About the plan to create a reception centre in Bir El Fatnassiya for asylum seekers who flee the degradation of the security situation in Libya
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Statement originally published by the Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux on 7 January 2020.
The Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux is following the news about the creation of a camp in the region of Bir El Fatnassiya, 15 km to the south of the city of Rmada in the governorship of Tataouine within the framework of an emergency plan. After the experience of the camp in Choucha, where volunteer citizens have taken on most of the responsibility and, after the withdrawal of international organisations, Tunisia has been forced to face the consequences of this camp's establishment, including providing accommodation for a group of asylum seekers in the youth centre in Marsa. The future camp will be named as a "centre of reception and guidance", to be managed by the Tunisian government, while we must recall the existence of the centre in El Ourdira and the intolerable conditions in which migrant people and refugees are received there. In view of the lack of information about this plan, of the questions raised by its location, in particular regarding minimum human and safety conditions, and in view of the flaws in the Tunisian judicial system and the absence of a national migration strategy and of a law that guarantees the rights of migrant people, the FTDES asks whether it is desirable to make such choices while knowing that they threaten refugees' fundamental rights and:
- Condemns international and especially European policies that have worsened the Libyan crisis and which, through a process of externalisation, have closed their borders, thus leading Tunisia to assume responsibility for the refugees who have fled Libya at a time when its political, social and economic situation is delicate;
- Calls for international cooperation to manage the repercussions of the arrival of asylum seekers in Tunisia;
- Calls for the involvement of national organisations and established bodies in the emergency plans to manage the consequences of the situation in Libya while ensuring respect for human rights;
- Calls on the government and international organisations to provide the necessary means to respond to the human needs of migrants and asylum seekers who enter Tunisia based on the principle of non-discrimination;
- Rejects resorting to forced repatriation and deems that security measures must respect the rights of the most vulnerable categories of people, such as women, children and any asylum seekers.
The Forum Tunisien pour les Droits Economiques et Sociaux
The President, Abderrahmane Hedhili
Translation by Statewatch.
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