Migration compact is attempt to outsource EU's obligation to respect human rights

In reaction to today’s expected announcements of the European Commission on migration, Oxfam’s Deputy Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, Natalia Alonso, said:

“Today’s expected announcement of a new ‘migration compact’ will mean Europe going even further down a dangerous and inhumane path: the EU rewriting its foreign policy so that it serves the single objective of stopping people from coming to Europe. By choosing to outsource to third countries Europe's border control and the responsibility for managing migration, Europe attempts to outsource its obligations to respect human rights.

“Europe is also willing to rely on countries with regimes known for their abuses and repression. We are already seeing the outcomes of this policy with the allocation of EU development funds to pay for detention rooms and hardware for Sudan.

“More investment in developing countries is needed and welcome when it is meant to benefit people and sustainably grow global wealth. But it must not be used as a bribe to convince poorer countries to do the EU's job.

“EU leaders must urgently change course before the continent sacrifices most of its other foreign policy objectives and all of its credibility as a defender of rule of law in the pursuit of stopping migration.”

Notes to editors: 
  • The European Commission’s announcement will be presented in European Parliament and at a press conference later today. According to information available so far, it will be based on the Italian migration compact presented in April.
  • At the Valletta summit on migration in November 2015, EU member states agreed to set up the “EU Trust Fund for Africa”. In a reaction, Oxfam warned the trust fund risks blurring the lines between development aid and money to bolster African states’ border control. See also Oxfam's position paper for the Valletta summit.
  • Under the EU Trust Fund for Africa, the EU has allocated 40 million euros to a project in the Horn of Africa titled 'Better Migration Management (Horn of Africa)'. Under this project they plan to provide two detention centres and computers, cameras, scanners, servers and cars to the Sudanese Ministry of the Interior. In the project document officials have identified a potential risk of the project as “Provision of equipment and trainings to sensitive national authorities (such as security services or border management) diverted for repressive aims”.
Contact information: 

Florian Oel | Brussels | florian.oel@oxfaminternational.org | office +32 2 234 11 15 | mobile +32 473 56 22 60

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