– While interior ministers meet tomorrow to discuss EU migration policies, people trying to reach the safety of Europe continue to die en route. Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Service Europe calls on European leaders to alter its restrictive approach to migration. " />
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Restrictive EU migration policies force desperate people to take deadly routes
June 08, 2016

Restrictive EU migration policies force desperate people to take deadly routes
“Like Pope Francis, Caritas dreams of a Europe that acknowledges the necessary contribution of migrants to our societies and commits to respecting the dignity of every human being,” said Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa. (Photo: Lefteris Partsalis / Caritas Switzerland)
"Being smuggled to cross over to Greece was my only alternative. I knew it was a dangerous thing to do, but I was desperate."
(Brussels) June 8, 2016 – While interior ministers meet Thursday to discuss EU migration policies, people trying to reach the safety of Europe continue to die en route. Caritas Europa and Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe calls on European leaders to alter its restrictive approach to migration. Policies focused on deterrence, including the agreement with Turkey, are not stopping people from trying to reach our countries. Instead, they prolong suffering and push people into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, who find even more dangerous entry routes.

"I couldn't find any other way to come to Europe. I wished there were a safe way, a legal one. Being smuggled to cross over to Greece was my only alternative. I knew it was a dangerous thing to do, but I was desperate. I had to cross to save my life and what is left of my soul," told a young Syrian woman to a Caritas Greece staff a few days ago. She fled Syria alone. She was sexually abused on the way and had to turn to smugglers to cross the Aegean Sea and save herself from her abuser.

According to latest reports, over 1,000 migrants have died in less than a week while trying to cross the Mediterranean. Their desperate attempt to reach the EU shows how dire and terrifying their situation is. Caritas Europa and JRS Europe are appalled by the continuous suffering of so many people and stand in solidarity with these women, men and children.

"Like Pope Francis, Caritas dreams of a Europe that acknowledges the necessary contribution of migrants to our societies and commits to respecting the dignity of every human being," said Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa.

"Europe has the power to save and protect people. It's a just question of political will to provide safe ways for people to enter Europe without risking their lives. It's time to defend and apply the very Refugee Convention that Europeans set up after World War II and to act upon our founding values," said Jean-Marie Carrière, Regional Director of JRS Europe.

Caritas Europa and JRS Europe are calling on the EU and especially its Member States to:


For more information, please contact:

Olga Siebert, JRS Europe Advocacy Officer, Tel: +32 (0)2 554 0223, olga.siebert@jrs.net

Oscar Spooner, JRS Europe Communications Officer, Tel: +32 (0)2 554 0221, oscar.spooner@jrs.net

Marie Tempesta, Caritas Europa Policy and Advocacy Officer, Tel: +32 (0)2 235 26 55, 

     Mob: +32 (0)478 58 54 09, mtempesta@caritas.eu

Sonia Haapanen, Caritas Europa Communication Officer, Tel: +32 (0)2 235 26 56, 

     Mob: +32 (0)473 34 13 93 shaapanen@caritas.eu

 

Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Europe is a network of 17 national offices in Europe and one of the 10 regions of JRS International. Our mission is to accompany, serve and advocate for the rights of all forcibly displaced people regardless of race, ethnic origin or religious beliefs. - http://jrseurope.org

Caritas Europa is a network of 49 member organizations in 46 European countries and one of the seven regions of Caritas Internationalis. Our members assist and provide services to millions of people in need. Caritas Europa aims at lifting people out of poverty by empowering them and by influencing unjust structures and unfair policies that keep people trapped in positions of disempowerment. – http://www.caritas.eu



Press Contact Information
Mr Sean Lengell
slengell@jesuits.org
202-629-5931