Brussels, 27 November 2014 – JRS Europe together with the Beguinage parish in Brussels will hold an event on the European refugee policies on 9 December from 7 till 9pm. The evening focuses on the situation of refugees crossing the Mediterranean and suggests possibilities for a better humanitarian response from Europe. Held in the Begijnhof church in central Brussels, the event will conclude with a ceremony for the ‘unknown migrant’.
Recent developments in confronting the plight of migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean Sea show a shift from humanitarian action by individual Member States to EU border control that will increase the risk of people drowning crossing these waters under unsafe conditions.
Are we responding with: “if we keep saving these lives they will keep crossing these waters, we have to stop them”, or are we addressing the reality of increasing numbers of people fleeing severely distressed countries and offering them a chance to build new lives? Europe’s reputation as a safe haven and bastion of human rights increasingly seems to be under threat.
JRS Europe will discuss both its latest report ‘Rescued: What Next? Protection seekers stranded in Sicily‘ as well as the new policy paper on safe and legal ways to Europe developed with the Christian group of NGOs.
Knock, knock: Are we there?
Building safe havens or new walls around Europe?
Event on 9 December, 19h00, at the Beguinage, Begijnhofplein 1, B-1000 Brussels
19:00 Crossing the Mediterranean, experiences and current rescue efforts
19:15 The situation in Sicily, Oscar Spooner, JRS Europe
19:40 Safe and legal ways to protection in Europe: A Christian organisations’ initiative, Stefan Kessler, JRS Europe
20:00 Discussion on JRS initiative and situation in Brussels/Vlaanderen, moderated by Jean Marie Carrière, JRS Europe director, with Claudia Bonami (Vluchtlingen Vlaanderen), Carloine Antrand (CIRE) and Hilde Geraets (ORBIT)
20:30 Ceremony in memory of the ‘unknown migrant’