Europe urged to not deflect responsibility for refugees

Europe cannot shrug off its responsibility for refugees and pass the buck on to Turkey, UN special rapporteur says

Europe urged to not deflect responsibility for refugees

World Bulletin / News Desk

Europe cannot shrug off its responsibility for refugees and pass the buck on to Turkey, the UN special rapporteur on human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, said Wednesday.

Crépeau's statement came on the eve of the EU migration summit due Thursday, where leaders of the 28-nation bloc will discuss a new agreement with Turkey to take back all asylum seekers crossing irregularly to Greece, including refugees.

"Making Turkey the gatekeeper does not absolve Europe from its responsibility of welcoming migrants. The only way for Europe to secure its borders is to offer safe and regular channels for mobility," he said in a statement.

“European member states once responsible for drafting key legislation on human rights and humanitarian protection are about to abandon their obligations. In the midst of the greatest migration crisis in Europe since World War II, they are passing their responsibility off to a third-country for political expediency,” he said.

“I am deeply concerned about the proposals on the table because they involve mass expulsions of migrants without proper individual assessments and asylum procedures in direct contravention of international and European human rights laws…,” Crépeau said.

About some European states preventing migrants from entering a country based solely on their nationality, he said: “Such actions constitute a complete disregard for human dignity, which is at the core of all human rights. Several European states have already breached their international and regional human rights obligations in this regard.”

Turkish and European leaders will discuss Ankara’s proposals to deepen cooperation in addressing the refugee crisis and accelerate Turkey’s EU membership process during a key European summit this coming Thursday.

At the EU-Turkey summit in Brussels on March 7, European and Turkish leaders agreed over the outlines of Turkish proposals, but several member states asked for more time to discuss legal and financial aspects of the proposals, and details of the resettlement plans.

Turkey, which hosts 2.7 million Syrian people since April 2011, shelters more refugees than any other country in the world, according to the UN Refugee Agency.

Syria has remained locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the government of Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Last Mod: 17 Mart 2016, 09:16
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