More attention must be given to the human rights of migrants: UN expert

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François Crépeau

A UN human rights official has warned that the increasing competence of the European Union in the field of migration has not always been accompanied by a corresponding guarantee of rights for migrants themselves, and in particular irregular migrants.

François Crépeau, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday that "Within the EU institutional and policy structures, migration and border control have been increasingly integrated into security frameworks that emphasize policing, defence and criminality over a rights-based approach".

 "Despite a number of important advances, I regret that within the EU policy context, irregular migration remains largely viewed as a security concern only. This is fundamentally at odds with a human rights approach, concerning the conceptualization of migrants as individuals and equal holders of human rights.''

The Special Rapporteur stressed that, "within the discourse of securitization of migration and border control, the systematic detention of irregular migrants has come to be viewed as a legitimate tool in the context of EU migration management, despite the lack of any evidence that detention serves as a deterrent."

In his report, Mr. Crépeau also focused on the 'externalization' of border control, which involves shifting the responsibility of preventing irregular migration into Europe to countries of departure or transit.

Since May 2012, the Special Rapporteur undertook a one-year comprehensive study to examine the rights of migrants in the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’28″

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