Quelle: BBC News
Medical aid charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says it will no longer take funds from the European Union in protest at its migration policy.
MSF singled out the EU’s deal with Turkey under which Turkey agreed to take back any migrants who crossed the sea to Greece in smugglers‘ boats.
The number of migrants – many from war-torn Syria – to Europe is at its highest level since World War Two.
The charity received $63m (£44m) from the EU and its members last year.
„MSF announces today that we will no longer take funds from the EU and its Member States in protest at their shameful deterrence policies and their intensification of efforts to push people back from European shores,“ the group said in a statement.
Migrant crisis: Migration to Europe explained in seven charts
Jerome Oberreit, MSF’s international secretary general, told a news conference that the EU-Turkey agreement went against the fundamental principles of providing assistance to people in need.
He said the deal did nothing to address the chronic deficiencies of EU policy, but simply outsourced European obligations.
„This is really about Europe’s refugee shame,“ he said.
MSF said none of its patients would be affected by its decision on funding, and that in the short term it would cover the shortfall from emergency reserves.
The organisation receives 90% of its overall funding from private sources, not governments.
Is the deal working?
The EU-Turkey deal came into effect on 20 March.
Migrants arriving in Greece are now expected to be sent back to Turkey if they do not apply for asylum or their claim is rejected.
For every Syrian migrant sent back to Turkey, one Syrian already in Turkey will be resettled in the EU.
A month into the arrangement, EU officials said it had begun to produce results.
Analysis – By Piers Scholfield in Brussels
Go anywhere on Europe’s well-trodden migrant trail over the past 18 months and you will see familiar red and white MSF logos on tents, filled with recent arrivals from the Middle East and Africa.
MSF says the recently signed EU-Turkey deal – acclaimed as a success by the European Commission – has come at huge human cost.
More than 50,000 refugees remain stranded in Greece, housed in old factories, warehouses and tents, often in dire conditions. The EU’s relocation policy – the idea that these people will be distributed fairly across the continent – is barely functioning.
Desperate, with no prospects, some groups of refugees have even decided to return to Syria, considering they might have a more viable future there.
However, it is the long-term effect of the policy that MSF is worried about.
Mr Oberreit highlighted Kenya, where the government recently cited European migration policy to justify its decision to close the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, in order to send its residents back to Somalia.
And it seems the EU is modelling its future migration policy on the Turkey deal too, offering aid funding to several African countries in order to stop the flow of people leaving – what Mr Oberreit calls the EU buying its way out of its responsibilities and values.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 1,011,700 migrants arrived by sea in 2015, though other agencies put that number much higher.
Most of the migrants take the relatively short journey from Turkey to Greece, though some leave from Libya, hoping to make it to Italy.
In the latest incident at sea, more than 200 migrants were rescued from a sinking ship off the coast of Greece on Thursday.
On board was a pregnant Eritrean woman who gave birth shortly after they were rescued. She named the girl „Gelila“ meaning „from the ocean“.
The Dutch frigate that conducted the rescue is part of Operation Trident run by European border control agency Frontex.
MSF also has three vessels patrolling the Mediterranean, which it says have rescued 3,349 people in the course of 27 different rescue operations since April.
A note on terminology: The BBC uses the term migrant to refer to all people on the move who have yet to complete the legal process of claiming asylum. This group includes people fleeing war-torn countries such as Syria, who are likely to be granted refugee status, as well as people who are seeking jobs and better lives, who governments are likely to rule are economic migrants.
siehe auch: MSF
EU States’ dangerous approach to migration places asylum in jeopardy worldwide
MSF to no longer take funds from EU Member States and institutions
Brussels – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced today that it will no longer take funds from the European Union and Member States, in opposition to their damaging deterrence policies and intensifying attempts to push people and their suffering away from European shores.
This decision will take effect immediately and will apply to MSF’s projects worldwide.
Three months into the EU-Turkey deal, which European governments are claiming as a success, people in need of protection are left counting its true human cost. On the Greek Islands, more than 8,000 people, including hundreds of unaccompanied minors, have been stranded as a direct consequence of the EU-Turkey deal. They have been living in dire conditions, in overcrowded camps, sometimes for months. They fear a forced return to Turkey yet are deprived of essential legal aid, their one defense against collective expulsion. The majority of these families, whom Europe has legislated out of sight, have fled conflict in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“For months MSF has spoken out about a shameful European response focused on deterrence rather than providing people with the assistance and protection they need,” said Jerome Oberreit, International Secretary General of Médecins Sans Frontières. “The EU-Turkey deal goes one step further and has placed the very concept of “refugee” and the protection it offers in danger.”
Last week the European Commission unveiled a new proposal to replicate the EU-Turkey logic across more than 16 countries in Africa and the Middle East. These deals would impose trade and development aid cuts on countries that do not stem migration to Europe or facilitate forcible returns, rewarding those that do. Among these potential partners are Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Afghanistan – four of the top ten* refugee generating countries.
“Is Europe’s only offer to refugees that they stay in countries they are desperate to flee? Once again, Europe’s main focus is not on how well people will be protected, but on how efficiently they are kept away,” said Oberreit.
The EU-Turkey deal sets a dangerous precedent for other countries hosting refugees, sending a message that caring for people forced from their homes is optional and that they can buy their way out of providing asylum. Last month, the Kenyan Government cited European migration policy to justify their decision to close the world’s largest refugee camp, Dadaab, sending its residents back to Somalia. Likewise, the deal does nothing to encourage countries surrounding Syria, already hosting millions of refugees, to open their borders to those in need.
“Europe’s attempt to outsource migration control is having a domino effect, with closed borders stretching all the way back to Syria. People increasingly have nowhere to turn,” said Oberreit. “Will the situation in Azaz where 100,000 people are blocked between closed borders and front lines become the rule, rather than the deadly exception?”
The EU-Turkey deal’s financial package includes one billion euros in humanitarian aid. There are undoubtedly needs in Turkey, a country which currently hosts close to three million Syrian refugees, but this aid has been negotiated as a reward for border control promises, rather than being based solely on needs. This instrumentalisation of humanitarian aid is unacceptable.
“Deterrence policies sold to the public as humanitarian solutions have only exacerbated the suffering of people in need. There is nothing remotely humanitarian about these policies. It cannot become the norm and must be challenged,” said Oberreit. “MSF will not receive funding from institutions and governments whose policies do so much harm. We are calling on European governments to shift priorities – rather than maximizing the number of people they can push back, they must maximize the number they welcome and protect.”