Originally published: March 22,2016
Annual Discussion on technical cooperation and capacity building
We welcome this panel on technical cooperation to promote and protect the human rights of all migrants.
Cooperation to ensure a coherent international response to migration issues is sorely needed, particularly in light of regional and global responses that are all too often fragmented, incoherent and in violation of international human rights standards.
The High Commissioner notes in his report that “exclusionary and xenophobic political rhetoric has spread around the world, fuelling intolerance and resentment of migrants, often leading to acts of violence, hate crimes and hate speech.”
In Europe, migrants have been variously likened to cockroaches, swarms of insects, or to destructive tidal waves. The recent EU-Turkey deal baldly states that “all new irregular migrants crossing from Turkey into Greek islands as from 20 March 2016 will be returned to Turkey,” and then tries to obfuscate by asserting that these will not be collective expulsions. What sort of individual assessment of claims has the predetermined result that everyone will be returned? Then, the deal crassly reduces Syrian asylum seekers and refugees to commodities of trade, under a “one-in, a different one-out” plan that fails to take appropriate account of individual circumstances or the fundamental right to seek asylum.