The Asylum Crisis: A Human Rights Challenge for the EU

At this crucial time, with global tensions running high, Amnesty International in Brussels today launched an appeal to EU leaders to show greater moral and political leadership to safeguard the international protection of refugees. The appeal coincides with this week’s Justice and Home Affairs Council (27-28 th September) which is due to discuss key issues regarding the EU’s asylum procedures.

“Now, more than ever, it is time for EU leaders to stand back for a moment and consider the human rights implications of their new measures on asylum, giving explicit assurances that any measure to tighten security will not undermine the right of refugees to protection” said Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International’s EU Office.

“Amnesty International is particularly alarmed at the latest proposals to be put to the Justice and Homes Affairs Ministers this week which, for example, would not guarantee the right of asylum seekers to stay in the country where they have lodged their asylum application, while awaiting the outcome of their appeal,” he said.

A new Amnesty International report launched in Brussels today: “The Asylum Crisis: A Human Rights Challenge for the EU”, outlines why refugee protection is the black spot in the EU’s human rights ambitions. It also marks the start of a coordinated Europe-wide information campaign by Amnesty International to explain what is really happening with asylum seekers in the EU and to warn of the dangers of the current anti-asylum-seeker rhetoric. The report contains an Appeal to the Laeken Summit and Case Studies showing how asylum seekers are treated.

“Amnesty International is deeply concerned that the focus of the EU’s asylum policy is overwhelmingly on how to keep people out, rather than how to protect effectively people fleeing from war, civil upheaval and grave human rights abuses,” said Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International’s EU Office in Brussels.

“The Justice and Home Affairs Council this week must express a clear, explicit and unequivocal commitment to the right to seek asylum, in compliance with the mandate given by the Heads of State or Government meeting in Tampere to ensure that the EU asylum policy offers guarantees to those who seek protection in or access to the European Union”, said Dick Oosting.

Click to access the report “The Asylum Crisis: A Human Rights Challenge for the EU”

Version FR – “L’asile en crise: un défi en matière de droits humains

For further information, or to receive hard copies of the report:

Amnesty International EU Office (Brussels):

Tel: 32-2-5021499

Fax: 32-2-5025686

Email: amnesty-eu@aieu.be