Refugee and Migrant Solidarity Ireland (RAMSI) Statement on the EU-Afghanistan Deal
On the 3rd of October it was announced that the European Union reached an agreement with the Afghan government which will facilitate mass deportation of Afghans from Europe. This will facilitate the deportation of millions of already vulnerable individuals to one of the most dangerous places on earth. This deal is deeply problematic and unjustifiable.
- The deal was achieved by placing unreasonable pressure on Afghanistan, as the European Union threatened to make all aid and economic cooperation “migration sensitive”. This deal was negotiated behind closed doors and represents a worrying trend in Europe, whereby consent to mass deportations is presented as a necessary precursor to economic cooperation. Human beings seeking refuge from violence and persecution are not economic bargaining chips and should never be treated as such.
- The negotiations and deal are characterised by use of the term “irregular migration”, and adhere to the false narrative that Afghanistan is a safe and stable country which people have no reason to flee from. This could not be further from the truth. 5,166 civilian deaths/casualties occurred in the first six months of 2016. This is an unprecedented figure; the highest since the American invasion began.
- This deal will enable the deportation of unaccompanied Afghan minors resident in Europe to a place where 91% of children have experienced serious violence and 40% have witnessed the violent death of an immediate family member.
This is the latest example of Europe trading in vulnerable people with dangerous and dysfunctional states. It will not be the last, as similar deals are being planned with many other countries including Eritrea, whose citizens make up a large cohort of people seeking refuge in Europe. The fact that this trading of human lives is presented as a “humanitarian measure” to target human traffickers is hypocritical and an insult to the individuals it harms and exploits.