Emmaus International

Emmaus International demands that Europe put an end to a security-dominated approach that kills thousands of migrants every year. In the aftermath of dramatic events in recent days in the Mediterranean, Emmaus International Chair, Jean Rousseau urges Europe to urgently rethink its migration policies and to bring the issue to the international stage.

“The hundreds of deaths over recent days in the Mediterranean highlight Europe’s denial of the political realities of the Middle East and Horn of Africa, as well as its ongoing refusal to provide protection and asylum to the victims of wars and persecution who turn to it in their thousands. Europe must finally come to understand that closing borders does not alleviate suffering, and that the lockdown increases the risks and encourages trafficking. Saving lives by immediately restarting the tried-and-tested Mare Nostrum operation is a priority. Europe must finally realise that it has to provide legal, safe routes for those who seek asylum, which means carrying out a thorough review of its policies in this area. The extraordinary summit announced by Europe on Thursday must at all costs avoid renewing a counterproductive security-based approach that is doomed to failure: this is the price of respect for the dead and of Europe’s honour.
But, above all, the issue of migrants must be addressed on an international scale. We urge the European Union to call for a conference on migration and the free movement of people, with the full and inclusive participation of migrants and civil society, to be held under the auspices of the United Nations.”

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