Europe Double-standards… Immigration and Human Rights


Migrants in the Mediterranean

The immigration policy is a hot debate that has been on-going for pretty long time with some member states in European Union taking hard stance on this issue. However, the crux of the matter is not about immigrants but the economic impact that they have in specific countries. The stringent laws and policies that have been put in place in many of the European countries are making it pretty hard for legal immigration. Therefore, many who are looking for asylum have opted for illegal means to enter the country, hence making the matters worse.

In the recent past few months some illegal immigrants traveling by sea to Europe were caught in a storm in the middle of the sea and so the search for missing persons began. There were many countries that were involved in the rescue mission and this was a good thing, all factors being engaged and constant. However, things soon changed as some of the European countries pulled out of the mission. There are different angles from which you can look at the whole issue because here stands human rights vis a vis the global trade interests. Now, the million dollar question that begs for answers is, is it ethical to pull out of rescue mission yet some of the trade ships are constantly being protected, by army ships at a huge cost, from the Somali pirates. Is this capitalism in its true colours?

The morality around the whole issue raises more questions that you can get answers. If Europe is to trade with other countries around the globe, then definitely they must be ethical in dealing with situations that touch on human rights. Even the pirate issue in Somali waters or other conflicts are quite often about the economic and foreign policies of western governments,  leading to a surge in illegal immigration from developing nations to the rich countries in the West. The European states are dealing with symptoms and not really the root-cause of the issues. In other words, they are not making the situation any better with other unfavourable policies that are hindering movement of immigrants.

For instance, Italy has always been a leader in rescue missions in the Mediterranean. In the past 12 months, Italy’s Mare Nostrum has been able to rescue about 150,000 persons but this has since changed stating that now such missions cannot be sustained. Britain has also pulled out and is no longer willing to participate in any missions that touch on refugees and immigrants who try enter Europe via the sea, or using other means that are not legal. If this is the step these countries are taking, how will it be possible to reduce the piracy at the sea, human rights violations, or deal with political issues that lead to the influx of migrants. The burden should be shared.

The European states as they stand today have no moral authority to tell the world about human rights or anything in this range. The UK has tried to absolve itself of any blame, but the lack of participating in rescue missions does not make matters any better. This also applies to the US immigration laws that are not only meant to make it hard for immigrants to live within its borders, but also prevent more from achieving the so called “ American Dream”. The immigration laws must change if not then respect for Human Rights shall always remain a mirage.


3 Responses to “Europe Double-standards… Immigration and Human Rights”

  1. victoriaevbuomwan Says:

    It is true that, since Operation Mare Nostrum began, arrivals in Italy have soared (more than 65,000 so far this year, against around 8,000 in the first half of 2013). But Greece also saw a large rise, of 142%, in the first four months of 2014, as fighting in Syria intensified. The “cruel to be kind” argument for returning migrants has become harder to sustain as Libya lurches from dictatorship to anarchy, report confirms

  2. celcocourier1 Says:

    well done ,European always forget that they also emigrate to others country for different purpose (interest) and the chaos is always created them, it is about time to change neoliberal policy and address the crisis. Stop the war.

  3. kanja sandy Says:

    This is absolutely interesting, the system preaches about family values but yet again introducing such laws.

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