The "Migration Pact" that could mean the end of human rights

The “Migration Pact” that could mean the end of human rights in the E.U.

  • Published on
    April 10, 2024
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  • Category:
    Law & Policy
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After nearly a decade of deliberation, the European Parliament recently passed a sweeping overhaul of the European Union’s asylum and migration rules with what is known as the “Migration Pact” which advocates say will lead to an increase in human rights abuses, including extreme exploitation.

According to Al Jazeera, prominent E.U. figures like German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and E.U. Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson believe these reforms “will better protect our external border, the vulnerable and refugees, swiftly return those not eligible to stay, and introduce mandatory solidarity between member states.”

According to Freedom United partner, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), which represents almost 45 million workers in 39 countries across Europe, the pact “will inevitably lead to an increase in abuses of fundamental rights, illegal pushbacks, and returns to unsafe countries.”

The protestors decry

The passing of this pact has not been without pushback. Outside of the Brussels parliament building, demonstrators voiced their dissent, echoing concerns raised by over 160 migrant charities and NGOs, including Freedom United. Disruptions during the voting process highlight the intensity of the opposition.

Demonstrators were reported to be wearing a message on their shirts that read “This pact kills” while standing in the visitor’s gallery as members participated in a series of votes during a planetary session at the European Parliament in Brussels.

According to journalist Matthaios Tsimitakis,

“The injustice and shocking disregard for human life in this story are not an aberration, but the culmination of a policy of systemic denial of protection and violation of the rights of refugees.”

In a joint statement, 22 charity groups said,

“The pact leaves troubling cracks deep within Europe’s approach to asylum and migration, and fails to offer sustainable solutions for people seeking safety at Europe’s borders.”

Eve Geddie from Amnesty International said,

“For people escaping conflict, persecution, or economic insecurity, these reforms will mean less protection and a greater risk of facing human rights violations across Europe – including illegal and violent pushbacks, arbitrary detention, and discriminatory policing.”

How this leads to modern slavery

The tragic stories of the overwhelming deaths at European borders and lack of remorse or response by authorities characterize a troubling far-right ideology of discriminatory anti-migrant measures spreading across the E.U.

Migrants are not inherently vulnerable to trafficking; rather, restrictive hostile immigration policies increase migrants’ vulnerability. This pact includes policies with several loopholes that could be exploited and used for abuse which greatly increases migrants’ vulnerability to trafficking. For example, the pact includes fast tracking measures which put refugees at risk of being denied asylum or other forms of protection. It also allows for the detention of asylum seekers, including families with children in prison-like facilities, and allows for deportation to unsafe third countries.

This means that victims and potential victims of trafficking will not feel safe approaching authorities for support. In essence, the “Migration Pact” is hostile towards migrants and asylum seekers, which facilitates modern slavery and exploitation.

The E.U. needs to prioritize safe migration, and this pact does just the opposite. This pact is inhumane, and we demand that the E.U. implements genuine anti-trafficking and safe migration policies. Join our call by signing our petition.

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