Base EU response to the refugee crisis on human rights, ACT pleads

8th September 2015
ACT PRESS RELEASES

European advocacy network ACT Alliance EU has called on the EU member states to collectively respond to the refugee crisis impacting Europe with a fair and mandatory sharing of responsibility for receiving refugees and respecting their human rights.

In a statement the network urged EU member states to adhere to the international legal instruments that they have ratified for the protection of refugees, and make concerted efforts to assist those seeking refuge in Europe.

“These people are fleeing from conflict and are reaching out to Europe for help,” said Floris Faber, Director of ACT Alliance EU. “Certainly, the EU cannot deny them their rights, though perhaps most importantly we must support them with legal and practical responses that respect their rights and maintain their dignity.”

The majority of those taking the route to Europe are refugees coming from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Somalia and their numbers continue to rise.

While most people arriving are fleeing war, conflict or persecution in their home countries, the alliance highlighted that many are also fleeing deteriorating conditions in some refugee-hosting countries and countries of transit, which do not offer safety or the possibility to establish a new existence.

“As faith-based organisations we are deeply committed to the inviolable dignity of all individuals, as well as to the concepts of the common good, global solidarity and the promotion of a society that welcomes strangers,” said Faber. “It is our moral and faith imperative as human beings to reach out of our comfort zones and to offer a helping hand to the needy and the most vulnerable, such as the many who have taken arduous journeys to come here, looking for a better life for themselves and their families.”

ACT Alliance members are providing life-saving humanitarian aid in the countries of origin, including Syria and Iraq; in neighbouring countries including Turkey and Lebanon, and increasingly in transit countries including Greece, Serbia and Hungary.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. ACT Alliance is a network of over 140 church and faith based organisations working together in 140 countries to achieve sustainable change in the lives of people affected by crisis, disasters, poverty and injustice.

  2. ACT Alliance EU is the advocacy office to the EU of international humanitarian and development network ACT Alliance. Its purpose is to promote justice and peace and the eradication of poverty by influencing European Union decision-making processes as they affect developing countries.

  3. The full ACT Alliance EU statement can be found here:

  4. For more information contact Floris Faber, Faber@actalliance.eu, +32 2 2345660

  5. For more information about ACT Alliance visit actalliance.org