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AfricaFocus Bulletins with Material on Migration Issues

October 14, 2014  USA/Africa: New Statistics on Immigrant Communities http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/migr1410.php
    According to a new brief from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, based on data from 2008-2012, there are approximately 1.6 million people living in the United States who were born in Africa. Although these numbers do not include children born in the United States, and may well be an underestimate, the data show an extraordinary rate of growth, from 1 percent of the foreign-born population in 1970 (less than 80,000 born in Africa) to 4 percent in 2008-2012.

May 19, 2014  Kenya: Refugee Crackdown "Counter-productive" http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/ken1405.php
    "Harassment and forced repatriation [of Somali refugees in Kenya] is likely to incite acute hatred against Kenya and entice more youth to join the Al-Qaeda-linked extremist group. This strategy is counterproductive. The government's decision to take this route has provoked anger. Somalis, whether from Kenya or from Somalia, and the Muslim community have suffered brutal police actions. This suits Al-Shabaab propaganda and alienates a community that can help fight terrorism," Nuur Sheikh, expert on conflict in Horn of Africa, in interview with Inter Press Service.

April 24, 2014  Africa: The High Cost of Remittances http://www.africafocus.org/docs14/remi1404.php
    "Remittances from African migrants play a vital role in supporting health, education, food security and productive investment in agriculture. Yet many of the benefits of remittance transfers are lost in intermediation as a result of high charges. Africa's diaspora pays 12% to send $200 - almost double the global average." - Overseas Development Institute

December 12, 2013  Africa/Middle East: Saudi Migrant Expulsions http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/migr1312b.php
    Deadly risks to migrants and abuses of migrants' rights are found around the world. Yet while deaths of migrants on the US-Mexican border and in the Mediterranean sometimes gain news coverage and have been widely studied, those on other migration pathways are most often invisible to all but those most directly affected. This is certainly true of the journeys from the Horn of Africa to Middle Eastern countries in the arc from Egypt to the Gulf.

December 12, 2013  Africa/Middle East: Sinai Trafficking http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/migr1312a.php
    "[I]t is estimated that 25,000--30,000 people [mostly Eritreans] were victims of Sinai trafficking between 2009 and 2013. This figure includes those that have died, disappeared, and survived and those currently being held in the Sinai. It is also estimated that the value of the ransoms paid -- the 'Sinai trafficking industry' -- is, conservatively, USD 600 million over the last five years." - The Human Trafficking Cycle: Sinai and Beyond, December 2013

Oct 6, 2013  Africa: Migrant Deaths at Sea http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/migr1310.php
    "These days, it takes a blockbuster tragedy for migrant boats to reach the front pages - the quiet, regular additions to the Mediterranean's death toll encountered on an almost-weekly basis by rescuers, human rights activists and migrant communities themselves are simply far too humdrum to make the mainstream news. In the past two decades, almost 20,000 people are recorded as having lost their lives in an effort to reach Europe's southern borders from Africa and the Middle East." - Guardian, Oct. 3, 2013

May 8, 2013  USA/Africa: Immigration Reform Needs Fixing http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/migr1305.php
    "The recently released Senate immigration reform bill had a mix of carrot and stick approaches to providing the long-awaited path to citizenship for millions of undocumented people living under repressive conditions. While the bill has several good features, it weighs heavily toward very bad and very ugly provisions that will leave out millions of people and will continue the mass detentions and deportations that have become normalized in U.S. society." - Gerald Lenoir, Black Alliance for Just Immigration

Apr 26, 2013  Morocco: Violence against Migrants http://www.africafocus.org/docs13/mor1304.php
    "The renewed cooperation efforts between Morocco and Spain which, according to these countries, are focused on the fight against cross-border crime, illegal migration and drug trafficking. are having a serious impact on the physical and mental health of sub-Saharan migrants. Migration policies privilege internal security criteria over respect for fundamental human rights." - David Cantero, Head of Mission in Morocco for Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

Jun 25, 2012  Israel/Africa: Denying Refugee Rights http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/ref1206.php
    Last week Israel began deportation of South Sudanese and Ivorian asylum seekers. Other asylum seekers, primarily from Sudan and Eritrea, remain in an indefinite limbo, with no procedure established for individual evaluation of their claims to refugee status and no rights to work or social welfare. Meanwhile, government officials, including Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, have made inflammatory speeches which have helped fuel attacks against African asylum seekers and immigrants.

Mar 7, 2012  Europe/Africa: Court Rules for Boat Migrants' Rights http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/mig1203.php
    The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the rights of a group of Somali and Eritrean nationals who were intercepted by Italian Customs boats and returned to Libya in 2009 were violated, under several provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. Although this historic decision of the court was for a case under Italy's agreement with the Qaddafi regime, it has clear ongoing relevance, as refugees and other migrants continue to face real threats in their countries of origin, as well as in Libya.

Feb 10, 2012  Africa: Counting the Costs of Brain Drain http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/bd1202a.php
    According to a study published in the British Medical Journal in November 2011, nine sub-Saharan countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) invested some $2 billion in costs of educating doctors who subsequently emigrated to the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, or Canada. The receiving countries gained an estimated $4.55 billion from these investments, in savings from medical education that they did not have to finance. The familiar phenomenon of "brain drain," it is clear, should also be seen as a subsidy from developing to developed countries.

Feb 10, 2012  Africa: Brain Drains in Context http://www.africafocus.org/docs12/bd1202b.php
    Topics linked to migration, such as remittances and brain drains, have attracted increasing attention in discussions of development. But such specific issues should be considered in the wider context of the goal of reducing the grossly unjust levels of inequality between nations. The brain drain of medical personnel, for example, cannot be solved simply by looking at migration flows, but by focusing on how to provide the human and financial resources needed for equitably assuring the right of health to all.

Oct 13, 2011  Africa: Migration, Inequalities, & Human Rights http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/migr1110.php
    Issues related to the situation of refugees and other migrants are hotly contested in locations as diverse as Libya, South Africa, Kenya, Western Europe, and the United States. Anti-migrant sentiment is a recurring phenomenon, featuring restrictive legislation, official abuses against immigrants, and in extreme cases, xenophobic violence. Yet these issues are most often considered in isolation, rather than also as among the most telling indicators of fundamental structural inequalities between nations.

Aug 18, 2011  USA/Africa: New Data on African Immigrants http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/mig1108a.php
    "From 1980 to 2009, the African-born population in United States grew from just under 200,000 to almost 1.5 million. Today, Africans make up a small (3.9 percent) but growing share of the country's 38.5 million immigrants. ... Over one-third of all African immigrants resided in New York, California, Texas, and Maryland." - Migration Information Source

Aug 18, 2011  USA/Africa: Wage Penalties for Black Immigrants http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/mig1108b.php
    "Contrary to the popular impression, black male immigrants are not better off in weekly wages than U.S.-born black males after controlling for observable demographic characteristics [such as level of education and experience]. ... U.S.-born black men earn 19.1% less than similar U.S.-born white men. West Indian men do slightly worse and earn 20.7% less than similar native white men. Haitian men and African men do substantially worse than U.S.-born black men; Haitian men earn 33.8% less, and African men earn 34.7% less than similar native white men." - Economic Policy Institute study

May 12, 2011  Eritrea: Refugees and Responsibility http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/er1105.php
    "If refugee flows are a sign of political meltdown, then Eritrea is a level seven nuclear disaster. Figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees indicate that Eritrea, with a population of only about five million, has been among the top ten refugee producing countries in the world for the better part of the decade." - Tricia Redeker Hepner

Apr 22, 2011  Africa: Migration & Human Development http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/migr1104b.php
    "The entry policies that have prevailed in many destination countries over recent decades can be largely characterized by denial and delay on the one hand, and heightened border controls and illegal stays on the other. This has worsened the situation of people lacking legal status and, especially during the recession, has created uncertainty and frustration among the wider population." - Human Development Report 2009

Apr 22, 2011  Libya: Migrants Situation Update http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/migr1104a.php
    "So far, only about 2,800 out of a total of 500,000 people fleeing the violence in Libya have arrived in Europe. This is less than 0.6 percent of all cross-border movements. ... The movement out of Libya is unrelated to the arrivals of some 20,000 mainly Tunisians on Lampedusa, which is part of the 'normal' boat migration by mainly North African young men in search of work." - Hein de Haas

Mar 5, 2011  North Africa: New Threats to Migrants http://www.africafocus.org/docs11/na1103.php
    "Sub-Saharan African workers [in Libya] are in dire need of evacuation because of the threats they face. The people most in need are mainly from poorer countries in Asia and Africa... whose governments have apparently been unable or unwilling to rescue them" - Human Rights Watch

Aug 6, 2010  Africa: Migrant Rights Updates http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/migr1008.php
    "An astounding 100 deportees a month come to ARACEM [in Mali] for shelter, food and clothing. They are expelled from Libya, Morocco and Algeria as they make the way from Central and West Africa in an attempt to find work. These three North African countries have signed agreements with European countries to act as external border control agents to prevent migrants from reaching Europe."

Aug 6, 2010  South Africa: Xenophobia & Civil Society http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/xeno1008.php
    "Virtually every author concludes that violence against African migrants will continue and increase unless some profound socio-economic and attitudinal changes occur. This text thus sounds a loud warning bell to South Africa about our future. And it does so not merely based on the opinions of the authors, but because of the views of ordinary South African citizens that informed the research. ... survey after survey, focus group after focus group, have shown deeply xenophobic attitudes rising steadily over time." - David Everatt in introduction to report on South African Civil Society and Xenophobia, July 2010

Apr 12, 2010  Africa: Profiling Cash Drains http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/fin1004.php
    "Estimates [for the period 1970-2008] show that over the 39-year period Africa lost an astonishing US$854 billion in cumulative capital flight--enough to not only wipe out the region's total external debt outstanding of around US$250 billion (at end-December, 2008) but potentially leave US$600 billion for poverty alleviation and economic growth. Instead, cumulative illicit flows from the continent increased from about US$57 billion in the decade of the 1970s to US$437 billion over the nine years 2000-2008." - report by Global Financial Integrity

Mar 10, 2010  Africa: Remittances Update http://www.africafocus.org/docs10/rem1003.php
    A 2009 report from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) notes that some 30 million African workers outside their countries send home approximately $40 billion a year in remittances. But with only as many "payout" locations on the continent as in one Latin American country (Mexico), the process is expensive and dominated by two large money transfer companies which work primarily with banks. There are large untapped opportunities for lower costs, particularly for rural Africans, if more governments allowed and fostered the participation of post offices and micro-finance institutions in remittance transfers.

Nov 15, 2009  Eritrea: No Welcome in Italy http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/er0911c.php
    "We were fortunate to spend two days in a small coastal town of Agrigento where in the central part of the city stands a Catholic church with the figure of a black priest carved in stone perched high above in the church tower. It is a statue of Saint Calogero, an African priest who came to Sicily around the 14th century and is revered as the town's patron saint. But in the 21st century, African refugees who traverse the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean Sea find Calogero's city, indeed the entire country, unwelcoming, even hostile to them. A well-known Italian Bishop is said to have remarked that if the saint-priest were to arrive in Agrigento today, he would find himself in similar circumstances as the refugees who are detained and disdained." - Nunu Kidane and Gerald Lenoir

Nov 15, 2009  Eritrea: Perilous Journeys http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/er0911a.php
    "On 20 August 2009, off the Italian island of Lampedusa, the Italian coastguard rescued five of the remaining 78 Eritrean passengers aboard a rickety boat set sail from the Libyan capital, Tripoli. While a number of European sailing vessels had passed their boat in the three weeks it had spent at sea, only one stopped to give them life jackets, bread and water. But it soon went on its way ... Seventy-three of the Eritrean refugees died from thirst, hunger and heat. ... The five survivors now face a fine of 5,000 to 10,000 Euros for illegal immigration under an Italian law that took effect in early August." - Yohannes Woldemariam

Aug 18, 2009  Cape Verde: Transnational Archipelago http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/cv0908.php
    As regular readers of AfricaFocus Bulletin know, this publication relies on selected "reposted" material. When U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton chose Cape Verde as her last stop on her 7-country African tour, I was hoping to find some analysis on-line of the unique history and position of Cape Verde that I could share with readers. Surely someone would be commenting on-line on the long history of Cape Verdean immigration to the United States, or on the significance of Cape Verdean liberation leader Amilcar Cabral for Pan-African thought on both sides of the Atlantic. But apart from brief pro-forma tributes to the country's multi-party democracy and economic stability, I could find almost nothing in recent on-line reports to pass on to AfricaFocus readers. So I had to dig a bit deeper.

Aug 10, 2009  Angola: Oil & Housing http://www.africafocus.org/docs09/ang0908.php
    "Government revenues from oil and gas are set to rise strongly, giving [the top ten oil-exporting countries in Africa] the means to speed up economic and social development and alleviate poverty. The government take in the top ten oil- and gas-producing countries is projected to rise from some $80 billion in 2006 to about $250 billion in 2030. Nigeria and Angola account for 86% of the $4.1 trillion cumulative revenues of all ten countries over 2006-2030." - World Energy Outlook 2008

Oct 24, 2008  Africa: Urban Inequality in Global Perspective http://www.africafocus.org/docs08/cit0810.php
    "Although cities in the United States of America have relatively lower levels of poverty than many other cities in the developed world, levels of income inequality ... have risen above the international alert line of 0.4. ... Major metropolitan areas, such as Atlanta, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Miami, and New York, have the highest levels of inequality in the country, similar to those of Abidjan, Nairobi, Buenos Aires, and Santiago (Gini coefficient of more than 0.50)." - State of the World's Cities Report 2009/2009

May 20, 2008  South Africa: Migrants under Attack http://www.africafocus.org/docs08/xen0805.php
    "Xenophobia is rife in South Africa. However, repression of immigrants, refugees and undocumented people goes beyond naked violence in poor communities. Earlier this year, police raided the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, beating up and arresting immigrants, mainly from Zimbabwe. The state systematically abuses the rights of immigrants: health workers deny treatment, home affairs officials demand bribes and police assault immigrants regularly." - Treatment Action Campaign

Apr 20, 2008  Africa: Internal Displacement Update http://www.africafocus.org/docs08/disp0804.php
    In 2007, close to half of the 26 million internally displaced people worldwide were in 20 African countries, according to the annual survey released on April 17 by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council. The countries most affected by new displacement in 2007 were Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), while the countries with the highest totals of displaced people were Sudan, Colombia, Iraq, the DRC, and Uganda.

Nov 5, 2007  Africa: Sending Money Home http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/rem0711.php
    "Remittance flows to and within Africa approach US$40 billion. North African countries such as Morocco and Egypt are the continent's major recipients. East African countries heavily depend on these flows, with Somalia standing out as particularly remittance dependent. For the entire region, these transfers are 13 per cent of per capita income." - Sending Money Home, International Fund for Agricultural Development.

Mar 31, 2007  Africa: Citizenship Rights http://www.africafocus.org/docs07/cit0703.php
    "On March 6, 1957, the independence of Ghana promised for all Africans and our communities a new era of citizenship in full dignity and equality with the rest of humanity. 50 years later, ... this promise remains unfulfilled. African governments remain unable or unwilling to fully assure, respect and guarantee effective citizenship in our continent." - Tajudeen Abdulraheem, Dismas Nkunda, & Chidi Anselm Odinkalu

Nov 24, 2006  Africa: Water, Health, and Development http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/hdr0611b.php
    "We estimate that the African region loses five per cent of GDP annually as a result of both women having to walk huge distances to collect water - which diverts labor, apart from the huge personal cost that it puts someone in - and the impact of disease on productivity." - Kevin Watkins, lead author, UN Human Development Report 2006

Sep 16, 2006  Africa: Migration and Rights http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/mig0609a.php
    Chartered planes started flying illegal African immigrants back from Spain to Senegal last week, resuming a repatriation program aimed at stemming the flow of immigrants to this southern European country. But judging by experience, the return is unlikely to stop thousands of others from risking their lives in small boats to reach the Canary Islands from the West African coast, or finding other perilous ways of reaching the European continent.

Sep 16, 2006  Africa: Migration and Development http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/mig0609b.php
    "[The] potential benefits [from international migration] are larger than the potential gains from freer international trade, particularly for developing countries," notes an extensive recent United Nations report on migration. But while the liberalization of the flow of goods and capital continues to increase, restrictions on the movement of people are leading to thousands of deaths in border areas such as the U.S. southwest desert and the sea routes between Africa and Europe.

Aug 6, 2006  Zimbabwe: Displacement and Survival http://www.africafocus.org/docs06/zim0608b.php
    One year after "Operation Murambatsvina" ("Clean-Up"), the damaging effects of the government campaign aimed at the urban poor are still visible, reports a recent delegation from South African social movements. With Zimbabweans expressing little hope in a divided opposition, internal efforts at resistance are concentrating on survival.

Jul 28, 2005  Zimbabwe: Housing Tsunami Continues http://www.africafocus.org/docs05/zim0507.php
    Despite a devastatingly critical report by UN-HABITAT Director Anna Tibaijuka, the government of Zimbabwe is continuing its drive to destroy "illegal" housing and shops that is estimated to have made at least 700,000 people homeless in the last two months. Zimbabweans, rejecting the government's term Operation Murambatsvina ("Clean Out Garbage") compare the assault on the country's poor to a "tsunami."

Mar 29, 2005  Ghana: Medical Skills Drain http://www.africafocus.org/docs05/migr0503.php
    Among the most daunting barriers to addressing Africa's urgent health needs is the migration of health professionals to richer countries. Skilled personnel representing investment by poor countries end up filling in the gaps for the UK, USA, and other countries. The problem is widely acknowledged. But a new paper from Medact, based on the experience of Ghana and the UK, argues that current policy responses are not only inadequate but also based on many false assumptions.

Feb 15, 2005  Africa: Tsunami Side-Effects http://www.africafocus.org/docs05/tsun0502.php
    Donations to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) operations in Africa dropped by 21 percent in January 2005 compared to the first month of 2004. Warning of an apparent 'tsunami effect' rippling across Africa, WFP executive director James Morris called for new efforts to counter donor neglect of urgent humanitarian needs on the continent.