We are greeting you from Vienna, where we are calling for a fundamental reform of the EU today in front of the Federal Chancellery.
The Geneva Refugee Convention entered into force sixty years ago. The Convention stipulates that all persons who are forced to flee their countries due to persecution must be granted protection by the states in which they seek refuge. The reality of the Austrian as well as the European asylum policy does not reflect this obligation however; an increasingly restrictive migration policy, the erosion of the right to asylum and the intensified protection of borders make it near impossible for those seeking protection to legally reach safe countries.
The extended mandate of FRONTEX, the European Border Agency, with increasingly comprehensive powers; the legal nature of these often being problematic, has further impinged upon this right and has made seeking refuge in Europe even more life- threatening.
Since 2000, the reinforcement of “Fortress Europe” has cost at least 23,000 people their lives. In reality, the actual figures are estimated to be much higher. The near daily deaths on Europe’s external borders arouse short-term political and media attention but the necessary political action remains to be seen.
But it is this action that we call for: We want to live in a Europe whose priority it is to protect humans, not borders.
We wish you strength and all the best for your march to Brussels; we stand in solidarity with you and all those, who’s efforts are directed towards the realisation of the human rights of all humans, towards international solidarity!
The organisational committee of “Human Rights know no Borders” Vienna
Greetings from London to our fellow ralliers in Vienna and to our supporters and our marchers in Strasbourg taking part in the Refugee Protest March. We send you warm wishes and the best of luck for the march to Brussels!! We are with you in spirit!
We are a non-party, non-organizational civil society alliance of individuals who disagree with the current UK and EU asylum policies and systems. We demand that they be made in line with international human rights law and respect the dignity, humanity and fundamental rights of asylum seekers, migrants and refugees. We also remember all those who have died on Europe’s external borders seeking protection and a new life in Europe. This outrage cannot be allowed to continue.
We demand that EU member states and their governments take immediate action to:
- Establish legal escape routes to Europe, so that refugees do not have to risk their lives in the search for asylum.
- Make the saving of human lives the main priority of all EU Member States.
- Establish a humane asylum system based on solidarity and harmonized minimum standards. This includes guaranteeing human treatment and a non-discriminatory lawsuit to refugees.
- Give asylum seekers freedom of movement and freedom of choice in which country they can apply for asylum, allowing them to live in the countries of their choice and/or where they have existing contacts, rather than where they first entered the EU.
- Allow asylum seekers the right to work and study, including access to financial support to facilitate study, equal access to the labour market and the same working conditions for all.
- End the detention and deportation of asylum seekers.
- Abolish anti-immigration agencies like Frontex.
We want to live in a Europe that puts people before borders. We thank our fellow ralliers in Vienna and marchers in Strasbourg for their support and solidarity. Together we are stronger, together we are one!