Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Non-Citizen News Round-Up

Refugee Camp in Boynuyogan, Turkey in June (via MSNBC

Italy: The European Court of Human Rights issues a major smackdown to Italy this week, ruling in Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy that the policy of intercepting migrant boats at sea and returning them (most often to Libya) breached their various obligations of non-refoulement. (Not exactly tough to see why.) This case is HUGE because its one of the rare instances the Court has ruled on the prohibition against mass-expulsion, as well as adding to already strong migrants and refugee rights jurisprudence at the court. Check it out!
Case of Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy (ECtHR) 
Yet Another Mala Figura: Italy Breached Non-Refoulement Obligations (EJIL Blog)

USA: In news welcomed by LGBQT Refugee advocates, the Obama administration has published clarified rules for courts and asylum officers on adjudicating asylum claims based on membership in one of these persecuted social group. I will probably do a full post on this later but for now there is every reason to be pleased at this news, particularly since the glance I've taken shows the gov moving away from the "married/pregnant/ straight-looking people can't be persecuted as gay" techniques that characterized past cases in the US.
Guidance for Adjudicating Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Refugee and Asylum Claims (USCIS) (pdf)
LBQT Asylum in US Made a Little Easier (Care 2)

Turkey: Of course, more than any other story this week, focus should be on the Syrians streaming into Turkey fleeing increasing violence. There are now reports that landmines have been laid across escape routes to prevent would-be refugees from escaping. Meanwhile, in response to the emergency UNHCR has appointed a special coordinator for the region's refugees and internally displaced.
On the Turkish Border, a Stream of Fleeing Syrians (Reuters)
Syria: Army Planting Banned Landmines (Human Rights Watch)
UNHCR appioints regional refugee coordinator for Syrian Refugees (UNHCR)

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