“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before” António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Nearly 60 million people are forcefully displaced around the world due to conflict, violence and persecution. Over 19 million of them are refugees outside their home countries,5 of whom 86% are hosted by developing countries, and 25% in the least developed ones. Rather than being prepared to receive a small fraction of world’s refugees in a dignified manner, however, this report shows how the leaders of the European Union (EU) have sought to prevent their entry into the richest political bloc in the world, by erecting fences at land borders, deploying ever-increasing numbers of border guards, spending on surveillance technology and seeking to enlist neighbouring countries already hosting large numbers of refugees as gatekeepers.
The effect is to push refugees to take the most dangerous routes to reach Europe – particularly across the sea.
No matter how big the search and rescue effort in the Mediterranean, as long as refugees do not have any alternatives to reach safety than the sea, they will continue to die off Europe’s shores.
You can read Amnesty’s report in full here.