#WeApologise – civil society responds to the humanitarian crisis

#WeApologise#WeApologise. That was the message civil society organisations delivered to people fleeing war, persecution and poverty for the lack of response from decision-makers.

Signed by over 45 organisations, the open letter apologises for the absence of safe and regular channels to the EU, meaning that many people have risked their lives – or worse – trying to reach the safety of our shores. The letter also recognises the huge role that civil society and everyday citizens are playing by opening their homes, sharing their food and donating their clothes, while many EU Member States shirk their responsibility to provide these most basic of services.

The Justice and Home Affairs (JHA) Council will meet on 14 September to discuss the humanitarian crisis. Together with CONCORD Europe and the European NGO Platform on Asylum & Migration (EPAM) we have sent a joint letter to EU ministers calling for them to reach an agreement as a matter of priority. Our recommendations include:

  • Tailored relocation of refugees and migrants within days, not weeks or months
  • Vastly improved reception conditions that ensure the dignity of those who need to use them, and a new approach to the rights, mobility and effective integration support for beneficiaries of international protection
  • Ambitious efforts to address the root causes of humanitarian crises like the one we face today, including war, climate change and poverty
  • Concrete proposals to revise and open new regular channels for migration that go beyond the EU Blue Card and high-skilled labour migration

Read the full letter to JHA ministers here.

Human rights are the very foundation of the European project, and the lack of compassion shown by a number of leaders in Europe in response to the humanitarian crisis is an embarrassment to individuals and civil society organisations alike. If you agree and wish to add your organisation’s name to the #WeApologise open letter, please contact me here.