In the face of migration crisis, European leaders are at a crossroads and can still chose the path to walk on. However, their responses and reactions haven’t been well aligned with true EU values that all EU member states have adhered to.
Rather than seek to protect people fleeing brutal wars, persecution, human rights violations, instability and extreme poverty, EU institutions have become preoccupied with stopping people reaching Europe and trying to quickly expel those who do. Only last week, European Commission recommended locking up child migrants while they or their parents wait to see if they have been granted asylum. Not only is forcibly detaining children never in the child’s best interests, it is in breach of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – a set of laws protecting children that every EU nation has signed up to.
EU member states and institutions can either let fear erode the fundamental values they so often preach about yet practice less and less, or they can truly embody the principles the EU was founded on almost 60 years ago.
Over 160 NGOs (including Terre des hommes) demanded European leaders take the second option today (8 March) and called on European governments’ to take inspiration from citizens across Europe welcoming refugees and migrants into their communities and donating money, time and resources to help them.
Click here and read their joint letter in English.