Stop discriminatory and dangerous border closures

Joint statement by 26 organisations working with people on the move

Publication date: 3 March 2016

As thousands of people arrive in Europe seeking safety, authorities in Austria and the Western Balkans have started selectively closing their borders. These measures are clearly infringing international and European law that protect the right to seek asylum.

These countries are causing chaos and confusion on the ground, greatly increasing human suffering as people are left stranded in inadequate and inhumane conditions. With no reception capacity at borders that are suddenly closed to many people on the move, women, children and men are forced to sleep outdoors with no access to basic services, food and water.

A coalition of 26 organisations working in Greece and the Western Balkans has spoken out to condemn the series of discriminatory and dangerous measures adopted by European countries to deter vulnerable people from seeking safety.

We call on European governments to take action to ensure that the immediate humanitarian needs of people on the move are met, and to live up to their obligations under international law.