U.N. Blasts 'Illegal Migrants' Label; Warns of International Law Breach
March 08, 2016
As Donald Trump's rants about the expulsion of migrants continue to fuel his growing base, a similar conversation is met with opposition thousands of miles away. The United Nations' refugee agency is increasingly concerned about a plan proposed by European Union leaders and Turkey to stem the flow of migrants and refugees into Europe, which, as it turns out, may even be illegal. "I have to say that I'm a bit tired of hearing about illegal migrants when we know that 91% of people arriving in Greece are Afgans, Iraquis, Syrians, fleeing for their life, fleeing because of the conflict, fleeing because of human rights violations in their country," Vincent Cochetel, Europe regional director of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced at a press conference in in Geneva today.
The UN official sought to emphasize that it's not just people looking for a better economic future. It's about people escaping conflict that is still unsolved today. Cochetel also believes that the agreement between the European Union and Turkey might break the law if it does not safeguard human rights. The law could also disrupt migration routes, making it difficult for the most vulnerable to reach safety.
The humanitarian aid group CARE has been providing disaster relief to those displaced by the bloody Syrian civil war, but actually began as a charity for European WWII refugees in the 1940s. Because Europe is currently seeing the worst refugee crisis since that time, the group was inspired to launch a program connecting World War II refugees with Syrian children experiencing the same displacement.
"The collective expulsion of foreigners is prohibited under the European Convention on Human Rights. An agreement that would be tantamount to a blanket return of any foreigners to a third country is not consistent with European law, is not consistent with international law," the director said.