Brussels, 16 July 2019 – The abhorrent air attack on the Tajoura immigration detention center in Libya on 3 July 2019 causing up to 50 deaths and over 130 injured is a gross human rights violation of vulnerable Africans. Yet, after the first wave of emotions, the only guarantee is that more migrants and refugees will continue to die and suffer from inhumane, degrading and unsafe conditions if the international community does not find a lasting solution.
Against this grim backdrop in Libya and a similar situation in other African countries in crisis and conflicts, the migrant and refugee’s perspective in Europe can hardly be called decent too. In most cases, migrants are unwanted and unwelcomed to European receiving countries – the situation in the Mediterranean countries and seas continues to demonstrate the lack of humanity and discrimination against Africans. In mainland Europe, migrants are staying in public parks in Brussels, Belgium, live in tents at Porte de la Chapelle in Paris, France. The list of European cities and countries with thousands of men, women and children being discriminated just because they are migrants is endless.
We live in a dehumanized world, where the hand-wringing rhetoric, the deals to stem irregular migration and the criminalization of solidarity and of people defending migrant and refugee rights utterly prevails on the importance of saving human lives and ensuring human rights and dignity respect and protection. And this is on the backdrop of the recent adoption of the Global Compact on Migration [GCM] in December 2018, a global commitment to join forces to save and protect migrant lives and uphold their human rights.
The Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform [ADEPT] and its members strongly condemn the inhumane situation of the African migrants in Libya and call on the African Union, African Governments, as well as international and civil society organisations working in the field to make strides towards:
- Working closely together in the search for a durable solution to the crisis in Libya and to prevent any further suffering of fellow Africans;
- Releasing migrants from detention centers and ensuring their safe resettlement and the option to return to their respective countries if they want to;
- Providing all African migrants, refugees and asylum seekers with the necessary protection and assistance, in particular the most vulnerable, such as women and children;
- Meet their obligations of responsibility-sharing and provide aid to countries hosting a large number of refugees;
- Respect and protect the human rights of those looking for refuge in Europe by ensuring access to administrative procedures and facilitating social cohesion and peaceful coexistence;
- Revise the national and European migratory policies, suspend Dublin returns and ensure that all family reunification rules are well implemented and respected.
It is high time to shift the accents and reconsider the migratory paradigm, which treats all refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with dignity and respect. Upholding migrant human rights irrespective of their status is no longer a luxury, but an essential core element of our humanity. If we want to live as equals in diversity in a world free from hate, discrimination and violence, then we must wake up now!
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