Amnesty International lays out welcome mats for Hague refugee debate

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Amnesty International lays out welcome mats in The Hague for refugee debate, September 10th, 2015 (Picture: Twitter/@amnestynl). (Amnesty International lays out welcome mats in The Hague for refugee debate, September 10th, 2015 (Picture: Twitter/@amnestynl))

Amnesty International placed hundreds of "welcome" doormats on the Plein in The Hague on Thursday morning in a call on the Dutch government to receive refugees with open arms. This was done in preparation for the parliamentary debate on Thursday.

"Because of the strict controls at Europe's external borders, there are fewer escape routes. This has made the crossing much more dangerous. To prevent people drowning at sea, suffocating in trucks or getting stuck at railway stations, safe escape routes are needed", according to Eduard Nazarski, director of Amnesty International.

According to the organization, Prime Minister Mark Rutte needs to show leadership by immediately accepting the proposal on redistributing refugees in Italy, Greece and Hungary, contributing to the resources required for humanitarian aid in Syria's neighboring countries and by creating more safe and legal routes for those fleeing to Europe.

"All countries of the European Union have pledged to abide by the UN refugee Convention. That means they have to protect refugees. Looking away is inhumane. The EU countries have to take in a fair share of refugees. The Netherlands too", said Nazarski.

This call on Prime Minister Rutte is supported by ActionAid. OxfamNovib, PAX and Vluchtelingenwerk. Amnesty International has also set up an online petition with this call. So far it has been signed by more than 62 thousand people.

 

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