Refugees, Migrants and Asylum Seekers: Where to From Here?

Report
from Trócaire
Published on 31 Dec 2016 View Original

Key Concerns
- The EU-Turkey plan is not designed in the best interests of refugees and asylum seekers, including Syrian civilians, but is instead focuses on containing the flow of displaced people trying to reach European countries.
- The plan has the potential to seriously erode the crucial protection for refugees afforded them under international law by designating Turkey a safe third country– leading to potential violation of the principle of non-refoulement.
- With its focus on Syria, the deal risks creating a hierarchy of refugees which violates the fundamental principle that all asylum applications should be considered on their own merit, regardless of where the applicant is from.
- The EU and Turkey’s assurance that asylum seekers will not have their rights violated, that they will have their asylum claims reviewed on an individual basis and that no one will be victims of collective expulsions, is not convincing given the scale of the numbers involved and the time line proposed – both of which raises serious concerns about the ability of the EU and Turkey to deliver on these commitments.
- The EU-Turkey plan damages the credibility of the EU, undermines the European Consensus on Humanitarian Aid and sets a dangerous precedent of principled humanitarian donors motivated by political agendas.