Irish spell out their welcome to refugees

Members of the public joined a coalition of NGOs on Dublin’s Sandymount Strand this Sunday in a solidarity event to welcome refugees to Ireland.

They created a human “Refugees Welcome” aerial photo ahead of an extraordinary meeting of the EU Council of Justice & Home Affairs Ministers on Monday.

Irish spell out their welcome to refugees

Photo by Steve Kingston

The event highlighted a number of calls to action;

- For the Irish government to show leadership and be a strong voice for the rights of refugees and migrants at a European level.

- Urge Member States to work together to develop a comprehensive European plan that provides safe and legal channels of migration, and respond to the severity and scale of the crisis, including planning for and agreeing increased numbers of people seeking protection.

- To focus on developing and implementing a transparent and accelerated process of relocation and resettlement, with clear guidelines and timeframes in place, with an emphasis on expanding legal channels of migration across the European Union including less rigid family reunification measures.

- Address the increasing needs of people not in receipt of even the most basic assistance. While the EU has taken steps to present a plan, Member States have a responsibility to provide basic protection and services for those whose situation is worsening by the day.

- Immediately suspend the return mechanism Dublin Regulation in Ireland and call on other European Union Member States to do likewise.

- The Irish and European response to encompass the full range of issues at stake, including obligations under international law and commitments to international development.

- Call on EU member states to address the root causes of forced migration such as the situation in Syria and invest in urgent political solutions to conflict and inclusive socio-economic development across Africa and the Middle East.

- Continue the vital search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean throughout the winter, and to agree a new life-saving strategy for arrivals through Greece and the Balkans.

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