Europe/migration: Five-country police agreement exacerbates crisis and puts vulnerable migrants at risk -- Zeid

25 Feb 2016
United Nations Human Rights: Office of the High Commissioner

On Thursday, the UN Human Rights High Commissioner, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, expressed serious concern at security measures adopted at a recent meeting of the heads of police of five European countries, which are already having a negative impact on the human rights of refugees and migrants in southern and central Europe, and are compounding the already exceptionally difficult situation in Greece.  “In the wake of the adoption of these measures last week, the treatment of refugees and migrants moving through some of these countries already appears to have changed, with seriously negative implications for their human rights,” Zeid said. “Latest reports suggest chain deportations are now taking place all the way down the Balkan land route, which includes Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, towards Greece. In addition, hundreds of Afghans were reportedly stranded in abject conditions for over five days on the border between The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia, and many other Afghans have been blocked from entering The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from Greece, apparently solely on the basis of their nationality.”  The High Commissioner also regretted certain authorities’ reported refusal of entry to any people arriving at their borders, if they were unable to produce the documents specified in the agreement.

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