Thursday, May 20, 2021

MEPs Urge for Better Protection of Migrants From Human Rights Violations

The European Parliament has criticised the European Commission and the EU countries for using informal agreements on the return and readmission of illegal migrants.

As a result, on Wednesday, the EU Parliament endorsed a report with 358 votes in favour, 309 against, and 26 abstentions, reports.

In a press release issued by the latter, it was revealed that the report provides recommendations on human rights protection in line with the framework of the EU’s external migration and asylum policy.

In addition, the report emphasises that since 2016 the EU and its Member States have made many informal bilateral arrangements and agreements with third countries that consist of strengthening the border control, managing capacities, fighting human trafficking, and readmission of irregular migrants when being returned.

“Cooperation with third countries does not absolve the EU of meeting its human rights obligations towards migrants and refugees. These obligations must be fulfilled through better monitoring, more transparency on the use of EU funds and enhanced democratic oversight from the European Parliament,” European Free Alliance member Tineke Strik said.

Furthermore, the report also points out several alarming trends and human rights implications caused by informal arrangements that are not subject to judicial scrutiny and parliamentary oversight.

Consequently, MEPs encourage the EU Commission to negotiate and sign readmission agreements with third countries formally. They also note the absence of sufficient operational reporting, monitoring, evaluation, and oversight mechanisms to track individual cases and retort to potential violations, as well as the lack of effective judicial remedies for those whose rights have been violated.

A complete overview of EU funding allocated to third countries with the aim of facilitating the cooperation of migration still remains unavailable to this date. Thus, MEPs call on the EU Commission to provide full transparency.

They also request detailed information on any other potential support measures provided by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency in order to make sure that the EU Parliament effectively scrutinises the way how the EU budget is spent.

The Commission has already adopted a strategy for voluntary return and reintegration of asylum seekers and migrants from third countries.

The strategy is based on the New Pact on Migration and Asylum and aims to provide protection to those who need it as well as help those who are already working in the EU to integrate and provide a practical and humane process when returning back to those not eligible to remain in the country.

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