The year 2015 saw the highest figures of displacement in Europe since the Second World War. One of the main triggers was the devastating war in Syria. However, other wars and environmental hardships played their part, as did the significant social and economic inequality which continue to increase across the globe, exacerbated by short-sighted political decision-making. All of the above has contributed to migratory movement towards Europe, in its various manifestations. Unfortunately, forecasts predict that, against a backdrop of global violence, growing inequality and rampant environmental degradation, this type of forced displacement of peoples may continue to occur, and even increase.
Faced with this situation, the European Union’s response has been complicit passivity in shipwrecks, border blockades, and the outsourcing of border control to third-party countries outside Europe. One example of this is the EU-Turkey agreement which entered into force on the 20th of March 2016, outsourcing border control to the Turkish state. The agreement allows for the expulsion of migrants to Turkey and forces new refugees to remain in Turkish territory, blocking their passage to Europe. Similar political arrangements have been reached with countries such as Libya in 2017, and Morocco in 2019.
Many humanitarian organizations have denounced these agreements as a violation of refugees’ right to asylum, and because they consider Turkey, Libya and Morocco as countries which neither respect nor protect human rights. In our country, various civic society platforms, NGOs and municipalities have come together to challenge these pacts and promote safeguarding policies.