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Arkiveringsdatum 220125:

UNHCR 22-01-10:

Recommendations to the 2022 French and Czech Presidencies of the Council of the EU till sidans topp

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling on the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU), and the Czech Republic which will assume the Presidency in July, to prioritise the better protection of refugees in Europe and globally.

While many EU countries remain committed to European and international human rights and refugee laws and principles, in 2021, violent pushbacks of asylum seekers at EU's borders continued. These practices endanger lives and undermine fundamental human rights, including the right to seek asylum.

Increasing xenophobic political narratives, physical and legislative barriers to accessing territory for the purpose of seeking asylum in the EU have continued to erode the rights of people fleeing war, conflict and persecution.

"The right to seek asylum is a fundamental human right. It must be preserved, especially in extraordinary situations or times of emergency," said Gonzalo Vargas Llosa, UNHCR's Representative for EU Affairs. "The EU is a Union based on the rule of law, but we have too often seen divisive and politicized positions and practices that seek to evade asylum obligations. Mixed movements of refugees and migrants pose challenges to asylum systems. However, these challenges never justify responses that run counter to international law and negate asylum obligations."

The European Commission's proposed Pact on Migration and Asylum presented in September 2020 offers an opportunity to move from an ad hoc crisis-driven approach to asylum and migration in the EU to a common one that is more comprehensive, well-managed and predictable, both within and beyond the Union. Progress on ending pushbacks, the establishment of Independent National Monitoring Mechanisms to investigate them, and measures to enhance search and rescue and ensure predictable disembarkation of those rescued at sea is urgently needed. With manageable numbers of new arrivals of refugees and migrants to Europe, now is the time for common action.

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Arkiveringsdatum 211231:

Amnesty International 21-12-13:

EU måste återställa rättigheter och värderingar vid Europas gränser till sidans topp

Vi är chockade över den fortsatta humanitära krisen vid gränsen mellan EU och Belarus. Det skriver Amnesty och över hundra andra civilsamhällesorganisationer i ett gemensamt upprop till EU.

Som europeiska civilsamhälles- och professionella organisationer som arbetar med asyl, migration, humanitär hjälp och mänskliga rättigheter är vi chockade över den fortsatta humanitära krisen vid gränsen mellan EU och Belarus. Den orsakar enormt lidande och har lett till att minst tio personer mist livet.

Vi fördömer Belarus agerande, men kräver också respons från EU, dess medlemsstater, och alla relevanta europeiska och internationella organisationer som överensstämmer med EU-rättsliga och internationella skyldigheter, samt med vad som är allmänt anständigt.

Det finns säkerhetsaspekter i konflikten mellan EU och Belarus, men de människor som befinner sig mitt i krisen utgör inte i sig själva något säkerhetshot och ska varken benämnas eller behandlas som om de vore vapen. Alla redogörelser tyder på att det finns många utsatta grupper bland de drabbade, inklusive gravida kvinnor, familjer med små barn och äldre eller skadade människor. Bland dessa finns människor som har flytt undan krig och förföljelse från Syrien, Jemen, Afghanistan och Irak och som, i avsaknad av säkra och legala vägar, inte har haft något annat alternativ för att nå säkerhet. Vi noterar också, att trots de allvarliga spänningar som existerar mellan de involverade staterna, är situationen hanterbar, och bör följaktligen hanteras på ett sådant sätt. Globalt sett hyser mer instabila länder ett större antal människor på flykt, trots att de möter mer komplexa utmaningar kopplat till geografi och säkerhet. Vad som behövs är en klarsynt hantering av situationen som inkluderar ett orubbligt försvar av rätten att söka asyl, och av EU-rätten och internationell lag.

Vi föreslår därför följande åtgärder:

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ECRE 21-12-14:

ECRE comments on provisional emergency measures for Latvia, Lithuania and Poland till sidans topp

ECRE published its Comments on the European Commission Proposal for a Council Decision on provisional emergency measures for the benefit of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

ECRE does not support the measures proposed, which will have an adverse effect on the right to asylum without adequately responding to the situation at the EU's borders with Belarus. The main fundamental rights affected by the proposal are the right to human dignity (Article 1 EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (CFREU)), the right to asylum (Article 18 CFREU), the prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 4 CFREU), the right to liberty and security (Article 6 CFREU), protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition (Article 19 CFREU), the rights of the child (Article 24 CFREU) and the right to an effective remedy (Article 47 CFREU).

The negative impact on these rights derives from the expanded use of concepts and practices which undermine the right to asylum. Many elements of the emergency measures are already part of the legislative proposals launched with the Pact on Migration and Asylum, such as the border procedure and allowing derogations.

Generally, ECRE has concerns about the lack of a clear definition of "instrumentalization" and related uncertainty as to the scope of the measures. Doubts also arise as to the necessity and proportionality of the measures.

The Comments assess the provisions for delayed registration; extension and expansion of the border procedure; right to an effective remedy; limitation of reception conditions; derogation from the Return Directive and specific guarantees.

While ECRE does not support the measures proposed, it submits (non-exhaustive) observations and recommendations, aimed at reducing the negative impact on fundamental rights.

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Arkiveringsdatum 211122:

Asylrättscentrum 21-11-16:

Podd: Vi är bekymrade över hotet mot asylrätten till sidans topp

Det pågår en kris vid gränsen mellan Belarus och Polen och tusentals människor befinner sig i en akut situation. I media skrivs det om att Belarus använder dessa människor som ett sätt att pressa EU och vissa menar att det handlar om migranter som saknar asylskäl. Men vad är det egentligen som händer och vet vi med säkerhet att de människor som är fast vid gränsen inte har skyddsbehov? För att reda ut detta ringde Asylrättscentrums kommunikationsansvarige Maja Dahl upp generalsekreterare Mårten Löfberg.

- Det finns uppgifter om att belarusiska regeringen medvetet transporterat människor till gränsen för att sätta press på EU, men det vi är mest bekymrade över är att det är människor som sedan flera dygn tillbaka lever mitt i vinterkylan, säger Mårten Löfberg.

Alla människor har rätt att söka asyl

Han fortsätter sedan att berätta om de rapporter som visar att ideella organisationer har stoppats av polska myndigheter att komma fram och hjälpa dem som är fast vid gränsen. Mårten lyfter även att det är ett hot mot asylrätten att människorna som nu befinner sig vid gränsen inte får sina asylskäl prövade.

- För det första har alla människor rätt att söka asyl enligt internationell rätt och de här människorna har inte tillåtits komma in i Polen och söka asyl, säger Mårten Löfberg och fortsätter, dessutom har EU en egen reglering som är väldigt tydlig. Alla EU-länder måste ta emot asylansökningar på sitt territorium, men också vid sin gräns. Det talas på flera håll om ett hot mot EU, men vi är väldigt bekymrade över hotet mot asylrätten.

Asylrättscentrum kommer fortsatt att följa utvecklingen av vad som händer på gränsen och lyfta det asylrättsliga perspektivet i frågan.

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International Rescue Committee 21-11-19:

Situationen vid gränsen mellan Polen och Belarus är ohållbar - nu måste EU ingripa till sidans topp

International Rescue Committee kräver obehindrat humanitärt tillträde och att asylrätten försvaras i gränsområdena. Annars kommer fler liv att riskeras, varnar den humanitära organisationen.

"Belarus missgärningar, som har lockat in utsatta människor i ett politiskt spel, ursäktar inte Europas omänsklighet. Dessa handlingar bör fördömas och stoppas, och de europeiska medlemsstaterna bör inte falla i den fälla som lagts ut för dem", säger Harlem Désir, styrelseordförande för International Rescue Committee i Sverige och vice generalsekreterare för organisationen i Europa.

Eftersom dödläget mellan EU och Belarus fortsätter uppmanar International Rescue Committee alla inblandade länder att omedelbart upphöra med att använda människor som politiskt påtryckningsmedel. Vid gränserna lever mellan 2 000 - 4 000 människor utomhus i vinterkyla utan mat, vatten eller skydd och nekas tillgång till humanitär hjälp och juridiskt stöd. Minst elva personer har redan dött och det kommer allt fler rapporter om människor som lider av hypotermi.

"Belarus sätter liv på spel genom att avsiktligt underlätta förflyttningen av människor till sin gräns, inte låta dem återvända och dessutom neka dem tillgång till humanitär hjälp. Polens svar - att möta människor med våld och olagligt förneka dem rätten att söka asyl - strider mot europeisk och internationell rätt och undergräver EU:s egna värderingar. Att söka asyl är inte ett brott, utan en mänsklig rättighet", säger Harlem Désir.

I detta kritiska läge uppmanar International Rescue Committee till en omedelbar nedtrappning och till att alla stater garanterar en human behandling av migranter och flyktingar. EU bör fortsätta att göra allt det kan för att avråda Belarus från dessa avskyvärda handlingar som sätter människors liv och värdighet på spel.

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UNHCR 21-11-09: UNHCR and IOM Call for immediate de-escalation at the Belarus-Poland border (Extern länk)

UNHCR 21-11-12: IOM, UNHCR provide emergency aid to asylum-seekers and migrants at the Belarus-Poland border, call to ensure well-being of people and prevent loss of life (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 211104:

Europarådet 21-10-21:

European states must stand up against pushbacks and the attempt to legalise them till sidans topp

"Member states must take a stand against pushbacks at borders and clearly oppose attempts to legalise this illegal practice", said today the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovic.

Human rights violations against refugees, asylum seekers and migrants at the borders of Council of Europe member states have proliferated at an alarming rate, especially the denial of access to asylum and returns without individual safeguards, frequently accompanied by brutal violence or even the endangerment of human life. Such practices at borders (often referred to as 'pushbacks') undermine legal guarantees clearly established in the Refugee Convention and European Convention on Human Rights. Practices violating the right to apply for asylum, the prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, and the prohibition of collective expulsions, are increasingly justified as a necessary way to address emergency situations.

It is time for the governments of European states to call a halt to any legislative initiatives or policies that would result in the attempted, so-called normalisation of pushbacks and eliminate crucial safeguards to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants at borders.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210904:

ECRE 21-08-25:

Current Priorities for an EU Response to the Situation in Afghanistan till sidans topp

As European NGOs working on asylum and migration and Afghan Diaspora organisations in Europe, we are alarmed about the situation in Afghanistan and concerned above all about the security of the people of Afghanistan, both those within the country and those displaced and seeking protection in the region and beyond.

The vast majority of displaced Afghans will likely be hosted in the neighbouring countries, as has been the case over decades of displacement from Afghanistan. For reference, since 2015, over six years, 570,000 Afghans sought protection in the EU and associated countries. The majority received a protection status. In contrast, by July 2021, Iran hosted 800,000 registered refugees and up to 3 million other displaced Afghans. In Pakistan, there were 1.4 million registered refugees and up to 2 million other displaced Afghans. These figures have been increasing by the day. In addition, there are close to 5.5 million IDPs in the country.

In this context, it is crucial that the small proportion of displaced people who do arrive in Europe are given rapid access to a fair asylum procedure in line with European states' obligations under EU and international law.

We recommend the following five urgent responses for the EU and European countries.

1 Evacuation, resettlement and other safe routes to protection for Afghans

Evacuate as many as possible of the people facing immediate security risks, as quickly as possible.

This is the immediate priority, to then be followed by expansion of resettlement and complementary pathways for those most at risk and most vulnerable. A particular focus should be on women and girls and their (immediate) family members. Attention should also be paid to the situation of minorities where they are at additional and immediate risk of persecution.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210808:

African Union 21-08-02:

Press Statement On Denmark's Alien Act provision to Externalize Asylum procedures till sidans topp

The African Union condemns in the strongest terms possible, Denmark's Aliens Act, which was passed recently and which provides for Demark to relocate asylum seekers to countries outside the European Union while their cases are being processed. This law effectively externalizes and exports the asylum process beyond the borders of Demark. Denmark has decided to send applications for international protection outside its borders; which amounts to responsibility and burden shifting.

The African Union views this law with the gravest of concerns and wishes to remind Denmark of its responsibility towards international protection for persons in need of that protection as provided for in the 1951 UN Convention on refugees, to which Denmark is a state party.

Africa has a lot to show to the world as it continues to generously shoulder the burden of the world's 85% of the refugees, often in protracted situations, whereas only 15% are hosted by developed countries.

In addition, the African Union notes with great concern attempts and proposals to establish similar arrangements in Africa through bilateral arrangements, which is worrying and unacceptable. The African Union perceives such attempts as an extension of the borders of such countries and an extension of their control to the African shores. Such attempts to stem out migration from Africa to Europe is xenophobic and completely unacceptable.

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Arkiveringsdatum 210520:

UNHCR 21-05-19:

UNHCR warns against "exporting" asylum, calls for responsibility sharing till sidans topp

Amid considerations by some governments to send asylum seekers abroad for processing, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is urging states not to externalize their asylum and protection obligations. UNHCR warns that such practices jeopardize the safety of those in need of international protection.

"UNHCR remains firmly opposed to externalization initiatives that forcibly transfer asylum seekers to other countries. Externalization simply shifts asylum responsibilities elsewhere and evades international obligations. Such practices undermine the rights of those seeking safety and protection, demonize and punish them and may put their lives at risk," said UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.

"It is ironic that, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, attempts are being made to weaken its principles and spirit. Instead, the priority must be to find more effective ways to guarantee the universal right to seek asylum and other rights provided by international refugee law."

Externalization attempts typically involve the forced transfers of asylum seekers to third, often developing, nations where human rights safeguards and resources may not be adequate. This may lead to their indefinite "warehousing" in isolated places or in punitive conditions, at great harm to their physical and mental health.

"I am dismayed by the argument that it is more cost effective to send and host asylum seekers in countries of the global south. I find this morally reprehensible - we must not put price tags on human lives. Refugees are not commodities that can be traded by wealthier nations. To do so is dehumanizing, exploitative and dangerous," warned Triggs.

"Externalization exploits both the vulnerabilities of overstretched, developing nations and those of refugees".

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Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

UNHCR 21-05-28: UNHCR Note on the "Externalization" of International Protection (Extern länk)

Annex to UNHCR Note on the "Externalization" of International Protection: Policies and practices related to the externalization of international protection (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210402:

Riksdagen 21-03- 26:

Interpellationsdebatt: EU:s migrationspolitik till sidans topp

Interpellation 2020/21:559 av Christina Höj Larsen (V)

De människorättsvidriga metoder som EU använder för att hindra människor från att söka asyl i Europa har varit en återkommande följetång i medierna och i riksdagens kammare de senaste åren. Så även den svenska regeringens oförmåga att ta ansvar för det som händer vid EU:s gränser.

Efter att EU ingått det skamliga avtalet med Turkiet, som innebär att Erdo?an mot betalning agerar gränsvakt åt Europa, öppnade EU-kommissionen och dåvarande EU-minister Ann Linde för att ingå liknande avtal med det krigshärjade Libyen. Dåvarande utrikesminister Margot Wallström uteslöt en sådan lösning i en interpellationsdebatt med mig. Strax efter det sa Wallström till TT att "rötäggen måste bort. Resten måste vi se till att vi tränar och utbildar på rätt sätt".

Vi kan nu konstatera att det inte riktigt blev som Wallström sa. EU fortsätter att betala den libyska kustbevakningen - som i praktiken består av olika milisgrupper och krigsherrar, några har till och med FN-sanktioner riktade mot sig till följd av människosmuggling - för att hindra människor från att söka asyl i Europa. EU:s relation med Libyen liknar i dag den med Turkiet. Båda länderna agerar som unionens gränsvakt.

Under hösten 2017 avslöjade CNN att slavhandel var vanligt förkommande i libyska interneringsläger för människor på flykt. De fruktansvärda förhållandena i lägren, där sjukdomar, undernäring, våld och sexuella övergrepp var och är vardag, har beskrivits i flera rapporter av Amnesty, Human Rights Watch med flera.

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Hela interpellationen (Extern länk)

Riksdagsdebatten med svar av Justitie- och migrationsminister Morgan Johansson (S) (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 210208:

UNHCR 21-01-28:

UNHCR warns asylum under attack at Europe's borders, urges end to pushbacks till sidans topp

Alarmed at the increasing frequency of expulsions and pushbacks of refugees and asylum-seekers at Europe's land and sea borders, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is calling for states to investigate and halt these practices.

"UNHCR has received a continuous stream of reports of some European states restricting access to asylum, returning people after they have reached territory or territorial waters, and using violence against them at borders," said UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Gillian Triggs.

"The pushbacks are carried out in a violent and apparently systematic way. Boats carrying refugees are being towed back. People are being rounded-up after they land and then pushed back to sea. Many have reported violence and abuse by state forces."

People arriving by land are also being informally detained and forcibly returned to neighboring countries without any consideration of their international protection needs.

The 1951 Refugee Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights and EU law require states to protect the right of people to seek asylum and protection from refoulement, even if they enter irregularly. Authorities cannot automatically deny entry to or return people without undertaking an individual assessment of those in need of protection.

"Respecting human lives and refugee rights is not a choice, it's a legal and moral obligation. While countries have the legitimate right to manage their borders in accordance with international law, they must also respect human rights. Pushbacks are simply illegal." said Triggs.

"The right to seek asylum is a fundamental human right. The COVID-19 pandemic provides no exception; it is possible to protect against the pandemic and to ensure access to fair and speedy asylum processes."

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Arkiveringsdatum 201218:

Migreurop/ Statewatch 20-12-09:

Frontex, 15 years of impunity : The outlaw agency must disappear ! till sidans topp

Public statement from the Migreurop network in response to the allegations of Frontex's involvement in and/or knowledge of pushbacks at the Greek-Turkish sea border.

The European coastguard and border guard agency Frontex is accused by various media of knowledge of or complicity in the pushback of at least six boats of migrants in the Aegean Sea between March and September 2020 as part of Operation Poseidon. For the first time, the agency has been summoned to explain itself to the European Commission and Parliament. It was about time !

Numerous and recurrent accusations

For ten years now, multiple actors have been documenting the incompatibility of Frontex's mandate and activities with the respect for fundamental rights, and the structural impunity it benefits.

Since 2011, Migreurop has been pointing out the non-respect of rights of which Frontex is guilty : non-respect of the right to asylum, obstacles to the right to leave any country, ill-treatment and acts of violence, discrimination, and lack of transparency in terms of personal data protection. From 2013 onwards, the inter-associative campaign Frontexit showed how the rise in power of Frontex (budget and autonomy) increased its dangerousness. In 2019, an investigation by a media collective already revealed numerous cases of violence during operations coordinated by Frontex. The agency was also accused of having closed cases of ill-treatment of exiles in Bulgaria, Hungary and Greece, thus making itself an accomplice.

False accusations ? What about the numerous "incident reports" made by the agency itself ? Since 2012, Frontex's Fundamental Rights Protection Officer has been keeping a record of the complaints it receives, but no action has been taken on them.

Frontex's disclaimer

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Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

Statewatcn 20-12-09: Tens of thousands of people call for Frontex director to step down (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 201002:

Europarådet 20-09-28:

Rapporteur calls for solidarity to urgently remedy refugee situation after fires till sidans topp

Against the background of the devastating fires in the "Moria Reception and Identification Centre" on the Greek island of Lesbos, Yoomi Renström (Sweden, SOC/G/PD), Rapporteur of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe deplored the lack of joint action in Europe, saying: "The current response of authorities across Europe is far from sufficient and it is nothing to be proud of. This situation is yet another worrying example of what happens when there is a lack of cooperation and solidarity. Thousands of migrants continue to be in grave danger, including many unaccompanied minors".

In its report adopted in 2017, the Congress already warned about the overcrowding, underfunding and understaffing of refugee camps in Greece and called for European solidarity with the Greek national and the local authorities. "We need to lend our support to local elected representatives in Greece, who are carrying the heavy burden of dealing with this issue on a daily basis. We once again underline the need for coordinated action across Europe and for solidarity with local and regional authorities", the Rapporteur added.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200913:

Europarådets parlament 20-09-11:

Moria, Lesbos: chronicle of a disaster foretold till sidans topp

The fires that have now burnt out the Moria camp for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in Lesbos is a chronicle of a disaster foretold, said Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC), Chairperson of the PACE Migration Committee. We know what happens when thousands of persons are confined in cramped accommodation with ever-diminishing prospects; we know what will happen if we, as European countries, do not show solidarity with one another; we know the dangers of a backlash by local populations; and we do not need to guess what will happen in a pandemic of the nature of COVID-19 when the virus starts to circulate.

The first step after the fires is to deal with the humanitarian needs of those who were living in the camps. Now more than ever, the issue of resettlement must be on the agenda - and not just for unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable persons. All member States need to use this tragic fire as a wake-up call. Within the Parliamentary Assembly we will exhort parliamentarians across Europe to push their governments to take action, we will prioritise our work on a report on Voluntary relocation for migrants in need of humanitarian protection, and furthermore, together with the UK Parliament, we will be holding a conference/webinar for parliamentarians on the humanitarian relocation of refugee children.

Out of the ashes of Moria, the European Union has a chance to bring together a coherent migration policy in the form of the EU Pact on Migration and Asylum to be presented in September. But it cannot be left to the EU alone. Members of the 47 states of the Council of Europe must work much closer together to tackle migration and asylum challenges, made all the more difficult in times of COVID-19. This has been outlined clearly in a report on Humanitarian consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for migrants and refugees adopted by our committee on Monday this week.

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School of Blogal Studies 20-09-11:

Upprop bland forskare med anledning av bränderna i Moria, Lesvos till sidans topp

Anja Franck, Alexandra Bousiou, Patricia Lorenzoni, och Helena Lindholm mfl

Med anledning av de bränder som totalförstört Morialägret på Lesvos vill vi uttrycka vår förfäran över utvecklingen på de egeiska öarna under de senaste åren. Vi vill också påtala att bränderna i Moria inte kan ses som en isolerad händelse utan som en direkt konsekvens av EU:s migrations- och gränspolitik.

I kombination med EU:s övriga regelverk och initiativ har den så kallade "hotspots-approachen" skapat en ohållbar situation på de egeiska öarna - där människor tvingas leva under både inhumana och rättsvidriga förhållanden. Ett antal forskningsrapporter har påvisat hur människor under långa perioder bor i läger utan tillgång till de allra mest basala förnödenheter och sanitära faciliteter - men också hur asylprocessen präglas av osäkerhet och ineffektivitet. Människorättsorganisationer och humanitära aktörer har under lång tid varnat för att situationen på Lesvos - och i synnerhet i Morialägret - oundvikligen kommer att leda till en katastrof. Nu är denna katastrof ett faktum.

Som medlemmar i den Europeiska Unionen, och som delaktiga i den politik som nu förs, är det dags för den svenska regeringen att ta sitt ansvar:

För det första, och med anledning av det akuta läget på Lesvos just nu, bör Sverige erbjuda sig att ta emot de människor som tidigare huserades i Moria och som idag står utan tak över huvudet. Speciellt fokus bör här läggas på människor som befinner sig i en särskilt utsatt position, såsom ensamkommande barn.

För det andra bör Sverige verka för att EU överger den inhumana och ineffektiva "hotspots-approachen" samt att de undermåliga läger som idag finns på öar vid EU:s yttre gräns stängs och att dess invånare evakueras till länder som kan erbjuda värdiga förhållanden och en rättssäker asylprövning.

English Translation: Petition from Researchers Regarding the Fires in Moria, Lesvos

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Arkiveringsdatum 200521:

Statewatch May 2020:

EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe till sidans topp

Mediterranean: As the fiction of a Libyan search and rescue zone begins to crumble, EU states use the coronavirus pandemic to declare themselves unsafe

Statewatch Analysis by Yasha Maccanico

Introduction

The search and rescue zone assigned to Libya in the central Mediterranean has been obvious since its inception as a fiction that was useful to assert EU efforts to reduce the number of arrivals by sea. Shortly after a submission to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) was filed in late March 2020, calling for it to be scrapped for not fulfilling the relevant requirements, attempted sea crossings from Libya resumed. EU states responded by opportunistically declaring themselves unsafe due to the Covid-19 emergency.

Frontex aircraft were monitoring events from the sky, and over the Easter weekend (11-12 April) one vessel which seemed to have disappeared was returned to Libya, with five dead people on board and seven reported as having drowned at sea. At least one Maltese official has confirmed a personal role in coordinating refoulements such as these, on the orders of the prime minister's office, for the last three years.

In a separate operation, the NGO rescue vessel Alan Kurdi rescued people who were in danger at sea before being denied permission to disembark for over ten days, with over 150 people on board. The Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatovi?, responded by declaring that:

"Despite the unprecedented challenges European countries face due to COVID-19, saving lives at sea and disembarking survivors in a safe port must continue".

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Arkiveringsdatum 200426:

Europarådets mr-kommissionär 20-04-16:

During virus crisis states should ensure rescue at sea and allow safe disembarkation till sidans topp

"Despite the unprecedented challenges European countries face due to COVID-19, saving lives at sea and disembarking survivors in a safe port must continue", stated today Dunja Mijatovi?, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights.

The Commissioner calls on Council of Europe member states to promptly respond to any call of distress at sea, deploy the necessary rescue capacity in a timely manner, and effectively co-operate to identify a place of safety where survivors can be disembarked, taking all necessary measures to protect the health of all involved.

As the Commissioner already noted in her June 2019 Recommendation, the reduction of state-led search and rescue (SAR) operations, combined with countries' withdrawal from their rescue responsibilities and the adoption of restrictive measures affecting private vessels saving persons in distress at sea, have resulted in a lack of adequate rescue capacity and of effective coordination in the Central Mediterranean. Over the last few days, in response to the COVID-19 emergency, several measures and practices have been adopted in Italy and Malta which have led to the closure of ports to NGO vessels carrying rescued migrants, and to the discontinuation of activities to co-ordinate rescue operations and disembarkation of those in distress. This has further aggravated existing gaps in SAR operations in the Central Mediterranean.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200410:

MigrEurop 20-04-02:

From the "war against the virus" to the war against exiles till sidans topp

Security responses to Covid-19 exacerbate violence at borders

The Greek hotspots in which exiles are crammed without any protection of their rights or from the pandemic are an example of the precarization of their trajectories by the security policies of States. Migreurop denounces the violence inflicted onto exiles in the name of the "war against the virus", their unequal treatment with regard to the pandemic, and demands the immediate closure of all spaces of migrant detention in order to ensure their right to be protected.

Today, Migreurop publishes a video denouncing the existence and functioning of the hotspots, these centres designed to sort migrants created by the European Union (EU) in Italy and Greece in 2016. In this last country, neither relocations to Member States nor returns to Turkey on the basis of a "dirty deal" have met the commitments and are now blocked. The hotspots were thus de facto turned into open-air prisons. More than 42 000 migrants are currently contained in 5 Greek hotspots with a capacity of 6,000 places. The Moria hotspot, on the island of Lesbos, contains 20,000 persons on its own (for 2,800 places). In addition to the intolerable overcrowding, the lack of sanitary infrastructures (drinking water, showers, toilets) and food, the accommodation in tents that leads to deaths from hypothermia every year, the recurring fires, now comes the Covid-19. Faced with this pandemic, European States are asking to their citizens to take steps to protect themselves, particularly through self-isolation, but migrants do not have this privilege. On March 22nd 2020, the Greek authorities announced the forced confinement of exiles in the camps on Greek territory, including hotspots. Their overcrowding makes the prevention of the spreading of the virus almost impossible, despite the self-organized efforts of exiles. These measures knowingly expose the exiles to a serious and imminent risk of contamination.

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MigrEurop March 2020: A coalition to "shield" migrants and refugees against violence at the borders (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 200324:

Human Rights Watch 20-03-10:

Allow new arrivals to claim asylum - More than 450 held on navy boat till sidans topp

Greece's decision to detain more than 450 people on a naval vessel and refuse to allow them to lodge asylum claims flagrantly violates international and European law, Human Rights Watch said today. The action may amount to an arbitrary deprivation of liberty.

"The refusal to allow people in its custody to seek asylum and the open threat to send them back to their persecutors flies in the face of the legal obligations Greece has agreed to and the values and principles it claims to represent," said Bill Frelick, refugee and migrants rights director at Human Rights Watch. "Greece should immediately reverse this draconian policy, properly receive these people in safe and decent conditions, and allow them to lodge asylum claims."

People interdicted by the Greek Coast Guard since March 1, 2020 have been held on the ship docked in the Mytilene Harbor in Lesbos. Local authorities refused Human Rights Watch requests to enter the dock area where the women, men, and children are being detained during the day or to board the naval vessel where they stay at night. Human Rights Watch spoke by phone with one of the detainees, a Syrian asylum seeker who declined to give his real name or age for fear of retribution.

The man said that 451 people were detained, according to the food lists that he had seen, many of whom are children and women. He said that he and others had asked the Greek authorities to let them lodge asylum claims but were told that they would not be allowed to do so.

A video and photos that the Syrian man sent to Human Rights Watch show women, men, and children on the floor with blankets and mats in the hull of the navy boat.

He said that the first people were detained on the boat on March 1 but that the authorities did not allow them to recharge their mobile phones until March 7, so many were unable to communicate with relatives or others.

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Arkiveringsdatum 200224:

ECRE 20-02-14:

The new pact on asylum and migration: An opportunity seized or squandered? till sidans topp

Joint statement

After years of treating asylum and migration in crisis mode, we believe the proposed Pact on Asylum and Migration is an opportunity for the EU and its Member States to change direction. It is an opportunity to develop a rational and rights-based asylum and migration policy. Recent cooperation among Member States signals the possibility of a fresh start, which should build on the lessons of the recently attempted and largely failed reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). However, there is a risk that the Pact may include or prepare the groundwork for damaging legislative proposals, in particular what has been termed the "border instrument".

No more old wine in new bottles

Some Member States continue to promote the idea of a mandatory border procedure in non-papers and other informal contributions. Extrapolating from these documents and debates, the potential border instrument would combine the worst and most controversial elements of the 2016 CEAS reform package, pulling together parts of the Asylum Procedures Regulation, Dublin IV and recast Return Directive.

The procedure would be applied to all persons who arrive in the EU to seek protection and would lead to a massive expansion of detention centres at the borders. It would be truncated, with many necessary safeguards removed - but will still require the establishment of judicial infrastructure in the border centres. It may be combined with new proposals for mandatory safe third country and first country of asylum concepts, which would undermine access to protection in Europe, contribute to containment of refugees in other regions and jeopardize efforts for a more balanced sharing of responsibility for people who are displaced globally.

Reducing rights and increasing detention cannot be the answer

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Arkiveringsdatum 191129:

Läkare utan Gränser 19-11-27:

Öppet brev till Europas ledare: Sluta straffa asylsökande på de grekiska öarna! till sidans topp

Av Christos Christou, Läkare Utan Gränsers internationella ordförande

"Jag har just kommit tillbaka från de grekiska öarna, och jag är chockerad över vad jag såg och av de berättelser jag fick höra av mina kollegor på plats.

De berättade om en tolvårig pojke som kom till vår klinik i Moria på Lesbos, efter att upprepade gånger ha skurit sig själv i huvudet med en kniv. De berättade om en nioårig flicka med allvarliga skador från en bombattack i Afghanistan. När hon kom till Grekland log hon fortfarande. Men under de månader som hon har tillbringat på Lesbos har hon slutat prata, slutat äta och helt dragit sig tillbaka från livet.

De här barnen har överlevt krig och förföljelse. Det är de långa månaderna på osäkra och eländiga platser som Moria som har knuffat dem över kanten, ner i självskadebeteende och självmordstankar.

Det är för de här barnens skull, och för alla andra människor som ni fortsätter att hålla kvar på de grekiska öarna, som jag känner mig nödsakad att rikta det här brevet till er.

Barnen är inte de enda som är sårbara. Människor som överlevt tortyr tvingas dela tält med totala främlingar i flera månader. Andra som utsatts för sexuellt våld berättar för vårt team i Vathy på Samos att de är så rädda att de inte vågar använda toaletterna på natten. Våra medarbetare vet vilka dessa människor är. Men många av dem är inte klassade som sårbara av de grekiska myndigheterna och därför försvinner deras särskilda behov i den administrativa labyrintens sprickor.

År 2016 bestämde ni att det var en nödvändig och tillfällig åtgärd att hålla kvar människor på de grekiska öarna. Vi varnade er för de humanitära konsekvenserna av EU:s avtal med Turkiet. Vi beslöt till och med att vi i protest inte längre skulle ta emot pengar från EU:s medlemsländer. I dag ser vi resultatet av ert beslut: ett kroniskt krisläge och ett evigt kretslopp av mänskligt lidande.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191119:

FARR 19-10-11:

Till våra regeringar: Gå med i koalitionen av villiga! till sidans topp

Organisationer i gemensam vädjan:

Nordiskt och baltiskt deltagande behövs i europeiska överenskommelser för landstigning och omfördelningsmekanismer

26 frivilligorganisationer i de nordiska och baltiska länderna, däribland FARR, har i veckan gått ut med ett öppet brev där våra regeringar uppmanas att engagera sig i den föreslagna överenskommelsen om landstigning, och omfördelning av människor på flykt.

Hela brevet:

Berättelser om och bilder på människor strandsatta på båtar på Medelhavet har sedan länge dominerat media. Människor är fast på båtar i flera veckor utan tillräcklig tillgång till vatten, mat och vård, och riskerar slutligen att nekas tillgång till en asylprocess.

Den nuvarande ad-hoc inställningen, att förhandla "båt för båt" om landstigning, fungerar inte. Det finns ett brådskande behov av att säkerställa säkra räddningsinsatser och skyndsamma och adekvata landstigningar för människor som är fast på öppet hav.

En omförhandling av Dublinförordningen för att etablera en permanent mekanism för omfördelning vore att föredra. Denna mekanism måste säkerställa ett jämnt ansvarstagande mellan de europeiska staterna och förhindra situationer så som den nuvarande humanitära krisen på de Egeiska öarna i Grekland.

Eftersom det hittills har visat sig vara svårt att nå en sådan överenskommelse är de europeiska länderna tvungna att hitta konstruktiva alternativ som respekterar tryggheten och värdigheten för människor som räddats på öppet hav.

Den nyligen grundade "coalition of the willing" och Maltadeklarationen är positiva och betydelsefulla försök till framsteg. Tyskland, Italien, Frankrike och Malta har anslutit sig till deklarationen som antogs den 23 september 2019.Ytterligare europeiska stater har i början av oktober 2019 ställt sig bakom den.

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FARR 19-10-14: To our governments: Join the coalition of the willing (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 191025:

Kritnet 19-10-17:

End the Killing. For a European Policy of Human Rights till sidans topp

/Signed by 76 scientists, experts and activists from different EU countries/

The Turkish army's invasion of northern Syria is not only Erdo?an's war against Rojava, but also the latest expression of the total failure of European migration and foreign policy. Rather than helping to solve the causes of global flight, these policies instead serve to systematically exacerbate them. They do not help to create 'order', as their strategists claim, but instead sow a million times despair, fuel chaos in the refugee camps of Europe and further violence like that currently being witnessed in Syria. The Turkish war to enforce the alleged protection zone, into which one million Syrian refugees are to be forcibly expelled, is beyond any reason, the end of politics. It simply ceases dealing with global problems. Moria, Idlib, Rojava - European migration policy has tied its fate to that of Turkey, to the fate of millions of people, as a pledge of chattels for a European truce.

The abandonment of a responsible politics, capable of framing and steering developments, is nothing new. The end of politics, has been dragging on for some time now. It began four years ago with the EU-Turkey deal, with which the European Union hired Turkey as a border guard and created a bulwark against the desire merely for a better life. At the same time, the Greek islands were transformed into special legal zones in which basic asylum standards no longer apply; they were turned into open-air prisons for those who had, regardless, managed to cross the Aegean Sea and reach European soil. Only a week ago - after another fire broke out in the EU refugee camp Moria on Lesvos, with multiple ensuing fatalities - the German interior minister travelled to Athens and Ankara to persuade Greece and Turkey to implement the deal more effectively.

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Arkiveringsdatum 191017:

Human Rights Watch 19-10-03:

EU governments face crucial decision on shared sea rescue responsibility till sidans topp

European Union governments should improve on and then sign up to a plan to ensure timely disembarkation and relocation of people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today, on the sixth anniversary of the Lampedusa shipwreck, in which at least 368 people died. EU interior ministers gathering in Luxembourg on October 8, 2019, are expected to discuss a joint declaration agreed upon by Germany, France, Italy, and Malta on September 23 in Valletta.

The 'Joint declaration of intent on a controlled emergency procedure - voluntary commitments by member states for a predictable temporary solidarity mechanism' commits participating states to creating a predictable and efficient system to ensure "dignified disembarkation" in places of safety. Building on this good start, EU ministers need to now agree on the details of a plan to ensure certainty around disembarkation and a fair relocation system. Since June 2018, numerous boats have been left stranded at sea for weeks after rescuing refugees and migrants, until ad hoc agreements were reached.

"If we are to avoid yet another obscene standoff at sea, relevant EU coastal states must make clear plans to allow ships to dock in their ports, while other EU states should commit to take their fair share of responsibility for people disembarked," said Matteo de Bellis, Migration researcher at Amnesty International. "A strong agreement will help save lives and demonstrate that EU countries are committed to working together to uphold basic values and international obligations."

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Palermo Charter Platform 19-10-09:

Joint press release of the Palermo Charter Platform Process till sidans topp

on the results of the EU Summit of Home Affairs Ministers on 23 September in Malta and the consequent negotiations on 8 October in Luxembourg

The Malta Agreement ("agreement on temporary reception and distribution mechanism") is not a hard-won solution, but nothing more than a partial emergency relief. We, European civil society initiatives and networks, mayors of European cities and search and rescue non-governmental organizations, demand a real solution that is adequate to the scale of the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean Sea.

Over 15.000 people have died in the Mediterranean Sea in the last five years. "Every single person is one too many,'' says Alessandra Sciurba from Mediterranea. "When we receive distress calls from people on boats, they fear both to drown and to be returned to Libya. The outsourcing of EU border control to Libyan forces and mass interceptions at sea have to stop," demands Maurice Stierl from WatchTheMed Alarm Phone. " The establishment of an operational and sustainable European rescue mission is absolutely necessary in order to prevent deaths in the Mediterranean Sea. Sadly, it is still missing in the Malta agreement", adds Sciurba.

The deal signed in Malta is disingenuous, as it ignores the fact that many civil rescue ships are either blocked or confiscated by state authorities. Additionally, it does not address the situation into which merchant ships are forced. " Future relocation mechanisms must take them into account in order to prevent further cases of non-assistance and illegal push backs to Libya. Who is going to be responsible for setting up a rescue mission that corresponds to the scope of the crisis? Frankly, the proposed measures fall short of our mildest expectations." admits Oliver Kulikowski from Sea-Watch.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190801:

Amnesty International 19-07-26:

Latest Mediterranean drowning demands 'courageous' response from EU leaders till sidans topp

Reacting to yesterday's news that almost 150 people have drowned in the Mediterranean and around the same number have been returned to Libya by the Libyan Coastguard, where they risk indefinite detention, Massimo Moratti, Research Director for Europe at Amnesty International, said:

"If reports that 150 people have drowned are confirmed this represents the highest death toll from a shipwreck in the Mediterranean this year.

"This high number represents a new low for European leaders. They have done everything they can to pull up the drawbridge to Europe; withdrawing Search and Rescue Operations; criminalising NGO rescue boats; cooperating with the Libyan coastguard, and yet people are still risking their lives to come to Europe.

"Despite the increasingly risky journey and the unspeakable obstacles, people attempting the crossing to Europe demonstrate enormous hope in a better future and enormous courage to make it happen. We need to see European leaders show some courage too and shift their approach to a humane one which saves lives and doesn't condemn those who survive to detention in Libya."

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Arkiveringsdatum 190721:

UNHCR 19-07-11:

UNHCR, IOM: International approach to refugees and migrants in Libya must change till sidans topp

On 3 July, more than 50 refugees and migrants lost their lives in an airstrike on the Tajoura Detention Centre in the east of Libya's Tripoli. This week, we appealed to the European Union and African Union to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The international community should consider the protection of the human rights of migrants and refugees a core element of its engagement in Libya.

As a priority we ask that 5,600 refugees and migrants currently held in centres across Libya be freed in an orderly manner and their protection guaranteed, or evacuated to other countries from where accelerated resettlement is needed. For this, countries must step forward with more evacuation and resettlement places. In addition, migrants wishing to return to their countries of origin should continue to be able to do so. Extra resources are equally essential.

Detention of those disembarked in Libya after being rescued at sea has to stop. Practical alternatives exist: people should be allowed to live in the community or in open centres and corresponding registration duties should be established. Semi-open safe centres can be established similar to UNHCR's Gathering and Departure Facility.

As of yesterday, the Tajoura Detention Centre itself is closed, and some 400 attack survivors have been moved to the Gathering and Departure Facility. That centre is now badly overcrowded and work is ongoing to secure the evacuation of these people, particularly the most vulnerable, from Libya. However, many other refugees and migrants remain in detention elsewhere in Libya where suffering and risk of human rights abuses continue. A safe, managed process of release, with proper information on available assistance, is essential for all.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190703:

OHCHR 19-06-20:

UN Human Rights Office urges EU States to stop criminalizing solidarity till sidans topp

On World Refugee Day, the UN Human Rights Office in Brussels called on EU member States to prioritize saving the lives of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Between 2014 and June 2019, at least 9,241 deaths have been recorded, as estimated by the International Migration Organization, national authorities and media sources, while at the same time in recent years, NGO boats trying to save the lives of those in trouble at sea have been increasingly removed or rendered unable to operate, and hundreds of Europeans have been arrested, investigated, or threatened with prison or fines for trying to help migrants and refugees.

As of 1 June 2019, only seven out of the 24 humanitarian rescue ships operated by civil society organizations in the Mediterranean were still active, as recorded by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency.

The UN Human Rights Regional Office for Europe urged EU member States to urgently strengthen search and rescue operations and ensure rapid and safe disembarkation in a coordinated manner. States have a heightened duty to protect the right of everyone to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution, the right to leave any country and the right to life, as established by international human rights and humanitarian law. Individual human dignity should be at the centre of reforms of the European Common Asylum System, currently being considered by EU member States. These should include setting up effective EU-wide systems that enable swift support for those in vulnerable situations, including victims of violence and trafficking for purposes of sexual or labour exploitation.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190620:

Europarådet 19-06-18:

Member states must assume more responsibility for rescuing migrants at sea till sidans topp

"European states' approach to migration in the Mediterranean Sea has become much too focused on preventing refugees and migrants from reaching European shores, and too little on the humanitarian and human rights aspects. This approach is having tragic consequences", said Dunja Mijatovi?, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, while releasing a Recommendation today which identifies the deficiencies of this approach, and aims at helping member states to reframe their response according to human rights standards.

"A number of states have adopted laws, policies and practices contrary to their legal obligations to ensure effective search and rescue operations, swift and safe disembarkation and treatment of rescued people, as well as the prevention of torture, inhumane or degrading treatment", says the Commissioner.

"Whilst states have the right to control their borders and ensure security, they also have the duty to effectively protect the rights enshrined in maritime, human rights and refugee laws", says the Commissioner.

The 35 recommendations contained in the paper aim to help all Council of Europe member states find the right balance between these imperatives. They articulate around five main subject areas: ensuring effective search and rescue coordination; guaranteeing the safe and timely disembarkation of rescued people; co-operating effectively with NGOs; preventing human rights violations while co-operating with third countries; and providing accessible safe and legal routes to Europe.

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Read the Commissioner's Recommendation on rescuing migrants at sea (Extern länk)

Watch a video summary of the Recommendation (Extern länk)

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Statewatch 19-06-19:

EU must rethink migration policy that empowers "unaccountable militias and regimes" till sidans topp

A coalition of civil society organisations working for democracy and human rights in Africa have accused the EU and its member states of empowering "unaccountable militias and regimes" and "undermining rule of law, good governance, respect for human rights and the role of civil society" through activities undertaken as part of the EU-driven 'Khartoum Process' and the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

In an open letter addressed to Donald Tusk and other high-level EU officials in the run-up to the European Council meeting next week, over 20 different rights groups take aim at the Khartoum Process, designed to address the root causes of migration in the Horn of Africa; and the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, introduced after the 2015 Valletta Conference between EU and African Union heads of state.

The letter says the EU's externalised migration policies in Sudan have "directly benefitted and emboldened militia such as [the] Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the former Janjiweed by their own admission," who have "allegedly raped and murdered hundreds of protesters in recent months" during attempts to repress the uprising in the sub-Saharan state.

The letter also cites five different legal cases recently brought against the EU and its member states, concerning the funding of detention centres in Libya; support for the 'Libyan Coast Guard'; attempts to block rescue missions in the Mediterranean; the funding of projects using forced labour in Eritrea; and most recently the submission to the International Criminal Court concerning crimes resulting from EU policies in the Central Mediterranean and Libya.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190609:

UNHCR June 2019:

UNHCR's recommendations for the Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU till sidans topp

The Republic of Finland (hereafter Finland) will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU) at a critical juncture, against the backdrop of the 2019 European Parliament elections, the formation of a new European Commission, the last phase of the Multi-annual Financial Framework (MFF) negotiations and the ongoing discussions on the reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS).

In this context, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, outlines the following key protection priorities for the Finnish Presidency:

+ In line with the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), protect refugees better through enhanced responsibility sharing in the EU and globally;

+ Foster the development of fair, effective and well-managed asylum systems, including through the implementation/reform of a protection-oriented CEAS; and

+ Promote EU MS pledges ahead of the 2019 High-Level Segment on statelessness.

These priorities form the foundation of UNHCR's full recommendations for the Finnish Presidency, and are to be read in conjunction with UNHCR's "Better Protecting Refugees in the EU and Globally", which sets out the organization's proposals for EU asylum and migration policies.

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UNHCR recommends that the Finnish Presidency:

+ Plays a crucial role in ensuring that negotiations do not lose sight of the right to asylum that requires access to the territory to have meaning, as guaranteed by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.

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Europarådets parlament 19-05-31:

Member States must halt 'pushback' policies and expulsion of migrants till sidans topp

The Migration Committee, meeting in Zürich, on 29th May expressed concern at the persistent practice and policy of pushbacks, which are in violation of the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees, including the right to asylum and the right to protection against refoulement, at the core of international refugee law.

These pushbacks take place at EU borders as well as on the territory of member States further inland and are partly a consequence of the shortcomings of the Dublin Regulation and of the failure of attempts to introduce fair responsibility-sharing in Europe, explains the report by Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) adopted by the committee.

The parliamentarians are also concerned at reports and evidence of inhuman and degrading treatment of member States and their agencies in the framework of those pushbacks, through intimidation, the confiscation or destruction of migrants' property, the use of violence or depriving them of food and basic services.

Faced with the seriousness of this phenomenon, the committee has formulated a set of recommendations to member States with respect to border controls; services at borders; legal assistance; medical and psychological assistance, and NGOs.

It called on States to put an end to any measure or policy leading to pushbacks or expulsions; to inform migrants at borders about their legal position and their right to apply for international protection in languages they can understand; and to ensure the registration and processing of asylum applications.

In addition, States should consider NGOs as partners and not undermine their legitimate activities aimed at saving human lives, while refraining from using stigmatising rhetoric, the committee said.

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Arkiveringsdatum 190415:

Amnesty International 19-03-27:

Diminished "Operation Sophia" abandons refugees to reckless Libyan Coast Guard till sidans topp

Reacting to reports that EU governments have agreed to significantly downscale the EunavforMed Operation 'Sophia', withdrawing ships from the central Mediterranean and only continuing the mission with air surveillance, Massimo Moratti, Amnesty International's Researcher Director said:

"This is an outrageous abdication of EU governments responsibilities.

"Having already used every excuse in the book to banish NGO rescue boats from the Mediterranean, and having already stopped carrying out rescues several months ago, EU governments are now removing their own ships, leaving no-one to save the lives of women, men and children in peril.

"EU governments will continue to use aerial surveillance to alert the Libyan Coast Guard when refugees and migrants are spotted at sea, so they can be taken back to Libya, despite knowing that people there are arbitrarily detained and exposed to widespread torture, rape, killings and exploitation.

"This shameful decision has nothing to do with the needs of people who risk their lives at sea, but everything to do with the inability of European governments to agree on a way to share responsibility for them.

"If these reports are correct, European governments must urgently reconsider this decision, and maintain rescue capacity at sea. A mechanism must be established for the prompt disembarkation and relocation in Europe of those rescued and any continuing cooperation with Libya must be conditional on the closure of the detention centres there."

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Europarådets mr-kommissionär 19-03-27:

Commissioner calls for more rescue capacity in the Mediterranean till sidans topp

I take note of the decision taken by the EU's Political and Security Committee with regards to Operation Sophia. I regret that this will lead to even fewer naval assets in the Mediterranean, which could assist the rescue of persons in distress at sea. Lives are continuing to be lost in the Mediterranean. This should remind states of the urgency to adopt a different approach, one that should ensure a sufficiently resourced and fully operational system for saving human lives at sea and to safeguard rescued migrants' dignity.

Whilst coastal states have the responsibility to ensure effective coordination of search and rescue operations, protecting lives in the Mediterranean requires concerted efforts of other states as well, to begin with the provision of naval assets specifically dedicated to search and rescue activities, deployed in those areas where they can make an effective contribution to saving human lives. Furthermore, I reiterate my call to all states to refrain from hindering and criminalising the work of NGOs who are trying to fill the ever-increasing gap in rescue capacity. States should rather support and co-operate with them, including by ensuring that they can use ports for their life-saving activities.

Finally, the decision to continue only with aerial surveillance and training of the Libyan Coast Guard further increases the risks that EU member states, directly or indirectly, contribute to the return of migrants and asylum seekers to Libya, where it is well-documented, in particular recently by the United Nations, that they face serious human rights violations. So far, calls to ensure more transparency and accountability in this area, including by publishing human rights risk assessments and setting up independent monitoring mechanisms, have not been heeded. The onus is now on EU member states to show urgently that the support to the Libyan Coast Guard is not contributing to human rights violations, and to suspend this support if they cannot do so.

Uttalandet i sin helhet (Extern länk)

Se även:

Human rights defenders in the Council of Europe area: Current challenges and possible solutions (Extern länk)

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Statewatch 19-04-08:

Analysis: Italy's redefinition of sea rescue as a crime draws on EU policy for inspiration till sidans topp

On the evening of 18 March, an ongoing conflict between the Italian government and civil sea rescue initiatives was reignited following the rescue of 49 people in international waters north of Libya by the ship Mare Jonio, of the Italian citizen-funded sea rescue initiative Mediterranea - Saving Humans.

Matteo Salvini, the interior minister, reacted to the rescue operation and the ship's request for a safe harbour for disembarkation by issuing a directive which seeks to subordinate the infrastructure and transport ministry's competences for port-related issues to security concerns. Amongst these, fighting illegal immigration figures prominently.

With this directive, Salvini is attempting to prevent the application of international law and in doing so, he has cited the European Agenda on Migration as a justification.

In fact, examined alongside recent Council proposals, it appears that the approaches of the Italian government and the EU institutions to unauthorised sea arrivals are not necessarily that different.

Hämta analysen i sin helhet (Extern länk)

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Sea-Watch 19-04-13:

Joint Statement - the case of Alan Kurdi till sidans topp

We have learned that Sea-Eye's rescue vessel, the 'Alan Kurdi', has finally been allowed to disembark the people who were rescued on April 3 when in distress on the Mediterranean Sea. These 64 people (of whom two were evacuated already due to medical emergencies) are allowed to reach land in Valletta/Malta after suffering through ten days of uncertainty at sea. We are relieved that these people have finally reached firm land in a safe port in the EU but we by no means consider this case a victory. Instead, it was once again a shameful episode in which EU member states unnecessarily prolonged an emergency at sea, the very same countries and institutions who now declare this a successful solution. Once more, the law of the sea, international law, and human rights law were brutally violated, as the people were not immediately disembarked at the nearest place of safety. We witnessed yet again how intergovernmental negotiations were carried out while those rescued were forced to remain in uncertain conditions at sea for ten days. These negotiations are illegitimate and unsustainable practices that violate international law, fundamental principles of human rights and disregard the dignity of the rescued.

For us, the civil society engaging in the rescue and welcoming of the distressed at sea, it is their dignity and rights that are central, that guide all of our practices. We know that this is not an easy moment for our continued struggle, particularly as we are being systematically targeted by EU governments and institutions as political enemies, simply for defending people's right to live and survive and for working to restore accountability and the rule of law in the Central Mediterranean Sea. However, the civil SAR fleet finds itself with no other choice but to step in where European member states have fallen short and neglected their legal obligations. It is in this sea where the future of our societies is at stake, now more than ever.

Se undertecknarna (Extern länk)

Deutsche Welle: Migrants stranded on Sea-Eye ship land in Malta (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190326:

Amnesty international 19-03- 13:

EU complicit in violence and abuse by police against refugees and migrants till sidans topp

European governments are complicit in the systematic, unlawful and frequently violent pushbacks and collective expulsions of thousands of asylum seekers to squalid and unsafe refugee camps in Bosnia and Herzegovina, said Amnesty International in a report published today.

"Pushed to the edge: Violence and abuse against refugees and migrants along Balkan Route" details how, by prioritizing border control over compliance with international law, European governments are not just turning a blind eye to vicious assaults by the Croatian police, but also funding their activities. In so doing, they are fueling a growing humanitarian crisis on the edge of the European Union.

"To understand where the priorities of European governments lie, one only needs to follow the money. Their financial contribution towards humanitarian assistance is dwarfed by the funds they provide for border security which includes equipping Croatian border police and even paying their salaries," said Massimo Moratti, Director of Research for Amnesty International's Europe Office.

"Meanwhile people fleeing war and persecution are beaten and robbed by the Croatian police and forcibly pushed back to legal limbo, left at the mercy of a failing asylum system in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

Currently around 5,500 women, men and children are trapped in two small Bosnian towns near the Croatian border, Bihac and Velika Kladusa, living in defunct former factories without basic amenities. Bosnia and Herzegovina cannot offer them adequate protection or living conditions and the improvised camps are unhygienic, lacking hot water, medical care and sufficient food.

One Afghan mother told Amnesty International: "We don't have enough food to feed the whole family, especially the children. They are always hungry."

(...)

Hela artikeln (Extern länk)

Hämta rapporten: Pushed to the edge: Violence and abuse against refugees and migrants along Balkan Route (Extern länk)

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Läkare utan Gränser 19-03-18:

Tre år senare - människor fångna i hopplöshet efter avtalet mellan EU och Turkiet till sidans topp

I dag, tre år sedan flyktingavtalet mellan EU och Turkiet undertecknades, sitter fortfarande män, kvinnor och barn fast i överbefolkade, otrygga omständigheter på de grekiska öarna. Läkare Utan Gränser uppmanar europeiska beslutsfattare att få slut på politiken som strandsätter människor i flyktingläger.

I tre år har migranter, asylsökande och flyktingar suttit fast på de grekiska öarna i undermåliga förhållanden. Läkare Utan Gränser vädjar till EU att de mest utsatta ska evakueras från öarna omedelbart och inkvarteras på fastlandet eller i övriga EU-medlemsstater. I höstas slog organisationen larm om att vart fjärde barn i flyktinglägret Moria har självskadebeteende.

- Det är helt ofattbart. Väldigt små barn, ända ner till femårsålder har försökt att ta livet av sig. Barnen vi träffade längtade efter trygghet, men för invånarna i Moria känns läget hopplöst, säger sjuksköterskan Fia Iveslätt, som jobbat för Läkare Utan Gränser på Lesbos förra året..

"Grekland har blivit en dumpningsplats"

Till följd av avtalet mellan EU och Turkiet sitter ungefär 12 000 män, kvinnor och barn fångna i fem överfulla registreringscenter, så kallade "hotspots". I centret Vathy på ön Samos har förhållandena försämrats snabbt under de senaste månaderna. Fler än 4 100 personer bor i lägret, som är byggt för bara 648. Det betyder att tusentals personer trängs i det smutsiga och osäkra området utanför det officiella lägret. Bland dem som bor utanför lägret finns åtminstone 79 ensamkommande barn, gravida kvinnor, åldringar, människor med kroniska sjukdomar och personer som utsatts för tortyr och sexuellt våld.

- Grekland har blivit en dumpningsplats för män, kvinnor och barn som EU har misslyckats med att skydda, säger Emmanuel Goué, landansvarig för Läkare Utan Gränser i Grekland.

(...)

Hela pressmeddelandet (Extern länk)

Doctors without borders 19-03-18: Greece: Three years of "cruel, inhumane, and cynical " treatment of migrants and refugees (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190318:

Amnesty International 19-03-06:

More evidence of abuses in Libya should spur EU to help people seeking safety till sidans topp

Ahead of the meeting of European Home Affairs Ministers, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have today published a 20-point action plan to address the current unsustainable situation in the Mediterranean which is leaving boats stranded at sea and people illegally detained in Libya.

EU countries have consistently acted to block the arrival of seaborne refugees and migrants by hampering rescues in the Central Mediterranean, and by supporting the Libyan Coast Guard which intercepts people at sea and forces them back to Libya. This has resulted in refugees and migrants becoming trapped in Libya where they are exposed to serious abuses including torture.

The joint Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch plan includes a set of measures to protect the human rights of those migrating across the Mediterranean. This includes not only immediate action to rescue people in danger at sea and ensuring their prompt disembarkation and relocation in Europe, but also concrete measures to address the catastrophic situation of people trapped in Libya. To this end European governments should make continuing cooperation with Libya subject to the Libyan authorities ending automatic and indefinite detention of migrants and refugees.

"European governments are well aware of the killings, beatings, rapes and exploitation that take place in Libyan detention centres. If they want to stop being complicit in these atrocities then they must work with the Libyan authorities to ensure the release of the thousands currently held and offer resettlement places to those of them who qualify for it. These hellish detention centres must be closed for good."

Läs mer (Extern länk)

Hämta handlingsplanen (Extern länk)

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Human Rights Watch 19-03-14:

NGOs calling to end the humanitarian and human rights crisis at Europe's borders till sidans topp

Dear European leaders,

We, the 25 undersigned humanitarian, human rights and volunteer organizations call on you, in the run up to the third anniversary of the EU-Turkey deal, to take immediate and sustained action to end the unfair and unnecessary containment policy which is preventing asylum seekers from leaving the Greek islands. We also call on you to urgently reach a common responsibility-sharing agreement for hosting asylum seekers across EU Member States.

The policy that traps people on the Greek islands and prevents them from reaching the European mainland has caused a recurrent and endless cycle of overcrowding, substandard living conditions and extremely poor access to services: the European "hotspots" continue to provide accommodation and basic services, such as food and medical assistance, well below minimum standards. The European response in Greece has proven to have disastrous consequences on refugees' rights, including their health and safety. This has been exhaustively documented and brought to your attention through countless reports over the last three years[1].

As many as 20,000 asylum seekers were stranded in unsafe, unhygienic and degrading conditions on the Greek islands in 2018. Currently, around 12,000 people are still forced to live in inadequate reception and identification centers built for a maximum capacity of half this population: sleeping in unheated tents or overcrowded containers with limited access to running water and electricity, and often exposed to ongoing violence, harassment and exploitation, amid high tensions, lack of security and minimal protection.

(...)

Hela brevet med undertecknande organisationer (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190219:

Riksdagen 19-02-06:

Svar på skriftlig fråga: Partnerskap med Afrika till sidans topp

Fråga 2018/19:66 av Ludvig Aspling (SD)

Europeiska unionen har ett strategiskt partnerskap med Afrika. Partnerskapets syfte är att genom investeringar lyfta levnadsstandarden på den afrikanska kontinenten och därmed också minska incitamenten för irreguljär migration till Europa. Sverigedemokraterna står bakom syftet att öka levnadsstandarden, men ser det som otroligt att detta skulle minska incitamenten att resa till Europa.

Forskning på migrationsområdet, av bland annat Paul Collier, visar att en begränsad ökning av levnadsstandarden leder till en ökad benägenhet att migrera eftersom migranter ser resan till Europa som en investering. Eftersom sådana resor är relativt kostsamma tillhör de som lyckas ta sig till Europa ofta också den afrikanska överklassen.

En ökad levnadsstandard riskerar alltså, om detta inte kombineras med verksamma åtgärder för att stävja migrationen, att leda till ökad irreguljär migration i stället för minskad. Det senare syftet med planen kommer i så fall inte att uppfyllas.

Med anledning av detta vill jag fråga statsrådet Peter Eriksson:

Vilka vetenskapliga belägg har statsrådet för att Sveriges och EU:s bistånd till utvecklingsländer faktiskt leder till en minskad benägenhet att migrera till Sverige och rikare länder?

Svar av Statsrådet Peter Eriksson (MP) (Extern länk)

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Arkiveringsdatum 190209:

Amnesty International 19-01- 18:

Cut Adrift in the Med till sidans topp

/Utdrag:/

We have identified the problems that need addressing

1. The Dublin System (...)

A major reason is the Dublin system, under which the first country the asylum-seeker enters is usually responsible for examining their asylum claim, hosting them during the process, integrating the successful applicant and returning those who are refused protection to their countries. This has significant implications for front-line states, which - in the absence of intra-European solidarity mechanisms to share these responsibilities - have increasingly chosen to bar asylum-seekers from accessing their country, even when this means exposing them to fatal risks and breaching international obligations.

(...)

2. The deal with Libya (...)

Now, if any ship rescues people in the Libyan search and rescue region, European governments still can't say, "take them to Libya" - as this would be illegal - but they can say, "that's Libya's search and rescue region so you'll have to ask them what to do". The ship's captain though remains bound by international law not to take them back to Libya.

So a ludicrous, "catch 22" situation arises in which people rescued at sea cannot be taken to either Libya or Europe and are thus stranded at sea.

(...)

3. Distorting the debate on migration for political gain

The number of irregular border crossings at Europe's external borders fell in 2018 to the lowest level in five years, according to the European border agency Frontex. Yet some people believe there is an ongoing migration "crisis" in the Mediterranean.

Only around 114,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2018, mostly reaching Spain (58,569), Greece (32,497) and Italy (23,370).

(...)

Läs hela analysen (Extern länk)

Amnesty International 19-02-06: When solidarity - like that shown by Stansted 15 - becomes a crime (Extern länk)

FRA 19-01-21: Recurring migrant deaths at sea, a grim reminder of need for solutions, says FRA (Extern länk)

Refugees Deeply 19-01- 18: How a visa for asylum seekers could grant safe passage to Europe (Extern länk)

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ECRE 19-01-25:

Relying on Relocation: Proposal for a fair relocation following disembarkation till sidans topp

In its latest Policy Paper, ECRE proposes a mechanism for relocation following disembarkation to end the current "ship by ship" approach to relocation of persons rescued in the Mediterranean.

The arrangements followed by European countries since the summer of 2018 are legally and politically unsustainable as they exacerbate suffering by leaving people at sea for prolonged periods, allow leaders to exploit search and rescue incidents for domestic political purposes, entail bureaucracy and costs for administrations, and cause reputational damage to the EU by undermining relations with third countries. The manner in which individuals are currently received and distributed under ad hoc arrangements on relocation also raises questions of compliance with the CEAS standards, with people being detained and forbidden from applying for asylum in countries of arrival, and receiving countries exercising undue discretion when selecting those who will be relocate.

ECRE recommends a relocation mechanism for asylum seekers disembarked in EU ports based on fair and effective implementation of rules set out in the existing EU rules, without adding new obligations for Member States. The main elements of the mechanism are as follows:

1) While countries should be able to choose whether or not to opt into the relocation mechanism, the states participating in the mechanism should be defined from the outset and should not be negotiated on a "ship by ship" basis. The arrangement should apply to disembarkations following search and rescue and other forms of sea arrivals in all participating coastal EU Member States to guarantee fairness and to support the efforts of all countries receiving disembarked people. All countries will be required to examine at least some asylum applications of disembarked persons.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 181218:

Europarådets parlament 18-12-17:

New walls against migrants 'morally unacceptable', says committee till sidans topp

On the eve of International Migrants' Day (18 December), PACE's Migration Committee, in a statement, called for the respect of migrants' fundamental rights.

Statement adopted by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons:

"Despite a very significant drop in the numbers of migrants arriving in Europe since the peaks registered in 2015 and 2016, immense challenges remain for all European states.

With the closure of the Balkans land routes, over 100 000 migrants attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea in 2018 to reach the European Union. The International Organization for Migration's Missing Migrants Project recorded more than 2 000 deaths of boat migrants in the Mediterranean in 2018, which constitutes two-thirds of all migrant fatalities globally. Europe cannot look away while the Mediterranean Sea continues to be a mass grave.

Turkey is hosting more than 3.5 million registered refugees from Syria. There are more than 1.5 million refugees in Germany. This number of refugees is nearly equalled by the number of registered IDPs in Europe. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants are stranded in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Italy, Spain and other member States of the Council of Europe. Many more hundreds of thousands are trafficked and exploited in Europe, most of them vulnerable migrants.

Behind these figures are individual human fates - men, women and children compelled to leave their homes, who depend on humanitarian support, whose human rights must be respected and who must be allowed to contribute to our common future.

Until 30 years ago, Europe was divided for several decades by an "iron curtain". Building new walls in Europe against migrants and refugees is not an option, as it is neither practically feasible nor morally acceptable.

(...)

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Arkiveringsdatum 181125:

ECRE 18-11- 09:

EU as human rights champion - point of no return or new beginning? till sidans topp

The 101 strong ECRE alliance met in Belgrade for the ECRE Annual General Conference 2018, taking place alongside the Europe NGO Consultation of UNHCR, an ECRE strategic partner. With over 200 participants at the conference, civil society remains strong and determined to defend the human rights of all, especially at this time when the right to asylum is under attack and the rights of the displaced in Europe are disregarded in parts of the continent.

ECRE calls on the European Union to defend European values. This includes the rule of law, both within the EU and as part of the EU Accession process. The support for democratic reform and protection of human rights in Serbia and the Western Balkans will only happen if the EU itself changes direction.

"There are four main strategies at play at EU and Member State level in dealing with asylum seekers" says Morten Kjaerum, Chair of the ECRE board. "First, keep people out through walls, push-backs and the ending of Search and Rescue at borders. Second, push them sideways by offering comparatively worse conditions in terms of support, access to labour market, family reunification and permanent residency or citizenship -sometimes referred to as the 'race to the bottom.' Third, send them back, including through forced return. This despite the fact that asylum seekers face a 'lottery' where they might be relatively sure of receiving protection in one place and have no chance in another potentially leaving rejected people in danger. Finally, prevent them from beginning their journey in the first place or contain them en route through dubious agreements with third countries."

(...)

Hela uttalandet (Extern länk)

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Källor: Informationen på denna sida är hämtad från följande källor (externa länkar): EU (kommissionen, ministerrådet, parlamentet och domstolen), Europarådet (mr-kommissionären, domstolen, kommittén mot tortyr), FN:s flyktingkommissariat UNHCR, FN:s kommitté mot tortyr m.fl. FN-organ, Sveriges Radio, SvT, andra svenska media via Nyhetsfilter och pressmeddelanden via Newsdesk, utländska media till exempel via Are You Syrious och Rights in Exile, internationella organisationer som Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, ECRE, Statewatch och Picum, organisationer i Sverige som Rädda Barnen, Asylrättscentrum, Svenska Amnesty, FARR och #vistårinteut samt myndigheter och politiska organ som Migrationsverket, Sveriges domstolar, JO, Justitiedepartementet m.fl. departement och Sveriges Riksdag.

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