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efms Migration Report

June 2006

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EU: Action plan with African states to fight human smuggling

On 6 and 7 June 2006, representatives of 50 European and African states gathered in the Senegalese capital Dakar to discuss an initiative originally launched by Morocco, Spain and France to fight illegal migration to the EU members states. The diplomats agreed on an action plan comprising both counter-acting and preventive measures. Among other actions to be taken, the plan foresees a stronger police co-operation on land, sea and air to increase the fight against human smuggling. It is foreseen to intensify border controls and to provide African border police forces with better training as well as digitalised data bases on criminal organisations and traffickers. Further, efficient surveillance systems will be provided. In addition, the European states intend to provide more aid to African countries and to intensify the business relations with the countries affected in order to improve the living conditions there.
Spiegel (online) 06.06.06 // taz (online) 08.06.06 // NZZ 09.06.06 // NZZ 28.06.06

UN report on international migration and development

About 191 million people, or almost 3 per cent of the world population, do not live in their countries of origin. This is one of the findings of a report on international migration and development, presented by UN secretary-general Kofi Annan in New York on 6 June 2006. One hundred and fifteen million migrants are living in industrialised countries, while 75 million are living in developing countries, whereas the migration flows between developing countries are almost as strong as those between developing countries and industrialised countries. However, the number of migratory movements towards industrialised countries is growing at a faster pace that those to other parts of the world; in 2005, more than one third of all migrants were living in Europe. For both the countries of origin and the countries of destination, this would constitute a positive phenomenon, said Annan. The emigration of skilled migrants out the developing countries would partly be compensated by return migrations, investments and money transfers at a later time. Increased consumer demand and contributions to the pension schemes of countries with ageing populations would contribute to economic growth and the development of the industrialised countries. Annan proposes the establishment of a standing UN forum for migration issues in order to investigate and compare aspects of migration on national and international level. By such body, new political ideas could be disseminated to maximise developmental benefits.
Press release of UN general secretariat 06.06.06 // BZ 08.06.06

OECD: Immigration is on the rise

According to the "International Migration Outlook", a report published in Paris on 8 June 2006 by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), immigration to the industrialised countries has increased considerably during the past years. In some countries, like for example Germany, however, figures are declining. In the OECD members states, between three and 3.5 million persons were granted a long-term resident status in 2004. In 2004, the overall number of immigrants increased by 15 per cent to 2.24 million. The increases were particularly remarkable in the US (up 34 per cent to 946,100), Italy (up 28 per cent to 156,400) and Great Britain (up 24 per cent to 266,500). The number of immigrants to Germany fell by 15 per cent to 202,300. Nominally, this marked the strongest decline among all OECD states. In percentage terms, only Finland registered an even stronger decline totalling 25 per cent to 5,600.
Press release of OECD 08.06.06 // swissinfo (online) 08.06.06 // SZ 09.06.06 // taz (online) 09.06.06 // Welt (online) 09.06.06

Micro census 2005 and Migration Report 2005: Despite falling immigration figures, one fifth of the overall population has a migration background

According to the micro census 2005, the number of persons in Germany having a migration background amounts to 15.3 million citizens and is thus much larger than estimated so far. This figure represents about one fifth (19 per cent) of the overall population (82.7 million). Former statistics showed a proportion of only half this number, due to the fact that the only criterion was nationality, with factors like place of birth and naturalisations not being taken into consideration. As it was found out now, there are more Germans having a migration background (8 million) than foreigners (6.7 million). Five point six million are immigrated foreigners, three million are naturalised persons and 1.8 million have come to Germany as so-called "Spätaussiedler" (late German repatriates) since 1 August 1999. Even though about 2.7 million Germans have a migration background, they were born in Germany. However, the number of immigrants is declining. According to the Migration Report 2005, which was adopted by the federal government on 16 June 2006, around 136,000 persons entered Germany in the past year with the intent to permanently stay in the country. In 2005, the number of visas issued within the framework of spouses and family reunification of third-country nationals fell to 53,000, following 76,000 in 2003 and 66,000 in 2004. With almost 29,000 initial asylum applications filed in 2005, the number of asylum seekers fell by almost 19 per cent compared to the previous year. Moreover, the number of late German repatriates declined to 35,000 persons.
Die Welt 07.06.06 // taz 07.06.06 // Handelsblatt 07.06.06 // Die Welt 15.06.06 // Press release of BMI 16.06.06

KMK and BMBF present report on "Education in Germany"

According to the joint report titled "Education in Germany", published on 2 June 2006 by the Conference of Ministers of Education (KMK) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), migrant children form the most disadvantaged group within the German education and vocational training system. On international level this comparative study confirms the latest PISA findings: Compared to other countries that would be able to compensate the differences in competencies among immigrants already in the second generation of migrants by implementing systematic integration and education policies, Germany would clearly lack behind. For the first time, the report shows in detail the areas of the education system where children of immigrants are subject to discrimination. At primary schools, for instance, a tendency towards discrimination by giving worse marks to migrant children was determined. With a view to higher education schools, the report finds that children of foreigners "had not only difficulties in accessing higher education but also more problems in staying at these higher level schools". According to the study, migrants in some federal states would face a risk as double as high as the one of pupils of German origin to stay down a year. Also the number of pupils leaving school without any final examination would be as twice as high among pupils having a migration background. "We should no longer accept that the involvement of migrant children is so drastically different compared to German children", said KMK chairwomen Ute Erdsiek-Rave (SPD). For the future it is planned to publish education reports every two years and to introduce assessment tests like PISA. By such assessment tests, the knowledge of pupils in grades three, eight and nine will be measured on a random basis.
Die Welt 30.05.06 // BZ (online) 02.06.06 // Press release of KMK 02.06.06 // FTD 06.06.06 // taz 07.06.06

Number of anti-Semitic offences declining

According to the federal government in its reply to a "small inquiry" made by the parliamentary group of the Left Party, the number of anti-Semitic offences is declining again after having experienced a substantial increase at the end of 2005. During the first four months of 2006, a total of 132 offences with an anti-Semitic background have been registered. In the forth quarter of 2005, 403 cases of such offences were registered, after 186 and 308 cases registered in the two preceding quarters.
FR 14.06.06

New chairwomen of the Central Council of Jews

As the first women to preside the Central Council of Jews in Germany, 73-year old Charlotte Knobloch was elected chairwoman on 7 June 2006. Among other things, she has called for intensifying the fight against neo-Nazis and right-wing extremism and for the integration of immigrated Jews from the former Soviet Union. 07.06.06 // Die Welt 08.06.06 // SZ 09.06.06

Hamburg now also to deport families to Afghanistan

Following the deportation of single men and couples, the city of Hamburg plans for the future to deport also families with children. According to an announcement of the Senator of the Interior, Udo Nagel (crossbench), the foreigners" authorities will start in July to contact in writing all Afghan families found to be obliged to leave the country in order to invite them successively to be interviewed by the authorities. In these interviews, the benefits associated with a voluntary return would be strongly pointed out to the families. Those following the offers would receive financial aids from the government in the amount of up to 4,000 euros per family. If necessary, families found to be obliged to leave the country, however, would also be forced to return, said Nagel.
Die Welt (online) 29.06.06

North Rhine-Westphalia: Local government adopts 20-points action plan on integration

On 27 June 2006, the local government of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia adopted a 20-points catalogue of measures to improve the integration of immigrants. The plan, which was drafted by Integration Minister Armin Laschet (CDU), is also to be presented on the integration summit with the participation of the Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel, which is scheduled to be held on 14 July 2006. The action plan focuses on the area of education and training. The measures starting at pre-school level by offering language support to four-year old kids further include extending the number of all-day schools and finally intend an improved integration in vocational training and at work. The funds provided for pre-school language support measures alone will be increased from currently 7.5 to 17.6 million euros. Moreover, the basic principles for teaching Islamic instruction classes in German language will be defined. In future, migrants will be counselled by integration agencies which will bundle the offers provided so far by welfare organisations. In addition, representatives of industry, science and society will form an integration committee to regularly discuss both advances and mistakes observed in the integration policy.
SZ 26.06.06 // Press release of local government of the state of NRW 27.06.06 // Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger (online) 28.06.06

North Rhine-Westphalia: Headscarf ban for teachers meets with resistance

According to a decision of the local parliament in Düsseldorf adopted on 31 May 2006 with the votes of the governing parties of CDU and FDP, Islamic teachers are no longer allowed to wear headscarves when teaching at public schools in North Rhine-Westphalia. The Central Council of Muslims criticised that the new law would constitute "in fact a ban from profession". The Georg-Büchner grammar school in Düsseldorf has expressed its solidarity with one of its teachers wearing a headscarf and announced to take actions against the decision. One and a half years ago, the teacher of Muslim belief was chosen out of 30 competitors who had applied for the post. The school"s headmaster, Gunter Stauf, said he would be only interested in what was under the headscarf and added he would be even willing to face an official complaint about his conduct as civil servant in reply to his attitude.
SZ 01.06.06 // taz 08.06.06

Bavaria: Demonstrations against right-wing extremism

By organising a demonstration of two and a half hours on 3 June 2006, the city of Cham, located in the Bavarian district of Upper Palatinate, set an example against the right-wing party NPD and its supporters. About 7,000 persons gathered on the central market square to demonstrate against xenophobia. Representatives of the churches, politicians active on communal, local and federal level as well as student representatives made a call for resistance. Recently, Cham saw two right-wing demonstrations and the assault of two men by neo-Nazis. Moreover, the NPD party plans to acquire the site of a former supermarket to convert it into a convention centre.
SZ 06.06.06

Berlin district of Wedding: German National Prize 2006 awarded to Herbert-Hoover secondary school

On 27 June 2006, the Herbert-Hoover secondary school was awarded the prize endowed with 75,000 euros for the autonomous decision to only speak German on the school yard and at the entire school, which was taken by students, teachers and parents. Of the total of 370 students, 90 per cent are not of German origin. In its reasoning, the German National Foundation argued that the initiative taken by the school would have clearly shown "the importance of language skills as a prerequisite for integration" and that it would be an example for how to cope with language problems autonomously.
Press release of German National Foundation of 25.05.06 // FR 20.06.06 // SZ 27.06.06 // FAZ 28.06.06

Asylum statistics

In June 2006, a total of 1,504 persons have submitted a petition for political asylum in Germany. The figure constitutes an decrease of 11.2 per cent (-189 persons) compared to May 2006. Compared to June 2005, the number of asylum seekers has declined by 34.2 per cent (-783 persons). The main countries of origin in June 2006 were Serbia and Montenegro (229), Iraq (158) and Turkey (149) followed by Vietnam (91) and the Russian Federation (58). In June 2006, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees has reviewed the applications of 2,543 asylum seekers, 30 (1.2 per cent) of whom have been recognised as entitled to political asylum. A further 118 persons (4.6 per cent) have been granted protection against deportation according to §60, paragraph 1, Residence Act. The applications of 1,460 people (57.4 per cent) have been rejected. The cases of another 935 persons (36.8 per cent) have been closed for other reasons, for example because asylum seekers have withdrawn their applications.
Press release BMI of 10.07.06

June 2006

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