Monthly Archives: May 2015

Daily World News Digest, 19 May 2015

Teenage girls top missing persons list in Indian city

The Times of India reports today that police in the city of Kolhabur in the state of Maharashtra were unable to trace around 23 percent of missing persons reported in 2014. A total of 1,498 persons were reported missing; police managed to trace 1,150 persons but 348 persons are still missing. Most of those still missing are teenage girls. More than 53,000 children were reported missing in the state in 2014. The number of missing persons dropped from 65,000 in 2013 and 90,654 in 2012.

Call for investigation into missing persons who surrendered to Sri Lanka military

The Tamil Guardian reported on 18 May that the International Truth and Justice Project – Sri Lanka (ITJP), on Monday, released a list of the names of 110 people who were seen surrendering to Sri Lanka’s military on 18 May 2009 by eyewitnesses. ITJP…

Daily World News Digest, 18 May 2015

UN High Commissioner calls for new policy on Southeast Asian migrants

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Friday urged governments in the region to take swift action to protect the lives of some 6,000 Rohingya and Bangladeshi migrants believed to be still stranded at sea in precarious conditions in Southeast Asia. The UN Human Rights Chief praised Indonesia for disembarking 582 migrants on 10 May, and Malaysia for disembarking 1,018 the following day, but said that the pushbacks that had also been taking place were endangering lives. Zeid also expressed alarm at reports that countries in the region are threatening to criminalize vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers who have crossed borders irregularly. Last year, the number of people leaving Myanmar and Bangladesh by boat is estimated to have climbed to around 53,000. Some 920 migrants are known to have perished in the Bay of Bengal…

Daily World News Digest, 15 May 2015

Indonesian fishermen tow migrant boat to Aceh

The BBC reports today that more than 600 migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar stranded at sea have landed in Indonesia’s Aceh province after being rescued by local fishing boats. Thousands of migrants, mainly from the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, are thought to be at sea after being abandoned by people smugglers. About 2,000 came ashore in Aceh earlier this week and are being given medical assistance and food. Since then, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand have been turning boats away. Officials said 210 of those that landed in Aceh on Friday were from Myanmar and 395 from Bangladesh. Medical officials told the BBC’s Indonesian service that eight on board were critically ill.

Officials say DNA will be used to identify victims of Philippines fire

The Gmanetwork news portal from the Philippines reported on 14 May that the remains of 21 of the 72…

Daily World News Digest, 14 May 2015

Mediterranean migrant crisis: HMS Bulwark rescues hundreds

The BBC reported on 13 May that a British warship has rescued hundreds of migrants from the Mediterranean, according to the UK Ministry of Defence. HMS Bulwark brought more than 400 people to safety after they were found 40 miles from the Libyan coast in inflatable boats. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the Royal Navy had rescued about 600 people so far this month. The European Commission has proposed a scheme to offer 20,000 refugees the right to resettle in the EU over the next two years, as part of a €50m plan. The Commission is urging EU states to share the burden of processing asylum claims. Italy and Greece, facing a migrant surge, are struggling to cope. Under EU law the UK, Ireland and Denmark are exempt from the quota plan. There is pressure for tougher EU action to send economic migrants…

Daily World News Digest, 13 May 2015

Nepal earthquake: rescue work resumes after latest deadly tremor

The BBC reports today that work has resumed to find victims and survivors after the latest deadly earthquake to hit Nepal. At least 65 people died and nearly 2,000 were hurt in Tuesday’s 7.3 magnitude quake, with fears the figures could rise. At least 17 died in India. A search continues for a missing US aid helicopter with eight people on board. Thousands of Nepalis spent the night in the open. Many have not returned to their homes since a 7.8 magnitude quake on 25 April that killed over 8,000.

Yemen armed groups recruiting children

Human Rights Watch reported on 12 May that the Houthi armed group in Yemen has intensified its recruitment, training, and deployment of children in violation of international law. Since September 2014, when the Houthis, also known as Ansar Allah, took control of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, they…

Libya Must Account for the Missing, Uphold the Rights of Families

Libyan lawyers and other stakeholders, meeting at a seminar in Istanbul, today called on the parties preparing a national dialogue in Libya to make a formal commitment not only to work towards disclosing the fate of missing persons but to conduct investigations and also to safeguard the rights of families.

Legal experts, civil society activists and government representatives from Libya participated in a seminar on Monday and Tuesday on “criminal Procedure and the use of evidence in court-led processes on mass graves and missing persons in Libya”. The seminar, organized by the International Commission on Missing Persons, was designed to help Libyan stakeholders develop a legal framework through which the issue of missing persons in Libya can be addressed effectively when the operating environment stabilizes.

Under ICMP auspices, experts from the Netherlands Forensic Institute, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Court, the Libyan National Dialogue Preparatory…

Daily World News Digest, 12 May 2015

EU seeks UN support to tackle migrant smuggling

The BBC reports today that EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has pleaded for UN help to dismantle criminal groups smuggling migrants into the European Union. “We need to count on your support to save lives,” she told a Security Council briefing on EU plans to use force against smugglers. Libya, where many smugglers operate, has objected to the EU proposals. More than 1,800 migrants have died in the Mediterranean in 2015 – a 20-fold increase on the same period in 2014. Some 60,000 people have already tried to make the perilous crossing this year, the UN estimates. Many are fleeing conflict or poverty in countries such as Syria, Eritrea, Nigeria and Somalia. Ms Mogherini was seeking to determine a legal basis for the search-and-destroy operations to be carried out on empty Libyan, smuggling boats. The difficulty lies in telling the difference…

Daily World News Digest, 11 May 2015

Rohingya migrants’ boat rescued off Indonesia

The BBC reports today that nearly 600 people believed to be Bangladeshis and Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar have been rescued from boats drifting in Indonesian waters. At least two overcrowded boats – with many women and children on board – were towed by local fishermen to the shores of Aceh province on Sunday. Myanmar does not recognize members of the Rohingya community as citizens. Hundreds of thousands have fled persecution in recent years, often through Thailand but also by sea. Indonesian authorities and aid agencies believe the rescued group had been at sea for about a week.

Mediterranean migrant crisis: EU refugee quotas proposed

The BBC reports today that the UN estimates that 60,000 people have already tried to cross the Mediterranean this year. Migrants are being driven to make the journey by “horrific abuse” in Libya, according to Amnesty International. More than 1,800…

Daily World News Digest, 8 May 2015

Migrant crisis: capsized boat found in Mediterranean

The BBC reported on 7 May that the Italian navy believes it has found a boat that sank in the Mediterranean, leaving at least 800 migrants dead. The three-deck boat sank near the Libyan coast three weeks ago, in what the UN has called the deadliest ever incident in the Mediterranean. On Wednesday, the Italian navy said it had found a boat 375m (1,230 feet) below on the sea bed. Only 28 people survived after the boat crashed into a merchant ship – four of the survivors were children. Rescuers found only 24 bodies at the scene. Italian prosecutors say the migrants paid between $700 and $7,000 to be on board, having been forced to stay on a farm in Libya for up to a month before the journey.

Zimbabwe silent on missing activist

Human Rights Watch called on the Zimbabwe authorities today…

Daily World News Digest, 7 May 2015

Yemen: Pro-Houthi Forces Attack, Detain Civilians

Human Rights Watch reports today that Pro-Houthi forces have fatally shot two women and held aid workers hostage in the Yemeni city of Aden. The incidents, possible war crimes, exemplify the grave threats to civilians in the embattled southern seaport, where Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, and their allies are fighting forces of the Popular Resistance Committees for control of the city, HRW said.

Australia’s unsolved missing person cases

9news from Australia reports today on a missing persons case in New South Wales and notes that around 35,000 people are reported missing in Australia each year, or one every 15 minutes. Most are found safe and well, but at least 1,600 people are yet to be found after more than six months without being seen.

Around 1,460 missing in Donbas, about 400 held captive – Kuchma

Interfax Ukraine reported on 6 May…