MINELRES: UNITED: 20 June international Refugee Day

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Jun 22 16:41:50 2007


Original sender: UNITED <donotreply@unitedagainstracism.org>


UNITED MEDIA RELEASE: 20 June international Refugee Day 

***20th June: International Refugee Day***

More than 8.800 dead refugees at Europe's border: death by policy

On the 20th of June, UNITED for Intercultural Action - the largest pan
European network against racism, fascism, nationalism and in support of
refugees and migrants - celebrates the International Refugee Day, along
with its over 550 supporting organisations all over Europe, by
denouncing the deadly consequences of "Fortress Europe". Also in 2007,
UNITED as a network gets active coordinating and supporting all the
organisations which, all over Europe, are raising awareness about the
ongoing tragedy at European borders.

In fact hundreds of organisations in the continent took and take the
International Refugee Day as a common appointment to speak out about the
refugees' issue.

Associations and NGOs are organising a wide range of activities to claim
against detention conditions, deportation procedures, border
militarization and to ask for integration policies. Also, they are
raising awareness about the human side of refugees' issue to promote
refugees? rights and to speak out for dignity of refugees, migrants and
asylum seekers in Europe.

All activities are listed:
http://www.unitedagainstracism.org/pages/act07rfc.htm

POLICY OF DISCRIMINATION

Exodus and forced exile are not new phenomena. People have always been
forced to leave their country either because of persecution based on
religious faith, political opinion or ethnic legacy, or war, economical
conditions or natural disasters. Nowadays, 30 ongoing wars are reported
around the world. The majority of people claiming the refugee status are
in fact trying to escape a country on war, where their lives are in
constant danger. More than 50 years ago, Western and in particular
European countries, insisted and demanded the Geneva Convention in order
to provide an international tool to get protection to those fleeing
Fascist and Nazi dictatorships.

Unfortunately, the growing need for protection is not balanced by a
welcoming attitude from the same countries nowadays. Europe is crossed
by a feeling of fear and distrust towards foreigners coming from poorer
areas of the world. They are seen as people who only want to take
advantage of European social system and thus they are depicted as plague
to society. European countries are engaging themselves in building
higher and higher border walls and in creating an  immigration
legislation that legitimates deportation as a tool for controlling
migration flows. The fight against what is called "illegal immigration"
by politicians and their supporting media is sustained by a real
marketing operation based on the depiction of migrants as a natural
disaster, on the association between migration and terrorism, as opposed
to an enrichment on a cultural and economical level for the hosting
countries.

As a matter of fact, the EU Berlin declaration states: "[..] We will
fight terrorism, organised crime and illegal immigration together [..]".
UNITED claims that this kind of statements are not acceptable,
especially when coming from a public institution or when included in a
governmental document. This kind of statement mixes and confuses
terrorism and delinquency with immigration. It offers a ground for
institutional and large scale discrimination. It does not represent the
views and feelings of all Europeans and surely it does not set a correct
example to each European country?s foreign policy.

Immigration is one of the responses to poverty, persecution and violence
to which Europe has been largely contributing over the past centuries.
European countries have affected the lives of millions of people with
their foreign policies of economical exploitation and have contributed
to international standards for working conditions which are close to
slavery. Mass migration is not responsible for the problems European
countries are experiencing nowadays. On the contrary, European countries
are responsible for most of the causes of migration from poorer
countries.

Migrants are treated and discriminated against as if they were at the
root of all European problems related to criminality, terrorism and
economical difficulties. As a matter of fact, migrants are fleeing the
same problems in their own countries, countries which have been torn in
war and economical crisis by the direct intervention of Western
countries or, in the best case scenario, by their indifference and their
silence.

THE FATAL REALITIES OF FORTRESS EUROPE

Since 1993 more than 8800 persons died in their attempt to reach
"Fortress Europe".

UNITED has been monitoring the deadly results of European immigration
policies by making a list of refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who
lost their lives because of European immigration policy. These deaths
can be put down to border militarization, asylum laws, detention
policies, deportations and carrier sanctions. They are not singular
incidents, but symptoms of policies that no longer see humanity of those
fleeing their homeland.

UNITED collects data on where, when and under which circumstances the
refugees died. All the cases contained in the list are documented. It is
possible to download a PDF version of the list at
http://www.unitedagainstracism.org/pdfs/actual_listofdeath.pdf

This year UNITED integrates its work on the death list developing a new
project called The List Exhibition. The project consists of  a poster
collection of some representative cases compiled from UNITED List of
deaths. These posters are composed with some of the articles UNITED
collects in its archive. The purpose of this project is to raise
awareness about the fact that the victims of Fortress Europe are not
?only? 8800 numbers on a list, but individuals with a background, a life
and hopes.

You can see (and download) posters for the list exhibition at
http://www.unitedagainstracism.org/pages/list-exhibition.htm

--

***********************************************************
We depend on YOUR help in 2007!

UNITED is not rich and has no stable income!
Though far most of the work at the UNITED secretariat is done voluntary
- still money is needed to keep the network functioning in 2007 and to
secure the cooperation and information flow throughout Europe.

Your donation is most welcome:
- in cash to UNITED Postbus 413 NL-1000 AK Amsterdam
- by bank (preferable) to:
UNITED, Postbus 413 NL-1000 AK Amsterdam
Account: IBAN NL77PSTB0002343715, BIC: PSTB NL2A - Bank: Postbank,
Postbus 1800, NL-1000 BV Amsterdam
(From NL: postbank 2343715)

***********************************************************

UNITED is the pan-European network against nationalism, racism, fascism
and in support of migrants and refugees, supported by over 560
organisations in 46 European countries.
How to join the network: see http://www.unitedagainstracism.org 'joining
the network'

UNITED E-NEWS is an irregular email service to over 8500 organisations
and contact persons active in the working  fields: anti-racism, refugee
support, anti-fascism, against antisemitism, migration, minority issues,
intercultural youth work, against nationalism etc.

Regular postal mailings, containing publications such as Addressbook
Against Racism, Calendar of Internationalism, Campaign reports, Posters
etc. are sent to over 2400 European organisations.  If you also would
like to receive this mailing: see http://www.unitedagainstracism.org
'joining the network'

----

UNITED for Intercultural Action
European network against nationalism, racism, fascism and in support of
migrants and refugees
Postbus 413   -  NL 1000 AK Amsterdam - phone +31-20-6834778  -  fax
+31-20-6834582 - info@unitedagainstracism.org  - 
http://www.unitedagainstracism.org


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