid national efforts to better manage animal genetic resources.

    Increasing global trade in animal genetic resources

    This comes at a time of expansion in the global trade in breeding animals and livestock semen, often for cross-breeding purposes, with many developing countries emerging as significant importers and some also as exporters of genetic material.

    Increasingly, farmers and policy makers in developing countries have embraced imports of genetic material as a way to enhance the productivity of their livestock populations - growing their milk output, for example, or decreasing the time needed for an animal to reach maturity.

    But if not well planned, cross-breeding can fail to significantly improve productivity and lead to the loss of valuable characteristics such as the special ability to cope with extremes of temperature, limited water supplies, poor-quality feed, rough terrain, high altitudes and other challenging aspects of the production environment.

    Challenges to management of genetic resources

    In order to better manage livestock diversity going forward, animal breeds and their production environment need to be better described, according to the report, which shows genetic resources are frequently lost when limited knowledge leads to certain breeds going underused.

    More also needs to be done to monitor population trends and emerging threats to diversity, according to the report.

    Trendspotting will be critical

    Among the major changes to the sector over the last decades has been the rapid expansion of large-scale high-input livestock production systems in parts of the developing world, accompanied by growing pressures on natural resources.

    South Asia and Africa -two very resource-constrained regions that are home to many small-scale livestock keepers and a diverse range of animal genetic resources - are projected to become the main centres of growth in meat and milk consumption.

    Trends like these are grounds for concern because similar rises in demand in other regions have come with a shift away from small-scale production that supports local genetic diversity to large-scale production that is more likely to use a limited number of breeds and can create major challenges for the sustainable use of animal genetic resources.

    Changes in food systems are among trends that should be carefully tracked to predict their impact on demand for particular species and breeds, according to the report, along technology, climate changes and government policies.

    Need for greater international collaboration

    At the same time, the report stresses that international cooperation remains an area requiring improvement in order to support future livestock biodiversity.

    Since 2007, countries have been implementing the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources, the first internationally agreed framework of its kind.

    But international collaboration remains relatively underdeveloped among countries implementing the Plan, the report cautions. Cooperation should be stepped up to move beyond the limited number of bilateral and regional research programs that are currently in place.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, China - Taiwan Province, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    The month saw an intensification of Yemen’s war, amid heightened regional rivalries between Saudi Arabia and Iran complicating prospects for peace. Political tensions increased in Haiti, Guinea-Bissau and Moldova, where protests over endemic corruption and a lack of confidence in the government could escalate. In Africa, Boko Haram’s deadly attacks increased in northern Cameroon, and Burkina Faso was hit by an unprecedented terror attack. On the nuclear front, in East Asia, North Korea’s announcement that it had carried out a successful hydrogen bomb test was roundly condemned, while nuclear-related sanctions on Iran were rolled back in accordance with the July 2015 deal.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    The month saw conflict continue to rage in Turkey’s south east between Ankara and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), looking likely to further escalate in March. Afghanistan and Somalia both saw armed insurgencies capture new territories. In Africa, political tensions rose in Chad, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, while in Venezuela, deadlock between the opposition-held parliament and government has brought the country closer to political and economic implosion. In Asia, North Korea’s announcement of a satellite launch in violation of UN Security Council resolutions prompted international condemnation and calls for tough new sanctions. On a positive note, the coming month brings the possibility of a final agreement to end Colombia’s decades-old insurgency.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, China - Taiwan Province, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    The month saw violent extremist movements, including the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda-linked groups, carry out major deadly attacks in Turkey, Pakistan, Côte d’Ivoire, Tunisia and Belgium. In Libya, the arrival of Prime Minister Serraj in Tripoli despite warnings from multiple factions could lead to further destabilisation. Meanwhile in Central Africa, political violence rose in Burundi and could break out in Chad around the 10 April presidential election. Yemen, South Sudan and even Syria saw progress, of varying degrees, toward peace talks or implementation of agreements, and in Colombia the start of talks between the state and the National Liberation Army (ELN) could lead to the end of the 52-year-old conflict.

    In Libya, international recognition of the new UN-backed Government of National Accord without support from military factions or the Tobruk-based House of Representatives worsened tensions in an already fragmented security landscape, and Prime Minister Serraj’s arrival in Tripoli on 30 March could trigger worse violence in April. Meanwhile, an IS branch is reportedly gaining strength. To prevent further splintering of Libya’s armed groups and ensure that political and security developments support a negotiated peace, Crisis Group has called for a nationwide security track dialogue in parallel with the UN-guided political track. In Tunisia, at least 50 IS militants stormed Ben Guerdane, 30km from the Libyan border on 7 March, attempting to overwhelm key security installations.

    In Turkey, a car bomb attack on 13 March in Ankara saw 38 killed including two assailants. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), an ultra-radical Kurdish nationalist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), claimed responsibility, saying it was an act of revenge for ongoing security operations against the PKK in south-eastern urban centres. As Crisis Group has long argued, the only way toward a durable solution is peace talks with the PKK alongside ensuring further democratic rights for Turkey’s Kurdish population.

    Elsewhere, violent extremist movements carried out major deadly attacks. In Pakistan, over 70 people were killed in a suicide bombing claimed by the Pakistani Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JA) in Lahore on 27 March. In Belgium 32 people were killed by two IS-linked suicide bomb attacks at the main airport and on the Brussels metro on 22 March, while in Côte d’Ivoire on 13 March gunmen shot dead sixteen civilians in Grand-Bassam, 40km east of Abidjan, in an unprecedented terrorist attack claimed by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Crisis Group’s Special Report Exploiting Disorder: al-Qaeda and the Islamic State examines how such extremist movements benefit from today’s deadliest crises and complicate efforts to end them.

    In Burundi, political violence worsened while international pressure on President Nkurunziza failed to stop government repression. There were deadly attacks on three officials including two from the ruling party and the assassination of two high-ranking army officers on the same day, pointing to dangerous divisions in the military. According to the UN, 474 people have been killed in political violence since April 2015, and over 250,000 Burundians have fled to neighbouring states. In Chad, mounting protests against President Déby’s regime and government repression could lead to serious political violence around the presidential election, scheduled for 10 April. Meanwhile, tensions between Morocco and the UN spiked after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon referred to the “occupation” of Western Sahara during a visit to the region in early March.

    In Syria, Russia’s announcement that it would withdraw the “main part” of its assets that have conducted operations in the country since September 2015 strengthened the ongoing UN-brokered talks, which resumed on 14 March in Geneva. Since the “cessation of hostilities” that began on 27 February violence has decreased considerably, according to local sources, with the lowest monthly civilian death toll in four years. Meanwhile, in Yemen, the agreement between Saudi Arabia and the Huthis to halt hostilities along the Yemen-Saudi Arabia border in early March paved the way for commitments to a wider ceasefire and peace talks to start in April. Fighting continued, nevertheless, including between government forces and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Aden and IS-linked attacks in the south.

    In South Sudan, amid a decline in fighting, April could see significant progress toward the formation of a transitional government of national unity, bringing the country a step closer toward implementation of the August 2015 peace deal. In Colombia, in a welcome step, the government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) announced on 30 March the opening of formal peace talks which, together with those nearing completion with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in Havana, are the greatest opportunity to end 52 years of armed conflict.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    The month saw fighting escalate again in Syria and Afghanistan, and erupt in Nagorno-Karabakh between Armenian-backed separatists and Azerbaijani forces. In Bangladesh, election violence and killings by extremist groups showed how new heights of government-opposition rivalry and state repression have benefitted violent political party wings and extremist groups alike. Political tensions intensified in Iraq and Macedonia, and security forces severely supressed opposition protests in the Republic of Congo and Gambia. On a positive note, new governments were formed in the Central African Republic and South Sudan to consolidate peace gains, and talks to end Yemen’s one-year-old civil war got underway, albeit later than planned.

    In Syria, the fragile “cessation of hostilities” which began on 27 February collapsed in the north of the country and UN-brokered talks in Geneva unravelled. Violence escalated in Aleppo, where over 250 people were reported killed by days of regime and rebel bombardments starting on 22 April. That the truce lasted as long as it did shows the positive potential the U.S.-Russian partnership can play; its collapse, however, illustrates the limits of that partnership so long as differences over the ultimate ends persist, and support from regional actors, in particular Iran and Saudi Arabia, remains limited at best. Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the launch of the Taliban’s spring offensive led to major clashes in several provinces, further dimming hopes of insurgents’ participation in peace efforts and contributing to increasingly strained relations between Kabul and Islamabad. On 19 April, the Taliban detonated a car bomb and launched a gun attack on the National Directorate of Security office, killing 64 in the deadliest insurgent attack on Kabul since 2001.

    In the South Caucasus, heavy fighting erupted between Armenian-backed separatists and Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh on 2 April, claiming dozens of lives in the most serious escalation since the 1994 ceasefire. Each side accused the other of instigating the outbreak of fighting, and clashes continued across the line of contact despite the declaration of a Russian-brokered truce on 5 April. Crisis Group has cautioned that “there is a strong risk fighting will resume periodically, both to challenge the status quo on the ground and to attract diplomatic attention”, and called for the OSCE Minsk process to be re-energised through sustained high-level political leadership.

    Several brutal murders in Bangladesh, including the killing of law student and secular blogger Nazimuddin Samad on 6 April, underscored the growing power and impunity of violent extremist groups. As the political rivalry between the ruling Awami League (AL) party and opposition Bangladesh National Party (BNP) continues to intensify, violent clashes around the second phase of the local elections also persisted, leaving more than 30 party activists reported killed. On 11 April, Crisis Group warned that the political conflict has resulted in “high levels of violence and a brutal state response”, calling for a strengthening and depoliticisation of all aspects of the criminal justice system to restore stability and ensure security.

    In Iraq, Prime Minister Abadi’s failure to push his cabinet reshuffle through parliament, blocked by over 100 protesting parliamentarians, angered public opinion to such an extent that crowds of demonstrators broke into the fortified Green Zone on 30 April, prompting authorities to declare a state of emergency. Macedonia’s political crisis worsened as the opposition Social Democrats announced on 6 April that they would boycott the 5 June parliamentary elections due to the government’s failure to implement media reforms and clean up the electoral roll. The president’s decision to pardon all politicians facing criminal investigations for their alleged role in illegal wiretapping triggered days of protests in the capital and elsewhere.

    In Africa, the Republic of Congo saw government forces continue to crack down on protests against President Sassou-Nguesso’s disputed 20 March re-election. When on 4 April they met armed resistance in a southern Brazzaville opposition stronghold, at least seventeen people were killed. The next day the government began airstrikes in the south which it said targeted former rebel bases. In Gambia, security forces broke up peaceful demonstrations calling for electoral reform and free speech on 14 April, arresting at least 50 protestors. The news that one arrested senior opposition official had been tortured to death sparked more protests and high-level arrests.

    In a major step forward, after more than three years of turmoil, the Central African Republic’s newly-elected President Touadéra appointed his prime minister, who in turn chose a new government. Likewise South Sudan inched closer to implementing its August 2015 peace agreement when on 26 April Riek Machar, leader of the armed opposition (SPLM/A-IO), returned to Juba and was appointed first vice president. Two days later a transitional government was formed.

    In Yemen, although fighting continued, UN-sponsored talks between President Hadi’s government and the Huthi/Saleh bloc – which got off to a stuttering start on 21 April – offer the best chance to end the war that began over a year ago and should be actively supported by all sides.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    The month saw Venezuela’s political, economic and humanitarian crisis worsen amid heightened tensions between the government and opposition, a situation which could lead to state collapse and regional destabilisation. Another major setback in electing a new president in Haiti prompted fears of further civil unrest. In West Africa, deadly violence in central Mali and south-east Nigeria spiked, while a power struggle in Guinea-Bissau led to a dangerous standoff. In Libya, factions for and against the fledgling Government of National Accord (GNA) advanced on Sirte to expel the Islamic State (IS), risking clashes over oil facilities, while Turkey saw heightened political polarisation and an increase in violence in Kurdish areas. Ongoing peace talks, despite slow progress and ongoing violence, remain the best chance to end major combat in Yemen.

    In Venezuela, political tensions between the government led by President Maduro and the opposition Democratic Unity (MUD) alliance over attempts to trigger a presidential recall referendum intensified. Maduro’s decision on 16 May to issue a wide-ranging State of Exception and Economic Emergency decree suspending constitutional guarantees in order to combat what he called attempts by the opposition and foreign allies to overthrow the government was firmly condemned by the opposition. Senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles called on Venezuelans not to obey it, and told Maduro to “bring out the tanks” if he intended to enforce it. He warned the army to choose between allegiance to Maduro or the constitution. Public anger over the lack of food and other basic goods grew, with increased incidents of looting. Members of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) met on 1 June to discuss the deteriorating situation in Venezuela, after the OAS secretary general invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter. Crisis Group has called on Latin American leaders to support international mediation if genuine political dialogue between the two sides is not in sight.

    Elsewhere in the region, a commission finding that Haiti’s long-delayed presidential election last October was marred by massive irregularities and must be held again threw the country into further uncertainty and prompted fears of civil unrest in the weeks to come.

    In West Africa, Mali’s central Mopti region saw a rise in clashes between ethnic Fulani and Bambara armed groups, while suspected jihadists launched several attacks on the army and international forces there, together leaving some 35 dead. Meanwhile, violence continued in the north in part as armed groups jostled to benefit from the promised disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration program – a critical component of the June 2015 Bamako peace accord. In Guinea-Bissau, the power struggle between President Vaz and the dominant faction of the ruling African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) worsened. On 26 May, Vaz decided to create a “government of presidential initiative” and appointed PAIGC dissident Baciro Djá as the new Prime Minister. The mainstream PAIGC rejected the move as unconstitutional and called for protests which led to clashes between protestors and security forces.

    In Nigeria, while ongoing army operations seem to have the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency on the back foot in the north east, security problems elsewhere have worsened. In the Niger Delta, the little-known militant group Niger Delta Avengers claimed six attacks on major oil and gas facilities, which significantly cut the country’s oil output and electricity supply. In the wider south east, security forces fought Biafran separatists in several cities on 30 May, leaving at least twenty dead, and in the centre, clashes between farmers and Fulani herdsmen killed at least 28. As Crisis Group has warned, unless the Buhari government explores existing political mechanisms to address discontent in the south east, Niger Delta and elsewhere, its gains against Boko Haram will be short-lived and the country could face even more deadly violence.

    In Libya, west-based factions supporting the nascent Government of National Accord (GNA) and east-based factions opposing it mobilised troops, ostensibly to retake Sirte from the Islamic State (IS). Their advance could lead to worse fighting in the coming weeks over control of oil facilities in the Gulf of Sirte area. Despite international support for Prime Minister-designate Faez Serraj and the UN-backed Libyan Political Agreement (LPA), there is still much animosity in the east toward the LPA and Serraj and growing support for General Haftar’s rival Libyan National Army (LNA) after its recent military advances in Benghazi and Derna.

    Meanwhile, in Turkey, the abrupt departure of Prime Minister Davutoğlu raised concerns about increasing political polarisation, amid signs that further moves are imminent to consolidate President Erdoğan’s de facto leading executive role. The lifting of immunities of parliamentarians facing criminal charges, which could lead to the expulsion of People’s Democratic Party (HDP) MPs from parliament, alongside an increase in civilian casualties from Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) attacks in the south east, make the return to negotiations between the Kurdish movement and Turkey’s political leadership even more remote.

    In Yemen, repeated ceasefire violations by Huthi/Saleh forces and government troops backed by the Saudi-led coalition, and the coalition’s dangerous military build-up east of the capital, threatened the peace talks in Kuwait. Yet, slow progress aside, the UN-backed talks remain the best chance to end major combat and restart a meaningful political process.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    Global Overview – Trends and Outlook

    While an upsurge of crises continued to test the international order, amid growing mass displacement and the spread of transnational terrorism, the UK's divisive vote on 23 June in favour of leaving the European Union brought a new dimension to global political and economic uncertainty. Jean-Marie Guéhenno, President & CEO of the International Crisis Group, said: “the Brexit crisis increases the risk of an inward-looking EU consumed with sorting out its own problems at a time when the world needs a Europe that is globally engaged".

    The month saw security deteriorate in several countries in Africa. In South Sudan fighting escalated and the peace deal threatened to unravel, while Boko Haram increased deadly attacks in Niger. Insecurity also rose in Nigeria’s Niger Delta where militants fighting for a greater share of the region’s oil revenues stepped up attacks on oil and gas facilities, and communal and criminal violence spiked in the Central African Republic. In Turkey, a terrorist attack believed to be the work of Islamic State killed more than 40 people on 28 June. In a significant step forward, Colombia’s government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed agreements bringing the 52-year armed conflict closer to an end.

    In South Sudan, fighting erupted in several places and conflict parties failed to make progress in implementing the peace deal signed in August 2015, instead appearing to prepare for a return to war. Forces allied to the former rebels, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition led by Vice President Riek Machar, launched attacks mid-month to demand places in the planned army integration or disarmament processes. Crisis Group has called on the peace guarantors to act urgently, ahead of the African Union summit on 10-18 July, to salvage the agreement and prevent the country from returning to full-scale war.

    Meanwhile, in West Africa, armed violence in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta worsened and threatened to spread, while Boko Haram insurgents in the north east continued to attack security forces and civilians. These crises, alongside the killing of about 59 people by Fulani herdsmen on 18-19 June, painted a picture of deepening insecurity across the country. As Crisis Group argued in a new report “The Challenge of Military Reform”, if the government is to defend its citizens it needs to take action including an overhaul of the defence sector, drastically improving leadership, oversight and administration.

    Niger also suffered deadly attacks by Boko Haram in south-eastern Diffa region on the border with Nigeria. On 3 June insurgents overran Bosso town on Lake Chad, killing 26 soldiers. Similar attacks were reported on 9 and 16 June against an army-held town and barracks. In the Central African Republic, violence spiked in several parts of the country in the first major deterioration in security since a newly elected government took office in April. In the capital, Bangui, clashes between Muslims and Christians on 11 June left four dead, and fighting hit the north west.

    In Turkey a gun and suicide bomb attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on 28 June killed 44 people and injured over 200. The government said it believed Islamic State (IS) was responsible, with official sources reporting that the three attackers were from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia’s North Caucasus. The attack comes as the government continued its clampdown against domestic IS networks and stepped up measures to prevent IS rocket attacks from Syria and seal off a 70km stretch of the border. Meanwhile clashes between the Kurdish PKK insurgency and Turkey’s security forces continued in the south east, with fighting increasingly moving from urban to rural areas.

    On a positive note, the Colombian government and FARC signed agreements on the “end of conflict” on 23 June, providing the strongest assurance yet that the 52-year conflict is finally coming to a close. The agreements spell out how the ceasefire and cessation of hostilities will work, as well as how FARC guerillas will put down their arms and transition to civilian life. The parties also agreed on how to hold a referendum to approve the final peace deal. Crisis Group commended the work of both delegations and those involved in the negotiations, and applauded the inclusion of victims in the talks.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    CrisisWatch is a monthly early warning bulletin designed to provide a regular update on the state of the most significant situations of conflict around the world.

    Global Overview, August 2016

    The month saw Yemen’s peace talks collapse with violence there intensifying, and the Syrian conflict escalate following Ankara’s launch of a cross-border ground offensive against Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish forces, days after a major terror attack in Turkey’s south east. Troop deployments in Western Sahara threatened to bring about clashes, and violence flared in the Central African Republic. In Ethiopia and Zimbabwe, security forces brutally suppressed anti-government protests, while in Gabon, the president’s disputed re-election triggered violent clashes. In Asia, a suicide bombing killed over 70 people in Pakistan, while suspected militants in Thailand’s southern insurgency launched attacks on targets outside the traditional conflict zone. In positive news, peace talks between the Philippines government and communist rebel groups resumed after a four-year hiatus. On 24 August, Colombia and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) declared that they had reached a final peace accord, paving the way for an end to 52 years of armed conflict.


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    Source: Human Rights Watch
    Country: Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America, World, Yemen

    At Global Refugee Summits, Commit to Resettlement and Aid

    (New York, September 13, 2016) – The massive refugee crisis demands an unprecedented global response, Human Rights Watch said today. At two summits on September 19 and 20, 2016, at the United Nations, world leaders should take bold steps to share responsibility for millions of people displaced by violence, repression, and persecution.

    Leaders will gather in New York to discuss providing greater support to countries where refugees first land, just as many of those countries are at breaking point. There is a grave risk to the bedrock foundation of refugee protection, the principle of nonrefoulement – not forcibly returning refugees to places where they would face persecution and other serious threats. People are fleeing violence in Afghanistan, Burma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Honduras, Iraq, Somalia, and Syria, among others.

    “Millions of lives hang in the balance,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “This is not just about more money or greater resettlement numbers, but also about shoring up the legal principles for protecting refugees, which are under threat as never before.”

    This year, Human Rights Watch has documented Turkish border guards shooting and pushing back civilians who appear to be seeking asylum; Jordan refusing entry or assistance to Syrian asylum seekersat its border; Kenya declaring that it will close the world’s largest refugee camp in November and pushing Somalis to return home despite potential danger; and Pakistan and Iran harassing and deregistering Afghan refugees and coercing them to return to a country in conflict.

    The UN General Assembly has convened the September 19 summit “with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach” to refugees. The final statement, already drafted, is a missed opportunity to widen the scope of protection and limits expectations for concrete, new commitments. However, it affirms refugee rights and calls for more equitable responsibility sharing. Given the scale of the refugee crisis and populist backlash in many parts of the world, this affirmation should be the basis for collective action, Human Rights Watch said.

    On September 20, US President Barack Obama will host a “Leader’s Summit” to increase commitments for aid, refugee admissions, and opportunities for work and education for refugees. Governments are expected to make concrete pledges toward goals of doubling the number of resettlement places and other admissions, increasing aid by 30 percent, getting 1 million more refugee children in school, and granting 1 million more adult refugees the right to work. Though the participants have not been announced, 30 to 35 countries are expected to attend. Canada, Ethiopia, Germany, Sweden, and Jordan will join the United States as co-facilitators.

    Boost Humanitarian Aid to Countries of First Arrival
    The vast majority of the world’s 21.3 million refugees are in the global south, where they often face further harm, discrimination, and neglect. Human Rights Watch called on countries of first arrival likeTurkeyLebanonJordanThailandKenyaIran, and Pakistan, to commit to proposals to provide refugees with better access to work and education.

    The world’s richest nations have largely failed to help countries on the front lines of the displacement crisis. As of September 9, UN aid appeals were 39 percent funded, with some of the worst-funded in Africa; the appeal for refugees from South Sudan stands at 19 percent. The regional refugee response plans for Yemen and Syria are funded at 22 and 49 percent.

    Increase Numbers Resettled in Other Countries
    Resettlement from countries of first arrival is a key way to help refugees rebuild their lives and to relieve host countries, but international solidarity is glaringly absent. In 2015, the UN refugee agency facilitated resettlement of 81,000 of a projected 960,000 refugees globally in need of resettlement. The agency estimated that over 1.1 million refugees would need resettlement in 2016, but projected that countries would only offer 170,000 places. Representatives of 92 countries pledged only a slight increase in resettlement places for Syrian refugees at a high-level UN meeting in March.

    In the European Union, the arrival by boat in 2015 of more than 1 million asylum seekers and migrants – and more than 3,700 deaths at sea – laid bare the need for safe and legal channels for refugees to move, such as resettlement.  However, many EU countries, includingAustriaBulgaria, and Hungary, are focused primarily on preventing spontaneous arrivals, outsourcing responsibility, and rolling back refugee rights.

    A July 2015 European plan to resettle 22,500 refugees from other regions over two years has resettled only 8,268 refugees, according to figures from July 2016. Most EU countries underperformed, and 10 failed to resettle a single person under the plan.

    End Abusive Systems, Flawed Deals
    The EU struck a deal with Turkey in March to allow the return to Turkey of almost all asylum seekers on the deeply flawed grounds that Turkey is a safe country for asylum; it is on the verge of falling apart. Australia forcibly transfers all asylum seekers who arrive by boat to offshore processing centers, where they face abuse, inhumane treatment, and neglect.

    The EU and Australia should renounce these abusive policies. EU countries should swiftly adopt a proposed permanent resettlement framework with more ambitious goals and a clear commitment to meet them, Human Rights Watch said. They should share fairly the responsibility for asylum seekers arriving spontaneously, and help alleviate the pressure on Greece and Italy.

    Governments also undermine asylum with closed camps, as in Kenyaand Thailand, and by detaining asylum seekers, as do Australia,GreeceItalyMexico, and the United States.

    While by many measures the US leads in refugee resettlement and response to UN humanitarian aid appeals, it has been particularly slow and ungenerous in admitting Syrian refugees. And it has had notable blind spots, as with its border policies for Central American children and others fleeing gang violence and its use of Mexico as a buffer to keep them from reaching the US border.

    The Obama Administration met its goal of admitting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year in the face of opposition from more than half of US governors and a lack of resettlement funds from Congress, but the US has the capacity to resettle many times that number. It should commit to meeting the Leaders’ Summit goals, which would mean doubling this year’s 85,000 total refugee admissions to 170,000.

    Several other countries with capacity to admit far more refugees, including Brazil, Japan, and South Korea, have fallen woefully short. Japan admitted 19 refugees in 2015, South Korea only 42 aside from North Koreans, and Brazil only 6.

    Russia resettles no refugees. The Gulf States do not respond to UN resettlement appeals, though Saudi Arabia says it has suspended deportations of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who overstay visitor visas. Most Gulf states, except Kuwait, have also fallen short in their response to Syrian-refugee-related UN appeals to fund refugee needs, according to an Oxfam analysis.

    “Every country has a moral responsibility to ensure the rights and dignity of people forced to flee their homes,” Roth said. “When more than 20 million people are counting on a real international effort to address their plight, lofty pronouncements are not enough.”

    For more Human Rights Watch reporting on refugee rights, please visit:

    https://www.hrw.org/topic/refugee-rights


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    Source: Government of Australia
    Country: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Eritrea, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam

    Executive summary

    Background to the project The aim of this paper is to start a conversation about how we can answer the question: What is a rights-based alternative to the current model of third country processing in Nauru and Papua New Guinea?

    The Commission has endeavoured to identify options for responding to flight by sea which are consistent with Australia’s international human rights obligations.

    In publishing this paper, the Commission is seeking to make a positive contribution to this difficult policy area. We have sought to provide the framework for an alternative policy response, rather than an exhaustive overview of all relevant measures or a detailed plan for implementation. The policy options set out in this paper are offered so that they can be debated, refined and, if they are deemed fit for purpose, implemented.

    The Commission also acknowledges that the options put forward in this report could benefit from further policy development and economic analysis prior to implementation. Careful analysis will need to be undertaken of the likely flow-on effects of expanding the opportunities for safe entry in Australia and altering some of the Government’s foreign policy strategies in the ways that are set out in this paper. Further research, consultation and planning would also be required to tailor these measures to conditions in different countries, and to the needs of particular groups.

    This paper sets out some alternative policy approaches that aim to protect human rights while also achieving the overall policy objective of preventing dangerous journeys by sea. The Commission is confident that the options proposed in this paper are compliant with Australia’s international human rights law obligations.

    This paper does not specifically address the human rights issues arising from other policy measures aimed at deterring flight by sea, such as boat turnbacks and Temporary Protection Visas. However, the Commission considers that the rights-based options proposed in this paper could also be considered as alternatives to these policies.

    This paper also does not address the situation of the approximately 30,000 people seeking asylum who are currently in Australia awaiting processing of their claims. The human rights implications of policies affecting these asylum seekers have been considered in other Commission publications.4 Methodology In March 2016, the Commission conducted a series of consultations to discuss alternative policy responses to flight by sea.

    Consultation participants were selected on the basis of their expertise in the areas of refugee policy, human rights, international law and protection issues in the Asia–Pacific region. The feedback gathered through the consultations was supplemented through desktop research undertaken between February and June 2016.

    In conducting this research and analysis, the Commission adopted a human rights-based approach to policy development.

    A human rights-based approach sees strengthening the enjoyment of human rights as both a means and an end. Policies and programs which are based on this approach should further the realisation of human rights, and their planning and implementation should be guided by international human rights standards.5 Summary of findings The key driver of flight by sea towards Australia is the lack of effective protection for refugees and people seeking asylum in the Asia–Pacific region. As such, improving access to effective protection represents the most effective and sustainable means of preventing flight by sea. This is something that can only be achieved through cooperation and partnership with our regional neighbours.

    Two core principles emerged from the research and consultation process which have guided the Commission in identifying alternative options:

    • The top priority of an alternative response should be enhancing protection for people fleeing persecution, in accordance with our international human rights obligations.

    • The focus of Australia’s policy response should shift from deterrence to prevention. Rather than seeking simply to discourage asylum seekers from embarking on dangerous journeys, an alternative response should aim to address the human rights violations which compel people to undertake these journeys in the first place.

    While Australia is well-placed to support efforts to improve access to protection, there are two key obstacles which currently hamper these efforts:

    • There are few effective mechanisms for cooperation on refugee protection issues amongst states in the Asia– Pacific region, which hampers the region’s capacity to respond effectively to the needs of forcibly displaced people (including by ensuring appropriate settlement options across the region)

    • There are limited opportunities for safe entry for people wishing to seek protection in Australia.
      Based on the information and evidence gathered through the research and consultation process, the Commission has identified two thematic areas (each encompassing a number of specific options) which are designed to overcome these obstacles and which together comprise an alternative, human rights-based policy response to flight by sea:

    • Expand opportunities for safe entry to Australia • Enhance foreign policy strategies on migration in the Asia–Pacific region.

    The options put forward in this paper aim directly to address the key driver of flight by sea through creating and enhancing pathways to protection. They seek to achieve this by facilitating access to safe migration options, improving protection for refugees and people seeking asylum who are living in the region, and building towards more effective regional responses to refugee protection issues.
    They respond to the human rights violations experienced by refugees and people seeking asylum during flight and in the context of displacement. They are also consistent with the Refugee Convention in that they avoid imposing penalties on the basis of a person’s mode of arrival or lack of documentation.

    An overview of the various options identified by the Commission is contained in the table commencing on the next page.


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    Source: Human Rights Watch
    Country: Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, United States of America, World, Yemen

    Les pays participant aux deux sommets sur les réfugiés devraient s’engager à renforcer leurs offres de réinstallation et d’aide

    (New York, le 13 septembre 2016) – La crise massive des réfugiés exige une réponse globale sans précédent, a déclaré aujourd’hui Human Rights Watch. Lors de deux sommets prévus les 19 et 20 septembre 2016, au siège des Nations Unies, les dirigeants du monde entier devraient prendre des mesures audacieuses pour se répartir la responsabilité d’accueillir les millions de personnes déplacées par la violence, la répression et la persécution.

    Les chefs d’État et de gouvernement se réuniront à New York pour discuter des moyens de fournir un soutien accru aux pays où les réfugiés affluent dans un premier temps, dont la capacité d’accueil est proche du point de rupture dans de nombreux cas. Une menace grave pèse aujourd’hui sur le principe fondamental de protection des réfugiés, le non-refoulement, qui consiste à ne pas renvoyer sous la contrainte des réfugiés vers des pays où leurs vies seraient en danger, comme l’Afghanistan, la Birmanie, la République démocratique du Congo, l’Érythrée, le Honduras, l’Irak, la Somalie et la Syrie, entre autres.

    « Des millions de vies sont en jeu», a prévenu Kenneth Roth, le directeur exécutif de Human Rights Watch._« Il ne s’agit plus simplement d’accroitre les financements ou le nombre de lieux de réinstallation, mais aussi de consolider les principes juridiques sous-tendant la protection des réfugiés, menacés comme jamais auparavant »_.

    Cette année, Human Rights Watch a documenté plusieurs incidents au cours desquels des gardes-frontières turcs ont ouvert le feu ou exercé des violences contre des civils qui étaient manifestement des demandeurs d'asile, et la Jordanie a refusé l'entrée sur son territoire ou la fourniture d’une aide à des demandeurs d'asile syriens regroupés à la frontière. En outre, le Kenya a annoncé la fermeture en novembre 2016 du plus vaste camp de réfugiés du monde, qui se traduira par le retour forcé de centaines de milliers de Somaliens dans leur pays d’origine en dépit des dangers potentiels; tandis lePakistan et l'Iran harcèlent et mettent fin au statut de réfugiés afghans, les contraignant à rentrer dans un pays en conflit.

    L'Assemblée générale de l'ONU accueillera le 19 septembre une réunion de haut niveau _« avec pour objectif de fédérer les pays autour d’une approche plus humaine et mieux coordonnée »_ du sort des réfugiés. Le projet de déclaration finale, déjà rédigé, représente toutefois une occasion manquée d'élargir la portée de la protection de ces populations et déçoit les attentes vis-à-vis d’engagements renouvelés et concrets. Toutefois, ce document consacre les droits des réfugiés et appelle à un partage plus équitable des responsabilités. Compte tenu de l'ampleur de la crise des réfugiés et des réactions populistes qu’elle suscite dans de nombreuses régions du monde, cette affirmation doit s’inscrire au fondement de l'action collective, selon Human Rights Watch.

    Le 20 septembre, le président américain Barack Obama accueillera un « Sommet des dirigeants » visant à renforcer les engagements pris en matière d'aide, d’accueil des réfugiés, d’opportunités professionnelles et d’éducation en faveur des réfugiés. Les gouvernements devraient se mobiliser pour réaliser ces objectifs et doubler le nombre de réinstallations et autres formes d’accueil, augmenter leurs contributions financières de 30%, scolariser un million d'enfants réfugiés supplémentaires et reconnaître à un million d’adultes le droit de travailler. Bien que les participants n’aient pas encore été annoncés, entre 30 et 35 pays sont attendus lors de cet événement. Le Canada, l’Éthiopie, l'Allemagne, la Suède et la Jordanie se joindront aux États-Unis en tant que « cofacilitateurs » (« _co-facilitators_ ») de ce sommet.

    Contribuer à la capacité des premiers pays d’accueil à fournir une aide humanitaire

    La grande majorité des 21,3 millions de réfugiés que compte le monde se trouvent dans des pays du Sud, où ils sont souvent exposés à de nouveaux dangers, à des discriminations et à des négligences. Human Rights Watch a appelé des pays « de première arrivée » comme la Turquie, le Liban, la Jordanie, la Thaïlande, le Kenya, l'Iran et le Pakistan à faire des propositions pour élargir l’accès des réfugiés au marché du travail et à l'éducation.

    Les nations les plus riches du monde ont largement échoué à aider les pays aux avants-postes de la crise des déplacements. Au 9 septembre dernier, les appels humanitaires lancés par les Nations Unies étaient sous-financés à hauteur de 39%. Certains des moins financés se trouvant en Afrique, l'appel en faveur des réfugiés du Soudan du Sud se situe à 19%. Quant aux plans régionaux d'intervention en faveur des réfugiés au Yémen et en Syrie, ils ne sont financés qu’à hauteur de 22% et 49%, respectivement.

    Augmenter le nombre de réinstallations dans des pays tiers

    Alors que la réinstallation dans des pays tiers est déterminante pour aider les réfugiés à refaire leurs vies et soulager les pays de « première arrivée », la solidarité internationale se fait douloureusement attendre. En 2015, le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux réfugiés (HCR) a facilité la réinstallation de 81 000 personnes éligibles, sur un total estimé à 960 000 dans le monde. L'agenceestime que plus de 1,1 million de réfugiés auraient besoin d’être réinstallés en 2016, pour 170 000 places offertes vraisemblablement. Lors d’une réunion de l'ONU en mars dernier, les représentants de 92 pays se sont tout juste engagés à augmenter légèrement le nombre de réinstallations de réfugiés syriens.

    Dans l'Union européenne (UE), l'arrivée par voie maritime en 2015 de plus d’un million de demandeurs d'asile et de migrants – sans compter le décès de 3 700 d’entre eux au cours de la traversée – a mis en lumière l’urgente nécessité de voies légales sûres pour permettre aux réfugiés de se déplacer, notamment la réinstallation. Cependant, de nombreux pays de l'UE, dont l'Autriche, la Bulgarie et laHongrie, font principalement porter leurs efforts sur la prévention des arrivées spontanées, l'externalisation des responsabilités et la limitation des droits des réfugiés.

    Adopté en juillet 2015, un plan européen prévoyant la réinstallation sur deux ans de 22 500 réfugiés en provenance d'autres régions n’a permis, un an plus tard, de réinstaller que 8 268 d’entre eux. La plupart des pays de l'Union n’ont pas rempli leurs engagements, dont 10 qui n’ont pas réinstallé un seul réfugié au titre de ce plan.

    Mettre fin aux systèmes abusifs et aux accords inéquitables

    En mars dernier, l'UE a conclu un accord avec la Turquie pour y faciliter le retour de presque tous les demandeurs d'asile au motif largement contestable que ce pays serait sûr pour eux : cet accord est aujourd’hui sur le point de s’effondrer. L’Australie transfère de force tous les demandeurs d'asile arrivant par voie maritime vers des centres d’enregistrement situés au large de ses côtes, où ils sont victimes d'abus, de traitements inhumains et de négligences.

    L'UE et l'Australie devraient renoncer à ces politiques abusives. Les États membres de l'UE devraient très prochainement se doter d’un cadre commun permanent de réinstallation assorti d’objectifs plus ambitieux et d’un engagement clair à les réaliser, a noté Human Rights Watch. Ils devraient partager équitablement la responsabilité d’accueillir les demandeurs d'asile qui arrivent spontanément en Grèce et en Italie.

    Les gouvernements remettent aussi en cause le droit d’asile avec la fermeture de camps comme auKenya et en Thaïlande, et la mise en détention de demandeurs d'asile en Australie, en Grèce, en Italie, au Mexique et aux États-Unis, entre autres.

    Alors qu’à bien des égards, les États-Unis assurent un leadership en matière de réinstallation des réfugiés et de réponse aux appels humanitaires des Nations Unies, ce pays s’est montré particulièrement lent et réticent à accueillir des réfugiés syriens. Sans compter ses politiques de fermeture des frontières pour les enfants et autres individus en provenance d'Amérique centrale qui fuient la violence des gangs et l’utilisation que fait du Mexique Washington comme « tampon » pour empêcher ces populations d'atteindre la frontière américaine.

    Si l'administration Obama a atteint, pour l’année budgétaire en cours, son objectif d’accueillir 10 000 réfugiés syriens en dépit de l’opposition de plus de la moitié des gouverneurs américains et d’un manque de fonds autorisés par le Congrès, les États-Unis ont la capacité de réinstaller un nombre bien supérieur de réfugiés. Elle devrait s’engager cette année à réaliser les objectifs fixés par le Sommet des dirigeants, c’est-à-dire doubler le chiffre de 85 000 réinstallations pour le porter à 170 000.

    Plusieurs autres pays ont la capacité d’accueillir beaucoup plus de réfugiés qu’ils ne le font, comme leBrésil, le Japon et la Corée du Sud, qui sont en très en deçà des attentes placées en eux. Le Japon a accueilli 19 réfugiés en 2015, la Corée du Sud seulement 42 en dehors de ressortissants nord-coréens et le Brésil à peine 6.

    La Russie ne réinstalle pas de réfugiés. Les États du Golfe ne répondent pas aux appels de réinstallation adressés par les Nations Unies, bien que l'Arabie saoudite affirme avoir suspendu les déportations de centaines de milliers de Syriens qui outrepassent la durée de séjour prévus par leurs visas. La plupart des États du Golfe, à l'exception du Koweït, ont également échoué à répondre aux appels humanitaires lancés par l’ONU en faveur des réfugiés syriens pour répondre aux besoins de ces populations, selon une analyse d’Oxfam.

    « Chaque pays a la responsabilité morale de garantir les droits et la dignité des personnes contraintes de fuir leurs foyers », a affirmé Kenneth Roth. _« Lorsque plus de 20 millions de personnes comptent sur un véritable effort de la communauté internationale pour atténuer leurs souffrances, les belles paroles sont insuffisantes. »_


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Global Overview OCTOBER 2016

    October saw Venezuela’s tense political standoff at new heights amid economic stress and popular unrest, and Haiti’s weak political and security equilibrium struck by a major natural disaster and humanitarian crisis. In Africa, violence worsened in the Central African Republic (CAR), north-eastern Kenya, Mozambique and western Niger, while in Ethiopia the government hardened its response to continued protests. In Myanmar, unprecedented attacks on police in the north triggered deadly clashes and displacement threatening to exacerbate intercommunal tensions across the country, while Russia’s North Caucasus saw an increase in conflict-related casualties, detentions and counter-terrorism operations. In the Middle East, the election of Michel Aoun as president of Lebanon signals a long-awaited breakthrough ending two years of political deadlock.


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

    Global Overview NOVEMBER 2016

    November saw violence escalate again in Syria, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Cameroon. Attacks by pro-regime forces on rebel strongholds in Syria resumed, causing significant civilian casualties. In Myanmar’s Rakhine state intensifying violence displaced tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, while a major attack by armed groups near the Chinese border threatened to undermine the country’s fragile ethnic peace process. In DRC, violence rose in the east and the regime continued to repress dissent, underscoring the risk that renewed protests, likely in December when President Kabila’s second term officially ends, could turn violent. In Cameroon, Boko Haram stepped up its attacks in the Far North and minority English-speakers clashed with security forces in the North West region. The victory of Donald Trump in the U.S. presidential election on 8 November created uncertainty about possible shifts in future U.S. foreign policy priorities and positions, including on a number of conflicts and prominent geostrategic arenas – among them the future of the historic multilateral nuclear accord with Iran.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Estonia, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Micronesia (Federated States of), Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara, World

    The map below shows asylum applications by under age 18 year olds and gender. Darker colours mean more people have applied in a certain country. Use the slider to select a year or the drop down menus below to display data for different age groups or different home countries.


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    Source: Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network
    Country: China - Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region), India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Thailand, World

    1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

    This document, “Positive Practices in Refugee Protection in the Asia Pacific Region”, is a research project conducted by the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN), and generously funded by its member organisation Act for Peace. As a network organisation spanning 26 countries across the Asia Pacific region and working on a range of thematic issues, APRRN’s members have been involved in and been the impetus for numerous positive practices in refugee protection. These positive practices represent some of the ways in which civil society has been able to provide better support to refugee communities and engage the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and governments. “Positive Practices in Refugee Protection in the Asia Pacific Region” comprises seventeen case studies highlighting positive achievements and actions towards increased refugee protection across the Asia Pacific region. APRRN’s Vision for Regional Protection1 provides the conceptual paradigm for the research. The Vision was drafted after extensive consultation with APRRN members and other stakeholders and is a broad high-level statement that sets out what APRRN thinks is achievable in the region within the next 10-20 years. The Vision is accompanied by a Plan of Action, as well as the Research Consultation Strategy (RCS) to structure and guide research, consultation and analysis.
    In combination, these three documents form APRRN’s Vision and Framework for Regional Protection (AVFRP). The positive practices from this research are grouped under the Visions’s six thematic areas, namely:

    a. freedom from violence, coercion, deprivation, exploitation and abuse;

    b. access to essential services and livelihoods;

    c. legal protection;

    d. access to durable solutions;

    e. the highest possible level of self-sufficiency;

    f. partnerships for a supportive operating environment.

    This research attempts to identify positive practices in each of these six areas. APRRN consistently champions the notion that there is a wealth of positive practices, often led by small organisations at the national level. However, many of these positive practices are yet to be documented and compiled in a manner useful for advocacy. Thus, the objective of this project was to map positive practices in the region as they relate to the protection of refugee rights. These practices provide evidence of positive impacts that may be valuable for replication, scaling up and further study. By analysing positive practices ‘step-by-step’, strategies and tactics can be identified that can be applied in other countries or contexts.

    Whilst several case studies are ‘qualified’ successes, they can still be seen as useful learning opportunities and, where identified shortcomings can be addressed, as potential foundations for replication in other contexts. These positive practices can also be used as strong advocacy tools by civil society, in highlighting to governments in the region how refugees’ rights can be positively strengthened.

    Research findings show that collaboration between different stakeholders such as governments, UN agencies, civil society and others, is crucial to advance refugee protection at the national and regional level. Tripartite models have shown to be successful by strengthening dialogue, acknowledging strengths and consensus building. Possible ways to enhance this collaboration include: the establishment of task forces and working groups, as well as holding roundtables on specific issues. As observed in the establishment of an Alternatives to Detention pilot project in Japan and legal representation in India, establishing pilot projects and identifying test cases can also be a useful tool when working with governments or UN agencies.

    These approaches are targeted at building trust and confidence amongst stakeholders with the expectation that programmes can be scaled up in the future. Furthermore, including more ‘neutral’ stakeholders such as academia and National Human Rights Commissions may present a key strategy in bringing stakeholders together towards achieving a common goal.

    Effective national level advocacy is a result of consistent, persistent and long-term engagement with decision and policy makers. This requires a great amount of patience from civil society and is often the result of cumulative efforts by multiple actors. This is borne out in many of the examples in this report. Changes have not occurred over just a few months but rather over several years of continuous engagement. The key challenge across the region is the lack of political will, and as such, this needs to be targeted effectively. National sensitisation trainings for government officials held in some countries have shown to be essential in building awareness and strengthening support for the refugee rights movement. For example, in Korea it was clearly shown that by identifying individual supporters with significant political influence, they might eventually become advocates and champions for refugee rights. Often however it is also about waiting for the right political opportunity to make issues heard more widely and push for change. Building the general publics’ awareness is also key to advancing refugee rights – only when citizens are convinced that refugee rights are of concern, then will politicians be encouraged to take action. Here, the strategic use of media can play a key role, as well as creative lobbying and campaign techniques.

    This research also focused on national civil society networks and consortia in Nepal, Indonesia, Thailand and Pakistan as promising models for national level collaboration.

    The formation of these networks highlights how creating strong unified national voices can be a robust tool for constructive engagement with governments, and enabling the effective sharing of information and resources at the national level.

    When working and advocating with UNHCR, the research findings highlighted that a collaborative approach is generally more useful than confrontational engagement. Civil society should position itself as a partner that can help address problems through collaboration. Test cases and pilot programmes to build partnership and trust are a strong tactic in this regard. UNHCR can also foster this collaboration by engaging civil society actors as equal partners.

    Finally, consultation with refugee communities should be considered a key component that contributed to the success of many case studies researched. Refugee voices and perspectives ought always to be sought and reflected throughout advocacy and programmatic activities, including planning and implementation. Most importantly, the dignity and agency of refugees is central and civil society must provide spaces for engagement and enable refugees to play more active roles. Such an approach will provide a greater likelihood that collaborative solutions can be achieved to strengthen refugee protection in the region.


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    Source: International Organization for Migration
    Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

    The Government of Japan has allocated USD 34.3 million to support IOM’s operations to assist vulnerable migrants including displaced persons, refugees, returnees and affected communities around the world in 2017.

    The funding will also contribute to increasing the capacity of various governments in humanitarian border management to cope with displacement resulting from conflicts and to enhance security.

    Over half of the amount (USD18.1 million) has been allocated towards IOM programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Somalia and South Sudan.

    A significant amount of the money will be used to improve border management capacity of governments in Western Africa, including Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania and Niger.

    IOM offices in Middle East and North Africa, including Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Turkey and Yemen, have also received significant funding for the regional response to the Syrian crisis and assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq, Libya and Yemen.

    In Afghanistan, the funding will be used to provide vulnerable Afghan returnees from Iran with life-saving, post-arrival humanitarian assistance and to build local capacities in the country through the return of skilled nationals from Iran.

    In Ukraine, the funding will help IOM to rehabilitate social infrastructure and enhance social cohesion in selected communities in the conflict-affected Donbas region.

    The Japanese government in the past has supported IOM’s humanitarian and recovery activities, including the delivery of immediate live saving relief, community stabilization and early recovery activities, as well as emergency return and reintegration assistance for migrants caught up in crises.

    For further information, please contact Yuko Goto at IOM Tokyo, Tel: + 81 3 3595 0108, Email: iomtokyo@iom.int


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    Source: Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    Country: Afghanistan, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Japan

    Tehran, August 6, IRNA - The people of Japan has contributed 2,983,722 million dollars to UNHCR-Iran within the framework of the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR), a regional, multi-year strategy, supporting voluntary repatriation, sustainable reintegration and assistance to host countries. Japan donates $2.9 million to Afghan refugees in Iran

    This donation will directly impact UNHCR and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s efforts to ensure that refugees have the education and skills, and are in good health, in order to earn a living upon their voluntary repatriation to Afghanistan, while also enabling them to contribute to society during their stay in Iran, according to a UNHCR-Tehran press release.

    In education, the Japanese funding will assist UNHCR in continuing its support to the Government in the construction of schools in provinces with a high number of refugee students to ensure greater access to quality primary education.

    The generosity of the People of Japan will also support technical and vocational training programmes the UNHCR conducts with the Technical and Vocational Training Organization and the World Relief Foundation to enhance self-reliance and livelihood opportunities for refugees. This will empower them with the necessary knowledge to provide a source of income for their families in Iran and upon return to Afghanistan.

    The contribution will complement the Ministry of Health’s primary health care services to refugees including vaccinations, antenatal care, maternal and child health, and family planning. Also in collaboration with State Welfare Organization, UNHCR assists refugees in receiving timely treatment and rehabilitation assistance in settlements and urban areas.

    “We are glad to be able to continue to support the activities of UNHCR Iran in the areas of voluntary repatriation, livelihoods, education and health care. We hope our contribution will help enhance the human security of Afghan refugees in Iran,” said the Japanese Ambassador to Iran, Koji Haneda. UNHCR’s Representative in Iran, Sivanka Dhanapala, added that, “We greatly appreciate the humanitarian commitment of the People of Japan in supporting and protecting Afghan refugees in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is important that in spite of escalating crises in other parts of the world and the global economic turmoil, that Japan stands committed to supporting solutions for Afghan refugees.”

    For more than 30 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has hosted and supported one of the largest urban refugee populations in the world, and presently hosts almost a million Afghan refugees who left their home due to generalized violence and war.

    **1377


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    Source: International Crisis Group
    Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, China - Taiwan Province, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

    December 2015 – Trends

    - Deteriorated situations

    Afghanistan, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Niger

    - Improved situations

    January 2016 – Watchlist

    - Conflict risk alerts

    Burundi

    - Conflict resolution opportunities

    Libya


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