Civil society calls on EU Council to uphold migrants’ rights
27 June 2016

A life-jacket floats in the sea off the coast of Greece (Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi / JRS Europe).
Download the letter to EU leaders here
Download the joint statement of 110 organisations here
Obliging countries in Africa and the Middle East to prevent refugees crossing their borders in return for development funding seriously undermines European credibility to promote and to defend human rights.

Brussels, 27 June 2016 – In a letter to the Dutch EU Presidency and EU leaders, JRS Europe together with five other faith-based organisations calls on them to reject proposals which would make development aid conditional on migration control. The letter was sent to the leaders before the EU Council meeting on 28-29 June during which the proposals will be discussed. 

In it the Christian organisations call upon leaders to reject the EU Migration Partnership Framework proposed by the European Commission.

“Obliging countries in Africa and the Middle East to prevent refugees crossing their borders in return for development funding seriously undermines European credibility to promote and to defend human rights,” said JRS advocacy officer Olga Siebert.

“It is disappointing that the Member States focus on deterrence measures rather than open safe and legal ways for those who seek international protection on European territory,” Siebert concludes.

Key recommendations in the letter are:

  • EU migration policies must be based on solidarity and fair responsibility-sharing rather than on externalising the management of EU borders to non-EU countries;
  • Stop conditioning development aid to the compliance of developing countries with readmission agreements. Engage in effective and ambitious development aid programmes, based on human rights, good governance and sustainable development with agreed Sustainable Development Goals as guiding principle;
  • Open meaningful safe and legal channels to come to Europe, such as resettlement, humanitarian visas, and legal labour migration.

Read the full letter here

Note to editors:

JRS Europe, today, also signed a joint statement with over 100 civil society organisations criticising the new EU proposals to contain migration. Read the full statement here








Press Contact Information
Oscar Spooner
oscar.spooner@jrs.net
+32 2 554 02 20