„Only the consistent enforcement of international law at Europe’s borders, safe and regular pathways, a European sea rescue system and the solidary reception of protection seekers within the EU can end the suffering and death at Europe’s borders“, reads the appeal of PRO ASYL and European partner organisations to the future German government.
On the occasion of the coalition talks on asylum and migration starting today, PRO ASYL, European Democratic Lawyers, Centre for Peace Studies (Zagreb), European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, Refugee Support Aegean (Athen), the organisation Are you syrious? (Zagreb) and the Border Violence Monitoring Network (Leipzig), have expressed expectations of the future federal government and are calling for a fresh start in German and European asylum and migration policies.
The demands of the human rights organisations include: A monitoring mechanism to control the compliance with human rights at Europe’s borders must be established; border regimes such as in Poland, Croatia and Greece, which disregard international law by exercising pushbacks, must not be supported; Frontex operations, in which human rights are violated, must not be further financed; access to asylum procedures must be guaranteed, detention and refugee camps as well as border procedures, as proposed in the „New Pact on Migration and Asylum“, must not be implemented.
Parties to implement commitment to humanitarian responsibility
The undersigned organisations call on the SPD, the Greens and the FDP to translate the commitments made in their exploratory paper – on humanitarian responsibility, the Geneva Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and against the deaths in the Mediterranean as well as the suffering at European borders – into concrete political action.
The organisations expect Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals to defend access to the right to asylum and the rule of law at Europe’s borders. When human rights violations such as push-backs are revealed, all financial, logistical or personnel support for the border guards must cease and the action must be publicly condemned. This must also apply to Germany’s participation in the European Border and Coast Guard Agency Frontex.
Germany must push for human rights in the EU
Germany plays an important role in the EU and must in future push for human rights to be respected, for violations to be identified through effective monitoring and for human rights violations to be sanctioned.
In the appeal the organisations demand from the future federal government:
- Defend the right to asylum in Europe: access to the asylum procedure, access to the legal system and humane accommodation. No to a Europe of detention, refugee camps and border procedures!
- Defend human dignity, the rule of law and human rights – the very values on which the European Union (EU- Treaty Article 2) is based.
- The initiation of infringement procedures against Poland, Croatia and Greece by the European Commission. We also call on the EU to include human rights violations by Member States in the field of asylum and migration when initiating rule of law procedures in case of serious violations of the values mentioned in Article 2 EU-Treaty.
- The establishment of an independent, transparent and effective human rights monitoring mechanism that allows for unannounced visits to borders and the prosecution of perpetrators. Human rights monitors must have a mandate to secure evidence. The aim must be that this well-funded and well-staffed institution prevents human rights violations in the future.
- The end of any support for the border regime in Poland, Croatia, Greece and other states that violate international law at their borders.
- Firm reactions to human rights violations in Frontex operations: Suspension of funding and deployment of EU border guards in countries that violate international human rights standards.
- A civilian EU sea rescue program to prevent deaths in the Mediterranean. Boat refugees must be granted humane reception and access to a fair asylum procedure after landing in a safe European port. Safe and regular pathways to Europe must be created.
- The cooperation with the „Libyan Coast Guard“ and the associated ongoing breach of international law in the Mediterranean must be stopped immediately.