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PACE committee urges humanitarian visas for the victims of the earthquake in Türkiye and Syria

Emmanuel Fernandes

The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), meeting on the margin of the Assembly’s plenary session in Strasbourg, has adopted the following declaration:

“On 6 February 2023, massive earthquakes hit Türkiye and Syria, killing tens of thousands of people and the death toll continues to rise. Thousands of buildings have been destroyed and the damage is currently estimated at $100 billion. According to Reuters, 1,300,000 people have been affected and are now without shelter or access to basic living conditions.

Aware of the seriousness of the current humanitarian crisis in the affected areas of Türkiye and Syria, members of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons stand in solidarity with the populations affected by the earthquakes.

Trusting our respective countries to show the solidarity and hospitality they are able to express, they encourage Council of Europe member States to facilitate the issuance of emergency visas to the populations affected by the earthquakes who may wish to be reunited temporarily with their loved ones.

In this respect, the committee welcomes the initiatives already taken by the Belgian, Dutch, German and Swiss authorities to enable such processing. It also calls on member States and their consular services to speed up the examination of family reunification visa requests by those who can claim this right from Türkiye.”