New Humanity Elaborates on the Theme of Solidarity in EU’s Asylum Policy


20 June 2018, Palais des Nations, Geneva

“International Solidarity and Migration” Seminar

Download New Humanity’s Presentation


Coinciding with the 38th ordinary session of the UN Human Rights Council, New Humanity and other NGOs part of the Forum of Catholic-inspired Organizations (CINGO) present in Geneva organized a seminar on International Solidarity and Migration at the Palace of Nations.

Dr. Obiora C. Okafor, new independent expert on human rights and international solidarity, opened the event presenting the topics on which he will focus his attention during his term. Among them, there will be migratory phenomenon and international solidarity.

The Spirit of Solidarity proposed by Pope Francis on the occasion of the World Refugee Day 2018 was at the center of the debate, as well as the key words proposed by the Pope on migration: welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating.

The event was moderated by dr. Jorge M. Dias Ferreira, main representative of New Humanity in Geneva, and was attended by leading experts in the field.

On behalf of New Humanity, prof. Esther Salamanca – professor of international law at the University of Valladolid – presented a study on the theme of solidarity in the European asylum policy by the title “Solidarity in EU’s Asylum Policy: A Difficult but Necessary Pathway”. The study was published on the Sophia review (January – June 2018).

We/They. “The focus should not be placed on “us” – he said at the end of his speech – but on “them”. That is what solidarity really means.”

Three sides of the issue were taken into consideration:

Solidarity in EU’s asylum law. Commonly accepted as one of the cardinal values of the European Union, solidarity in EU’s asylum policy has at least two main components: the respect for the fundamental rights of asylum seekers (human rights-based solidarity) and the fair sharing of responsibilities.

Intra-EU Solidarity. The Dublin system is not an effective structural solidarity mechanism. A reform is needed, capable to address and correct the lack of equality within the Dublin system, which causes the Member States to disregard their personal roles and responsibilities.

EU External Solidarity. Based on the EU policies, the principle of solidarity appears as an “operational principle” and the general objective of the “external solidarity measures” adopted by the EU until now is to increase cooperation with relevant non-EU countries in order to strengthen their asylum and national asylum systems and to ensure compliance with international standards.

Consensus on the principle of solidarity. At the end of her speech, prof. Esther Salamanca launched an appeal aimed at reaching a consensus at national and European level on how to implement the principle of solidarity in a way that human rights of asylum seekers are guaranteed inside and outside the EU (extraterritoriality) while sharing responsibility fairly and equitably between Member States.

The parallel event was co-sponsored by the special procedures for Human Rights Council, the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh and the Holy See at the United Nations, the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) and the CINGO Forum.