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Category Archives: Refugees

World Day Against Child Labour

Last Sunday 12th June, one of those international days that try to attract wide world interest on essential facts was celebrated. It was especially remarkable, as it was International Day Against Child Labour, a day to remember article 32 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which establishes that it is the state’s responsibility to protect children from economic exploitation and from performing any work that is likely to be hazardous or to interfere with the child’s education, or to be harmful to the child’s health or physical, mental, spiritual, moral or social development.

The promulgation of this convention as a Law in 1990 ended the efforts of progressive awareness started in the Renaissance to protect childhood from hard jobs and promote their education and health, especially needed with theemergence of the Industrial Revolution and the use of children as cheap labour. Since 20th century, western world adopted the idea of childhood as a social good that must be protected and respected to get its optimal development, health and education to promote progress. But nowadays in a changing social and economic situation, we are surprised to know that many commonly used products are manufactured by child labour in other places.

Sin título

Regarding this commemoration, we should think at least about two different aspects. One is about the validity of the last indicators (from 2012) released by the International Labour Organization, indicating that 168 millions of children work (11% of global child population), more than half on dangerous jobs, as the extraction and handling of hazardous substances, as cobalt for mobile batteries, collection of tea and coffee, gold mining, clothes and shoes manufacturing, sorting through garbage, etc.… and the lack of interest shown by the poor update of the figures.

The other issue to think about is that the world changes and faces migration crisis, people escaping from war, violence or poverty, and this may break the idea that child labour is a phenomenon of distant countries in Asia, Pacific or Sub-Saharan Africa, and it may reach the outskirts of Europe, affecting not only to minorities traditionally unconnected to the education system, but also to refugees.

This is a dull crisis, in an exceptional situation that lead some European borders to be closed, in countries that used to accept refugees with the same rights as any western citizen. And it is even worse as many of them are redirected to countries like Turkey, where the right to child education is more relaxed. There are many testimonies of employment of 11 to 13 years old migrant children to help sustain their families; children like Ahmad Suleiman, who was reported by the New York Times to be one of the thousands minor refugees working for poor salaries in bad conditions, not attending school, situation close to a kind of extortion or slavery, but understood by others as a help to families with no other resources that the work of their own people.

Fragility of the childhood, which is the reservoir for a full adult life, and needs plenty of links, education and health. What is the future of these lives and these societies growing lost generations?

 

 

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A new best seller?

We start 2016 no in the best way possible, it has been made public that the rights of Mein Kampf finish this in 2015 and that the book of Adolf Hitler could now be reissued. It is one of the main bases of Nazi ideology, after 70 years as a  responsibility of Bavaria, the last residence of Hitler. Now, with the resurgence of the far right wing in Europe, due to the massive influx of Syrian immigrants, it is feared that the publication of this book again  could spread this ideology one more time. Read more of this post

Allemagne : les réfugiés stigmatisés après des violences

             D’après Thibaut Madelin, les allemands sont en émoi suite aux nombreuses agressions sexuelles de la part des réfugiés qui ont eu lieux dans leur propre pays près de la gare de Cologne. La nouvelle a aussitôt fais réagir la chancelière allemande qui n’a pas hésité à s’exprimer face à l’attitude « primitive » des réfugiés et son parti a exposé des mesures à prendre contre les coupables mais la Gauche est intervenue avant que toute décision ne soit prise. Des évènements similaires s’étant présentés dans d’autres villes d’Allemagne, les habitants semblent tendus quant à une possible collision aves les réfugiés (Les Echos, Janv. 2016). Read more of this post

L’Europe sous pression

              D’après Jean-Pierre Stroobants et Benoît Vitkine, la montée du nombre de refugiés dans les Balkans mettrait l’Europe sous pression. En effet, le continent est touché par une grande vague de réfugiés qui décident de trouver refuge en Europe en passant soit par les Balkans, soit par la Grèce dû au fait que plusieurs pays européens aient décidé de fermer leur frontière afin de limiter le nombre de nouveaux venus dans leur pays (ONM, 2015). Toutefois, l’arrivée des étrangers n’est pas le seul problème qui se pose à l’Europe : des centres spécifiques pour venir en aide aux réfugiés ont été mis en place dans quelques pays européens mais ces derniers ne veulent pas s’y soumettre, voyant dans ces systèmes un moyen pour les autorités de les priver de leurs droits. Face à ces différents problèmes, les représentants européens ont pris des mesures consistant à départager équitablement les réfugiés dans divers pays de l’Europe et ils espèrent même obtenir de l’aide de leurs voisins turcs qui possèdent déjà à l’intérieur de leur pays 2 millions de réfugiés syriens (Le Monde, Oct. 2015). Read more of this post

Spanish refugees

Each day there are coming more and more refugees to our shores, now mainly in Syria. All these people were and are putting obstacles hindering their entry into Europe. Especially in Spain we should read what Alted Alicia has to tell to us in his book, “La voz de los vencidos: el exilio republicano de 1939, AGUILAR, 2005”, and compare the actual situation with our esperience during the Spanish Civil War.

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“Odisea en Sucumbíos: drama de ser refugiado colombiano en Ecuador”

Se entiende por refugiado a toda persona que debido a fundados temores de ser perseguida por motivos de raza, religión, nacionalidad, pertenencia a determinado grupo social u opiniones políticas se encuentre fuera de su  país de nacionalidad y no pueda o, a causa de dichos temores, no quiera acogerse a la protección  de tal país (…) Por su parte la declaración de Cartagena de 1984 amplia dicha definición, (…) personas que huyen de su país porque su vida, seguridad o libertad han sido amenazadas por la violencia generalizada, la agresión extranjera, los conflictos internos, violación masiva de derechos humanos u otras circunstancias que hayan perturbado el orden público. Read more of this post

En el límite del conflicto colombiano: Un asunto regional”

La Frontera colombo ecuatoriana es una de las fronteras más afectadas por el conflicto armado colombiano, que  ha traducido en el aumento del flujo de solicitantes de protección en Ecuador. Pues se estima que hasta septiembre de 2013, alrededor de 170.965 personas solicitaron asilo en el país vecino, según cifras entregadas por el Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR,2013). Son los departamentos del Putumayo y Nariño los que conforman la línea divisoria de cerca de 640 km, según lo estipulado en el Tratado Muñoz Vernaza-Suárez del 15 de julio de 1916, que separa al estado colombiano de su homólogo ecuatoriano, que tiene como provincias fronterizas a Carchi, Esmeraldas y Sucumbíos. Read more of this post

Plan Colombia y la crisis en la frontera colombo ecuatoriana: una zona gris

Los recientes esfuerzos para contrarrestar el conflicto armado y el narcotráfico en Colombia han llevado a la concentración del conflicto en las zonas de frontera. Que, ante la ausencia de presencia estatal en dichos territorios, como también la excesiva securitización de la política exterior colombiana, ha propiciado un aumento significativo de los flujos migratorios de poblaciones vulnerables hacia el Ecuador. Por consiguiente, el asentamiento de cerca de 56.471 (ACNUR, 2012) colombianos que cuentan con el status de refugiados -principalmente en los municipios fronterizos de Carchi, Sucumbios y Esmeraldas(Ecuador) -, ha configurado una situación de crisis humanitaria, la cual solo podrá ser atendida en el momento en que se reconozca una corresponsabilidad entre ambos países, sirviendo como primer paso para la creación de solución conjunta e integral a esta situación.  Read more of this post