Forgotten at the Gates of Europe

JRS Europe publish new report, Forgotten at the Gates of Europe - Ongoing Protection Concerns at the EU's External Border, highlighting the human rights emergency at the gates of Europe.

In recent years, the arrival of refugees and migrants to Europe’s gates has dropped considerably from the levels of 2015 and 2016. However, at the same time, public and media attention on deaths at sea, push-backs along the Balkan route and inhuman conditions in overcrowded reception centres has dropped as well.

With this new report, JRS Europe seeks to draw attention back to the EU’s external borders – where people in need of protection are still arriving, their journeys to Europe are becoming more dangerous and their welcome in Europe colder.
 
In an attempt to understand what refugees and migrants are now up against, and what they must do to search for protection, JRS undertook interviews with 117 people during 2017. Interviews were conducted in Spain’s enclave of Melilla; Sicily, Italy; Valletta, Malta; Athens, Greece; and at several locations in Romania and Croatia, including the town of Šid, Serbia, located approximately six kilometres from the Croatian border.
 
JRS wanted to ensure that the voices of migrants and refugees are heard, to make their experiences visible to all of us, to show the link between their situations and EU policies, and to propose solutions for policy changes where needed.
 
Key conclusions include:
  • The absence of legal pathways into Europe for people in need of protection forces them to take incredibly dangerous and expensive journeys.
  • When people do survive their journeys and arrive at Europe’s gates, they are pushed into spaces that often lie outside of Europe’s zone of legality.
  • If people survive their journeys and pass through Europe’s gates, they often find themselves geographically inside EU territory but not having truly “arrived”.
  • The Dublin Regulation, more than any other EU policy, pushes people outside of the law.
  • There must be a fundamental shift in the EU’s policies to address the human rights emergency at its borders.

Read the full report here.