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UN: EU migrant exchange with Turkey possibly illegal
UN: EU migrant exchange with Turkey possibly illegal

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi [official profile], expressed concerns [text] Tuesday for a proposed migrant exchange program [press release] between the EU [official website] and Turkey. The Joint Action Plan [text, PDF], was proposed to decrease human smuggling along the shores of southern Europe and to help alleviate the massive influx of refugees hosted by Turkey. The most controversial aspect of the deal is the objective “to resettle, for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from Greek islands, another Syrian from Turkey to the EU Member States.”

Grandi said in his speech before the European Parliament [official website], “I am deeply concerned about any arrangement that would involve the blanket return of anyone from one country to another without spelling out the refugee protection safeguards under international law.” The High Commissioner spoke to the council shortly after it had met with the Prime Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu [BBC profile] to discuss the final steps of the exchange program. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] also demonstrated concern [press release] over the deal, calling it “an alarmingly short-sighted and inhumane attitude to handling this crisis.”