The Anti-Racism Network held a solidarity vigil with all migrants as part of International Migrants Day on Wednesday 18th December.While European Union (EU) Member States continue to pledge their commitment to protect the basic human rights of migrants …

Paula Geraghty
The Anti-Racism Network held a solidarity vigil with all migrants as part of International Migrants Day on Wednesday 18th December.While European Union (EU) Member States continue to pledge their commitment to protect the basic human rights of migrants, and to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration to Europe, the asylum policies and border controls of these Member States continue to kill people on Europe’s borders.

Since 1988, over 20,000 people have died on the borders of Europe. In October of this year alone, over 360 people died in a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa. Where national narratives of Famine death-ships consign the hazards of migration to the distant past, such hazards are very much a part of contemporary European history.

For those migrants fortunate to reach European shores, many will be placed in detention centres (or Direct Provision centres in Ireland). Over the past decade, these centres have been widely condemned as unfit for purpose. Migrants here dwell in poor conditions, are isolated from the outside world and face indeterminate periods in detention.

The freedom of movement which applies to economic trade should also apply to people, to migrant workers, students and families who face adverse conditions here in Ireland.

On December 18, International Migrants Day, we are asked to consider those migrants stranded in North Africa and the Middle-East, migrants simply seeking a safe passage to Europe.

ARN asks you to consider those migrant workers and students whose lives are governed by restrictive institutional rules and to consider those who are going spend tonight in a Direct Provision Centre. Many have been in these centres for over two years, with some much longer than that. These people are detained, with their only ‘crime’ being movement and the want of a different life.

On this day, ARN calls for less restricted movement of people and fair access to asylum procedures on EU territory. We call on the Irish government to provide jobs and housing for all. Cuts breeds racism. The Irish government, and other EU Member States, must prioritize human rights protection for migrants seeking passage to Europe. We call for greater transparency and accountability from EU border agents like Frontex and the Garda National Immigration Bureau. And finally, on this day, ARN again calls for an end to this inhumane system of Direct Provision.


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Paula Geraghty

Journalist-Photography/video. Real people, real issues. Journalism of hope, about people who fight for a better world. @TradeUnion_TV Usual T&Cs apply

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