Migrants will come "whatever", UN expert tells EU

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Syrian refugees are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. Credits: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

The European Union needs to "bank on" more migrants reaching its borders in coming years and should provide more help for them to do so, according to a UN investigator.

François Crépeau, Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, notes the EU's "toxic political environment" along with dangerous sea crossings undertaken by desperate migrants.

He calls on EU member states to commit to a refugee resettlement programme and face up to labour shortages which lead to the exploitation of migrants.

Daniel Johnson reports.

More and more migrants are moving to the European Union and states risk losing control of their borders, a top UN human rights expert said Thursday.

François Crépeau, the UN investigator behind the warning, said that EU member states were mistaken in spending huge resources on securing their borders.

"They should accept the fact that these people will come whatever, I'm talking about the Syrians who were most of the arrivals in Italy last year."

The UN Special Rapporteur said that Syrians could not be expected by the EU to live in Lebanon and Turkey indefinitely while the EU "stalls" on a refugee resettlement programme.

It's estimated that more than 150,000 migrants and asylum seekers arrived in Europe by sea last year, compared with 80,000 in 2013.

The UN expert also encouraged the EU to introduce more legal migration channels for skilled and non-skilled workers.

He also told governments to face up to their real labour needs and stop the exploitation of asylum seekers and illegal migrants by unscrupulous employers.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Duration: 1’03″

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