For Immediate Release

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Attila Kulcsar | London | | +447471142974

EU and Turkey Deal Trades Human Beings for Political Concessions


EU leaders today are set to strike a deal with Turkey that will see all people entering Greece irregularly via the Aegean Sea returned to Turkey. In exchange, the EU will resettle one Syrian refugee for each one returned. 

Oxfam’s migration policy lead, Sara Tesorieri, said: "EU and Turkish leaders today made an agreement on the migration crisis that not only fails to respect the spirit of international and EU laws, but may amount to trading human beings for political concessions.

“Last week's EU decision to ‘end’ the Balkans route has led to another humanitarian emergency, and taking this approach with the Turkey-Greece route is a further step down this path of inhumanity.  The cost of European border control cannot continue to be paid with human lives.

“Oxfam fights for people who want to lead dignified safe and healthy lives and so calls on the EU to adopt effective solutions for managing migration, including safe and legal routes for those seeking to enter the bloc. EU member states need to do their fair share to resettle people in need of international protection. There can be no cap on this fundamental responsibility.”


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Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. Oxfam works directly with communities and that seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

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