Still a Beacon of Human Rights? Considerations on the EU Response to the Refugee Crisis in the Mediterranean

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Series Details Vol.22, No.2, June 2017, p301-308
Publication Date June 2017
ISSN 1362-9395
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The European Union is a political union of democracies which protects human rights and presents itself as a beacon of human rights on the global scene. International and European human rights treaties provide asylum seekers, refugees and migrants with specific rights, which signatory states must defend. EU member states have been among the first to ratify such human rights treaties, including the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees (1951, the Geneva Convention), the European Convention of Human Rights (1950), the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (2007). What is more, the EU itself is seeking to accede to the European Convention of Human Rights.

This Profile reviews the measures the EU has introduced in response to the crisis and highlights the problems they pose from a human rights perspective. Whether the EU will be able to respond to the unfolding crisis by providing international protection to those in need while simultaneously securing its external borders will be a yardstick by which to judge its human rights commitment.

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