Repatriation – Atlantic Storm Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:22:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Repatriation – Atlantic Storm 32 32 Duterte renews his call to end the Kafala system Wed, 22 Sep 2021 05:22:00 +0000

President Rodrigo Duterte (Presidential photo)

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday denounced the persistence of the controversial Kafala program which monitors and restricts the movements of migrant workers.

In his recorded speech to the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Duterte renewed his call for the complete abrogation of the Kafala in the Middle East.

“The Kafala system is one of those behemoths that chains the weak, the hopeless and the voiceless to the existence of unimaginable suffering. Nothing can justify the continued existence of this unjust system, ”said Duterte.

Duterte said any project that paves the way for the “exploitation and oppression” of migrant workers must be dismantled.

Duterte made the appeal, as he acknowledged that millions of Filipinos are working abroad “under the most difficult and inhumane circumstances”.

“The Philippines is seeking stronger partnerships to protect the rights of Filipinos and realize the full potential of our nation,” he said. “While reforms have been made, the Kafala system must be dismantled – as soon as possible – in the name of basic justice and decency.”

In April this year, Duterte called for the “complete” abolition of the “unjust” and “exploitative” Kafala system in order to end the inequalities and suffering of migrant workers.

Duterte, in his sixth and final State of the Nation address on July 26, threatened to order the repatriation of Filipino workers abroad from Arab countries, if the controversial Kafala project is not dismantled.

Kafala comes from the Arabic word which means “sponsorship”.

The Kafala system is a mechanism in the Gulf countries used to monitor migrant workers, usually unskilled workers through a sponsor, including household service workers, construction workers and workers in the sector. services.

Under the program, the sponsor is usually the employer who is responsible for the immigration status and visa of the migrant worker. The worker cannot leave without the consent of his employer, which makes him vulnerable to abuse.

On April 23, Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Robert Borje said Duterte was working “quietly” with Middle Eastern heads of state to end the Kafala system. (ANP)

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Haiti Del Rio crisis and lack of power in Afghanistan raise security concerns Tue, 21 Sep 2021 16:57:37 +0000

As the United States faces a growing threat posed by domestic extremists, national security officials on Tuesday expressed deep concern over the potential re-establishment of Al Qaeda and an ISIS-K more terrorist group. powerful to launch attacks from Afghanistan after the chaotic exit of US military forces.

Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Christine Abizaid, told a Senate panel that evolving threats from Afghanistan are the centre’s “top priority” as terrorist groups attempt to fill the gap. the emptiness of the American withdrawal.

Abizaid joined FBI Director Christopher Wray and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas before the Senate Homeland Security Committee where they were closely questioned about the potential risk posed by Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

Following:The Biden and Trump administrations did not miss the ISIS-K threat – they ignored it, experts say

Following:Biden Defends US Exit, Says He Could Not Extend ‘Eternal War’

“We are concerned about what the future holds,” Wray told lawmakers.

At the same time, Wray said the FBI has been tracking a steady increase in domestic terrorism investigations since 2020, when those investigations have increased from around 1,000 to 2,700 currently. The numbers are driven largely by extremists motivated by racial, ethnic, political and anti-government grievances.

But Wray feared that other local actors were increasingly radicalized by foreign terrorists, including those who settle in Afghanistan.

“It’s intimidating,” said Senator Mitt Romney, R-Utah.

Mayorkas under fire from influx of Haitian migrants in Del Rio

Hearing became difficult at times, as Republican members also hammered Mayorkas over the influx of Haitian migrants to the Texas border.

Mayorkas called the gathering of migrants under the international bridge a “human tragedy” which was “extraordinarily difficult to see”.

The secretary said authorities had reduced the number from 15,000 to just under 10,000 by increasing repatriation flights to Haiti and moving others to treatment centers at other locations on the border, describing the wave as “unprecedented”, in number and concentration at a border post.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in Washington, DC on September 9, 2021.

Republican lawmakers, however, demanded that the administration take responsibility for the “human crisis”.

“Do you bear responsibility for the crisis in Del Rio?” Senator Josh Hawley repeatedly asked the secretary. “Yes or no?

“It is my responsibility to deal with the human tragedy in Del Rio,” Mayorkas replied, adding that the migrants had received “false information” from the traffickers about a new administration sympathetic to migrants.

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China pledges to continue supporting Afghanistan “unconditionally”; offers $ 15 million in funds Mon, 20 Sep 2021 17:05:00 +0000

Chinese Ambassador to Kabul Wang Yu met with the Taliban’s Acting Refugee and Repatriation Minister and Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, and vowed to continue to help and cooperate with Afghanistan without any condition. According to Tolo News, China has offered $ 15 million in humanitarian aid as well as three million doses of COVID vaccines to Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation said aid would reach the war-torn country within months. This follows the United States’ announcement of nearly $ 64 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan. On Monday, September 13, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said US aid to Afghanistan would bypass the Taliban and go directly to non-governmental organizations and UN agencies providing aid to underprivileged Afghans, reported the ‘ANI.

China, which is closely monitoring events in Afghanistan, wants to use the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to strengthen its influence in Pakistan and Central and South Asia, to counter US domination. Meanwhile, China also has a vested interest in Afghanistan because its Belt and Road Development (BRI) projects pass through the country, ANI reported.

Earlier this month, official Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said China is their main partner and that the assistance provided by the country will lay the foundation for Afghan development, according to The Guardian, citing the newspaper. Italian La Repubblica.

Mujahid also asserted that the Chinese government is ready to invest and rebuild Afghanistan, which presents a “fundamental and remarkable opportunity” for the Taliban. He also added that the Taliban are determined to rebuild the old Silk Road and that the One Belt, One Road initiative is of great importance to them.

Afghan Rights Commission accuses Taliban of labor interference

Meanwhile, on Sunday, September 19, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) accused the Taliban of seizing its premises in an attempt to obstruct its operations.

“The AIHRC has been in power for some time but has not been able to fulfill its obligations to the Afghan people. The Taliban have taken over all AIHRC offices, scheduling meetings and using vehicles and AIHRC computers, ”the AIHRC said in a statement. by ANI.

The Taliban have systematically violated human rights, including attacks on human rights activists and gross violations of international human rights standards, according to the report. The AIHRC also called on the Taliban to respect the independence of the commission as well as Afghan human rights defenders who have fought tirelessly to protect the rights of Afghans.

(With ANI inputs)

Image: ANI / Twitter / @Wang Yu

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The crew change crisis is getting worse Mon, 20 Sep 2021 05:54:44 +0000

Anglo-Eastern Univan CEO Bjorn Hojgaard took to LinkedIn over the weekend to express his frustration that the crew change crisis was “getting worse, not better” and said ports and the nations were to blame.

“The way we treat seafarers in 2021 is absolutely shameful. Since the start of the pandemic, crew services around the world have struggled to make it easier to change crews against increasingly difficult oddsHojgaard wrote.

“And the seafarers on board are increasingly being treated like outcasts, despite keeping the global supply chain we call shipping running throughout the pandemic – for the most part. benefit people and nations around the world.

Describing the current situation, he said vaccinated sailors were required to self-quarantine for 14-21 days before and after their flights to the port of embarkation, then often asked to self-isolate for an additional 14 days once on board. Even if they were injured on board in the course of their work, many countries would refuse to allow them to disembark for treatment.

In their day-to-day work, they are at risk of becoming infected through interaction with pilots and port workers, and yet, when their contracts are over, it can take months to find a port for repatriation.

While Hojgaard said owners and managers were doing everything in their power to facilitate the crew change, those responsible were the nations and ports blocking the process.

“No, the real culprits here are the ports and the nations that decide that, yes, they want the ships and their cargo, but no, they don’t allow the crew change. Not on my doorstep! You can do it elsewhere, thank you very much!

He noted that the crew change east of Suez was the exception rather than the norm, with blatant disregard for the humanitarian costs for the sailors.

Whether seafarers were vaccinated or not had no bearing on the policies of many ports.

“Requiring ships and their cargo to call at their ports, and at the same time expecting other countries and ports to take full responsibility for facilitating crew change is truly unsustainable. It is shortsighted and it is wrong, ”Hojgaard said.

Hojgaard is by no means the only one frustrated by the lack of action in the face of the crew change crisis.

Speaking to Marine Money Asia last week, Berge Bulk CEO James Marshall detailed some of his ongoing issues in repatriating the crew.

“It’s frustrating, it’s difficult to remove the crew from our ships at the moment, and these are crews that have been at sea for six months and are by nature Covid-free, in quarantine for six months.”

Marshall said at present they have a ship in Europe where they are unable to get the crew off and have been going around different ports to try to do so. In this case, Chinese sailors must have three weeks of quarantine before being repatriated, but most European ports require the crew to fly within seven days.

” It’s a big problem. It’s a logistical issue and it’s a mental health issue for our sailors so we’re very worried about them, and we’re working really hard for them. We are doing our best, everyone is doing their best, but it is a very difficult situation, ”he said.

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Twenty-two Cuban citizens repatriated to Cuba by the US coast guard on Saturday Sun, 19 Sep 2021 17:17:38 +0000

Cuba: Twenty-two Cuban citizens were repatriated to Cuba by the US Coast Guard on Saturday, following 3 bans off Dania Beach and Key West.

On a regular patrol, the Coast Guard crew – “Cutter Ibi” briefed Miami Coast Guard sector watchmen at around 9:05 am Monday of a metal vessel with 8 people on board at nearly 9:05 am on Monday. ‘a mile east of Dania Beach. They were then brought aboard the coast guard Isaac Mayo and reported in good physical shape.

A Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations plane crew briefed Key West Coast Guard area observers at around 9:20 a.m. Tuesday of a white foam vessel with five people on board at about 55 miles southwest of Marathon. They were brought aboard the -Cutter Isaac Mayo and reported to be in good health.

Nearly 3 p.m. Wednesday, a Good Samaritan briefed observers in the Key West area of ​​an artificial sailing raft with 9 people on board about nine miles south of Big Pine Key. After that, they were then brought aboard the – Cutter Isaac Mayo and in good health.

Additionally, the Caribbean island is grappling with the COVID-19 outbreak and has now become the first nation in the world to administer COVID-19 vaccines to toddlers with its home-grown vaccine.

According to statistics, the island nation has reported more than 793,000 confirmed cases of the deadliest COVID-19 mutant while more than 6,733 have lost their lives.

If we look at the vaccination statistics, so far there are a total of 7,708,885 people who have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is about 68.0% of the total population. In comparison, about 4,457,783 people have received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and are now fully vaccinated against the mutant.

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22 migrants repatriated to Cuba by the coast guard Sat, 18 Sep 2021 23:59:13 +0000

The US Coast Guard repatriated 22 Cubans to Cuba on Saturday, following three bans off Dania Beach and Key West.

During a routine patrol, the crew of Coast Guard Ibis informed the Coast Guard in the Miami Coast Guard Sector on Monday at around 9:05 a.m. of a metal vessel with eight people on board at about one. mile east of Dania Beach.

They were brought aboard the coast guard Isaac Mayo and reported to be in good health.

At 9:20 a.m. on Tuesday, a Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations aircraft crew notified the Key West Coast Guard of a white foam vessel with five people on board about 55 miles above sea level. southwest of Marathon. They were brought aboard the Cutter Isaac Mayo and reported to be in good health.

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, a Good Samaritan informed the Key West sector watchmen of an artificial sailing raft with nine people on board about nine miles south of Big Pine Key. They were brought aboard the Cutter Isaac Mayo and reported to be in good health.

A d

“Navigating the Straits of Florida on ships in disrepair is extremely dangerous,” said Sean Connett, a duty officer with District 7 Command Center. “The Coast Guard and our partner agencies continue to stop these trips. You will be banned and if you expect to be repatriated to your home country.

Copyright 2021 by WPLG – All rights reserved.

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Campaign for the return of bronzes from Benin, other important items taken during colonial times – Blueprint Newspapers Limited Fri, 17 Sep 2021 23:31:58 +0000

The Benin Bronzes are a collection of over 3,000 figures and other decorative pieces looted by the British in 1897. Today, they are housed in over 160 public and private collections around the world. These objects were created from the 13th century by the Bini people and include busts of portraits in brass and bronze. Some were made using the sophisticated lost wax casting method, which was once considered an uniquely European invention.

The Bronzes from Benin or rather the objects from Benin, because not all are made of metal; some are in ivory or wood, are objects from the Kingdom of Benin.

Ill-gotten goods

On January 2, 1897, James Philips, a British official left for the coast of Nigeria to visit the Oba kingdom of Benin. Historical reports say that he took a handful of colleagues with him, and it is assumed that he went to persuade the Oba to end the disruptions to British trade.

When Philips learned that the Oba would not see him because a holy feast was taking place, he went anyway. He never came back. For the Kingdom of Benin, the assassination of Philips and most of his party had enormous repercussions. Within a month, the British sent 1,200 soldiers in revenge. On February 18, the British Army captured Benin in a violent raid. All valuables found in the king’s palace and surrounding houses were looted. Within a month, much of the bounty was in England. The artifacts were donated to museums or auctioned or kept by soldiers for their fireplace pieces.

Campaign for the return of our objects

Nigeria has been calling for the return of its artifacts for decades. Some parts stolen during the raid have found their way back home. This happened when the British Museum sold several plaques to Nigeria in the 1950s, when the Lagos Museum was established. Others, it was sold on the open market. But these were not free and it is the large-scale return of our objects that is requested for the moment.

A key moment came in the 1970s when the organizers of the great festival of black arts and culture; FESTAC ’77, asked the British Museum for a precious object: a 16th century ivory mask depicting Oba’s mother {now widely known as the FESTAC head}. Organizers wanted to borrow the work to serve as the centerpiece of the 1977 event, but the British Museum said it was too fragile and therefore would not publish it. This incident is still relevant more than 40 years later.

Almost since their looting, demands for the return of our artifacts have been made by Nigeria and other African states. Now, with the intense interest in colonial spoils, attention has returned to them. The announcement by French President Emmanuel Macron in 2017 in Ouagadougou to return the colonial spoils of French colonial museums and to commission a revolutionary report from Senegalese writer Felwine Sarr and French art historian Bénédicte Savoy was at heart of this change of interest. supported his decision.

Over the past decade, a consortium known as the Benin Dialogue Group with the cooperation of the National Commission for Museums and Monuments has worked to repatriate some of these Beninese bronzes and establish a permanent exhibition in Benin. City.

Obstacles to repatriation

The British Museum holds around 900 objects arguably the largest collection to date and with government support has refused restitution. This is part of a larger debate on the responsibility of colonialism as a crime against humanity. In addition, the British Museum is currently prevented from returning its loot by the British Museum Act of 1963 and the National Heritage Act of 1983.

Museum officials, at the start of the quest to repatriate these artefacts, were initially unaware of the problem of colonial plunder. When the pressure mounted, they downplayed criticism, ridiculed criticism, and even defamed them.

Another pressing question asked by most museums / governments is what happens to artefacts when they return to their country of origin. Frankly though, that shouldn’t be their concern. What the rightful owners do with their art is their decision and this should not delay the return.

Many objects are in private hands and museums. Calling on these people to fire them can be difficult as some are just not willing to do so and no law requires them.

Many Western countries have laws ensuring the return of Nazi looted art, this approach has not been extended to stolen art in Africa and other parts of the world.

Change attitudes towards repatriation by international museums.

The German Minister of Culture aptly captures the changing realities of most international museum institutions. We have a historical and moral responsibility to bring to light Germany’s colonial past. We would like to contribute to understanding and reconciliation with the descendants of people who were stripped of their cultural treasures during colonial times.

Asmau Hussain-Braimah,

National Museums, Abuja

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The mortal remains of the national Pak who died in Bhuj repatriated Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:00:46 +0000 THE DEADLY REMAINS of Hamir Hamza, a Pakistani national who died in June this year while being held in a detention center in Bhuj after being detained for allegedly crossing the Indo-Pakistan border at Kutch in 2017, have been handed over Pakistani authorities on Wednesday, police said.

The repatriation of Hamir’s body comes around two weeks after another man believed to be a Pakistani national and detained in Bhuj was buried in Jamnagar on August 27 after his nationality could not be established even after his death in January. of this year.

Hamir, who was in his 50s, died of illness on June 13 this year while being treated at GK General Hospital in Bhuj, the seat of Kutch district. His body was taken to the Guru Gobind Singh Government General Hospital (GG Hospital) in Jamnagar for a forensic autopsy. But since the morgue at GG Hospital was full, Hamir’s body was taken back to Bhuj and kept at GK General Hospital, police said. “After verification of his nationality, the mortal remains of Hamir were handed over to the Pakistani authorities on September 15 at the border of Wagah, in Punjab,” a police officer from Kutch (west) told Indian Express.

Police said Hamir was arrested by border security forces after allegedly crossing the Indian side of the Indo-Pakistan border in 2017.

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Momen calls for help from Commonwealth to speed up repatriation of Rohingya Fri, 17 Sep 2021 12:02:43 +0000

British Commonwealth Minister Lord Ahmad hails Bangladesh’s humanitarian leadership in protecting Rohingya people

Foreign Minister Dr AK Abul Momen called on members of the Commonwealth, including its incumbent President, the United Kingdom, to engage with Myanmar to respect the “interim measures” of the United Kingdom. CIJ and accelerates the return of the Rohingyas to their ancestral homes in Burma.

“Bangladesh would like to emphatically reiterate that the swiftest repatriation of all forcibly displaced Rohingya to their ancestral homeland in Rakhine in safety and dignity remains our top priority,” he said.

The Foreign Secretary was addressing the 21st Commonwealth Foreign Ministers Meeting held virtually in London on Thursday, chaired by new UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Elizabeth Truss, said a press release issued by the Bangladesh mission in London on Friday. .

Dr Momen also called on Myanmar to comply with the interim measures of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and ensure the sustainable return of the Rohingya.

British Foreign Minister Elizabeth Truss highlighted the Commonwealth Rohingya agenda in the context of Bangladesh, while British Commonwealth Minister Lord Ahmad praised Bangladesh’s humanitarian leadership in protecting the Rohingya and reaffirmed the United Kingdom’s continued diplomatic efforts for a safe and sustainable return of the Rohingya to Myanmar.

Read also – FM at UN: Bangladesh ready to work with Myanmar and others for lasting solution to Rohingya crisis

On the issue of Covid-19 vaccines, Dr Momen reiterated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s call for vaccines to be delivered as global public goods without discrimination or disparity and urged Commonwealth ministers to raise their voices groups for an early and fair distribution of vaccines as part of the Covax installation.

Welcoming Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s global climate leadership, Foreign Minister thanked the Commonwealth for first recognizing the 48-member Climate Vulnerability Forum (CVF) and proposed prosperity projects climate shared between the CVF and the Commonwealth as part of the Climate Finance Action Hub.

The Foreign Minister also informed the meeting that as the lead country of the Commonwealth Business-to-Business Connectivity Cluster, Bangladesh hosted the first high-level virtual dialogue on B2B connectivity last year, making promoting a low-carbon business recovery model and a Commonwealth Digital Market. Bangladesh High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Governor of the Commonwealth Board of Governors Saida Muna Tasneem attended the meeting and presented the report of the Commonwealth Ministerial Group meeting on Guyana chaired by the Minister of Business foreigners from Bangladesh last Tuesday.

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PH adds 4 other countries to the red list; 52 on the green list – Manila Bulletin Fri, 17 Sep 2021 01:43:00 +0000

Malacañang announced that Grenada, Papua New Guinea, Serbia and Slovenia have been added to the so-called Red List countries, barring travelers from these countries from entering the Philippines from September 19, 2021.


Presidency spokesman Harry Roque made the announcement amid the growing number of cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

In a statement released on Friday morning, September 17, Roque said that the entry ban on travelers from the said four countries would last until September 30, 2021.

Prior to that, the government identified nine countries on the red list. They are as follows:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Israel
  • Kosovo
  • Montenegro
  • North Macedonia
  • St. LUCIA
  • Switzerland

The Interagency Working Group (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has classified the Red List countries / jurisdictions / territories as “high risk” based on the following parameters

  • For populations greater than 100,000, the incidence rate should be greater than 500
  • For populations under 100,000, the number of COVID-19 cases must be over 500 and the rate of testing in the past 28 days per 100,000 population

Incoming international travelers, regardless of their immunization status, will not be permitted to enter the Philippines. Only Filipinos returning to the country via government initiated repatriation, uninitiated government repatriation and Bayanihan flights may be allowed entry, subject to entry, testing and quarantine protocols.

Green and yellow lists

The IATF has also updated the countries on the green list:

  1. American Samoa
  2. Burkina Faso
  3. Cameroon
  4. Cayman Islands
  5. Chad
  6. China
  7. Comoros
  8. Republic of Congo
  9. Djibouti
  10. Equatorial Guinea
  11. Falkland Islands (Malvinas)
  12. Gabon
  13. Hong Kong
  14. Hungary
  15. Madagascar
  16. Mali
  17. Federated States of Micronesia
  18. Montserrat
  19. New Caledonia
  20. New Zealand
  21. Niger
  22. Northern Mariana Islands
  23. Palau
  24. Poland
  25. Saba (special municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands)
  26. Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  27. Sierra Leone
  28. Saint-Eustache
  29. Taiwan
  30. Algeria
  31. Bhutan
  32. the Cook Islands
  33. Eritrea
  34. Kiribati
  35. Marshall Islands
  36. Nauru
  37. Nicaragua
  38. Niue
  39. North Korea
  40. Saint Helena
  41. Samoa
  42. The Solomon Islands
  43. Sudan
  44. Syria
  45. Tajikstan
  46. Tanzania
  47. Tokelau
  48. Tonga
  49. Turkmenistan
  50. Tuvalu
  51. Vanuatu
  52. Yemen

Meanwhile, countries, jurisdictions and territories that are not on the red or green lists are placed on the “yellow list”.

The IATF has classified the Yellow List countries / jurisdictions / territories as “moderate risk” based on the following parameters:

  • For populations greater than 100,000, the incidence rate should be 50 to 500
  • For populations under 100,000, the number of COVID-19 cases will be 50 to 500; and the rate of test tests in the past 28 days per 100,000 population

Incoming international travelers, regardless of their immunization status, from or with a travel history within the last 14 days prior to arriving in the Philippines from Yellow List states will be governed by entry protocols, test and quarantine.



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