Project DescriptionOver the years, non-governmental organisations have documented evidence of serious human rights violations linked to detention and removal operations of irregular migrants and rejected asylum-seekers across Europe. Similar concerns have been expressed by international human rights monitoring bodies, such as the UNHCR, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of the Migrants, and the Council of Europe. The undersigned NGOs deplore the increasing use of detention to deter asylum-seekers and migrants. Governments often justify detention as the only way to ensure an effective removal policy. The undersigned organisations question the validity of such an approach. Indeed, individuals are often detained even where the prospect of removal is unlikely because of the lack of co-operation from countries of origin or otherwise. The undersigned organisations urge the European Union and its Member States to ensure that return policies (including removal and detention operations) fully respect the needs and the dignity of individuals. The present document highlights the core principles that should be reflected in any policy on return, including in any EU return directive. Standards on removal should be applicable to all areas of the member states of the European Union territory including so-called transit, border or airport zones.
This Statement is endorsed by the following EPAM organisations: