01 March 2016
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"Thorbjørn Jagland: Migration – “A Europe-wide policy of door-slamming is not a solution”
Governments are using Europe’s refugee crisis to retreat from key human rights principles, according to Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland.
Speaking at the 1 March, 31st session of UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Jagland said: “Right now, in Europe, the very idea of human rights is coming under attack.”
He warned that the current “picking-and-choosing mentality towards the rules governments do and do not like is dangerous – because it’s contagious.
“We are already seeing government after government scrambling to halt the flow of people into their territories with an array of new, domestic restrictions. Many such steps raise serious questions under European Human Rights standards.
“And, notwithstanding the immense generosity of certain states and certain leaders, what you can hear in Europe today is the sound of one door slamming after another.
“A Europe-wide policy of door-slamming is not a sustainable solution.”
The Secretary General added: “Today, as the refugee crisis continues to dominate, some are retreating from these principles.
“Last week Hungary’s Prime Minister announced his intention to hold a referendum on EU plans for refugee quotas. If it goes ahead, we can expect that voters will be presented with a choice between either mandatory quotas or the independence of their nation.
“It is a polarizing and irresponsible act.
“We do not put the fundamental rights of a minority into the hands of the majority – especially at a time of heightened anxiety and fear. And states cannot simply opt in and out of their international obligations as they see fit.”
Source: CoE Press release.
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