Almost everyone has heard of Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall to stop migrants entering the United States from Mexico. But there has been little focus on how the EU has deliberately turned the Mediterranean into a watery grave for thousands of migrants fleeing poverty and war.
In 2017, for example, 2,832 migrants died attempting to cross into the EU. Overall, the EU has cut the numbers of migrants entering the continent by 90% from its peak in 2015.
The way it has done so has been brutal. In 2016, it did a deal with Turkey to send back Syrian refugees. In return for receiving them, Turkey was granted €3 billion in aid.
The EU has spent vast sums on more border controls and on inducements to countries such as Algeria and Tunisia to detain migrants. Most shocking was the funding of detention centres run by the Libyan government and its paramilitary backers. This was despite clear evidence of slave auctions and rape in these centres. Scandalously, it is outlawing the activities of NGO rescue ships whose tireless work has saved the lives of thousands of migrants. Instead of supporting rescue efforts, the EU is funding the Libyan Coast Guard to intercept people at sea and return them to detention centres.
People Before Profit will campaign to:
- Allow NGOs to launch rescue missions to continue their humanitarian work;
- Rescind the pacts with Libya, Algeria and Turkey which allow the creation of migrant detention camps;
- Open the borders of Europe to all those fleeing persecution and war;
- Remove the Dublin Regulation, which forces asylum seekers to apply for status at the first country of entry;
- Create a special EU fund to help host countries with migrant support programmes, which include language training;
- Stop EU-armed intervention in crisis situations which force people to move countries.