Since 1993, the UNITED List of Refugee Deaths has recorded the reported cases of deaths of more than 40, 555 refugees and migrants who have died due to the restrictive policies of Fortress Europe whilst trying to get into Europe.
The causes of death are numerous: most drowned in the Mediterranean. Others were shot at borders, killed by traffickers, committed suicide at the detentions centers out of desperation, depression, and anxiety, or were killed after being deported to their countries of origin. Among them: babies, children, teenagers, (pregnant) women, and men, whole families.
40 555 reported cases of human death, but how many more will never be investigated, and remain unidentified and unburied at the sea, borders, camps, detention facilities, and on the way to Europe?
According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, every human has the right to look for a shelter safe from war, ungrounded persecutions, life threats for their: beliefs, political views, or for love.
This year on the World Refugee Day – June 20, we want to bring the attention of the media, policymakers, and general public to the situation of the refugees on the external borders of Europe.
Hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers on the external borders of the European Union are living in refugee camps that have been declared unfit for human habitation. Often they have limited access to water, sanitation systems, and access to health care systems. Therefore, we call on European leaders to scale up the work to keep refugees and migrants safe by providing access to lifesaving support, medical care, water, and sanitation.
We ask the general public, civil society organizations, and international bodies to express solidarity, join efforts, and act by letting the European leaders know they are against refugee deaths.
UNITED Against Refugee Deaths calls on European leaders:
– to finally stop turning a blind eye on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers especially those perished away unidentified due to its Fatal Policies. It is time to stop the dehumanization of refugees and asylum seekers not only via mass media and populist political statements but also by seeing them only as ‘numbers’. Refugees and asylum seekers are humans beings‘ with families, backgrounds, and identities, not just numbers. We demand action on identifying personalities behind the numbers and informing families;
– for humane refugee policies – the European Union needs to establish safe and accessible migration policies and asylum procedures;
– all the European Union Member States must provide safe, nondiscriminatory migration and asylum policies and dignity for all asylum seekers and refugees as a minimum standard of the right to asylum.
We demand that death by policy must come to an end!
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UNITED for Intercultural Action
Geert Ates +31-6-48808808
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Amsterdam, the Netherlands