The outcome of the EU-Turkey summit in Brussels is “an attack on the right to seek asylum” urged Amnesty International’s (AI) Turkey researcher Andrew Gardner.
The summit held on March 7 is a “new low for respect for human rights in the EU” Andrew Gardner told DHA, saying the outlined plan is “the latest chapter in the EU’s efforts to escape from its responsibilities to refugees”.
Turkey and EU countries have shared a proposal that for every Syrian refugee returned to Turkey from Greece, a Syrian would be settled within the EU, over a summit to ease the refugee flow and manage the crisis.
Amnesty International had slammed the outline for a final agreement and defined it as a “wrought with moral and legal flaws”. Amnesty also urged on humanitarian needs and rights to international protection of asylum seekers.
“For each resettled, another’s life risked”
According to Andrew Gardner, “the plan to make resettlement dependent on Turkey accepting returns of refugees” does not meet Amnesty’s call.
“For each Syrian resettled, another must risk her or his life making the irregular crossing” said Gardner.
“Turkey, the largest host of refugees in the world should not receive refugees returned from the EU” he added.
“EU should commit independently to resettle refugees”
While calling on the EU to “acknowledge its responsibilities” Amnesty’s Turkey researcher urged member countries to “commit independently to resettling refugees from Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon”.
Amnesty International has strongly contested the concept of a “safe third country” after EU leaders said the legality of the proposal would be possible once Turkey is designated as a “safe country”. In the case of Turkey in particular, there is huge cause for concern given the current situation and treatment of migrants and refugees.
The idea of bartering refugees for refugees is not only dangerously dehumanising, but also offers no sustainable long term solution to the ongoing humanitarian crisis” has Iverna McGowan said, Head of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office.
“Sending them back to Turkey knowing their strong claim to international protection will most likely never be heard reveals EU claims to respect refugees’ human rights as hollow words” McGowan has added. “Turkey has forcibly returned refugees to Syria and many refugees in the country live in desperate conditions without adequate housing. Hundreds of thousands of refugee children cannot access formal education. By no stretch of imagination can Turkey be considered a ‘safe third country’ that the EU can cosily outsource its obligations to.”