As early as this Monday, Greece could begin deporting thousands of migrants who have arrived in the country after March 20 as part of an European Union(EU) sanctioned planned to fix the continent's migrant crisis.
Humanitarian concerns about the process has prompted the United Nations(UN) refugee agency, UNHCR, to urge Greece and Turkey to provide more safeguards for asylum seekers before the deportations begin, the Associated Press(AP) reported earlier today.
The final process clearing the way for the mass deportations was achieved on Friday when the Greek legislature passed fast-tracked legislation by 169-107 to allow for deportations to start as early as Monday, April 04, 2016. Last month, the EU and Turkey forged a deal to allow for the deportation of migrants to Turkey from Greece, while allowing for the settlement of the said number of deportees for Syrian asylum seekers. Also, for its participation in the scheme, Turkey got an EU promise to fast-track visa-free travel for Turks within the EU and another fast-track of discussions on Turkey's membership into the EU.
Rights and humanitarian groups have opposed the EU-Turkey deportation deal because it lacks individualized due process to asylum for all migrants. Also, Amnesty International, which opposes the deal, said yesterday that it had evidence of Turkish authorities returning Syrians across the border to their conflict-worn land. According to the AP, Amnesty International said Turkey has been expelling 100 men, women and children daily since mid-January.
Hence, Afghans, Pakistanis, Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis and other migrants in Greece and in Turkey, are in danger of having escaped conflict, of now being returned to radicalization, conflict and hardship - hardly a humanitarian solution to Europe's migrant woes.