International Migrants' Day
Common action of the Greens/EFA, the European Green Party and Belgian parties ECOLO and GROEN!
The Greens held a protest in Brussels on 18 December 2007 calling for more humane treatment of irregular migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. The protest, 'Refugees have names, not numbers', marked UN International Migrants' Day and was part of a common action by European Green Party (EGP) member parties in 10 European countries. MEPs from the Greens/EFA group, as well as MPs from Belgian Green parties, Ecolo and Groen! and the EGP Co-Spokesperson all particated in the action, which took place at a reception centre for migrants in Brussels (Klein Kasteeltke/Petit Château).
The aim was to condemn the detention and deportation of individuals and families from Belgium and other EU countries. The inhumane detention of individuals in prison-like centres, together with the splitting up of families through deportations, takes place even though in many cases the individuals involved have integrated very well into the societies of their host countries.
European Greens have called on EU Member States to give people who have lived in their country for 5 years a legal and documented status, including the right to stay permanently in the country. They have also called for Member States to stop ignoring the exploitation of irregular migrants on the labour market and urgently put in place the necessary protection and control mechanism to cover all of the labour force.
The action in Brussels included Green MEP Pierre Jonckheer (Belgium), EGP Co-Spokesperson Philippe Lamberts and MPs from both Belgian Green Parties, Ecolo and Groen! There were be similar events in Austria, England and Wales, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden and Ukraine, while the Irish Green Party and the Polish Greens organised events earlier in the month.