Why Turkey is still refugees unwelcome

For IRIN News: The joint EU-Turkish action plan to end the migration crisis not only aims to make Europe a much less appealing destination – with threats of detention and deportation for all new boat arrivals to Greece – but also depends on making conditions more tolerable for the 2.7 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey. One of the main factors driving Syrians to abandon life in Turkey and move on to Europe has been Ankara’s reluctance to lift barriers to the formal labour market….Continue Reading “Why Turkey is still refugees unwelcome”

Grief not justice for Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan

For IRIN News: OSH, 26 May 2015 (IRIN) – Zahira doesn’t like to return to the site, a concrete slab which covers the entrance to the cellar where her twin brother Hassan hid. “Most of us women and children went to camps at the border [with Uzbekistan], but the men stayed behind to protect our homes,” said Zahira*. Hassan was among them. “I called him around noon and he said they were hiding in the cellar. I called again at 5pm and no one answered.”…Continue Reading “Grief not justice for Uzbeks in Kyrgyzstan”

Hope and fear: Kyrgyz migrants in Russia

For IRIN News: OSH, 24 April 2015 (IRIN) – At a government-run centre for migrant labourers in the Kyrgyzstani city of Osh, 23-year-old Nurbek waits patiently for advice on how to return to Moscow. “My family has lived in Russia for more than 10 years, I want to go back to them,” he said. “I was deported 10 days ago after police said I’m on a blacklist. Now I’m hoping to be removed from the list.” Nurbek is one of around 1.5 million Kyrgyz –…Continue Reading “Hope and fear: Kyrgyz migrants in Russia”

For IRIN News, with Fakhar Kakakhel: PESHAWAR, 16 June 2014 (IRIN) – More than 60,000 people have fled North Waziristan Agency to safer parts of Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan as Pakistan’s military launches an offensive in the region. Most of the people fleeing are children, and mental health experts are concerned that they will not have access to proper trauma care. The Pakistani authorities have yet to set up camps to shelter the displaced, and what little mental health aid is available – usually at…Continue Reading “Pakistan’s traumatized war children play soldiers and Taliban”

For the IRIN News Agency: LAHORE, 10 May 2013 (IRIN) – On the frontline in the fight against dengue fever in Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city, the authorities have a sharp eye for spare car tyres. “When the police show up, we will throw all these tyres into the basement,” said Rohil Ayub, 18, who runs a downtown repair shop. “The police fine us a lot, thousands of rupees every time,” he said. Every few days, police inspectors fine anyone who leaves tyres outside –…Continue Reading “Marshalling smartphones, gravediggers to fight dengue in Pakistan”