Tag Archives: United Nations

Syrian Refugees Begin Relocation

The United Nations announced on Tuesday that over 100 Syrian refugees are being relocated to Germany, in the first step of a plan to move 12,000 Syrians this year.

 (Photo courtesy of World Bulletin)

More than 100 Syrians will be the first of 5,000 Syrians to be relocated to Germany by the end of this year in what the U.N. is deeming a temporary humanitarian admissions program.

This first wave of refugees includes “women and girls at risk, people with serious medical conditions, survivors of torture or others with special needs.”

Neighboring countries such as Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon have taken in most of the Syrian refugees so far, as 2 million Syrians have fled.

The U.N. has managed to find homes for 7,000 refugees in twelve western countries in the current plan, despite the goal of reaching 12,000. Other countries that have agreed to accept Syrian refugees include Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Germany’s relocation plan is the largest. The country has announced that it will extend two-year residence permits which allow the Syrian refugees to work, and the permits could potentially be lengthened if the Syrian conflict remains unsettled.

Via Impunity Watch.

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2 Million Refugees Have Fled Syria

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version ...

Logo of United Nations Refugee Agency.Version made by user Kashmiri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The number of Syrian refugees has passed two million. One year ago, the number of Syrian’s registered as refugees or awaiting registration stood at 230,671 people.

Syria has become the great tragedy of this century – a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history,” said António Guterres, the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees. “The only solace is the humanity shown by the neighbouring countries in welcoming and saving the lives of so many refugees.”

More than 97% of Syria’s refugees are hosted by countries in the immediate surrounding region, placing a burden on their infrastructures and economies.

With an average of almost 5,000 Syrians fleeing into neighboring countries every day, the need to increase humanitarian aid and development support to host communities is critical. In view of the pressure the refugee exodus is placing on surrounding countries, ministers from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey will meet with UNHCR in Geneva on Wednesday in a bid to accelerate international support.

A further 4.25 million people are displaced inside Syria. Taken together, these numbers mean that more Syrians are now displaced than is the case with any other country.

Via UNHCR.

 

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Cambodian Staff Threatens Strike at Khmer Rouge Tribunals

Judge CHUNG Chang-ho from Republic of Korea wa...

Judge CHUNG Chang-ho from Republic of Korea was sworn in as a judge in the Pre-Trial Chamber in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia on 1 August 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Cambodian staff at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia have renewed threats to strike amid a deepening funding crisis. The ECCC is prosecuting crimes committed during the 1970s Khmer Rouge regime, which left a quarter of the Cambodian population dead.

About 250 staff members have not been paid since June at the United Nations-based court. One hundred of them plan to strike beginning 1 September.

The European Union pledged $4 million this week, but that money will only go to pay the salaries of the international staff members at the ECCC.

The Court is beset by interference from the Cambodian government, which does not want the prosecutions to continue. So far, the Court has handed down one conviction, that of the former prison chief called Duch, who was jailed for life for the deaths of more than 14,000 people.

Via Reuters

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U.N. Approves 300 Monitors for Syria

The United Nations Security Council Chamber in...

The United Nations Security Council Chamber in New York (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a measure Saturday that allows for an observer mission in Syria to be expanded to 300 unarmed military monitors across the country.

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Mass Grave Found in Ivory Coast

The International Criminal Court. Photo by Lindsay.

International Criminal Court (ICC) investigators may have found mass graves in a western Ivory Coast town, where rights groups say fighters loyal to the president killed hundreds of people amid post-election violence last year.

Laurent Gbagbo was sent to the ICC last year for murder, rape, and other crimes committed by his supporters after he refused to cede power to Alassane Ouattara, the winner of a 2010 election.

The United Nations says that at least 3,000 people died during the power struggle, and that both sides committed atrocities.

In July, President Ouattara’s forces murdered forty-seven people on the Cavally River. Most of the people drowned after throwing themselves into the water to escape. Among the victims was a woman in a wheelchair, who was raped before she was murdered. None of Ouattara’s forces has been charged.

Last month, ICC judges expanded an investigation in Ivory Coast to cover atrocities committed in 2002, when an attempted coup ignited a civil war.

Via The Washington Post.

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Court Sides with Immigrants Expelled by Italy

European Court of Human Rights

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The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that it is a violation of human rights for a State to expel migrants intercepted on the high seas.

The case was brought by thirteen Eritrean and eleven Somali migrants rescued at sea in 2009 by the Italian Coastguard and forcibly returned to Libya.

The UN office for Human Rights and the UN Refugee agency said the action by the Italian authorities exposed the migrants to the risk of arbitrary return to countries where they face persecution or serious harm.

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Arab League Proposes Peacekeeping Force in Syria

Administrative divisions in the Arab League

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The Arab League will propose a “peacekeeping joint force” with the United Nations to oversee the aftermath of a proposed cease-fire in Syria.

The proposal was one of many points offered in a statement from the league, which met Sunday to discuss Syria.

Syria has indicated it is not on board with the plan offered by the Arab League. Denying accusations that its forces have killed thousands of civilians in a crackdown on popular unrest, the government has consistently blamed “armed terrorist groups.”

The international political maneuvering comes as reports continue to stream in about the violence in Syria.

U.N. officials estimate 6,000 people have died since protests seeking President Bashar al-Assad‘s ouster began nearly a year ago.

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