Amidst renewed European Commission vows to combat human smuggling, human rights organisations have warned that the European Union’s migration policy contributed to human rights breaches.
EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, speaking after a meeting hosted by Italy between European interior ministers and their North African counterparts, said the EU wanted to enhance cooperation with African countries to combat human smuggling and trafficking.
The representatives of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, virtually met with their counterparts from Germany, France, Spain and Malta as well as the EU commission.
“Partnership with third countries is essential to find a good way to manage migration.
“Gangs prey on vulnerable people and profit from the dangerous journeys they organise.
“These routes are deadly, we have lost thousands of lives during these routes while smugglers are gaining money,’’ Johansson said at a news conference.
However, Amnesty International warned that the EU’s migration policy did not protect those in needs, and instead merely aimed at preventing refugees from arriving at the EU borders.
“The burden of hosting migrants in need of protection then fell onto the third countries,’’ Deputy Secretary-General of Amnesty International Germany, Julia Duchrow, said.
According to her, this outsourcing of responsibility for taking in those seeking protection is a farce and often goes hand in hand with human rights violations.