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Ireland Needs to Clarify its Refugee Position – Crowe

28 July, 2016 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs & Trade Seán Crowe TD, speaking at the Dáil Committee meeting to discuss the forthcoming United Nations summit on Refugees and Migration, has called on the Irish government to clarify its own individual position prior to the 19th of September meeting and described the European Union as having adopted a shameful attitude to the crisis.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“In 2015, the number of migrants and displaced persons surpassed 244 million.

“The vast majority live in neighbouring countries are the victims of climate change or are fleeing conflict, war and hunger. Many are literally fleeing for their lives trying to seek safety, a new beginning and a new life for their families.

“The European Union record on the issue of migration has been abysmal and has only been close to the top of their agenda since desperate refugees took to the seas to cross the Mediterranean to Europe in the last year.

“2,800 people have died in the Mediterranean sea trying to reach safety, an increase of 1000 from this time last year. Irish Naval vessels along with others have saved many, many lives but their efforts are being overwhelmed by the sheer volume of people.

“The European Union prides itself on human rights while systematically pushing people and their suffering away from its borders or leaving them to suffer in overcrowded camps.

“The EU -Turkey Agreement has placed the very concept of ‘refugee’ and the protection it offers in danger. It wants to roll this amended concept out to 16 other countries and is a shameful attitude to the crisis. New deals with countries in the Middle East and North Africa would also impose trade and development sanctions and facilitate aid cuts on countries that do not stem immigration or forced returns to Europe by rewarding those that do.

“It is vital that the Irish government clarifies its own individual position prior to the September meeting of United Nations summit on refugees and migration.

“So called ‘deterrent’ policies sold to the general public as humanitarian solutions have only exacerbated the suffering of refugees and their families.

“Ireland rather than maximising the number of people we can welcome and facilitate are instead supporting the European Union in its efforts to maximise the amount of people it can push back to their dangerous or volatile countries or to Turkey, a notorious human rights violator.” 

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