How Turkey’s Promise to Stop the Flow of Refugees Is Creating a New Crisis – The New York Times

Turkey is struggling to cope with the 2.7 million Syrians it hosts and honor its agreement to stop refugees from crossing into Europe. And renewed fighting in Syria last week pushed tens of thousands of Syrians closer to the border with Turkey, in a sign that the problem could still get worse.

Source: How Turkey’s Promise to Stop the Flow of Refugees Is Creating a New Crisis – The New York Times

This is the diplomatic equivalent of sweeping millions of people under the rug. How’s that going to end?

Stop Your Backsliding, Europe – NYTimes.com

In exchange for concessions on visa requirements for Turks traveling to Europe, the European Union is asking Ankara to take back all migrants, including refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and others, who are currently crossing from Turkey into Greece by irregular means; the European Union proposes in turn to accept an equivalent number of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey.

Some union officials are portraying this deal as a good solution to the crisis. In reality, the automatic forced return that the deal allows is illegal and will be ineffective.

It is illegal because forced returns run contrary to the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits the collective expulsions of aliens. They also violate the right to seek asylum that was established in 1948 by the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and contravene guarantees established by the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, which recognizes that seeking asylum can require refugees to breach immigration rules.

Source: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/15/opinion/stop-your-backsliding-europe.html?_r=4&emc=rss&partner=rss&referer=http://www.rightrelevance.com/search/articles/hero?article=369b951749af877c69e9b31c5e5c7e0171939e11&query=human%20rights&taccount=humanrightsrr

Human Rights Watch Letter to EU Leaders on Refugees | Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch supports a dramatic increase in refugee resettlement from Turkey and other frontline states, and shares the hope that this possibility will convince Syrian refugees that they can reside in safety and dignity in Turkey and other countries of first asylum pending a durable solution to their plight. However, we caution against any suggestion of conditionality between refugee resettlement and the forced return of asylum seekers. Resettlement can be a very helpful supplement to asylum but can never be a substitute for the right to seek asylum.

We see three particularly harmful elements in the principles articulated on March 7: 1) fast-track mass returns to Turkey, 2) the proposal to resettle one Syrian refugee from Turkey for each irregularly arriving Syrian who is returned to Turkey; and 3) cooperation with Turkey on what appears to be the establishment of a “safe area” in Syria that would be used as a pretext to contain the flow of asylum seekers leaving that war-torn country.

-Kenneth Roth

Source: Human Rights Watch Letter to EU Leaders on Refugees | Human Rights Watch