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asylum seekers

70 Pakistani asylum seekers to be deported from Thailand

BANGKOK: Thai authorities have convicted 70 Pakistani asylum seekers of staying illegally in Thailand, as police intensify a crackdown on illegal immigration. The Taling Chan Provincial Court, according to Associated Press, issued fines and up to two-month suspended jail sentences to the group, which was charged with overstaying their visas and illegal entry. An officer in charge of the case, who declined to be named because of office policy, said they will be held in a detention centre until they are deported. The…

Austria asylum seekers to be denied apprenticeships

VIENNA: Austria will no longer allow asylum seekers to take up apprenticeship opportunities while their claims are being assessed, a policy reversal by the country's anti-immigration government criticised by the opposition. The government is working on a new regulation to fill vacant training places with labourers from third countries, but will no longer open them to asylum seekers, government spokesman Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal told the Austrian news agency APA late Sunday. The decision reverses a 2012 policy aimed at…

German free-meals charity bars new migrant clients

BERLIN: A German food bank said on Thursday it would temporarily stop accepting new non-German clients, citing a huge influx of migrants that was displacing locals in need. "We want the German granny to be able to keep coming to us," said Joerg Sartor, chairman of the charitable group that serves free meals to the poor in the western city of Essen. He said especially German elderly people and single mothers had been gradually displaced over the past two years as the share of migrants had risen to three-quarters of…

Japan took in 20 asylum seekers last year as nearly 20,000 applied

TOKYO: The number of asylum seekers in Japan grew 80 percent to a record 19,628 in 2017 - but only 20 were accepted, the government said on Tuesday. Immigration is a controversial subject in Japan, where many pride themselves on cultural and ethnic homogeneity, even as the population ages and its workforce shrinks. Although a major donor to international aid organisations, Japan has been reluctant to relax asylum policies or allow in migrant blue-collar workers. The number of people seeking refugee status had been…

Pope wears refugee ID bracelet in appeal for help for migrants

BOLOGNA, ITALY: Pope Francis on Sunday urged governments and people to do more to help migrants and not see them as enemies, wearing a plastic ID bracelet used by asylum seekers to drive home his message. Francis visited a drab refugee center on the outskirts of Bologna known simply as “The Hub”. Run by a charity, it is home to about 1,000 asylum seekers, most of whom risked their lives crossing the Mediterranean from Africa and the Middle East. There, they live in gray containers and other forms of temporary housing…

Afghan charged over smuggling over 250 asylum seekers to Australia

SYDNEY: An Afghan man who reportedly made millions of dollars smuggling asylum-seekers to Australia by boat has been extradited from Indonesia and charged with 10 offences, Australian police said Friday. Ahmad Zia Alizadah, who was flown from Jakarta to Perth on Thursday, is accused of charging 263 asylum-seekers between US$4,000 to US$10,000 each for the perilous boat trips, The Australian newspaper reported. Although such extraditions remain rare, they are part of the conservative government's tough policy on…

Italy’s ‘anti-Trump’ bid to integrate migrants

BELLUNO, ITALY: As US President Donald Trump's anti-Muslim decree fuels a tumultuous global debate, Italy is quietly experimenting with an integration project to better the lives of both asylum seekers and locals. Snow falls thick and fast in Belluno, a town at the foot of the Dolomites, but a group of young men from across Africa works cheerfully to clean up the grounds of a military barrack that is to become a new cultural centre. "It's the first time I've seen the snow; I love it and I love this project," Nawaz…

US officials arrive in Australia to begin assessing asylum seekers

SYDNEY: US officials have arrived in Australia to begin assessing asylum seekers held on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and Nauru for resettlement in the United States, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Saturday. Australia announced last week it had reached a deal in which the United States would take a substantial number of the 1,200 refugees held at the Australian-funded offshore processing centres, although the election of Donald Trump has injected uncertainty into the agreement. Trump started campaigning for…