BERLIN (AP) — The Latest on Europe’s response to the large number of refugees and migrants trying to reach the continent (all times local):
Organizations from Qatar and the Netherlands are joining forces to get 6,000 Syrian refugees into higher education courses, a move aimed at helping them integrate in the countries where they live now and rebuild their own nation if they are able to return.
The organizations, Al Fakhoora and Spark, announced Friday that their partnership is scaling up from the 600 students they were supporting in September.
Al Fakhoora Executive Director Farooq Burney says the expanded program will assist Syrian youngsters in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and parts of Syria.
The organizations aim to offer spaces in academic and vocational courses in areas that will be critical once Syria’s civil war ends and the shattered country attempts to rebuild.
Al Fakhoora is a program of the Education Above All initiative founded by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser of Qatar. She told a meeting in The Hague on Friday that at least 4,000 schools have been destroyed since Syria’s war started.
The chief of Europe’s top human rights body says laws in some European countries that impede migrant children from reuniting with their families or force them to leave when they turn 18 create a “huge security risk” by potentially turning youths to crime and extremism.
Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland told The Associated Press in an interview on Friday that such laws compel many young migrants who fear for their futures to flee, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation from human traffickers who could push them into crime or the illicit sex trade.
Jagland urged government authorities to offer appropriate shelter and schooling to migrant children as a way to keep them from fleeing.
He says many more than an estimated 10,000 migrant children are unaccounted for in Europe.
Germany’s Parliament has passed new measures making it easier to deport migrants whose asylum applications have been denied, and monitor and control those deemed dangerous.
In a law passed late Thursday night, Germany’s migration agency will be allowed to evaluate cellphone data of migrants who arrive without proper documents, and permitted to share data with other authorities in situations considered dangerous.
Deportations will also be sped up under the new law, and authorities will be allowed to detain individuals who are awaiting deportation for up to 10 days, from an original four, if they’re deemed dangerous. Dangerous individuals facing deportation can also now be monitored with electronic ankle bracelets.
The measures are a reaction to December’s deadly Christmas market attack in Berlin by a rejected asylum seeker awaiting deportation.
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