Berlin – ESI in online debate: "Human rights over board? Do refugees still find protection in Europe?"
ESI's Gerald Knaus was invited to participate in an online discussion with Jean Ziegler, a sociologist and publisher, and former Swiss politician and former vice-president of the Advisory Committee to the United Nations Human Rights Council. The debate was organised by DeZIM Institute.
They discussed the dramatic situation of refugees on the Greek islands. In the overcrowded camps they lack water and food, shelter, sanitary facilities and doctors. But the EU is painfully slow to respond. Shocking scenes occurred at the beginning of the year on the border with Turkey. Again and again, Greek border officials pushed refugees back to Turkey without examining their claims for asylum. During the Corona crisis, Greece and other states temporarily refused to accept any asylum applications at all, and Italy and Malta closed their ports. In this situation, Germany will take over the EU presidency on 1 July.
Can there be a "new start" in asylum policy, as promised by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen? How should the EU deal with the fact that some of its member states strictly refuse to accept refugees?
The panel was moderated by the TV journalist Isabel Schayani from the German public broadcaster WDR.
- Der Spiegel: Kampf gegen Corona: Evakuiert die griechischen Inseln - jetzt!, op-ed by John Dalhuisen and Gerald Knaus, also available in English: The fight against Corona: Evacuate the Greek Islands – Now!, 26 March 2020
- ESI paper: The Aegean Tragedy – Key facts and key steps, 24 Jan 2020
- Buitenhof (Dutch TV programme), Interview with ESI chairman Gerald Knaus about Turkey and migration (in English after a Dutch intro), 8 March 2020
- ESI newsletter: Aegean Plan 2.0 – preventing a disaster in the times of Corona, 20 March 2020
- ESI: www.esiweb.org/refugees