Positions

Protecting the dignity and rights of migrants in an irregular situation

Recommendation
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As leading providers of humanitarian services, National Red Cross Societies in the European Union (EU) witness the pressing challenges faced by the EU in protecting the dignity and rights of all migrants, particularly those in an irregular situation. They have indeed observed the humanitarian consequences of migrants’ irregular administrative status, which jeopardises migrants’ fundamental rights, as well as their access to humanitarian assistance, basic services, and protection. As a result, migrants in an irregular situation are among the most vulnerable people in Europe.

Recommendations

Protecting the dignity and rights of migrants in an irregular situation requires decisive action. With this in mind, National Red Cross Societies in the EU make the following recommendations to the EU and its Member States:

  1. Implement an effective framework for safe and legal migration to the EU so as to reduce irregular migration.
  2. Ensure access to humanitarian assistance for all migrants, irrespective of their legal status.
  3. Support access to information about the rights of all migrants.
  4. Apply the ‘firewall principle’ to ensure clear separation between immigration authorities, and other law enforcement authorities and public services.
  5. Guarantee effective access to justice for migrants in an irregular situation.
  6.  Facilitate migrants’ access to a secure and dignified status.
  7. Abstain from detaining migrant children and make the detention of adult migrants a measure of last resort.
  8. Make sure that return procedures comply with fundamental rights.

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