Human Rights Watch 2014 World Report highlights concerns over EU’s migration and asylum policies

Monday, February 3, 2014

The 2014 World Report, which reviews human rights issues in over 90 countries, criticises the EU for its failure to offer real solutions to end the deaths of migrants at sea, ensure that refugees fleeing Syria can effectively access Europe and tackle the use of detention of asylum seekers. On the Lampedusa tragedy, HRW regrets that the policy responses concentrated on surveillance and deterrence with few new measures to help present loss of life by prompt rescue, to assess or provide for protection needs, or to ensure swift and safe disembarkation.

HRW criticises the failure of Member States to adopt a common approach to the refugee flows from the Syrian war. The report further notes that the recast Reception Conditions Directive and Asylum Procedures Directive include certain improvements, but regrets that the package provides broad grounds for detention of asylum seekers, does not obligate Member States to provide free legal assistance at first instance and does not exclude vulnerable asylum seekers, namely torture survivors and unaccompanied children, from accelerated procedures.

Read the EU section of the 2014 World Report.

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