ATHENS, Greece — The Latest on Europe’s response to the influx of refugees and migrants (all times local):
After weeks of preparation, workers have begun building a 4-meter (13-foot) high wall in northern France to try to keep migrants from sneaking onto ferries crossing the English Channel.
The kilometer-long (0.6 mile-long) wall is the latest barrier against thousands of migrants living in a makeshift camp near the port town of Calais.
Many of the migrants desperate to get into Britain slip onto trucks that board the ferries or trains that traverse the channel through a tunnel.
A high barbed-wire fence already protects the port area. Britain is paying to erect the wall, which will be covered with plants for aesthetics.
Critics of the wall note that France plans to dismantle the makeshift camp by the time the wall is expected to be completed at the end of the year.
Human Rights Watch says Hungary should investigate allegations that uniformed officers are mistreating refugees caught near its southern border and sent back to Serbia.
The group’s allegations have been rejected by the Hungarian government.
Human Rights Watch said in a report released Tuesday that Hungary’s policy of letting only a handful of refugees a day file asylum requests has stranded hundreds at the border, including vulnerable people like families with children and the sick or elderly. It also reiterated its criticism of new regulations which since July 5 allow officers to send back across the border fence migrants and refugees caught within eight kilometers (five miles) of the barrier.
HRW researcher Lydia Gall says that “making vulnerable asylum seekers suffer needlessly in miserable conditions without legal justification is simply wrong.”
Police from Slovakia will join Serbian patrols on the border with Bulgaria to help stem the influx of migrants trying to reach western Europe through the Balkans.
Serbia’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that some 15 Slovak police officers will arrive next month. The statement says Serbian and Slovak interior ministers have signed a memorandum in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Serbia has beefed up police and army troops on borders with Macedonia and Bulgaria to secure them from migrant entry. Thousands of migrants already have been stuck in the Balkan country looking for ways to cross into the EU nations Hungary and Croatia.
Migrants fleeing war and poverty have been using clandestine routes since countries along the so-called Balkan route closed down their borders for free entry in March.
Germany’s top security official has called on Islamic groups in the country to help integrate hundreds of thousands of newly arrived Muslim migrants.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere says mosques and Muslim associations have a responsibility to contribute to Germany’s effort to teach migrants the language and abide by the country’s laws and customs.
De Maiziere said Tuesday that failure to do so “will be much harder for Islam to be accepted in Germany.”
Many of the hundreds of thousands of migrants who arrived in Germany since the start of 2015 came seeking refuge from conflicts in Muslim-majority nations such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
De Maiziere acknowledged that Germany has been tested by the influx but insisted that it had done well “by international comparison.”
Authorities of the island of Lesbos are calling for the immediate evacuation of thousands of refugees to the Greek mainland after a fire gutted a detention camp following protests.
Regional governor Christiana Kalogirou said Tuesday she had repeatedly warned the government that camps on the east Aegean Sea islands were dangerously overcrowded.
More than 4,000 people were housed at the camp at Moria on Lesbos where fire which broke out Monday destroyed or damaged tents and trailers. There were no reports of any migrants being injured.
The government is expected to charter a passenger ferry to provide temporary accommodation while the camp is repaired.