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Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Jesuit Refugee Service warns proposed transit centres may be illegal
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 A leading charity working with refugees has expressed serious concerns about proposals to set up Transit Processing Centres where the claims of asylum seekers would be processed, either within the EU or in neighbouring countries closer to the refugees' places of origin. The proposals are being considered by EU members in Thessalonica this week. The Jesuit Refugee Service, which works in over 50 countries and whose UK office is based in Osterley, Middlesex, says it is concerned that the proposals could involve routine use of detention and forced transit to the centres where applications for asylum will be dealt with. "Such actions are contrary to international norms and may infringe human rights legislation too," said Louise Zanré, director of JRS-UK. "We urge EU members to consider a range of alternatives to the proposed Transit Processing Centres. For instance, if workable legal migration channels were established, it would cut down on the need of economic migrants to use the asylum channel. If asylum claims were processed faster, backlogs would be avoided. And if the way they were dealt with in the first instance was more thorough, the rate of costly appeals would be reduced too," says Ms Zanré. JRS-UK also echoed the message of Pope John Paul II, in addressing the reasons why refugees are forced to flee from their homes. Speaking prior to World Day of Refugees on Friday (20 June), he called on the international community to "commit itself to taking care of not only the symptoms but above all the causes of the problem: that is, to prevent conflicts by promoting justice and solidarity in every sphere of the human family." To read the full JRS Europe statement visit:
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