Above all, migrants and asylum seekers are human beings in acute need of help!

Lundi 14 septembre 2015

Above all, migrants and asylum seekers are human beings in acute need of help!

Caritas organisations across Europe are dismayed by the results of the collapse of European migration policies. Therefore, Caritas Europa reiterates its call on European decision-makers to take a strong stand for a human-centered approach to the ongoing migration and humanitarian crisis based on the recognition that migrants and asylum seekers arriving to Europe are not a threat. Rather, they provide a wonderful opportunity for Europeans to live up to an unconditional sense of solidarity with those most in need.

Ministers meeting today at the extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council should pursue the discussion on resettlement as a way to open efficient and safe legal paths to Europe that will prevent desperate people to put their lives and savings in the hands of smugglers.

The tragedies that we are witnessing are the symptom of Europe’s ever more restrictive migration policies. The European Union urgently needs a common and permanent resettlement scheme based on realistic estimations. The agreed resettlement programme of last July was meant to cover 22,000 places; a figure that is completely detached from reality. According to the UNHCR, 900,000 people this year alone are in need of being urgently resettled and the EU should take its share.

In addition to a reviewed and enhanced resettlement programme, Ministries must consider broadening the use of humanitarian visa, including the common recognition of the status of refugee across the European Union. Ministers should also foster family reunifications to contribute to a better and healthier integration of newcomers, as outlined by the European Court of Justice.

“This Council is crucial for the future of Europe. What is at stake is huge.

The very idea of a Europe based on core values of solidarity and respect of human dignity are threatened by the lack of European response to a crisis that is leading to a terrible and unbearable death toll.” said Jorge Nuño Mayer, Secretary General of Caritas Europa.

Caritas Europa considers that a fourfold approach is needed for governments to tackle this crisis, save lives in an efficient and humane manner, and provide long-term durable solutions:


In Europe:


-          Set up efficient and reality-based safe and legal pathways to Europe, such as through recognition of the humanitarian visas and refugee statuses across the European Union, lifting of visas in case of crisis, extension of family reunification and resettlement programmes that are adapted to the real needs.

-          Accompany those arriving via safe and legal channels with efficient integration policies that foster sustainable social integration among others via labour and education integration, etc.





-          Contribute to ensuring that living conditions in refugee camps foster a further human development of the refugees. Including school and child activities, adult education, and reintegration in labour markets nearby.

-          Invest in diplomatic and political measures to end war and gain sustainable peace in conflict affected countries.

For more information, contact


Shannon Pfohman
 Head of Unit
 Advocacy and Policy
 Tel: +32 (0)2 235 26 51
 Mob: +32 (0)476 98 44 77



Alain Rodriguez
 Communication Officer
 Tel: +32 (0)2 235 26 54
 Mob : +32 (0)478 58 54 37

Caritas Europa is the network of Caritas organisations on the European continent. The united strength of its  49 members, present in 46 European countries, makes of Caritas Europa one of the major social actors in Europe.

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