Massive fences like the one in Melilla aren't enough for the EU. Now migration is supposed to be stopped before it even begins – with the help of repressive regimes. Photo: PRO ASYL

Today the European heads of state or government are meeting in Brussels. Besides the Brexit, new plans for outsourcing border controls into countries of origin and transit are on the agenda. PRO ASYL, medico international and Bread for the World present a position paper: a plea for refugee policy that is humane and expresses solidarity.

New cooperation to repel refugees

Accord­ing to the draft con­clu­si­ons of the Euro­pean Coun­cil, third coun­tries will be for­ced to stop migra­ti­on to Euro­pe and to read­mit pro­tec­tion see­kers. In regard to the so-cal­led „effec­ti­ve incen­ti­ves“ it says open­ly: „To remain part­ners of the EU, third coun­tries must also coope­ra­te on read­mis­si­on and return.“ The pres­su­re on coun­tries of ori­gin and tran­sit is being incre­a­sed fur­ther with the new­ly plan­ned „Part­ners­hip Frame­work“. The rele­vant draft was publis­hed by the EU Com­mis­si­on on June 7th 2016.

Asylum is to become unattainable

By coope­ra­ting with coun­tries like Eri­trea, Soma­lia, Libya and the Sudan, the EU turns its back on the pro­tec­tion of refu­gees. This cau­ses a chain reac­tion. Asyl­um in Euro­pe is to beco­me unat­tainab­le for asyl­um see­kers. Espe­cial­ly from coun­tries like Eri­trea and Soma­lia, per­sons with a gre­at need for pro­tec­tion are fle­eing to Euro­pe. In coope­ra­ting with coun­tries like Sudan, Libya and others the EU also takes respon­si­bi­li­ty for serious human rights vio­la­ti­ons that take place there.

Accord­ing to the mot­to „out of sight, out of mind“ Europe’s poli­cy aims to turn refu­gees and the real cau­ses for flight invisible.

No cooperation with Libya!

PRO ASYL rejects the expan­si­on of mili­ta­ry ope­ra­ti­ons in the Medi­ter­ra­ne­an, which are to inclu­de the Ger­man mili­ta­ry. It can be suspec­ted that the coope­ra­ti­on with Libya’s coast guard is to ser­ve the pur­po­se of pul­ling refu­gees back to Libya. The Ger­man mili­ta­ry is to assist, knowing that this will lead to new human rights vio­la­ti­ons against refugees.

Accord­ing to reports from Amnes­ty Inter­na­tio­nal, pro­tec­tion see­kers in Libya are being arres­ted arbi­tra­ri­ly, dis­re­gar­ding their human rights. Refu­gees are being mistrea­ted and tor­tu­red, several detenti­on cen­ters are being con­trol­led by mili­ti­as. In their respon­se (BT Druck­sa­che 18/8593) to an inqui­ry by the lef­tist par­ty „Die Lin­ke“ the Ger­man government its­elf decla­red that the con­di­ti­ons of refu­gees and migrants in Liby­an detenti­on cen­ters are very bad (ques­ti­on 21, c page 11).

Stop the EU-Turkey deal!

Fol­lowing the draft reso­lu­ti­on at hand, reports by human rights orga­niz­a­ti­ons regar­ding human rights vio­la­ti­ons aimed at pro­tec­tion app­li­cants in Tur­key are sim­ply being igno­red. PRO ASYL again calls on the Euro­pean Coun­cil, based on the first prac­ti­cal expe­ri­en­ces, to stop depor­ta­ti­ons to Tur­key. Con­tra­ry to the pro­mi­ses, hund­reds have been arres­ted vio­la­ting their human rights in Tur­key. Uti­li­zing the thre­at of pro­lon­ged incarce­ra­ti­on, asyl­um see­kers have been for­ced to agree to their sup­po­sed­ly vol­un­ta­ry emigration.

Out of sight, out of mind

PRO ASYL, tog­e­ther with Bread for the World and med­i­co inter­na­tio­nal, has again and again vehe­ment­ly cri­ti­ci­zed the Euro­pean poli­cy of exter­na­li­zing bor­der con­trols: it leads to serious vio­la­ti­ons of human rights of pro­tec­tion see­kers and migrants. The orga­niz­a­ti­ons affirm in a joint posi­ti­on paper: the repres­si­ve defen­si­ve atti­tu­de towards refu­gees is unac­cep­ta­ble from a human rights per­spec­ti­ve. Accord­ing to the mot­to „out of sight, out of mind“ Europe’s poli­cy of exter­na­liz­a­ti­on aims to con­ce­al refu­gees, migrants, the rights vio­la­ti­ons com­mit­ted against them and the real cau­ses of flight and displacement.