World Bulletin / News Desk
"I am deeply concerned about the current overriding focus of EU states on preventing migrants from reaching Europe, and rushing to deport many who do," the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Wednesday.
"The EU and its members need to review the approach they are taking in the Mediterranean, to ensure that they are not indirectly supporting the return of migrants to Libya, where they face a real risk of torture, sexual violence and other serious violations."
Hussein noted that over two-thirds of the national parliaments in EU countries now include political parties with extreme positions against migrants, and in some cases, Muslims and other minority communities.
"This discourse based on racism, xenophobia and incitement to hatred has now expanded so significantly that in several countries it is dominating the political landscape as we saw during the election campaign in Italy in recent weeks," he added.
About the U.S., Hussein said: "I am shocked by reports that migrants intercepted at the southern borders, including children, are detained in abusive conditions such as freezing temperatures and that some young children are being detained separately from their families."
"Detentions and deportations of long-standing and law-abiding migrants have sharply increased, tearing families apart and creating enormous hardship," he said.