Why your vote in the European Elections matters to end migration detention?

07 May 2024|JRS Europe

The upcoming European Parliament Elections, held between 6 and 9 of June, represent an opportunity for all citizens to use their vote to help co-create the Europe they envision.

In this context, JRS Europe has launched “Dear European Parliament”, a campaign calling on all EU citizens to vote by highlighting how the EU parliament decisions can foster solidarity and hospitality, end migration detention, stop policies outsourcing the responsibility to protect those in need and expand safe and legal ways of reaching Europe.

What is the issue with the migration detention?

Thousands of people, including children, are detained in the EU for their immigration status.

Currently, legislation allows for people to be detained for not having the right to remain in the EU territory with the purpose of returning them to their countries of origin.

In some cases, it allows to detain asylum seekers who arrived irregularly to determine their identity, for reasons of national security or if they are considered to only have applied for asylum to delay an ordered return. It also allows to detain asylum seekers to transfer them to another EU country that has been determined as responsible for examining their asylum application.

Detention is likely to increase exponentially with the recently approved Migration and Asylum Pact which introduces mandatory border procedures. While procedures are not required to happen in detention, it requires Member States to “keep people at the borders” or in facilities at the borders, so de facto detention.

Why is this a problem?

Deprivation of liberty is an extremely dehumanizing and harsh measure that is proven to be harmful for people’s physical and mental health. It should only be used when no other measure is possible.

Most people in detention because of migration procedures, never committed a crime and represent no danger to the host society.

Detention is usually justified to either deter arrivals, enforce return of irregularly staying migrants or avoid people leaving without fulfilling their asylum procedure. However, there is no evidence to support any of these views.

What do we want the next European Parliament to do?

We believe in a EU that is that recognizes the right of liberty as a fundamental right to everybody and opposes detention in migration procedures.

For that, we want the next European Parliament to strongly question the use of detention and asks for the implementation of alternatives to detention.

Until we end migration detention, we want the European Parliament to ensure that the detention conditions are humane.

If you want to learn more about the European Elections visit together.eu

Read how your vote can affect:

Stoping outsourcing the responsibility to protect those in need

Expanding safe and legal access to protection

Creating a culture of solidarity and hospitality