At an EU summit today, Prime Minister David Cameron opposed EU proposals to suspend the Dublin Regulation which allows member states to return failed asylum seekers to the first European country they claimed asylum in.
In response, Jonathan Ellis, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council said:
“The Dublin regulation means vulnerable people including children, who have fled life threatening situations, are transferred like parcels from one member state to another, purely for administrative convenience. An independent court has also hailed the transfer of people in some instances as ‘cruel, inhuman and degrading’, so it is clear action needs to be taken to avoid a violation of human rights.
“It is also unreasonable to expect the countries at the edge of Europe, who already have a larger number of asylum seekers, to take responsibility for those returned through the Dublin regulation. Responsibility for those coming to Europe to seek protection should be shared across the continent, particularly in Western European countries who see far fewer asylum seekers annually.
“Today we urge the UK government to support the EU’s call to relax the Dublin regulation and focus on improving the asylum system in Europe to ensure asylum seekers are treated humanely while seeking safety in any European country.”