Human Rights Commissioner: Bulgaria Cannot Close Borders for Refugees
Nils Muiznieks is the Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights, since April 2012. In an interview for the Bulgarian National Television, he talked about the illegality of building a fence or closing the country's borders with Turkey, to prevent refugees from entering.
"In its policy towards refugees, Bulgaria must not forget its international obligations under signed conventions. The country cannot close its borders with Turkey, or any other neighbor.
Fences are ineffective and too expensive. People will find ways to get around them, and this will be even more dangerous. It would be much wiser to use the money for improving conditions in reception centers and integration policies instead."
Commissioner Muiznieks will visit Bulgaria in December, to acquaint himself with the situation on the ground.
In the Council of Europe's latest report on migration and the freedom of movement, Bulgaria is mentioned several times as a bad example of how the authorities are dealing with the refugee situation.
The report includes recommendations to all member states on how to address the situation more effectively and in accordance with international norms.
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