The refugee crisis going on these days shows us all something more important than the incapacity of the EU institutions and member states to deal with the situation. The refugee crisis shows us all why human rights are important! Human rights should guide primarily the interventions of EU institutions and member states to address the wave of migration these days.
In the last days, many politicians have taken a stand on how to deal with the wave of migration. Viktor Orban sees in refugees a major challenge for Europe Christianity and said that this is Germany’s problem (interesting enough the problem is happening on Hungarian territory!). Robert Fico wants also only Christian migrants in Slovakia and confessed that have failed to integrate “our Roma” and could not face another challenge in integrating refugees. Former Romanian President Basescu said that the situation is a national security issue and that no refugees should be allowed in Romania! Chancellor Merkel met French President to talk about refugees instead of seeking a common solution with all EU member states. Prime Minister Cameron thinks that the solution is to solve the situation in Syria but failed to say how. When pressured by other EU leaders Orban says that Hungarian Police enforces the law and nobody can leave Hungary without being registered. Everybody could see how Hungarian Police abused the refugees, lied to them and deny their access in public places (rail station and trains although the refugees had tickets!). He failed to say why the refugees has not been registered until his speech. Czech Police was even more creative: writing on refugees arms identification numbers! Nazi practices became the norm to treat the refugees.
In fact, de-humanisation of refugees is what is going on in the discourse of many politicians. Human beings are seen as a threat, an imminent one, as potential terrorists, as trouble-makers in our haven. EU leaders once again show that they do not know how to come to a common solution. Thus, each one of them can apply its own rules. Orban found a good way to bust his political support by manipulating and creating waves around a non-issue. But the problem is not the incapacity of EU to find a solution. The problem is that EU leaders do not know how to act to address the issue. Making it a security issue will not help for sure. They should go back to the constitutional treaty. There human rights is affirmed as a core value of the EU! Respecting the human rights of refugees is not only a moral imperative, a legal tool and a pathway to consistently address the issue but it is also a recognition of their humanity and, for that reason, they are endowed with certain rights that cannot be limited because of their citizenship. Respect for human rights means also to pay respect to the dignity of these people, to respect their options and provide opportunity to them so they have this freedom to chose where to settle. Of course, states could still limit some of the wishes of the refugees and should take care of the security. But there is no justification for the conditions in which the refugees are kept: no access to water, food, toilets and basic health care, abused physically and mentally, using nazi practices to transport them and to identify them, etc. Stopping the de-humanisation of refugees should be the emergency measure for the EU!