For Immediate Release

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Jonathan Stevenson, media officer
Tel:  +44 (0)7711 875 345 or +44 (0)20 7820 4913

Campaigners Slam EU-Turkey Summit as Attempt to 'Militarise Immigration Policy'

UK and EU accused of ‘inhumane and backward-looking’ response to human need

Protests called in London on Wednesday and outside Yarl’s Wood detention centre on Saturday

WASHINGTON - Campaigners have slammed today’s EU-Turkey summit as ‘inhumane and backward-looking; the very opposite of what a modern response to people’s movement needs to look like’. Global Justice Now has stated that the EU’s summit today risks three unjust policies:

  • paying billions of euros to an increasingly brutal Turkish government to ‘keep refugees out of Europe’
  • militarising the Mediterranean Sea, in a move which undermines European human rights responsibilities      
  • destabilising Greece, already subject to a devastating economic programme imposed by the EU

The group argues that a transformation of global immigration policy is needed, encouraging policies aimed at free movement of people, reducing global inequality, undermining poverty and halting climate change. 
Nick Dearden, Director of Global Justice Now, said:
“Europe is trying to offload its international responsibilities onto other countries at this summit. It’s obscene that one of the richest parts of the world, which continues to grow wealthy from the resources of other countries, is contracting out its human rights duties to poorer countries.
“Turkey is conducting a brutal war on its Kurdish population and cracking down on any form of dissent. It is unconscionable that we would give billions of pounds to this government to offload our responsibilities.
“Greece is reeling from economic depression, created by policies dreamt up in Western Europe and then ruthlessly imposed. We now expect Greece to stand alone in dealing with the many people seeking refuge on our continent
“The militarisation of the Mediterranean Sea is one more aspect of the creation of a gated community for the richest part of the world. We have reached the limit of how much a small elite can drain the rest of the world for their own profit. This is a wake-up call. We must not bury our head in the sand as our democracy is eroded. We need urgent and radical policies to tackle inequality, poverty and climate change.
“British and European proposals are inhumane and backward-looking; the very opposite of what a modern response to people’s movement needs to look like. One of the greatest achievements of the EU is freedom of movement. Many of us in Europe enjoy this right to move around the world with relative ease. This cannot be a right which only applies to the most wealthy people in the world. We need to begin opening our borders to people, creating a world where everyone can enjoy a basic standard of living, wherever they are born, regardless of what passport they possess. Unless we do so, our democracy will disintegrate.”


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Global Justice Now is a democratic social justice organisation working as part of a global movement to challenge the powerful and create a more just and equal world. We mobilise people in the UK for change, and act in solidarity with those fighting injustice, particularly in the global south.

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