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EU risks 'opening door to abuses' with plans for new migration pact

December 7, 2023 at 1:09 pm

Save the Children’s awareness campaign in Brussels, Belgium, on 5 December 2023 to put the spotlight on the dire situation faced by migrant children arriving in Europe. [Save the Children]

A summit being held in Brussels today risks “opening the door to abuses across Europe” including racial profiling and pushbacks, in a “potentially irreversible attack” on the international system of refugee protection and the rule of law, 17 rights groups have warned.

The organisations, which include Amnesty International, EuroMed Rights and Save the Children, have sounded the alarm on wide-ranging issues in the EU Migration and Asylum Pact being discussed today.

The human rights groups said they are concerned about “the further entrenchment of “pushbacks” at borders, which have been linked to hundreds of people’s deaths, injuries, and rights violations at the hands of EU Member State border forces.”

“The increase in the use of detention across Europe… The risk of racial profiling of people who live in and come to Europe… The focus on deportations while lowering procedural safeguards,” and the outsourcing to third countries of migration control “without scope for accountability”, among other issues.

“This Pact reflects Europe’s obsession with deportations, based on the assumption that if you don’t qualify for international protection, then you have no right to stay in the EU. What this approach blatantly overlooks is that people move for many different reasons and may have a right to access residence permits other than those linked to asylum,” Director at Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), Michele LeVoy, explained.

Parvin A, who was severely beaten, detained and pushed back from Greece six times, said: “If they really pursue this New Pact, it will be against any kind of human or refugee rights. They are playing with the lives of people who are vulnerable and in danger.”

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