Geneva 16 June 2016 – At the occasion of the presentation of the findings and the conclusions of the reports on human rights of migrants, drafted by the Special Rapporteur François Crépeau, to the 29th session of the Human Rights Council, Terre des Hommes has delivered an oral and written statement.
Terre des Hommes, as a child rights organisation, demands for a specific set of measures tackling the vulnerability of children and youth, as they represent an important part of survivors arriving at European borders and applying for asylum in Europe in general. Terre des Hommes calls for an adapted and child-focused EU migration and mobility policy, including protection measures from the very first arrival of the child until a long-term solution, based on the best interests of the child, is found. Increased measures of child protection in countries of origin should also be supported as integral part of this strategy. Moreover, though the EU Agenda on Migration will focus mainly on international cross-border migration towards Europe, Terre des Hommes continues to call for enhanced protection of European children on the move within the EU as they are also often at risk of exclusion and exploitation.
In this regard, Terre des Hommes strongly welcomes and subscribes to the recent positions taken by the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants including on the new European Agenda on Migration. Human Rights protection should be at the core of any policy on migration management, within EU and outside it.
“The European Union and its member states must recognize that irregular migration is a result of policies prohibiting immigration,” Mr. Crépeau said during the presentation of his latest report to the UN Human Rights Council. “Such policies only serve to open a new and lucrative market for smuggling rings, a market which could not exist without this prohibition.”
The Special Rapporteur welcomed the new European Agenda on Migration, but noted that the figures for refugee resettlement are insufficient and the lack of open and regular channels for low skilled migrants coming to Europe is a huge oversight.
Facts and Figures
So far in 2015, some 62’500 people have crossed the Mediterranean and at least 1’800 have died. According to an official projection from the Italian Government, 5000 migrants per week will disembark on the sole costs of Sicily until September 2015.
Behind these global figures there are personal stories, tragedies but also people moving in search for a decent life and migrants who have the potential to bring to their destination the richness of their culture and motivation.
The 29th session of the Human Rights Council from a European Union perspective
The increase in irregular migration flows through trafficking and smuggling of human beings, including the terrible sufferings it causes, deserves our utmost attention. The European Union has already regarded migration as high priority for several years; the repeated tragic losses of so many lives in the Mediterranean have led to accelerated work on the EU’s new Action Plan on Migration as a global issue: Preventing the loss of lives and human rights’ abuses that occur in this context is a huge responsibility we all share, as members of the international community, and not only as Europeans.
1. The Special Rapporteur’s reports on his country visits to Sri Lanka, Italy, Malta and his report on EU border management
You can find the government responses-including from the EU here:
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