'Europe Must Place the Rights of Migrants at the Centre of Its Migration Policies'


Human Wrongs Watch

The European Union must intensify its efforts in placing the rights of migrants at the centre of its migration policies, a United Nations human rights committee on 16 April 2015 affirmed following the latest maritime tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea which may have claimed hundreds of lives.

Tens of thousands of desperate people are attempting to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe in dangerous boats like these in Libya. Photo: UNHCR/F. Noy

Tens of thousands of desperate people are attempting to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe in dangerous boats like these in Libya. Photo: UNHCR/F. Noy

“States of origin, destination and transit must also address the root causes that lead to smuggling and trafficking in persons,” the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers (CMW) said in a press release issued earlier this afternoon which added that the continual loss of life in the Mediterranean’s waters transcended the limits of natural calamity and was, in fact, “a human rights tragedy.”

The 13 April capsizing of a double-deck boat in waters 120 kilometres south of Italy’s Lampedusa Island has prompted widespread concern throughout the UN system amid reports that over 400 migrants may have lost their lives.

In fact, 2015 has already seen some 31,500 people make crossings to Italy and Greece – the first and second largest countries of arrival respectively. The UN refugee agency has reported that numbers have also been recently picking up as weather conditions in the Mediterranean improve.

The uptick in migrant flows into Europe and the severity and repetition of such tragedies has fed the CMW’s call for Member States in the region, and other States that serve as migrant destination points around the world, to make “a clear commitment to ensure a comprehensive rights-based approach to migration,” including applying a focus on its roots causes.

The UN Committee is also reiterating its call for all states to ratify the International Convention on the Rights of All Migrant Workers and their Families which, to date, has only been ratified by 47 States since it was adopted 25 years ago.

This Italian Navy landing craft is carrying 186 people who have been rescued at sea. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato (file)

This Italian Navy landing craft is carrying 186 people who have been rescued at sea. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato (file)

“The Convention sets out the best strategy to prevent abuses and address the challenges that migrant workers face,” CMW Chairperson Francisco Carrion Mena added. “It also provides guidance on the elaboration of national migration policies for international co-operation based on respect for human rights and rule of law.”

Just last October, Carrion Mena lamented the growing number of lives lost at sea and on land as a result of insufficient channels of migration, suggesting that States could better their efforts in ensuring migrants a safer avenue of passage.

In their press release, the Committee today urged States to adopt the suggested guidelines “to ensure that all migrants, regardless of their legal status, how they arrive at the border, where they come from or what they look like, are able to enjoy their human rights.” (*Source: UN).

Read also:

The Death Sea

Europe Must Stop Exporting Its Migration Fears – or Face the Consequences

Some 300 Feared Dead in Fresh Mediterranean Tragedy

‘Turning Blind Eye Not a Solution’ to Mediterranean Migrant Crisis – UN Rights Expert

UN Human Rights Expert Urges Reversal of UK Decision to Halt Mediterranean Migrant Rescues

Mediterranean, the Deadliest Sea for Refugees

Migrants Year’s Deadliest Week: More than 300 Die in Boat Tragedies on Mediterranean

Two Main Routes of Smuggling of Migrants Generate $7 Billion a Year to Criminal Groups

Who Dares to Challenge a 32 Billion Dollars Business – Human Trafficking?  

Rescuing Migrants in the Sea — Tunisian Fishermen Unlikely Heroes 

UN Concerned over Spain’s Bid to Legalize Push-backs of Migrants

“Media Reporting on Migration Rarely Includes Voices of Migrants”

Tracing Dead Migrants in EuropeIs

What We Hear About Migration Really True? Questioning Eight Stereotypes

Over 70 Million Forced Migrants at the Mercy of Smugglers 

Stop Criminalizing Irregular Migrants!

Widespread Xenophobic Violence against Migrants in Greece

Europeans, the Once Upon a Time Refugees!

The Uprooted, an Invisible Nation as Big as Britain

.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: