Refugees deserve protection

22 June 2018

Refugees deserve protection

Foto: Mstyslav Chernov / Unframe

The United Nations Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, stated on 21st June that it was appalled by the continuing increase in the number of refugees and other migrants who are losing their lives at sea. In the last few days 220 people have been drowned while attempting to reach Europe. The SP sees this as a horrifying statistic and argues that it can't be allowed to go on in this way. 

The SP wants to see a just asylum policy under which more is invested in the accommodation of refugees close to their homes. An end must be put to the lucrative activities of people smugglers, who make a great deal of money by cheating people into paying for a crossing to Europe in a rickety boat. Most of the people coming by boat have turned out not to have the right to asylum in Europe, which means they have to be returned to the countries from which they came. 

It's important to work on tackling the underlying causes of migration, putting an end to permanent war and investing in a decent future for people. Unfair trade agreements with poor countries and multinationals' tax avoidance in these countries must be addressed. Existing extreme inequality and poverty in the world is unacceptable and we must invest in giving everyone the prospect of a better life. 

We must not only talk about improving the reception and accommodation of reugees in the region, but also really invest in such improvements. If countries outside the EU can be found with which sound agreements can be made, the necessary procedures can take place as far as possible in those countries and refugees would be spared the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. Those who have the right to asylum in Europe could be transported here safely. The Netherlands takes a fair proportion of refugees, and we want to ensure that in their own regions accommodation conforms to international standards. The asylum procedure must be careful and considerate, fair and rapid. 

Economic migrants and those whose request for asylum has been definitively rejected must be sent back to the countries from which they came. Thousands of people are currently in the Netherlands who have no right of asylum, and yet are not returning. In the SP's view the government needs to be tougher in its approach to making agreements with the countries from which the migrants are coming to enable them to return home. 

“On Sunday a meeting takes place between European leaders on the subject of immigration policy,” says SP Member of Parliament Jasper van Dijk. “A majority in the Dutch Parliament supported the SP's demand that should this meeting lead to an agreement on migration, the text must be brought before Parliament and put to the vote, so that we can test the agreement against our stated conditions.”

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