rome’s anti migration summit shows europe’s growing indifference to human rights
The controversial “Team Europe” deal with Kais Saied, the dictator of Tunisia, was a new low in the European Union’s efforts to stop migrants from coming to Europe at any cost. But Giorgia Meloni, the prime minister of Italy, wants to find out more.
The leader of the far right has asked dictators from all over the Middle East and North Africa to meet in Rome on July 23, along with some European governments and people from international financial institutions. Even though details are still unclear, it is expected that the conference will lay the groundwork for deals like the one made with Tunisia, which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called a “blueprint” for the region.
In exchange for stopping migrants and asylum seekers from leaving Tunisia to go to Europe, the EU will give Tunisia money and work more closely with it. Unfortunately, the deal only says a few words about human rights and doesn’t even acknowledge or address the serious abuses that Tunisian authorities have done to Black African migrants. It also doesn’t put any human rights conditions on the deal.
Its conclusion goes in the exact opposite direction of what a human rights-based approach to migration and refugees should look like. It shows that Europe hasn’t learned anything from the horrible things they did to migrants in Libya, and the fact that they want to make the same deal with other countries in the region, like Egypt and Morocco, is more proof of that.
People fleeing Sudan’s terrible civil war are now banned from entering Egypt, which is against the law. In the past, Sudanese refugee activists were brutally put down by Egyptian authorities. They have also sent back illegal asylum seekers from Eritrea and not helped refugees who were sexually attacked.
Authorities in Morocco have done bad things to migrants and people looking for asylum. They have also been accused of using migrants as political bargaining chips by encouraging people to cross into the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. In 2022, people died when they tried to cross the border. No one has been held responsible yet.
By turning a blind eye to these and other abuses, the EU risks not only making them worse but also giving dictators more power, since they can brag about their better relationships with European partners and take credit for getting money to help their failing economies.
European governments that care about human rights and international law should fight against this abusive, poorly thought-out, and short-sighted strategy. The alternative is not only a moral failure, but it also means that Europe is responsible for the continued pain and deaths on its doorstep.