economic migrants

Refugees brave rain surging river to flee teeming Idomeni camp

Defying E.U., Hundreds of Migrants Enter Macedonia From Greece

SKOPJE, Macedonia — Hundreds of migrants braved a fast-moving river to cross from Greece into Macedonia on Monday, defying efforts by European officials to stop people fleeing war and desperation from traveling through the Balkans to Germany and other destinations.

At least three people — two women and a man, all around 20 — drowned when trying to cross the border, and four people traveling with them were hospitalized, according to humanitarian groups in the area.

The border had been effectively sealed since last week, when Macedonia, along with Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia, said it would no longer allow migrants to pass through on their way north.

The result has been growing pressure at the Greek-Macedonian border, where an estimated 12,000 to 14,000 migrants have been stuck in increasingly desperate conditions, including an outbreak of hepatitis A.

On Monday, the border finally gave way, at least temporarily. Hundreds of asylum seekers marched west from a squalid camp near the Greek village of Idomeni and waded into the Suva Reka, forming human chains to pass infants and toddlers over the rushing river to Macedonia.

The three people who drowned were Afghans, humanitarian groups working in the area said. Although Afghanistan is a poor and war-ravaged country, many Afghans are considered to have only a slim chance of being granted asylum after the European Union categorized them last month as economic migrants. Syrians and many Iraqis who are fleeing civil war and the threat of Islamic extremists have an easier case for asylum in Europe.

European Union officials, determined to avoid a repeat of last year, when the asylum system all but collapsed, agreed to a political deal with Turkey last week to stop migrants from pouring into southeastern Europe.

Under the deal, Turkey would receive financial aid and political consideration in exchange for preventing migrants, mostly Syrian, from risking their lives to cross the Aegean Sea. European officials would assess the asylum applications of Syrian refugees — and directly resettle those whose applications are approved — from refugee camps in Turkey.

The terms of the deal are to be hashed out in Brussels this week.

The authorities in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, did not provide an official comment on the situation Monday, but they were said to be considering forcing the migrants back to Idomeni, across the Greek border. Doing so could be politically damaging for Macedonia, a tiny country that was part of the former Yugoslavia and that has been trying since 2005 to join the European Union.

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Article from: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/world/europe/european-refugee-crisis.html?smid=tw-nytimesworld&smtyp=cur&_r=0

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Angelina Jolie- Everyone must help Syrian refugees

UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt with Foreign Secretary William Hague at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Angelina Jolie Pitt, one of the world’s best actresses and a humanitarian, is using her celebrity status for a good cause, and that is to urge everyone to help Syrian refugees. She is using her place, as a special envoy, at the United Nations’ refugee agency to influence people to help the displaced war victims.

In her heartfelt and emotional op-Ed in The Times UK written with Arminka Helic, a former refugee and now a member of the House of Lords, she pleaded to help families that are fleeing the war first, over economic migrants.

“At no time in recent history has there been a greater need for leadership to deal with the consequences and causes of the global refugee crisis,” the actress wrote in the piece last Monday.

Jolie Pitt has spent some time with a Syrian refugee family earlier this year during a humanitarian trip. She said that the war in Syria has made a lot of people suffer. “Syrians are fleeing barrel bombs, chemical weapons, rape and massacres. Their country has become a killing field,” the award-winning actress said.

The actress has worked with the UNHCR since early 2000s, and urged political leaders to take responsibility, even if it’s not part of their nation’s geography. Jolie Pitt said that it doesn’t matter what culture, ethnicity, or religion a person believes in, but what is important is humanity’s core values and rights.

The 40-year-old actress added that the “out of sight, out of mind” attitude is just unacceptable now, especially with what is happening in Syria. She asked other countries in the world, not just those in Europe, to take part in finally resolving the Syrian crisis. Jolie Pitt also encourages people not to stigmatize the refugees, especially those countries who have taken migrants in.

Finally, the actress also suggested that the United Nations Security Council should go and visit the region and come up with a long-term resolution to these conflicts.

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Article from: http://www.christianpost.com/news/angelina-jolie-everyone-must-help-syrian-refugees-144933/