Refugee Council asks UK to focus on improving asylum system in Europe
28th June 2011: Prime Minister David Cameron’s opposition to EU proposals to suspend the Dublin Regulation at an EU summit has not been received favorably by some of the organisations working for the rights of the refugees.
In fact, the Refugee Council has urged the UK government to support the EU’s call to relax the Dublin regulation and focus on improving the asylum system in Europe.
The Dublin Regulation allows member states to return failed asylum seekers to the first European country they claimed asylum in.
In response to Cameron’s stand on the issue, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council Jonathan Ellis said: “The Dublin regulation means vulnerable people including children, who have fled life threatening situations, are transferred like parcels from one member state to another, purely for administrative convenience.
“An independent court has also hailed the transfer of people in some instances as ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’, so it is clear action needs to be taken to avoid a violation of human rights.
“It is also unreasonable to expect the countries at the edge of Europe, who already have a larger number of asylum seekers, to take responsibility for those returned through the Dublin regulation.
“Responsibility for those coming to Europe to seek protection should be shared across the continent, particularly in Western European countries who see far fewer asylum seekers annually.
“We urge the UK government to support the EU’s call to relax the Dublin regulation and focus on improving the asylum system in Europe to ensure asylum seekers are treated humanely while seeking safety in any European country.”