European Parliament final vote on Migration Pact foreshadows human rights violations

European Parliament offices and European flags.
© Lena Wurm

In a final plenary vote on April 10, the European Parliament sealed a Migration Pact that will likely lead to widespread human rights violations across Europe and at its borders.

Among potential harms, this would mean that:

  • Any person coming to Europe without valid travel documents will likely be detained in border facilities, without exceptions regarding age, including families with babies.
  • People who are considered not eligible for asylum will risk being directly channelled into deportation procedures, disregarding other existing national avenues for people to stay in Europe, from medical permits to family reunification.
  • People will not have any effective legal representation while they undergo administrative procedures at borders. People who appeal their deportation order can be deported while waiting for a decision on their case.
  • Racialised communities living in the EU (including EU citizens) will be increasingly profiled as screening procedures are rolled out to identify people who have, at a certain point, entered irregularly across the bloc.
  • Member states will be able to derogate from key safeguards when they claim a third country is pushing people to their borders (which the Pact calls “instrumentalisation of migration”).

Our concerns are echoed by international and national human rights organisations across Europe in previous joint statements calling on EU lawmakers to vote down this Pact.

Michele LeVoy, Director of the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), said: “People move. They always have and always will. We need routes for people to move and settle in safety and dignity. But under the EU Migration Pact people will undoubtedly experience even more violence and pushbacks in their migration journey and at borders.”