More than 100 aid groups call on EU to abandon new migration plan

The EU Commission should scrap plans for a new migration deal for people from Africa and the Middle East, 109 aid groups announced Monday ahead of an EU summit in Brussels.

The commission proposed in June that countries in Africa and the Middle East - Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon and Libya included - should be offered a mix of positive and negative incentives to help curb migration flows to Europe.

The plan, similar to the EU's refugee swap deal with Turkey reached in March, stops migration "at the expense of European credibility and leverage in defence of fundamental values and human rights," read the statement released by Amnesty International.

"This approach will not only fail to break the business model of smugglers but increase human suffering as people are forced into taking more dangerous routes," the statement added.

Migration is one of the topics up for discussion during a two-day summit that begins Tuesday in Brussels. The EU talks are focused on showing a united front after Britain's decision to leave the bloc last week.

The signatories calling on the EU to abandon the new migration deal included Oxfam, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Save the Children, World Vision and Human Rights Watch.

The Catholic charity Caritas Europe also released a statement Monday calling for the leaders to rethink the EU-Turkey deal, saying that "the focus on pushing people back creates a dangerous precedent."

Earlier this month, MSF announced that it would no longer accept money from the EU and member countries, charging that its attempts to keep foreigners out of Europe heighten migrants' suffering.

Last update: Mon, 27/06/2016 - 12:54

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