07 Oct 2015
Registration centers for refugees arriving in the EU should not become “detention centers in disguise,” the UN’s senior human rights official said Tuesday.
In a statement, UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called for EU member states to conduct discussion on refugee policy that are “grounded firmly on the need to protect the human rights of all migrants.”
Ahead of a key EU meeting on Oct. 8, Hussein said he was concerned by the “continued security-driven agenda that appears to dominate the EU’s response” to the migrant crisis.
The EU has suggested established “hotspots” to process arrivals and distinguish between genuine asylum seekers and economic migrants.
“These ‘hotspots’ seem to be conceived not simply as a means of registering new arrivals but also as a way of preventing them from moving further until it is decided whether they are in need of international protection or should be returned,” Hussein said.
“While we welcome the efforts of the EU to offer support… states must ensure that these ‘hotspots’ are not, in effect, detention centers in disguise.”
More than 500,000 refugees entered the EU in the first eight months of the year, most from conflict zones such as Syria.