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Remittance rip-offs

LONDON, 22 April 2014 (IRIN) - All over the world migrant workers are sending money home to their families. The money pays hospital bills and school fees, buys land, builds houses and sets up small businesses. The cash goes from the US back to Mexico, from the Gulf back to India, from the UK back to Somalia, and from South Africa back to Malawi, Zimbabwe and the rest of southern Africa. full report

Asylum seekers left high and dry in Indonesia

JAKARTA/MAKASSAR, 9 April 2014 (IRIN) - Australia’s military-led operation to prevent boats carrying asylum seekers from reaching its shores has been hailed by Prime Minister Tony Abbott as a success, with over 100 days elapsing since the last boat reached its target. But in Indonesia - the country from which most of the boats previously departed - Australia’s tough new measures have stranded over 10,000 asylum seekers and refugees who can neither proceed to their desired destination nor, in many cases, return home. full report

Access to education an added challenge for refugees in Egypt

CAIRO, 8 April 2014 (IRIN) - As the number of Syrians in Egypt rises, refugees say it has become increasingly difficult to find places for their children in already overstretched government schools. In addition, refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Egypt complain of unaffordable school costs in private and public schools, bureaucratic enrolment procedures, and a growing atmosphere of suspicion, xenophobia and discrimination in the classroom. full report

Regional interests at stake in the South Sudan crisis

NAIROBI, 19 March 2014 (IRIN) - Uganda’s military intervention in South Sudan has prompted warnings that the crisis in the world’s youngest state could escalate into a regional conflict. But what are the interests of South Sudan’s neighbours? What are they doing to further them? And how will their actions affect efforts to end the fighting? full report

African migrants in Israel face "voluntary" return or detention

TEL AVIV/JOHANNESBURG, 27 February 2014 (IRIN) - Israel has released figures showing that the number of African migrants choosing to accept “voluntary departure” from the country has been steadily increasing since an amendment to its anti-infiltration law was passed in December 2013, with about 2,200 departures recorded since the beginning of 2014. full report

South Sudan’s crisis ripples across region

NAIROBI, 13 February 2014 (IRIN) - A cessation of hostilities agreement signed by parties to the conflict in South Sudan has led to a considerable reduction in violence, although some fighting has taken place recently in Unity and Lakes states. full report

Sudan and Egypt implicated in human trafficking

JOHANNESBURG, 12 February 2014 (IRIN) - Since 2009, hundreds and possibly thousands of refugees, most of them Eritrean, have been kidnapped in eastern Sudan and sold to traffickers in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, where they are held and tortured until their relatives can raise tens of thousands of dollars in ransom money. According to a report released on 11 February by Human Rights Watch (HRW), security forces in Sudan and Egypt have either turned a blind eye to this violent trade in men, women and children or, in some cases, colluded with the traffickers. full report

Yonathan Habte, trafficking survivor: "At least if I died, it wouldn’t go on"

JOHANNESBURG, 12 February 2014 (IRIN) - In March 2012, Yonathan Habte*, then 26, decided to flee Eritrea where he had evaded military service and was facing jail. With a background in computer engineering, he was confident he could make a life in another African country. Instead, he was kidnapped near the Sudanese border and trafficked to Egypt, where he barely survived three months in two different camps in the lawless Sinai region, near the Israeli border. He talked to IRIN over the phone from Sweden. full report

Jordan’s other refugees feel forgotten

AMMAN, 5 February 2014 (IRIN) - Just like thousands of refugees arriving in Jordan, Jacob Khamees experienced violence, hunger and fear in his home country. “I still remember when they attacked us, killed the animals and burned the fields,” he told IRIN. full report

Helping Africa’s urban poor gain from modernization

NAIROBI, 4 February 2014 (IRIN) - Plans to reshape and modernize African cities, in part driven by investment, architecture and construction companies seeking new markets, could deepen existing social inequalities, according to recent research. But these development plans could also benefit the poor if governments are responsive to the needs of their citizens, argue analysts. full report

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