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Jorrit Rijpma: Talks on pushbacks badly needed

Members of Parliament will soon be discussing with various organisations what the Netherlands can do to stop pushbacks, a policy where migrants are forced back at the European borders.

Jorrit Rijpma

Forcing migrants back at the European borders is illegal and violates human rights. But it still occurs on a large scale: last year at least 11,000 cases were reported involving pushbacks, mainly on the borders with Serbia, Romania, Hungary, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dutch newspaper Nederlands Dagblad (€) reported in an article. 

Professor of European Law Jorrit Rijpma is a member of the Meijers Committee, Standing Committee of Experts on International Migration, Refugee and Criminal Law. Among other things, this Committee advises on migration policy. A discussion about the pushbacks is badly needed, he says in the article. 'Pushbacks seem to becoming more and more normal, even though they are terrible actions. We therefore believe that the Dutch government should urge the European Commission to bring violations of the ban on pushbacks before the Court of Justice.'

In addition, the Committee insists on proper instruction of Dutch coastguards in joint operations at the borders, says Rijpma. 'We know that reports of migrants beings chased back partly came to light through information provided by Swedish and Danish coastguards. They refuse to be a part of the pushbacks that were carried out under the coordination of border agency Frontex. It is important that Dutch coastguards also know that they must refuse and report orders that could lead to pushbacks.'

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