Christian experts ask governments to provide “safe paths into Europe”
Protestant organisations working with refugees urge to “desist from the increasingly xenophobic and inflammatory discourse”.
BRUSSELS · 14 SEPTEMBER 2015 · 16:36 CET
Evangelical, Anglican and Protestant organisations which are working with refugees in Europe have written a letter to the ministers of Home Affairs and Justice meeting on Monday 14 in Brussels. They call for a “unified, ambitious and rights based refugee and migration policy”.
EU-Cord, ACT Alliance, Eurodiaconia and the Churches’ Comission for Migrants in Europe signed the letter asking both the European Commission and the member states to take real action.
“We, along with many people in Europe and the rest of the world cannot accept the death, destitution and dehumanizing across our Union that is a direct result of asylum and migration policies that are unrealistic, unfocused on human beings and lack solidarity”, the texts says.
“As Ministers for Justice and Home Affairs you have the opportunity and the responsibility to ensure policies concerning migrants, asylum seekers and refugees meet the needs of those affected as well as the expectations of people across Europe who believe that Europe should provide refuge, protection and opportunity for those who need it”.
The letter points out that most migrants coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea are “fleeing war, conflict or persecution at home, as well as deteriorating conditions in many refugee-hosting countries and countries of transit”.
Europe should be the place that gives refuge to “vulnerable people regardless of their ethnicity, legal status, and religion or how they have travelled to Europe”.
“The lack of safe and legal paths to Europe forces these people to take risks and forces many to rely on smugglers”. This puts them in “danger of falling prey to traffickers and other criminals and of losing their life”.
“TAKE RESPONSIBILITY BEFORE WINTER STARTS”
Refugees, the text denounces should stop being used “as political pawns”. “We call on those in the public sphere to desist from the increasingly xenophobic and inflammatory discourse used to describe migrants, refugees and asylum seekers”.
The text praises the reaction of countries like Austria, Germany, Italy and Sweden, for their effort beyond the established quotas.
“We hope that in your deliberations on 14 September you will courageously take the responsibility to generously receive the asylum applicants currently in Europe, to end the need to walk thousands of kilometers to find a safe space, and to receive refugees from Middle Eastern countries before winter sets in again”.
The letter introduces 12 areas of action in which governments should act. Read full letter here.