EU must put human rights at the centre of migration deals
Today, Members of the European Parliament have adopted a report on Human rights protection and the EU external migration policy, from Greens/EFA Group MEP Tineke Strik, calling for the EU to support better human rights in migration. The vote comes after several reports of human rights violations surrounding the EU's migration deals with third countries, such as its cooperation with the Libyan Coastguard.
Tineke Strik MEP, Greens/EFA rapporteur the report 'Human rights protection and the EU external migration policy', comments:
"The EU cannot simply buy its way out of its responsibility to protect refugees. Handing over money to third countries will not stop people trying to reach Europe, but instead it creates the risk that refugees are stuck in a transit country without access to protection. Many of the migration deals with countries like Libya and Afghanistan are leading to human rights violations against vulnerable people. This must change.
“It's time for the EU to show a human face in migration policy. The EU must stop cooperating on migration with countries where human rights are violated. There must be improved access to justice for migrants and refugees that have suffered from human rights violations, they must be able to hold countries directly accountable.
"The European Parliament is calling for an independent and transparent monitoring system in which all agreements on migration with non-EU countries are assessed on their impact on human rights. The transparency, democratic control and accountability of the EU should significantly improve."
This report provides the first framework for ensuring effective protection and safeguards throughout migration policy, across all EU actors and bodies, as well as for enhanced parliamentary scrutiny and democratic oversight. The report calls for an increase in the numbers of vulnerable refugees taken in by the EU through United Nations programs. The European Parliament should have a stronger role in overseeing agreements with non-EU countries on migration and the financial resources the EU deploys for this purpose.
Since 2015, the European Union has stepped up cooperation with countries outside Europe to stop refugees before they reach European borders.
Tineke Strik is also rapporteur on the report of the 'Frontex Scrutiny working group' into allegations of human rights abuses at the EU border agency.