Turkey-European Union anti-refugee deal, what’s wrong?

This video says about itself:

10 March 2016

At the Greek-Macedonian border, refugees are pleading with world leaders to let them continue their journey to northern Europe.

The conditions are dire with thousands of people stuck at Balkans borders and living in unsanitary conditions.

Al Jazeera’s Hoda Abdel-Hamid reports from the camp at Idomeni.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Refugee talks are shameful

Saturday 19th March 2016

THE deal discussed between the EU and Turkey yesterday is shameful in every respect.

First, it threatens to contravene the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees and its 1967 protocol and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). As UN High Commission for Refugees European director Vincent Cochetel has pointed out, the ECHR prohibits the mass expulsion of foreign nationals.

Deporting refugees in Greece back to Turkey without processing their individual claims for asylum would violate the UN convention and cannot be escaped by importing an equal number of refugees from Turkey for resettlement in the EU. A last-minute commitment to process claims before deportation rings hollow in the face of abject EU failure to do so before now.

Classifying Turkey as a “safe country” in order to justify the violation is to compound the cynicism and facilitate further breaches of international law. There is nothing “safe” about Turkey today.

Having allowed thousands of volunteers to cross Turkish borders and join Isis, while enraging the Kurds of his own country and across the Middle East, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sowed the seeds and now his citizens reap the terrorist whirlwind.

The Ankara regime’s authoritarian response to democratic internal dissent is exacerbating that country’s crisis, instead of resolving it through renewed peace talks with the Kurdish Workers’ Party and its jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan.

While Turkey has provided a haven for three million refugees, it cannot meet the social and humanitarian standards demanded of a “safe country,” as UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi recently told the EU Parliament. In particular, it has deported refugees back to danger in their countries of origin without due process.

This also begs the question: how safe in Turkish hands are the thousands of Kurdish refugees bombed out of Turkey, Syria and Iraq by Erdogan’s airforce?

Worst of all, an EU-Turkey deal will not resolve the refugee crisis itself. People fleeing war, famine and destitution will continue to arrive in Europe, but more of them by unsafer routes than across the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey.

Many will contine to languish in unsafe, unhealthy camps, waiting for months to see whether they will be processed or deported.

Rather than allow Turkey to expand the EU “free market” in cheap migrant labour, or talk to Erdogan about EU membership while his military forces still illegally occupy northern Cyprus, the EU should work with the UNHCR to settle all refugee women and children in genuinely safe countries — including Britain — without delay.

THE refugee crisis has become one of the key political issues facing Europe, including the rise of a racist backlash in most countries of the EU. The spectre of tens of thousands of refugees criss-crossing borders from Turkey to Germany via Balkan countries has been effectively used for justifying unprecedented policy changes including draconian security and immigration measures across Europe and further afield. The most bizarre aspect of this crisis is that it springs from the conflict in the Middle East — but is then used to justify further military intervention to reshape the map of the Middle East. Conflict in Syria is at the centre of policy-making with respect to the refugees’ crisis and has spread into rivalry between the West and Russia: here.

Claudia Wrobel of Junge Welt exposes failings in how refugee rights are being handled in Berlin. Germany is the richest country in the European Union. Since last summer, however, the German capital has a problem in registering refugees. For days, sometimes weeks, whole families must wait outdoors, people are languishing in anticipation of the financial support they’ve been promised. Medical care for refugees, which is already limited to a minimum by law, is not guaranteed. The Berlin State Office of Health and Welfare (Berliner Landesamt fur Gesundheit und Soziales — LaGeSo) is completely overstrained. The shortcomings of this institution are not causing total chaos only because hundreds of volunteers are doing the work in their leisure time — work the state is supposed to be responsible for: here.

IS THE EU collapsing? This question has probably never been so widely and seriously debated as has been the case during the current controversy around refugee policy. Members of state parliaments are openly struggling with each other, putting up border fortifications, and even demanding sanctions: here.

28 thoughts on “Turkey-European Union anti-refugee deal, what’s wrong?

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  2. Saturday 19th March 2016

    posted by Morning Star in Features

    Behind a glamorous brand lies sweatshop pay, dangerous factories and anti-union sackings, reveals BETHANY RIELLY

    GERMAN clothing brand Hugo Boss, which churns an annual profit of around €300 million (£233.4m), has violated labour laws at its production factory in Izmir, Turkey. It’s been caught paying workers less than the poverty threshold and dismissing them for joining a trade union.

    Disputes between Izmir’s workers and the fashion brand have been raging for the past five years, with staff fighting for a living wage and the right to have their voices heard at work.

    A report published in January by the Fair Labour Association (FLA), which protects the rights of workers, has now revealed the extent to which Hugo Boss has violated not only Turkish labour laws and the FLA’s code of conduct but also its own rules.

    The damning report has been welcomed by workers as it further supports their claims that the fashion brand has violated the rights of its 4,000-strong workforce at the Izmir factory.

    One of the most shocking examples of misconduct is the dismissal of hundreds of factory workers who were also members of the Turkish Union of Textile, Knitting and Clothing Industry (TEKSIF.) The union started organising the Izmir factory in July 2011, which was swiftly followed by the dismissal of 290 workers. Hugo Boss claimed these workers were let go on the grounds of “unsatisfactory performance,” with instances of bad behaviour including “refusal to comply with orders” and “lack of attention to detail.”

    In most cases, however, the workers concerned were senior staff with exemplary records, thus bringing to question the validity of these allegations. The FLA report concludes that in most of these cases workers were sacked in response to union efforts, a claim further supported by the reinstatement of 12 members of staff whose dismissal was proved illegal in law suits against the company.

    As well as discriminating against union members, Hugo Boss is also guilty of paying many of its workers not only below the minimum living wage but below the poverty threshold. This was discovered by the Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC), which conducted an extensive survey at the factory in 2013-14. On top of this, workers have had their pay cut as punishments, despite this being forbidden in the Hugo Boss code of conduct.

    Many of the problems outlined in the FLA report required immediate action, a status which is only assigned to findings that present a severe risk to the safety of workers or a breach of labour laws.

    Some of these risks included poor access to evacuation and emergency exits, which were blocked by equipment, and the inability to hear fire alarms throughout the factory. This demonstrates not only Hugo Boss’s disregard for the safety of its workers but also proves that it does not uphold international labour standards as it so vehemently claims.

    Despite ongoing dialogue between TEKSIF and Hugo Boss, many of the issues brought forward to them by Izmir workers have not been addressed. In fact, when the Hugo Boss CEO was contacted by global union IndustriAll, the response they received was anything but compliant. The company threatened legal action and denied any responsibility for the problems.

    Izmir workers are still campaigning for their rights and voices to be heard, and have celebrated some successes including the reinstatement of unlawfully dismissed workers and reduced working hours for pregnant women.

    However, aside from these developments most of their appeals and calls for change have fallen on deaf ears. Just one year after the Turkish High Court ruling that Hugo Boss had unfairly dismissed workers, the company attempted to sack a further three members of staff for their affiliation with TEKSIF.

    What’s more, despite the serious findings identified in the report, Hugo Boss’s neglect for its workers’ rights has gone largely ignored by the media. It appears the struggle for Izmir workers to have their voices heard extends beyond their bosses.

    Perhaps it simply doesn’t come to anyone’s surprise that yet another multinational company has violated the rights of its factory workers. Yet these companies’ complete disregard for their workers should not be viewed as the norm.

    Perhaps it is accepted that workers for multinational companies don’t enjoy the same rights as those in the country where their products are sold. We shouldn’t accept that either.

    It insane that we live in a world where the majority of our goods are produced by workers who are paid next to nothing, their rights are violated and the health and safety is threatened.



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  5. we are actually NOT HIS citizens, democracy is sometimes the the dictatorship of the crowd against the minority (as the picture since 2001 shows AKP & Erdogan leading the country), and I personnaly share the opinons in this blog about the refugee agreement and EU’s ethical hack on the system (ref. ECHR).
    Yes, Turkey is not “safe” even for turks (dont comply with gov. or aka akp).


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