PAX, together with twenty other NGOs, calls for the Dutch government to adopt a humane asylum policy in line with international law. This is in response to the Dutch Parliament’s approval of the EU’s new asylum plans for offshoring asylum protection.
EU President Tusk has proposed blocking access to Europe to people fleeing violence, persecution and poverty. This would mean that the hosting and protection of vulnerable people and the processing of asylum claims would fall to countries that are much less capable of this than EU countries. In the joint statement, the organizations say, “There would be a massive difference between hosting and protecting people in their region of origin, and offshoring asylum protection and assistance to that region.”
The statement continues, “Closing Europe to vulnerable people fleeing violence is unacceptable. We ask the Dutch government for moral leadership and an asylum policy that does justice to the main values which Europe upholds: humanity, solidarity and shared responsibility. Nobody flees violence and conflict voluntarily.”
PAX does not rule out the idea of deciding in a non-EU country who deserves protection and who doesn’t. But such a system must comply with international treaties, and must be part of a broader approach to immigration which also addresses the root causes of migration such as war and poverty. In addition, a well-functioning European asylum policy must be based on solidarity and a shared responsibility for the 68.5 million refugees and displaced people worldwide.
This is the first time that more than 20 humanitarian and human rights organizations join forces to express their concerns about proposed changes in asylum policy. The campaign is supported by the following organizations: Amnesty International, Doctors Without Borders, CARE Nederland, Cordaid, the Red Cross, Hivos, ICCO/Kerk in Aktie, Oxfam Novib, PAX, Plan Nederland, Save the Children, SOS Kinderdorpen, Stichting Vluchteling, Stichting voor Vluchteling-Studenten UAF, Tear, Terre des Hommes, Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland, War Child, World Vision and ZOA.