This is the news in brief from the United Nations
Refugees overcrowded to “boiling point” on Greek island, warns UNCHR
The Government of Greece should do more to help thousands of asylum-seekers and migrants who have been “crammed” into island reception centres, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Friday.
There’s particular concern at a Reception and Identification Centre, (or RIC) used to house new arrivals on the island of Lesvos.
Here’s UNHCR spokesperson Charlie Yaxley:
“The situation is reaching boiling point at the Moria RIC on the island of Lesvos where more than 7,000 asylum-seekers and migrants are crammed into shelters built to accommodate just 2,000 people. A quarter of those are children.”
The majority of those seeking shelter are from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
More than 3,000 asylum-seekers on the islands have been given permission to move to the mainland, but transfers “have been slow”, UNHCR says, owing to a lack of suitable reception facilities.
Cluster munitions still used extensively in Syrian conflict, say treaty monitors
The use of cluster munitions is falling around the world, but they are still being deployed in Syria and Yemen, a leading coalition seeking to ban the weapons has said.
According to the Cluster Munition Monitor 2018, States parties to the Convention governing the weapons have already destroyed 99 per cent of their stockpiles.
This amounts to more than 1.4 million cluster munitions and 177 million smaller explosive devices.
In 2017, the weapons are known to have claimed 187 lives in Syria – less than a quarter of those killed a year earlier.
Here’s Mary Wareham, one of the editors of the report and a spokesperson for the NGO, Human Rights Watch:
“In Syria, the opposition forces, as far as I know, do not have access to aircraft, so the air-dropped cluster munitions are only coming from one place, which is Syrian Government aircraft and possibly Russian aircraft as well as part of a joint operation. US forces are operating air power in Syria too but have said repeatedly that they are not using cluster munitions for those attacks.”
According to the Monitor, 99 per cent of all victims in 2017 were civilians.
Returnee migrants speak of hope from business training in Nigeria
And finally, a business scheme for Nigerian migrants who’ve returned home has helped more than 2,000 of them plan for a bright future and help their communities at the same time, UN Migration Agency (IOM) said on Friday.
Under the scheme, migrants receive training in sustainable industries, such as agriculture “because these will add more value to the returnees’ communities”, one IOM trainer said.
One migrant who took part in the programme said that it gave them “hope” after they had been arrested trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea, before spending a month in detention.
The programme exists in 26 African countries and is a joint initiative of IOM, the European Union (EU) and the Nigerian Government.
Daniel Johnson, UN News