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Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Airlines Are Not Immigration Authorities

European states seek to reduce immigration through improper threats of sanctions against airlines and other transport companies. They pass heavy responsibility on to the carriers in order to limit access to their territories, said the Commissioner for Human Rights, Thomas Hammarberg.

Travel personnel, who cannot possibly have the appropriate competencies for ensuring the rights of refugees under international law, have been made to decide if someone should be allowed to board an airplane or ship – or not.

For a refugee in need of international protection this is a serious barrier, as one must gain access to a state’s territory in order to seek and possibly obtain asylum. Not everyone who fears torture or repression has the proper documents to travel, especially if he or she fears persecution from national authorities, who control the issuing of passports and other travel documents.  (more ...)

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