Asylum Criminalisation in Europe and Its Humanitarian Implications / United against Inhumanity

Elektronisches Dokument
Armed conflict is driving more and more people from their homes. People also flee to escape the lack of human security linked to structural violence, persecution and oppression. The total number of people uprooted against their will reached a record 68.5 million in 2018 according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Upward trends are set to continue given geo-strategic power shifts, climate change, the prevalence of unregulated warfare and the dynamics of the global arms trade.


EU policies include a criminalization agenda that denies the humanity of those fleeing war-zones and widespread persecution. The EU has thwarted the efforts of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean where untold numbers have perished in recent years. On land, the EU and its member states have pursued a raft of measures to obstruct support for people in need of refuge. Such measures include intimidation, misinformation on the motives and practices of people involved in humanitarian work, allegations of disruptive behaviour and the arrest of NGO staff and individuals accused of smuggling or facilitating illegal entry to the EU.

The dehumanization of asylum seekers and others in need of safety led United Against Inhumanity (UAI) to commission research to gain an improved understanding of the EU’s criminalization agenda and its implications from a humanitarian perspective. This note sets out the context and the issues analysed in Sarah Hammerl’s report: Asylum Criminalisation in Europe and its Humanitarian Implications. It identifies some of the measures UAI plans to pursue in collaboration with concerned stakeholders to challenge the harm inherent in EU policies.