#ICYMI Weekly Roundup: International Day of the Migrant December 16, 2016

The UN's International Organization of Migration asks, What would a day without migrants look like? 

On Thursday, the ICRC and the Syrian Arab Crescent facilitated the evacuation of over 8,000 civilians and wounded out of Eastern Aleppo. The evacuation operation marked the first time since April that ICRC teams have been allowed into opposition-held areas of Eastern Aleppo, despite numerous attempts. Marianne Gasser, ICRC Head of Delegation in Syria, after entering the area said, "When we arrived, the scene was heart-breaking. People are faced with impossible choices. You see their eyes filled with sadness. It was very moving. No-one knows how many people are left in the east, and the evacuation could take days. Working alongside the Red Crescent, we will continue to act as a neutral intermediary, and help as many people as possible who are in need." You can read more about the situation on the ground in the full press release.

After nearly six years, the fighting in Syria has caused hundreds of thousands to flee, desperate for some sense of safety. The resulting so-called migration crisis – added to those fleeing violence in places like the Lake Chad Region, Afghanistan, and Yemen – dominated the news earlier this year. Although media interest has since waned somewhat, there are still nearly 65 million people worldwide that have been forcibly displaced. This Sunday, December 18th is International Day of the Migrant and so we’ve decided to mark the occasion in this week’s #ICYMI.

For this week’s roundup, we take a look at some of the conversations and discussions happening around the migration as portrayed by the media and other online outlets.**

Heat, Hunger and War Force Africans onto a ‘Road on Fire’ (The New York Times)

In this beautifully compelling and interactive piece, Reporter Somini Sengupta and Photographer/Videographer Josh Haners look at the complexity behind the migrants fleeing West Africa. “The world dismisses them as economic migrants. The law treats them as criminals who show up at a nation’s borders uninvited. Prayers alone protect them on the journey across the merciless Sahara. But peel back the layers of their stories and you find a complex bundle of trouble and want that prompts the men and boys of West Africa to leave home, endure beatings and bribes, board a smuggler’s pickup truck and try to make a living far, far away.”

Brazil Could Help Solve Europe's Refugee Crisis (Bloomberg)

In this piece by Rodrigo Zeidan and Irineu de Carvalho Filho, the authors ask if the most practical solution to the refugee crisis in Europe could be an ocean away in South America’s largest nation.  “For humanitarian and economic reasons, Brazil may offer the best hope for the hundreds of thousands of Syrians fleeing war and the millions of Africans desperate for a better life across the Mediterranean. In the process, Brazil could also rescue itself from dire financial straits.”

We Can Fight Hate and Racism by Telling the Stories of Migrants (The Guardian)

The Deborah Cass Prize is a prize for new writing by authors from a migrant background. Dan Cass writes in this opinion pieces that the judges – Christos Tsiolkas, Tony Ayers and Alice Pung – are proof that migrant writers can enrich Australia.

These photos show why migrants desperately want out of Costa Rica (Washington Post)

In this photo essay, the Washington Post’s Michael Robinson Chavez shares his experience in a refugee camp in Peñas Blancas, Costa Rica, a town sharing a border with Nicaragua. “They were living in tents doing what they could to survive, hoping to get to the next destination along a burgeoning path of migration moving into North America. It is a scene like many all over the world. Except this time, the dust-caked camp has materialized in a country not often associated with migration.”

International migration: Key findings from the U.S., Europe and the world (Pew Research Center)

Phillip Connor writes that “millions of people have migrated from their homes to other countries in recent years. Some migrants have moved voluntarily, seeking economic opportunities. Others have been forced from their homes by political turmoil, persecution or war and have left their countries to seek asylum elsewhere. To mark International Migrants Day this Sunday, here are our key findings about international migration trends.”

Tsipras calls for breakthrough to help Greece with migrants (Reuters)

Reuters reports that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he would press fellow EU leaders at a summit on Thursday to end deadlock over plans to distribute some of the more than 60,000 asylum-seekers now in Greece. "We have to keep solidarity and make decisions for sharing the burden and the responsibilities," he told reporters on arrival, saying also that the EU should maintain the deal with Turkey which has largely halted the flow of migrants to Greece.

Are you a writer, videographer, photographer or blogger publishing interesting stuff linked to armed conflict, international humanitarian law (a.k.a. the law of armed conflict), innovation, compassion, history, etc. that you think deserves a shout-out here? Send us a link and we might feature your content next week. Write to: nclark (at) icrc (dot) org

**The usual Intercross disclaimer: Just because something is featured here, doesn't mean we endorse or agree with it, and the views expressed on the platforms we're highlighting don't necessarily represent those of the ICRC.**