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Tuesday, October 25, 2016
European asylum policies are failing, warns Jesuit agency
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 The Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service in the UK has accused the European asylum system of "failing both those it aims to protect and governments". Louise Zanré was speaking at a conference held in Rome to celebrate 25 years of the JRS. She was responding to addresses given by a member of the European Commission and a representative of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Angela Martini of the European Commission had outlined current political visions of migration in Europe, which include common legal definitions of the term 'refugee' and other texts and the adoption of minimal standards in asylum procedures. However, Ms Zanré warned that "minimum standards often do not translate into action on the ground, and are in danger of becoming empty promises". Walter Irvine of the UNHCR said he supported policies that allow asylum seekers to work, stressing the importance of integrating asylum seekers and refugees into the societies in which they were living. But he also emphasised that measures to control borders cannot solve the primary roots of the problem. Ms Zanré responded that "borders must have justice and compassion" ­ things she said are lacking. She concluded that the creation of a common asylum policy "risked the foundations of protection being eroded further". The conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Jesuit Refuge Service was entitled 'Migration in Europe: Political Vision for Change in European Societies'. It took place on 21 October at Instituto Maria SS Bambina in Rome. Source: Jesuit Communications Office
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