Refugee Crisis: Statement on European Union and Turkey

Andreas Papp, International Director of Emergency Response at SOS Children’s Villages, responds to the ongoing European Union negotiations with Turkey to reach an agreement on refugees.
VIENNA, Austria, March 8, 2016 -- Following is the statement of Andreas Papp, International Director of Emergency Response at SOS Children’s Villages, in response to the ongoing European Union negotiations with Turkey to reach an agreement on refugees.
 
“No child who has had to flee armed conflict should then have to endure barriers – be they razor wire or intolerance – upon arrival in Europe. Children and young people who have grown up surrounded by death, hardship and dislocation need to be welcomed with care and love, not more trauma and hatred.
 
“Young refugees need – and have a right to – special protection, as affirmed in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 22), and children enjoy special protection under the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (article 24). Protecting child refugees and migrants, and especially unaccompanied or separated children, must be the priority. We call on European leaders to create a humanitarian corridor and allow safe passage for children and their immediate families. More barriers are neither a sound policy nor a humanitarian response when it comes to vulnerable children.”