ECRE issued a press release last week regarding Libya’s decision to expel the UNHCR:
“Bjarte Vandvik, Secretary General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE) said: ‘UNHCR’s expulsion from Libya will hopefully be temporary but it does reveal the unreliability of this regime, as well as its understanding of refugee protection. How will the EU ensure that Libya keeps its word regarding commitments towards human rights? How can the EU trust such a partner?’”
“ECRE calls on the EU to seriously reconsider its cooperation on asylum and refugee issues with Libya, a country that is not a party to the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention. In particular, negotiations on an EU – Libya framework agreement must now be reviewed, as should any EU funding that supports Libyan authorities in intercepting refugees along their Southern border…. While UNHCR”s presence does not make Libya a safe place for refugees, the decision to prevent UNHCR from operating in the country once again illustrates the real intentions of the Libyan authorities when it comes to refugee protection. The EU cannot simply continue to ignore this reality but should make clear that the protection of refugees is still a fundamental value of the EU.”
(HT to Ana Lopez, ECRE’s Media and Information Officer).
Click here for full ECRE statement.