Headlines: Refugees

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Hundreds of thousands of Eritrean, Bangladeshi, and Nigerian migrant workers have fled the fighting in eastern and western Libya to parts of Egypt, where despite aid from international organizations some are still stuck in limbo. A recent report by Refugees International slammed Egypt’s military rulers as they admitted their reluctance to allow more permanent structures to be built for fear that it might encourage refugees to stay longer.

As reported in a recent NYTimes piece, more than half of the Haitians driven into tent cities and makeshift camps by the January 2010 earthquake have moved out of them, officially bringing down the displaced population to 680,000 from a peak of 1.5 million, according to the International Organization for Migration. However, only 4.7%, by the group’s estimate, did so because their homes had been rebuilt or repaired forced out instead by mass landowner evictions or in an effort to escape high crime and worsening conditions.

While last week’s headlines suggested that change to Europe’s Schengen border treaty, which allows travel within 25 European countries with relative ease, was imminent, a Guardian piece calls a recent Sarkozy-Berlusconi meeting pure “political theater.” According to the piece, both leaders who have struggled with immigration policy in their own countries are using the Schengen travel issue to appease anti-immigration supporters.

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