European Youth Forum urges European countries to uphold right to asylum
European Youth Forum calls on European States and the European Union to take urgent action to stop the deterioration of humanitarian conditions for asylum seekers in Europe and demands the immediate stop of deportations to conflict zones and war-torn countries, such as Afghanistan.
On 31 May a massive explosion in the capital of Afghanistan killed at least 90 people and injured more than 461 civilians; only three days later a suicide attack left another 12 people dead and 90 wounded. Already in March this year the UN Security Council warned “against the temptation to gloss over the deteriorating security situation. Deportation of asylum seekers to war-torn countries and conflict-zones is entirely unacceptable; the European Union and European countries cannot define countries as not safe for Europeans while continuing to deport people into dangerous and life threatening situations, as seen with the recent bombings in Kabul and the overall deteriorating security situation all over Afghanistan.
Asylum is a human right and European countries need to uphold human rights and ensure protection for people fleeing their country. However, reports from NGOs including Human Rights Watch (available here) state that new EU policy measures targeting vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees are particularly detrimental to people with disabilities, victims of torture and gender-based violence. Instead of receiving the protection and assistance needed, these groups will face discrimination on several levels. The European Youth Forum also strongly condemns the EU-Turkey deal made in March 2016 that, beyond being extremely dehumanising, does not offer a sustainable solution to the current humanitarian crisis.
As one of the most vulnerable groups among refugees, fleeing children and youth must also be protected. Unaccompanied minors especially can face even greater risks, where “they are not only deprived of their childhood or youth, but they are also at a high risk of their rights being violated and neglected”. The European Youth Forum reminds Member States of their responsibility to ensure adequate protection and humanitarian assistance for all people with multiple identities, backgrounds and experiences in Europe. European values of human dignity, freedom and equality do not stop at our borders. The Youth Forum will fight for their human rights to be guaranteed and common action to implement long term solutions are needed.