UNHCR sees asylum law in Europe “at risk”

Dhe UN has denounced a growing number of direct rejections of refugees at the EU’s external borders. There were increasing reports that EU states rejected refugees immediately after they had reached the territory or the territorial waters of these states, said Gillian Triggs, a high-ranking representative of the UN refugee agency UNHCR, in Geneva on Wednesday. These rejections take place in a “violent and obviously systematic manner”.

The right of asylum in Europe was “in danger”, warned the UNHCR representative. Boats with refugees would be towed outside the areas of the arrival countries or refugees would be sent back out to sea by boats on land after their arrival. Many refugees report “violence and abuse” by officials, Triggs said. People who had fled across national borders were also pushed back. It is not checked whether they are in need of protection. Each case must be assessed individually, according to the Refugee Convention and EU law.

Triggs emphasized that while states have the right to carry out their border controls in accordance with international law, they must respect the applicable international human rights conventions. Direct deportations are “simply illegal”. Triggs did not mention the names of states in which such practices are said to be increasingly common. However, there have been repeated allegations against the authorities in Greece.

According to the UNHCR, the number of refugees, asylum seekers and economic migrants arriving in the EU is in the. decreased continuously over the past few years. Last year, a total of around 95,000 refugees arrived in the EU via land and sea – a decrease of 23 percent compared to 2019 and 33 percent compared to 2018. “It should be possible to cope with so few arrivals “Wrote the UNHCR. Some EU countries are particularly badly affected by their geographic location. The organization called on the other EU countries to show more solidarity and better support the countries.


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