ActionAid International response to European Council decisions on migration

On EU funding for the Libyan coastguard:

 Responding to today's statements by the European Council, ActionAid International warned that boosting EU funding for the Libyan Coast Guard is among the most risky ways possible to tackle migration. 

“Not only are Libyan authorities implicated in brutal torture and sexual abuse of asylum-seekers - some are actually making a profit out of the human trafficking they are supposed to prevent,” said Ene Obi, ActionAid's executive director in Nigeria. "By financing this sinister system, the EU is propping up warlords and escalating conflict across the region." 

 On regional disembarkation platforms:

ActionAid called on European leaders to reject hasty proposals to create processing centres in Africa that would sort and deport so-called “economic migrants” before they set foot on European soil, far from the eyes of European citizens and EU human rights institutions. 

The NGO, which works in 16 countries in Africa and the Middle East, points out that African leaders have expressed grave doubts about this proposal, and such centres could easily become the scene of serious abuses such as those that asylum-seekers already endure every day in Libyan and Moroccan detention centres. 

“Our leaders need to stop treating migration like an ‘emergency’ instead of a structural reality, and drop the dangerous fantasy of creating Fortress Europe through guns and barbed wire,“ said Ana Alcalde, executive director of Alianza, ActionAid’s sister organisation in Spain.  

“People around the world are looking to Europe to stand for justice and sanity. Our leaders must accept the right to free movement of persons, and invest in full integration of migrants within Europe as well as stepping up the fight against poverty, oppression and climate change which are forcing millions to become refugees,” said Marco DePointe, Secretary-General of ActionAid Italy. 

On the proposed Trust Fund for Africa:

“The additional resources that will be allocated to the Trust Fund for Africa can be an effective resource - but only if entirely focused on development, women's rights and the fight against poverty,” said Ene Obi, ActionAid's executive director in Nigeria.

On the Dublin accord:

“We welcome the reaffirmation of European leaders’ intention to reform the Dublin Accord but today’s agreement, which is purely voluntary, must be quickly followed by a process that results in binding commitments,” said DePonte. 



Editors' notes

For more information or to arrange an interview with Ene Obi, ActionAid's Executive Director in Nigeria please contact Ravneet Ahluwalia (