migrants in a demonstration in Athens, Greece Credit: EPA/ Simela Pantzartzi
migrants in a demonstration in Athens, Greece Credit: EPA/ Simela Pantzartzi

Oxfam has published a report entitled 'Beyond 'Fortress Europe' which criticizes the European Union for doing little to ensure safe channels towards Europe. It is also critical for allowing abuses at EU borders.

 The EU and its member states are not doing enough to ensure that hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers have channels for legal, safe access and are instead making it possible for abuses and violations of basic rights to occur within European borders, Oxfam said on Wednesday. Two years after the adoption of the European Agenda on Migration, the organization has released the study 'Beyond 'Fortress Europe' '. The study is based on firsthand accounts by women, men and youths who suffered inhumane conditions and the violation of basic rights as they tried to flee war, violence and hunger.

 'Indecent treatment' 

''In these two years of the agenda, Oxfam has worked in Italy, Greece and the Balkans in contexts of true humanitarian emergency. Everywhere we have seen indecent treatment and heard stories of 'journeys of hope' that ended in a Europe that does not give hope,'' said Elisa Bacciotti, Campaigns director for the Italian branch of Oxfam. Oxfam noted that only 28% of the planned migrant relocations across Europe from Italy and Greece have been carried out: fewer than 30,000 people compared with pledges for over 98,000 resettlements that were to have been completed by September this year. ''In order to regain credibility, a change of approach is necessary, one that ensures the respect and protection of the basic human rights of migrants and refugees,'' Bacciotti said. 

Call for human rights to be respected 

Oxfam has launched an appeal for EU legislation and national legislations to comply with international and European regulations on human rights and for EU countries to ensure that projects adopted as part of the Trust Fund for Africa and agreements with partner countries do not include arrangements that reduce the responsibility of the EU and member states as concerns the reception and protection of asylum seekers and refugees. 

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