EU denies deploring conditions for Gambians, others in asylum camps


Mustapha K Darboe

The office responsible for migration, home affairs and citizenship within the European Union, has denied claims that irregular migrants are living deplorable conditions in the asylum camps in Italy and other EU countries.

Milica Petrovic, the spokesperson for the office told torchongambia in an email interview that the EU is committed to giving decent reception and living conditions for all migrants who have arrived at their shores.

“All Member States of the European Union have to comply by the rules laid out in the Common European Asylum System (CEAS)…This also includes providing decent reception conditions, as set out in the Asylum reception Conditions Directive,” Petrovic wrote.

Recently, there were criticisms against the EU over the living conditions of migrants in some of their asylum camps as well arson attacks on their residence especially in Germany and Italy.

In May during his farmers’ tour to the rural Gambia, the President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has challenged the EU to allow the Gambia Radio and Television Services into their asylum camps which, he said, are in a poor state.

“Member States have the competence to actually process asylum applicants – according to established rules of the CEAS and the UN Refugee Convention – and issue a decision. In May, we have put forward a European Agenda on Migration, which seeks to comprehensively approve migration policy in the EU,” Petrovic wrote.

“Migration has been a priority for this Commission since President Juncker took office. Both at technical and political level, the Commission has been working day and night  over the summer to prepare the grounds for a new legislative proposal for a permanent emergency relocation mechanism, for a common EU list of safe countries of origin, for more legal migration channels. We now count on Member States to implement the European Agenda on Migration.”

Pressure continues

On August 22, more than 2,000 migrants and refugees have been rescued from boats off the coast of Libya in one of the biggest single-day operations mounted, Italy’s coastguards have said.

Migration into EU has reach its all-time high with more than 250,000 migrants said to have survived the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in 2015.

The International Organisation for Migration announced on Thursday, August 20, that a total of 255,152 migrants had arrived in Europe via the Mediterranean Sea in 2015.

According to an IOM infographic, Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta were the top four destinations in terms of migrant numbers with Italy receiving 103,864 people.

It also said the most common migrant-sending countries are Eritrea, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Afghanistan, Albania, Pakistan, Iraq, Mali, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau and Gambia.


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