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Under the ICESCR, Articles 11 and 12 are especially worthy of being highlighted. Article 11 recognizes the right to an adequate standard of living for all persons, a right which is undeniably denied to asylum seekers in their country of origin. Similarly, Article 12 recognizes the right to the highest level of mental and physical health. Those irregular migrants seeking asylum in Europe are coming from an environment where their mental health is most certainly threatened as well as their physical health. Under the ICCPR, Articles 6 through 9 are noteworthy. These articles recognize rights regarding life, torture, liberty, and security. As parties to the ICESCR and ICCPR, European nations have a responsibility and obligation to uphold this right where they apply to asylum seekers.
The more “controversial” group of economic migrants also have rights ascertained in various Page16 human rights instruments. The rights that we have discussed above as applying to asylum seekers above also apply to economic migrants. In addition, Declaration on the Right to Development should be highlighted of particular importance to economic migrants. Economic migrants from Africa and other affected developing countries come to Europe because of the limited opportunities they have in their home country, a direct result of colonial practices in many cases. European practices which have impeded on the right to development of developing nations now bring a responsibility for remedying the situation. The remedies must ensure the realization of the right to development through migration policies that are fair and adequate as well as support to countries in elevating their current development troubles.
GICJ therefore recommends:
A European migration policy that shows awareness of the interconnected nature of development, poverty and migration. The comprehensive migration policy must have provisions for tackling the root causes of migration such as underdevelopment, poverty and war. In dealing with underdevelopment, aid efforts are not undercut by economic policies and partnerships that impoverish the African continent, as well as other developing nations Ensuring that justice to African nations who have suffered disproportionately under the effects of slavery, colonialism and neo-colonialism is a key part of migrant intake programs and quotas An increase in the number of yearly refugee spots from 20 000 A new policy towards immigration that allows more migrants to allow in Europe through legal channels. This new policy should not exclude low skilled workers, in fact, it should pay special attention to this category of migrants as they are the ones who find it must difficult to immigrate legally A different policy towards tackling the smuggling networks that endanger migrants’ lives. While it is important to target the smuggling networks, the use of force as proposed thus far threatens to exacerbate the problem GICJ continues to follow this issue closely and hopes to see positive action taken by the European Union states to address the irregular migration. GICJ especially wishes to see efforts to review and implement the recommendations that have been put forth by our NGO, other civil society organizations and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants. GICJ will continue to engage with the UN Human Rights Council and other relevant UN bodies, to ensure that migrant rights remain a priority. GICJ believes in fighting human rights abuses or injustice wherever it may occur and restoring human dignity to victims. GICJ will continue to advocate for migrant rights to ensure their full realization.
Page17 Geneva international Centre for Justice
GICJ is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to the promotion and reinforcement of commitments to the principles and norms of human rights.
GICJ is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and is governed by the Swiss Civil Code and its statutes.
Basing its work on the rules and principles of International Law, International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, GICJ observes and documents human rights violations and seeks justice for their victims through all legal means available.
Mission GICJ’s mission is to improve lives by tackling violations and all forms of violence and degrading or inhumane treatment through the strengthening of respect for human rights;
reinforcing the independence of lawyers and judiciaries; consolidating the principles of equity and non-discrimination; ensuring rule of law is upheld; promoting a culture of awareness on human rights; and combating impunity.
Within the scope of its mission, GICJ hopes, among other objects to:
Strengthen respect for, and commitment to, human rights under all circumstances and at all times, Consolidate the principles of equity and non-discrimination in effort to contribute to the elimination of all forms of discrimination, Work towards the strengthening of the rule of law and the independence of lawyers and judiciaries, Expose and document human rights violations and prepare all possible and necessary reports, studies, appeals, notifications, and data for the use and consideration with the relevant and competent bodies, particularly within the United Nations.
Combat all forms of violence, degrading or inhumane treatment, and abuses of human dignity in prisons and detention centres Image Credit: Meron Semedar