UN High Commissioner Filippo Grandi: The arrival of migrants in Europe can’t be stopped

Monday, April 18, 2016

There is no need to close state borders, instead, proper reception and distribution of migrants are needed!

The arrival of 'refugees' in Europe is inevitable; it is naive to think that they can be stopped by building border fences said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Monday.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), it is nonsense to talks about "invasion" of Europe; we just need to find ways to deal with the current flow of 'refugees' - there is no cause for alarm.

Filippo Grandi confirmed that since the beginning of the year the flow of refugees from Libya to southern Italy has increased significantly.

The High Commissioner in the meantime, stressed that mass migration in today's world is unstoppable; it is irrelevant whether the newcomers are refugees or economic migrants, - they must be accomodated regardless; it is a bit naive to think that they can be stopped by building border fences.

I understand that opposing mass migration can win votes for certain politicians in the short run said the High Commissioner, but the problem won't go away anytime soon; discord among European states and lack of solidarity that generates mass migration said the UN politician.

Filippo Grandi praised Pope Francis’ decision to take Syrian refugees with him from the island of Lesbos to Vatican; he called the move "an example of good will and a symbolic gesture."

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More than one hundred thousand refugees heading towards the Turkish border in northern Syria reported Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Monday.

The Turkish press already reported last Friday that fighting flared up in northern Syria triggering a new mass migration in the region. Refugee camps in the Syrian side of the border were attacked several times in the past couple of days; as a result, at least 30 thousand people heading towards the Turkish border in the province of Kilis and the situation has since deteriorated further.

In recent weeks fighting flared up across Syria, particularly in the Northern part of the country between pro-government forces, and jihadist organizations, which threatens the collapse of the US-Russian Syrian ceasefire agreement that came into force on February 27.

The international relief organization criticized Turkey's decision to open its border only to injured migrants. Turkey recently tightended its immigration policy introducing stricter control for refugees at the border with Syria.

In addition, MSF criticized the European Union's asylum policy as well. It is unacceptable that the EU focuses on the repatriation of illegal immigrants to Turkey instead of taking steps to protect the Syrian-Turkish border.

(MTI –


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