Migration News Digest

Week of December 12, 2011

Netanyahu to visit Africa in bid to stem illegal migration to Israel
A short article in Haaretz on the Israeli PM’s announcement  early this week that he would visit Africa in early 2012 to tackle the issue of illegal immigration into Israel.

“We hear the outcry coming from Israel’s cities,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to care for refugees, but they make up a minimal part of the human wave flooding. Entire populations are starting to move and, if we don’t act to stop this, we will be flooded.”

You can also read Netanyahu’s five point plan to deal with ‘Illegal Work Infiltrators’ on the Prime Minister’s website. The plan includes expanding the Saharonim detention facility in the Negev desert, on which Haaretz published a special report some weeks ago. Also, Newsday.com reports on the debate whether the African migrants are bona fide refugees or ‘work infiltrators’:

“Across the world, 88 percent of Eritrean migrants who seek asylum are recognized as refugees,” said Reut Michaeli, an attorney for The Hotline for Migrant Workers. “I find it very difficult to believe that the ones who come to Israel are any different.”

Durban Must Pay Greater Consideration to the Consequences of Climate Change on Migration
In a press release issued last friday, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing urges negotiators at Durban ‘pay greater attention to the consequences of climate change on human mobility’.

“The most serious consequence of climate change and environmental deterioration will most likely be in terms of population displacement,” says Swing.

Related to this: A recent UNEP report titled ‘Livelihood Security: Climate Change, Migration and Conflict in the Sahel’ seeks to chart the impact changes in the climate are already having on people in West Africa. Read more at UN News Centre or download the report from the UNEP.

Dubbed “ground zero” for climate change due to its extreme climatic conditions and highly vulnerable population, the Sahel has faced massive popula- tion growth, pervasive poverty, food insecurity, and chronic instability for decades. With a majority of the population directly dependent on natural resources for its livelihood, the predicted impacts of climate change for resource availability and food security in the region could be dramatic.

Tech Migration: How Refugees Use Mobile Phones to Locate and Communicate With Family
MobileActive.org reports on refugee’s use of technology, summarising two article from the Forced Migration Review.

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