According to a European rights watchdog, the EU has taken a hard and restrictive stance on migration and is violating international laws. Caught by surprise by a spike of arrivals since 2015 the EU has become tougher on migration and has since then tightened its borders and asylum laws, and this is feeding support to the right wing and eurosceptic forces.
A summit in Brussels will discuss the new ‘Strategic Agenda for 2019-2024’ for the 28 national leader’s commitment to the EU policies. “Effective control of the external borders is an absolute prerequisite for guaranteeing security, upholding law and order, and ensuring proper functioning EU policies,” it says. Figures from the United Nations show that arrivals from the Middle East and Africa dropped significantly from 1 million in 2015 to 140 thousand last year.
The watchdog said in a report that “(EU member states) have adopted laws, policies and practices which have often been contrary to their legal obligations to ensure effective search and rescue operations, the prompt and safe disembarkation and treatment of rescued people, and the prevention of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment,” and called the EU to ‘reframe their response according to human rights standards’.”Not only do migrants continue to die at sea, but in some cases, they are intercepted and brought to countries – like Libya – where they are often subjected to torture, rape, slavery, exploitation or indefinite and unlawful detention.”Another concern has been addressing the instances of EU states barring rescue boats from their ports, leaving them stranded at sea for days even if the Council of Europe said that its a clear obligation under international humanitarian laws to run rescue missions and guarantee entry for those picked up.
Germany and France want the EU to share the migrants but the nationalist governments like Poland, Hungary refuse to host any arrivals.