Amnesty International has strongly condemned the proposed refugee handling deal between the EU and Turkey.
The proposal would see Syrian refugees who land on Greek soil returned to Turkey in return for European countries taking asylum seekers currently living in Turkish refugee camps.
“The UK government’s championing of proposals for a one-in-one-out refugees deal between the EU and Turkey is hugely irresponsible,” said Steve Symonds, director of Amnesty International UK’s refugee and migrant rights programme. “The idea of trading in people in this manner is abhorrent and the legality of proposals is highly questionable, with a real danger of refugees being sent back to war zones.”
Amnesty holds that the plans will only further empower and enrich the human smugglers since “people fleeing conflict and persecution who have been unable to find safety in countries already hosting far more refugees than EU countries, will be forced to take ever more deadly routes to reach Europe.”
The human rights organisation appealed to the UK Government to “firmly reject” the deal, “stop preening itself over its own very limited refugee response and start genuinely pulling its weight in receiving more refugees, including by allowing British citizens and residents to provide a safe home to their families fleeing conflict at this time of unprecedented global crisis.”