Daily World News Digest, 3 February 2017

Migrant crisis: EU summit seeks action on people smuggling

The BBC reports today that European Union leaders are meeting in Malta to discuss how to stem the influx of migrants from North Africa. Boosting the Libyan coastguard and tackling people smugglers are the main proposals. Hundreds of thousands of migrants try to reach Europe each year. Many of them go missing or simply drown while crossing the Mediterranean. Most of those arriving in Libya come from a range of African countries, some fleeing persecution, many seeking a better life. Migrants have fled Nigeria, for example, because of the instability in the north caused by Boko Haram. In Eritrea, many flee to escape military service which can last for decades and was compared in a UN report to slavery. http://bbc.in/2l2YRXd

UN Working Group to study disappearance of migrants

Prensa Latina reports today that the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances has announced that it will examine almost 600 reported cases of missing people from 42 countries. The group established in 1980 by the then Human Rights Commission, stated in a press release that it will meet from 6 to 10 February in Seoul, South Korea, to analyse these cases. According to the group comprised of five experts, among the issues to be discussed will be legislation and the impact of disappearances on migrants. http://bit.ly/2kztyq2

Mexico: families form brigades to search for the missing

The Wire reported yesterday that families in Mexico have formed search brigades in order to look for relatives who have gone missing as a result of the war on drugs. The man behind the creation of the brigades, Juan Carlos Trujillo Herrera, said “All the public prosecutor offices in the country are saturated with this issue, there is no structure in place that would allow us to think that the institutions are going to work. That is why we have had to go out to look ourselves for our family members.” In ten years, the war on drugs is reported to have left at least 30,000 missing, although registers on disappearances vary greatly among the different authorities and civil society organisations. http://bit.ly/2kYQFvg

Hundreds protest continued detentions in Nigeria

Channels TV reported yesterday that members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have staged another protest over the continued incarceration of their leader, (Sheik) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky. IMN protesters joined their counterparts across the 36 states of the federation including Abuja, protesting what they termed illegal detention of their leader, due to the government’s decision not to obey a court order for the immediate release of El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members of the movement in 2016. http://bit.ly/2l29kTS

Thailand: New exhibit sheds light on missing activists

The Bangkok Post reports today that 35 portraits of 37 human rights defenders, either killed or abducted in Thailand in the past decades, are on display at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre until Sunday. The exhibit was originally created by the Bangkok-based photographer Luke Duggleby. The subjects of Duggleby’s work fought for land rights, against corruption or environmentally destructive projects that threatened their community and livelihood. They were silenced as a result. Out of the 37 assassinations or enforced disappearances he covered, only four made it to the courts and only one led to a conviction. As Thai law still doesn’t recognize and define enforced disappearance. http://bit.ly/2kYNjbU

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff. These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.