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Caritas Italy: “EU-Turkey agreement on repatriation may have dramatic effects”

“The controversial agreement between the European Union and Turkey about the repatriation of migrants might deliver dramatic results for the refugees, who might be held up for a long time in Turkish camps, where probably nobody can make sure they receive good quality protection and support”: this is the position taken today by Caritas Italy in a long notice that lists “deep doubts” and several “questionable” points. “So far, the stories we have heard about these five years of war, both personally from the refugees and from rescuers, speak of systematic, reiterated breaches of fundamental human rights”, Caritas reports. “Deciding to send these people back from Greece to Turkey – it states – cannot but arouse a simple question: why should a country like Turkey, which cannot join the EU as incapable of abiding by the fundamental rights that are typical of a modern democracy, be capable instead of respecting the rights of the refugees who are sent back to its camps from Greece?”. Or maybe, as Caritas Italy bitterly acknowledges, “the priority of politics is just to clear the European Union of an awkward presence, no matter what”. “Until Turkey is recognised as a safe third country – it points out –, repatriation would clash with the international regulations, which forbid sending people back to a country that does not offer minimum standards of protection and support”.

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