On May 14th, citizens across the world will come together to stand up for human rights for refugees. From Chicago to Brisbane and from Belfast to Athens people are taking the streets in solidarity with refugees.
Join us in The Hague on this day and let’s make our voices heard!
14:00 Opening at Vredespaleis Den Haag~ International Court of Justice
14:15 Speeches and music
15:30 March for Refugee Rights
from the Peace Palace to the Lange Voorhout
16:00 Manifesto signing on the “Wall of Humanity”,
Program continues on Lange Voorhout,
hanging of wishes, drawings, protest letters
Dance for Solidarity
Nabil Alaydi – Palestinian refugee from Syria
Ewoud van den Berg – Comité 21 maart/Internationale Socialisten
Dhjana – Geen kind aan de kant
Carla van Os – Rijksuniversiteit van Groningen (before Defence for Children)
Azar Moshaver – Amnesty International Den Haag
ABOUT THE INITIATIVE
Much has happened since we stood together on February 27th to demand safe passage and to stand up for refugee rights. The “Fort Europe” which we so feared has become a grim reality.
On March 18th a deal was signed between the EU and Turkey. Our leaders Mark Rutte and Diederik Samsom played a crucial part in this disastrous agreement. They are the major architects of a deal that has cost not only vulnerable lives but also our human dignity, causing unnecessary suffering for the over 50.000 refugees trapped in Greece.
So once again we stand up to call on Dutch and European leaders to fulfill their obligations to guarantee the human rights of refugees, safe passage and humane shelter both here in The Netherlands as well as in Greece, Turkey and all member states of the EU.
Lee A. Tolman
Marianne van Leeuwen
Crew of volunteers from The Refugee Circle
Amnesty International Nederland || Amnesty International Den Haag || Comité 21 maart || Emcemo, Euro-Mediterraan Centrum voor Migratie en Ontwikkeling || Geen kind aan de kant || Grenzeloos || Internationale Socialisten || Nederland Bekent Kleur || Nederlands-Griekse Mediacirkel || Platform Stop Racisme en Uitsluiting || ReInform || Vluchtelingen-Welkom.nl || Wij Zijn Hier ||
Much has happened since we stood together on February 27th to demand safe passage and to stand up for refugee rights. “Fortress Europe” has become a grim reality. So once again we stand here to call on Dutch and European leaders to fulfill their obligations to guarantee the human rights of refugees, safe passage and humane shelter here in The Netherlands as well as in Greece, Turkey and all member states of the EU.
On March 18th a deal was signed between the EU and Turkey. Our leaders, Mark Rutte and Diederik Samsom, played a crucial role in this disastrous agreement. They are the major architects of a deal that is not only causing unnecessary suffering for the over 50.000 refugees trapped in Greece, but also violates international human rights treaties. And the effect of the deal reaches far beyond the borders of Greece. New European border closings and national laws discriminating against refugees are no longer an exception. With the closing of the southern border with Syria, we are now experiencing not only “Fortress Europe” but also “Fortress Turkey”. Syrians fleeing bombs and terror are trapped, and those attempting to cross have been shot at and in some cases even killed.
The lasting effect of this agreement is uncertain, but the current effect is painfully clear:
• With the blockage of the Balkan route, refugees have been forced to remain in conditions which are inadequate and severely overcrowded with lack of privacy, food and insufficient sanitary conditions. Yet the findings of Amnesty International and volunteers on the ground have fallen on deaf ears.
• There has been a grave lack of information on human rights and inadequate access to the registration and asylum process in Greece. Many asylum seekers are struggling to apply using a Skype-based system with access being near to impossible.
• Volunteers helping refugees – people like you and me – have had their invaluable work obstructed; some have even been detained and arrested by local Greek police and Frontex, the EU border force.
• According to Save the Children an estimated 2.000 unaccompanied children who travelled alone or lost their families are now stranded in Greece without adequate shelter.
• And in our backyard – in France – there are 3.000 unaccompanied minors living in limbo.
• A shocking 10.000 child refugees have just disappeared, children at risk of abduction, violence and sexual exploitation. Mind you, these are children who have fled violence and conflict expecting Europe to be a safe haven.
Doctors without Borders as well as other NGO’s and UN officials have openly denounced the illegality of the agreement. An agreement with a country that by no means can be considered “safe”: according to a recent Amnesty International study Turkey sent back hundreds of Syrians to their war-torn homeland where hospitals and medical centers continue to be targets.
This is an agreement that doesn’t even fulfil its basic goal of saving lives: in the past months over 500 refugees have died in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean.
Europe’s response to this humanitarian crisis is shameful!
In three days Mark Rutte, Diederik Samsom and the rest of the EU leaders determined the fate of hundreds of thousands of refugees. If the EU was able to close this deal in three days then how is it that the EU Emergency Relocation Program – agreed upon by member states in September 2015 – has been unsuccessful? Why is it that refugees seeking asylum still fall prey to smugglers and drown? Our government can no longer turn away from its responsibility. We therefore demand the following:
• Recognize the right of every refugee to request asylum and their right to appeal.
• Provide efficient and proper legal assistance to the 50.000 currently detained in Greece and send asylum agents to help Greek authorities as promised.
• Provide safe, healthy accommodations for all refugees but especially for those with special needs and unaccompanied minors.
• Allow unaccompanied minors to be reunited with their families as stipulated by the European Treaty for Human Rights. Also ensure that current status holders in Europe may request family reunion on a timely basis.
• Accept asylum seekers from Greece under the EU Emergency Relocation Program.
• Allow legal and safe passage for those fleeing war and hunger. Permit refugees to seek asylum by granting humanitarian visa applications, family reunion and asylum requests in foreign embassies.
• Stop the bombing in Syria and demand that Aleppo be included in the cease-fire zone.
SUPPORT US HERE
Our citizen initiative is fully sponsored by private citizens, volunteers and activists. We have started a modest crowdfunding campaign to cover our budget: http://www.worldofcrowdfunding.com/human-rights-4-refugees-hague-may-14-2016
Every donation is welcome!
Press statement (Dutch): http://news.smart.pr/awarenessengineers/demonstratie-voor-vluchtelingenrechten-bij-vredespaleis-den-haag-2