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Corien Jonker calls for "a sound and realistic return policy overall in Europe"

“It is of great importance that discussions concerning the highly sensitive issue of forced returns continue at national and international levels, between the political and humanitarian actors,” Corien Jonker (Netherlands, EPP/CD), Chair of the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, said today at the opening of a two-day seminar on migration in Strasbourg organised by the French Red Cross and the Council of Europe. “The clash between reception and return is deepening in our member states, especially in the context of the current economic crisis. We need to work towards a sound and realistic return policy overall in Europe,” she continued.

Regarding the issue of unaccompanied minors, Mrs Jonker said that they should be identified and treated separately from adults. “Adequate reception and care facilities should provide for the basic needs of minors and in particular their health and educational needs,” she added, referring to the recommendation adopted in 2005 by the Assembly on the “Protection and assistance for separated children seeking asylum”.
She finally expressed her admiration for the invaluable work carried out on the ground by the Red Cross and encouraged it to continue its humanitarian work for the benefit of minors, irregular migrants, refugees, and others.