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EU Parliament Passes Controversial Migration Pact Amidst Criticism from Civil Rights Defenders

After years of negotiations, the European Union Parliament has finally approved the long-debated migration pact. However, the decision has been met with criticism from Civil Rights Defenders, citing concerns over the erosion of asylum rights, increased detention of migrants, and a lack of solidarity among member states.

The pact includes a controversial provision allowing countries to opt-out of their responsibility to accept a fair share of EU asylum seekers by purchasing their way out. The mechanism, originally opposed by countries like Sweden, has now been embraced by them, raising ethical concerns about putting a price tag on humanitarian responsibilities.

Additionally, the pact introduces substandard asylum processes, particularly for applicants from countries with low asylum approval rates. This raises fears of wrongful deportations to places where individuals may face abuse or death.

The use of detention, even for children and families, is set to increase under the new rules. This systematic expansion of detention at the EU’s borders undermines personal freedom and security, especially concerning vulnerable groups like children.

Furthermore, member states can apply for exemptions from asylum regulations during crises, with vague definitions potentially leading to the prolonged use of substandard asylum procedures.

The pact also raises concerns about the increased use of sensitive personal data, including biometric information of children as young as six, posing risks of coercion and violence during data collection processes.

Civil Rights Defenders highlighted that the pact fails to uphold the EU’s commitment to human rights and solidarity. Instead, it perpetuates a system that keeps asylum seekers outside EU borders, exacerbating their suffering.

However, amidst the criticism, the establishment of an independent evaluation mechanism is a positive aspect of the pact providing an opportunity for member states to strengthen human rights protections at the EU’s external borders.

As the pact moves forward, Rights Defenders urges EU member states to uphold their humanitarian responsibilities and ensure fair asylum procedures within their borders, advocating against agreements that compromise human rights standards.


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