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EU’s new pact on migration and asylum to worsen situation for asylum seekers: Amnesty

December 20, 2023 at 6:57 pm

The Tunisian National Guard rescues irregular migrants off the city of Sfax as they try to make their way to Europe on 12 August 2023. [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

Amnesty International on Wednesday criticised the EU’s new Pact on Migration and Asylum, saying it will increase the suffering of asylum seekers, Anadolu Agency reports.

“This agreement will set back European asylum law for decades to come. Its likely outcome is a surge in suffering on every step of a person’s journey to seek asylum in the EU,” said Eve Geddie, director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office, in a statement.

“From the way they are treated by countries outside the EU, their access to asylum and legal support at Europe’s border, to their reception within the EU, this agreement is designed to make it harder for people to access safety,” Geddie said.

Voicing her concern, she said the pact would result in more people, including vulnerable ones, being put into de facto detention at EU borders and would weaken protections for asylum seekers in the union.

Moreover, it drew attention to the fact that the pact would allow EU countries to opt out of a broad range of EU asylum rules, potentially breaching international obligations under refugee and international human rights law.

“The Pact won’t solve the pressing problems facing asylum systems in the EU, including underinvestment in asylum and reception systems, unlawful and often violent pushbacks, policies that deny people the right to asylum, and impunity at EU borders,” she added.

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