[Bienvenue] [Le Gisti ?] [Adresses] [Plan du site] [Recherche] [Aide]
[Idées] [Formations] [Pratique] [Le droit] [Publications]


Sangatte: end the hypocrisy

Press release
19 June 2002

09/07/2002 — Today, the eve of the European summit in Seville, the French Campaign for the Right of Asylum calls on those in power to end the intolerable situation at Sangatte.

Our organisations, and in particular the Red Cross, find themselves faced with human beings risking their lives on a daily basis – and it is getting worse. We have every reason to fear that more "Sangattes" will spring up on Europe's soil or at its borders.

The people who have been coming to Sangatte for almost three years are victims of organised crime, as well as restrictive European asylum policies. The vast majority come countries whose situation would justify a request for protection under the 1951 Geneva Convention. Vietnamese, Iranians, East European Roma, Rwandese and Kosovars, to name but a few, have a right to a proper reception and protection.

France is partly responsible. Granted, it does not send people back to their countries of origin or countries of first asylum in violation of the ECHR. But its asylum policies – lack of information, endless delays in registering applications, the shortage of accommodation, the lack of a right to work – appear to be devised to deter potential refugees, pushing them into trying their luck elsewhere.

Britain is partly responsible, by stopping refugees – who do eventually achieve their aims, but at what price? – from setting foot on its territory and claiming asylum. By backing only the most restrictive aspects of the European asylum system that is being developed, the UK is helping Sangatte become a permanent feature.

More broadly, the whole EU is responsible. The combination of the hypocrisy of the States refugees travel through before arriving at Great Britain's gates with the priority given in the European process to repressive measures in the area of security, justice and policing, is creating the conditions for more `Sangattes' to develop at Europe's borders. Sangatte is a symptom of the serious problems with the right to asylum and the urgent need for Europe to equip itself with sensible rules.

The French Campaign for the Right of Asylum, while recalling that it presented "10 minimum conditions for a real right of asylum" to the French authorities in October 2001, declares:

  • that in France while waiting for implementation of the EU directive on reception conditions for asylum seekers, steps must be taken to improve those conditions, principally by reinstating the right to work and by providing sufficient accommodation to meet the needs

  • that the UK stops its selective approach to European asylum and immigration policy

  • that the EU adopts simple rules on asylum procedures which let anyone who wishes to apply for protection under the 1951 refugee convention to make their claim in any EU country and move freely throughout the EU while their application is being examined.

While waiting for the conditions to arise that would allow Sangatte to be closed, it should be properly funded so that conditions are more respectful of people's rights.

Any other policies, which emphasise restriction and increase of police and security measures at the expense of fundamental human rights and the right to asylum will lead to the failure of European asylum policy and new crises.

En haut

Dernière mise à jour : 9-07-2002 11:27 .
Cette page : https://www.gisti.org/doc/actions/2002/cda/hypocrisie.en.html

Bienvenue  | Le Gisti ?  | Adresses  | Idées  | Formations  | Pratique  | Le droit  | Publications
Page d'accueil  | Recherche  | Plan du site  | Aider le Gisti  | Autres sites

Comment contacter le Gisti