EU plan for secure migrant centres is a 'walls and fences' agenda

29 June 2018 - 4:00pm
News

It is important to put things into perspective: in 2017, 170,000 migrant and refugees – fleeing war and poverty – entered the EU seeking safe haven. This is a drop in the ocean compared to those that poorer countries provide refuge to.

Today’s EU agreement on migration is a ‘walls and fences’ agenda that has little to do with addressing the real drivers of migration.

In reality, this is a deal shaped by far-right wing pressure in Europe and normalised by politicians who are pandering to their demands. It does nothing to address why people are being forced to move: a failed neoliberal economic model, rampant poverty and inequality, devastating climate impacts and armed conflicts, driven by the very same governments whose only response is to push EU border controls into Africa and call for ‘closed camps’. And let’s call them what they really are: prison camps for refugees and migrants.

Rather than echoing Trump’s ‘war on migrants’ or the UK’s own ‘hostile environment’, EU leaders would have been better spending their time discussing how they can work to ensure everyone has the right to a dignified life and put an end to the policies that put profit before people. Despite a global economy that has doubled in size, 80% of the world own just 5.5% of global wealth and billions face the daily reality of barely surviving.

Governments need to get serious. Stop talking tough on migration, pandering to racist politics, and instead take action to end the unjust trade deals, the forced privatisations, the secret tax havens, arms sales, and our corporations exploiting natural resources leaving people with no option but to move. The truth is that since the 1980’s alone, $26 trillion dollars have flowed from the global South to the North, let alone the trillions that were stolen during colonialism. This is literally the poor developing the rich.

Governments have to live up to their legal and moral responsibilities to help and not turn their backs on those in need.  We have an Italian government that is refusing to allow migrant rescue boats to land and calling for all Roma’s to be registered and ‘cleaned off the streets’. Hungary has just made it a criminal offence to help a refugee. And here we have our own hostile environment and the Windrush scandal. This has more in common with Trump’s cages and desert camps than with international human rights law and decency. So let’s stop talking about a refugee or migrant crisis, and call this what it is: a crisis of greed and inhumanity.

Latest news

Parliament fails to win democratic oversight on trade

17 July 2018 - 4:00pm

Responding to votes on scrutiny of trade agreements in the Trade Bill, senior trade campaigner at War on Want Jean Blaylock, says: “Democratic oversight of trade is not rocket science. MEPs in the European Parliament and members of Congress get an automatic vote on trade deals. Why shouldn’t MPs?

Read more

Fox concessions fail to give MPs a ‘meaningful say’ over post-Brexit trade

17 July 2018 - 12:45pm

"Today’s concessions by Liam Fox fall well short of taking back control."

Read more

Join the conversation

bombs falling again on people of already facing a lack of clean water, electricity, adequate health & extreme… https://t.co/pRfh86z8ri 2 hours 51 min ago
Join our Executive Director at the Summer Gathering. Asad will be alongside speakers inclu… https://t.co/e4zeAmJsWV 10 hours 29 min ago
Another step forward in a long but necessary struggle to hold big business accountable for their activities & actio… https://t.co/5HHZ3TWJO6 14 hours 9 min ago