UN Warns Against EU “Detention Centers” for Refugees

UN Warns Against EU “Detention Centers” for RefugeesUN Warns Against EU “Detention Centers” for Refugees

Registration centers for refugees arriving in the EU should not become “detention centers in disguise,” the UN’s senior human rights official said Tuesday.

In a statement, UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called for EU member states to conduct discussion on refugee policy that are “grounded firmly on the need to protect the human rights of all migrants.”

Ahead of a key EU meeting on Oct. 8, Hussein said he was concerned by the “continued security-driven agenda that appears to dominate the EU’s response” to the migrant crisis, Anadolu reported.

The EU has established “hotspots” to process arrivals and distinguish between genuine asylum seekers and economic migrants.

 “While we welcome the efforts of the EU to offer support… states must ensure that these ‘hotspots’ are not, in effect, detention centers in disguise.”

  EU Anti-Trafficking Mission

A military operation to catch migrant traffickers begins Wednesday, with European warships patrolling international waters in the Mediterranean to arrest smugglers dubbed the “mafia of the sea”.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, announced last month that EUNAVFOR MED, an operation launched to dismantle the network of smugglers abetting the migrant boat crisis, was to enter its second phase.

The first phase, which essentially entailed compiling and analyzing information on the trafficker networks, has been up and running since June.

Six ships are already in place in international waters off the coast of Libya–the departure point for many of the migrant boats–including an Italian aircraft carrier, a French frigate and one British, one Spanish and two German ships.

At least three other vessels supplied by the Belgian, British and Slovenian navies are expected to arrive in the area at the end of October to complete the force, which also include four aircraft and 1,318 personnel.