Kolkata, portraits.Today (1 September), European Commission Vice President Timmermans and Commissioner Avramopoulos are visiting the Calais migrants crisis. They are both continuing their European Borders Tour to Kos (Greece) next Friday, to Traiskirchen (Austria) and Rosenheim (Germany) on 7 September.

A few  days ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that Germany will not return Syrian refugees to the EU country they entered first. “Germany is formally and politically breaching the ‘Dublin logic’ and through it, the EU approach towards the European Common Asylum System, stated today Raffaele K. Salinari, Chair of Terre des Hommes International Federation. This is both good and bad news.

Good news because a EU member state is finally showing that Dublin is an anachronistic system that cannot respond adequately to todays’ migration and asylum reality, a system that has clearly generated the failure of the European asylum policy. We have been saying that for years concerning children, and here we are. Bad news because Germany is introducing the idea of ‘premier and second league refugees’. As international NGO specialized in protecting children on the move, we are calling for the international community to establish and adopt a new international approach of refugee children in which not a single element of discrimination can be considered. Any child fleeing war, persecution, violence, poverty is a child entitled to international protection wherever, without any kind of nationality, migration or any other status that can be discriminatory.”

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Non-discrimination is a key principle of the Rights of the Child, as per the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Such principle underpins the Sustainable Development Goals related to Migration that are about to be adopted in few weeks in New York.

“The commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ has been a key feature of all the discussions on the post-2015 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, said Ignacio Packer, Secretary General of Terre des Hommes International Federation. Today, not only governments are about to explicitly endorse the SDGs migrant-related goals and targets at the UN Summit next 25th-27th September, but there should also be a strong commitment and actions to translate these into national policies and budgets. As Terre des Hommes, we have strongly engaged so that SDGs become an international instrument to ‘End Violence Against Children’, all children, no matter their migration status”, concluded Ignacio Packer.

…the European ‘Splits’

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“How are European Heads of States, Governments and EU institutions going to explain us, as citizens, such a gap and contradiction: asked Salvatore Parata, Head of European Office at Terre des Hommes International Federation. From one side, the EU and European nations will adopt the SDGs in few weeks and commit to an international governance of ‘Migration’ based on non-discrimination and ‘no violence’ principles, on the other hand, they have not been able to agree and adopt a common European migration response to save lives and protect refugee children, who continue dying at the door of Europe. Worse, they are now dying at internal EU borders and during their journeys on the EU territory. What a shame on Europe”.

Last Saturday 29th August early afternoon, a 17-year old young refugee was shot and killed close to the island of Symi in Greece, during a pursuit operation and armed confrontation between the Hellenic Coast Guard, a vessel assigned to FRONTEX Poseidon operation and smugglers, as reported by the Hellenic Guard Costs and Greek Press.

More information on Terre des Hommes operations in Sicily

FARO Project, a project to provide support for unaccompanied minors in Sicily

Know more on Destination Unknown Campaign to protect children on the move.