GENEVA – Geneva Council on Human Rights and Justice urged Spain to take measures to protect immigrants seeking to cross the Mediterranean Sea in order to reach their territory.
Geneva Council, an international human rights organization, said in a statement that the responsibility of the Spanish government is to ensure a safe passing for refugees and to provide them with basic needs until their issues are resolved.
The Council noted that the Western Mediterranean route from Morocco to Spain could be the next main route for refugees who are seeking Europe, with 6,000 illegal immigrants arriving in Spain last June alone.
It pointed out that narrowing and then closing the road that passes through the coast of Libya and due to the spread of the Libyan Coast Guard, the smugglers began to turn their eyes to the west. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of migrants arriving Spanish coasts has almost tripled from 2016 to 2017, with 22,000 arrivals.
Geneva Council for Human Rights and Justice praised the recent developments made by the Swedish Immigration Service regarding the length of time it takes to decide asylum and immigration applications, considering it “positive steps to improve the treatment of refugees since the immigration crisis in Europe three years ago.”
It stated that the new resolution, which entered into force last week, would provide a relief to thousands of immigrants, asylum seekers and family reunification applicants who have been waiting for their applications for many years that could reach to three years to be approved. Therefore, it burdened migrants and asylum seekers and made them in a state of anticipation and instability as well as being far away from their families for a long period
Geneva Council also welcomed the decision of the French Supreme Court to abolish the so-called “crime of solidarity with illegal immigrants”, under which those who help immigrants were criminalized.
It called upon France and Sweden to develop greater steps towards the humanitarian treatment of immigrants and asylum-seekers fleeing conflicts and taking collective responsibility for asylum claims in Europe.
The council stressed the need for all EU countries to take positive steps in dealing with migrants and refugees in Europe in accordance with human rights standards and to give humanitarian priority to any other priority.
It warned of the dangers of increasing populism and right-wing extremism in Europe, the victory of parties calling for the expulsion of immigrants and refugees in the elections, as well as the escalation of terrorist attacks in Europe, and the incitement in social media, which provide a space with little oversight.