UNHCR Concerned over EU-Turkey Plan to Ease Migrant CrisisEU | March 8, 2016, Tuesday // 15:52| views
Migrants and refugees wait to receive food offered by volunteers in the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, 08 March 2016. Thousands of people remained stranded in the refugee camp at Idomeni, on the Greek border with Macedonia. Photo EPA/BGNES
The United Nations refugee agency has said it is concerned with some aspects of the EU-Turkey plan for resolving the migrant crisis.
While welcoming the EU's financial contribution to support Turkey and the refugee communities in Turkey, the UNHCR expressed concern that „any arrangement that involves the blanket return of all individuals from one country to another without sufficiently spelt out refugee protection safeguards.”
EU and Turkey have released a statement following their meeting in Brussels on Monday, in which they said that all migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey would be sent back. In return, a Syrian in Turkey would be resettled in the EU for for each Syrian sent back.
„Legal safeguards would need to govern any mechanism under which responsibility would be transferred for assessing an asylum claim. Pre-departure screening would also need to be in place to identify heightened risk categories that may not be appropriate for return,” UNHCR said in a statement on March 8.
The UN refugee agency believes that “details of all these safeguards should be clarified before the next meeting of the EU Council on 17 March”, at which the plan, which hasn’t been finalized, will be discussed again.
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