The policies of the European Union and its member states are putting at risk the lives and rights of refugees in a number of countries, including Turkey, Amnesty International said in a fresh report, as figures indicate that the Aegean Sea has turned into sea of illegal migrants.
Figures from Turkish coast guard officials show that the number of refugees caught on the Aegean Sea was almost 7,000 last year, dramatically up from 2,531 in 2012.
The 2014 figure surpassed 3,600 in June, high above the same point in the past two years.
Turkey does not accept legal refugees from countries in its east, but reaching Europe from Turkey via Greek islands on the Aegean is a very common route for desperate migrants.
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In a revealing indicator of relative priorities, the EU spent nearly 2 billion euros in protecting its external borders between 2007 and 2013, but only 700 million euros on improving the situation for asylum-seekers and refugees within the EU over the same period, said Amnesty International’s report titled, “The human cost of Fortress Europe: Human rights violations against migrants and refugees at Europe’s borders.”
“According to the U.N. Refugee Agency there are more displaced people today than at any time since the end of the Second World War. Shockingly, the European Union’s response to this humanitarian crisis has been to add to it,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Program Director at Amnesty International.
“Almost half of those trying to enter the EU irregularly flee from conflict or persecution in countries like Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea and Somalia. Refugees must be provided with more ways to enter the EU safely and legally so that they are not forced to embark on perilous journeys in the first place,” Dalhuisen added.
The number of migrants to Turkey from Syria has recently exceeded 1 million, according to official figures, as many of the runaways of the civil war in the neighboring country try their chances for a better life outside the camps designed by the Turkish government…
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The ones in Turkey are there on a temporary basis, living in camps. AI expects Europe to take on millions of refugees permanently and give them same life that European natives have. Well STFU to you, AI.