Dave Smith
Roundup of Refugee News over Christmas and New Year

Asylum / refugees / immigration (UK)

 AlJazeera: The UK’s newest front-line workers: Afghan fruit sellers

They have fled disaster and conflict in their home country. Now, they find themselves working on the front line of a pandemic – without any protective equipment – in Birmingham.


Guardian: Home Office wrong to stop asylum seekers working in UK, court rules

A trafficked woman who asked a judge for the right to work as a cleaner has won a landmark victory in the high court. The ruling paves the way for tens of thousands who are denied the right to work by the Home Office to have their requests to take up jobs considered.


Guardian: Police told not to share immigration data of domestic abuse victims

Police officers with doubts over the immigration status of domestic abuse victims should not share their data with the Home Office, a ground-breaking investigation has concluded.


Metro: Asylum seekers describe harrowing conditions at barracks housing hundreds of people

Asylum seekers housed in disused Army barracks have described the ‘inhumane’ conditions of their accommodation, which campaigners are fighting to get shut down. Five men in two repurposed camps have detailed harrowing experiences, with one saying he has ‘lost hope in life’ and another describing how people are ‘scared, depressed and traumatised’.



Asylum / refugees / immigration (international)

AlJazeera: 2020: The year a pandemic collided with global refugee crises

When fears about the coronavirus pandemic started to grip the world, aid workers and activists worried for refugees. Crammed into tight spaces with little access to medical care and basic sanitation, how would they be able to create distance between each another, wash their hands regularly, get face masks?


Sky News: Migrant crisis: Record year sees quadruple number of people make 'dangerous' journey to UK on dinghies and kayaks

More than 8,400 migrants and refugees crossed the English Channel to Britain in 2020 - quadruple the number for 2019. Thousands of people successfully made the journey to the UK - but many also drowned in the sea. Men, women and children travelled across the ocean using desperate measures - including dinghies, kayaks and even a paddling pool.


Guardian: World leaders urged to make Covid vaccine available to millions of refugees

Global humanitarian figures and NGOs have urged world leaders to urgently make Covid-19 vaccinations available to millions of refugees and others displaced by war, as the pandemic continues to overwhelm some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.


Guardian: Thousands of refugees in mental health crisis after years on Greek islands

Years of entrapment on Aegean islands has resulted in a mental health crisis for thousands of refugees, with one in three contemplating suicide, a report compiled by psychosocial support experts has revealed.



Guardian: Tributes paid to Ethiopian refugee farmer who championed integration in Italy

Tributes have been paid to a 42-year-old Ethiopian refugee and farmer who became a symbol of integration in Italy, her adopted home. Agitu Ideo Gudeta was attacked and killed, allegedly by a former employee, on her farm in Trentino on Wednesday.

Gudeta had left Addis Ababa in 2010 after angering the authorities by taking part in protests against “land grabbing”. Once in Italy, she tenaciously followed and realised her ambition to move to the mountains and start her own farm, La Capra Felice (The Happy Goat) enterprise.


AlJazeera: Surviving in the ruins of Moria

Khalil Amuri, 28, is rooting around the burned-out metal structures of the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos, pulling out copper cords from wiring boxes, his palms black and scraped from the sharp fragments he collects.


BBC: Covid: France rewards frontline immigrant workers with citizenship

Hundreds of immigrants in France working on the coronavirus frontline have had their service to the country recognised with fast-track citizenship.

More than 700 have already been granted citizenship or are in the final stages of receiving it. They include healthcare professionals, cleaners and shop workers.