UN experts said [press release] on Thursday that the new recommendation from the European Commission [official website] is a “slippery slope” to solve migration problems. According to the UN the recommendation is focused on more rapid return rates and is disregarding the human rights of the migrants. The recommendation also encourages the use of increased detention, even for children, as a deterrence to future migrants. The report states that there is no empirical evidence that shows the use of detention works as a disincentive for migrantion. In addition, the report draws attention to the welfare of migrant children:
Placing children in detention on the basis of their or of their parents’ immigration status is never in the best interests of the child and constitutes a violation of the rights of the child. Locking up children and their families has a profound and negative impact on children’s health and wellbeing.
The report concludes with a call for alternatives to detention such as “registration and reporting requirements.”
The rights of migrant populations have emerged as significant humanitarian issues around the world, as millions seek asylum from conflict nations. In February Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] expressed concern [JURIST report] over a proposed Hungary migration amendment. In January HRW said [JURIST report] that it was against EU policy for Croatia to force asylum seekers back to Serbia. Also in January the European Commission labeled [JURIST report] the conditions on Greek Islands for asylum seekers as “untenable” due to heavy snowfall in the region. Ahead of the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants in September, UN experts urged [JURIST report] states to protect women and girls in the movement of refugees and migrants by adhering to international human rights conventions and standards. That same month HRW and Amnesty International said that the draft of the final outcome document for the UN summit on refugees fell short [JURIST report] of dealing with the issue effectively. Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said [JURIST report] earlier in September that Austria will take Hungary to the International Court of Justice if Hungary does not begin accepting returning migrants that crossed into Austria from Hungary.