Report: Pushed Back at the Door

25.01.2017: NGOs from five Easter EU Members States have published a report about the current situation concerning «push-backs» by european police authorities at the borders. The lack of transparency and proper oversight of border control practices result in the violation of the principle of non-refoulement

The report ‘Pushed Back at the Door’ by NGOs from five Eastern EU Members States (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia) presents a bleak picture of Europe’s response to the biggest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Increased border control and the construction of physical and legal barriers restricting access to protection for people fleeing war and terror characterize this ‘scary new’ reality. The political discourse shaping legislative and policy measures in the participating countries is centred around issues of security and terrorism, while little or no room is left for the obligation to grant the right to asylum and to protection.

The report makes several recommendations so that this ‘scary new’ reality could not be considered as the new normal. Among others, states are urged to fully respect relevant human rights obligations, to introduce effective border control mechanisms with involving external actors in monitoring and training their staff, and to allow access to border check-points to facilitate transparency and adherence to human rights. NGOs and international organizations are encouraged to cooperate in producing information materials for asylum-seekers and establish cross-border cooperation to follow up on human rights violations.