10,310 of 25,000 signatures

the Justice and Home Affairs Ministers

As concerned citizens, we demand a European response that is reflective of the reality of the worsening refugee crisis. We urge you to ensure much needed safe and legal access to Europe placing the issue of refugee resettlement firmly at the top of your agenda on October 8, as a first step towards the creation of a comprehensive European scheme to guarantee secure avenues for people in need of protection. [1] Increasing options of safe and legal access is the only way to prevent further deaths in the Mediterranean and to curb human smuggling.

We call on you to reopen the resettlement discussion, and agree on the resettlement of at least 160,000 refugees instead of the proposed 20,000, so as to come closer to a solution proportionate to the scale of the crisis. [2]

Why this is important

We’ve all seen the heartbreaking images and read the news stories. Without further action, the refugee crisis will keep getting worse. The crisis is not only on Europe’s shores. It’s in war-torn Syria, in the Boko-Haram controlled part of Nigeria, in ravaged Libya, in dictatorial Eritrea.

Without safe and legal access to asylum in Europe, deaths will continue on our shores, and millions will live in limbo in refugee camps. At their meeting in July, European Interior Ministers agreed on resettling 20,000 refugees. It was a step in the right direction; now they are meeting in a week again. Let’s ask them to be more ambitious.

Ask Europe’s Interior Ministers to agree on more safe asylum options for refugees in the Middle East and Africa.

Background

Safe and legal access includes: resettlement, humanitarian visas, family reunification, humanitarian evacuation operations, and Protected Entry Procedure. We propose that a step-by-step approach be adopted in order to include these measures at both national and European levels.

160,000 matches the agreed on number for relocation on September 22, 2015 at the JHA meeting. The question of resettlement is just as if not more pressing, but we strongly believe that it deserves the same commitment as relocation.

Refugees of different nationalities should be included in the resettlement proposal, not only those coming from Syria.

[1] JHA Agenda of October 8

[2] European Commission press release

This campaign is being run in partnership with the Italian Council for Refugees.

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