Europe must be the champion in respecting rights of refugees as human beings!


Brussels, 14th September 2015

PDF version available here

AGE Platform Europe urges EU and national Governments to show humanity
and respect human rights of all refugees

Europe must be the champion in respecting rights of refugees as human beings!

Irrespectively of their countries of origin, ethnicity, confession, gender or age, refugees who are fleeing war zones and persecution are above all human beings. In this unprecedented refugee crisis since the Second World War, the European Union and national Governments have to speak with one voice and be the champion in respecting the human rights of all refugees.

All refugees are human beings

The European values of democracy, freedom and respect of human rights apply in the same way to EU citizens as to those who seek refuge in a EU country.It is our moral and historical obligation – as European women and men, ordinary citizens and policy makers, people of different religions and belief, age and population groups or socio-economic backgrounds – to stand unified and help them. “Older persons are equally affected by the atrocities of the war and the current conflicts in the Middle East but as often when such emergencies emerge, they remain invisible. As a result, their needs are overlooked in the chaos of this humanitarian crisis”, says Marjan Sedmak, President of AGE. EU institutions together with national Governments must take on their respective responsibilities and ensure that every refugee will be welcomed and treated with dignity and respect even if those who may not be perceived as a potential future economic asset for the host country.

EU common response to refugees’ crisis

Even though considerable differences exist between asylum systems across the EU Member States, EU should make its utmost to find a comprehensive common strategy. Not only is the human dignity of refugees, but also the credibility of the EU as a whole and of Member States are at risk of being undermined with serious consequences for our democracy. The EU should create common standards of protection and provide support to Member States to enable them to respect their international refugee and human rights legal obligations. The future of theEU depends on its capacity to respect international refugee and human rights law and to apply its own values to all refugees regardless of their country of origin, ethnicity, religion, gender or age. Anyone who is fleeing war zones and persecution to survive and have no other option than to leave own home and come to Europe must be helped!”, concluded AGE President.

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