EU Crackdown on Illegal Migrants, Refugees Worry Filipinos in Europe

A crackdown ordered by the Council for the European Union against undocumented migrants and refugees is getting 746, 701 Filipinos in Europe worried – about 138,088 of them identified as irregular tourists.

The crackdown called “Mos Maiorum” was approved by the Council last July and began rounding up undocumented migrants last October 13 until October 26 in the EU-member countries.

Illegal migrants, once caught will face deportation.

Migrante International, a global alliance of overseas Filipinos said “Mos Maiorum’’  is in direct violation of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

“These conventions do not discriminate against undocumented and irregular migrant workers,’’ Garry Martinez, Migrante International chairperson said.

Being undocumented is never reason to be stripped of one’s fundamental human rights saying that they are able to assert their claims and are more vulnerable to abuses.

Martinez said undocumented migrants and refugees should not be marginalized as they provide solutions to labor shortages or the clamor for cheap labor in host countries especially in times of economic crisis.

“Mos Maiorum only makes them more susceptible to grave abuses and human rights violations,” Martinez added.


Overseas Filipino workers and migrants in Europe have expressed grave concern after ore than 20,000 police officers have been deployed in massive operations that saw them making rigid checks in airports, stations, trains, main roads and highways to house raids.

The main objective of the operations is to actively hunt down undocumented migrants and arrest as many as possible within the time frame of its implementation.

“We call on the European Union to call for a stop  to this inhumane operation. Under the guise of going after crime and trafficking syndicates, Mos Maiorum giving license to EU authorities and police to indiscriminately arrest and violate the rights of irregular migrants, and promote xenophobia and racial discrimination,” Martinez said.

Martinez said that while they fully support moves to prevent human trafficking, Migrante believes that “Mos Maiorum’’ will not solve but rather further exacerbate the problem.

Instead of arresting irregular migrants and treating them as criminals, their status should be rectified because it makes them more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation by crime syndicates.

“Mos Maiorum is being implemented at a time when health epidemics, civil wars and conflicts in the Middle East-North Africa region and elsewhere in the world continue. Millions of people are on the run because of these. Such a situation makes it a tool for crime and trafficking syndicates to intensify their activities. Constricting borders and implementing stringent immigration policies will not only cost lives but will also worsen trafficking in persons in the region, Martinez said.

Migrante International has supported the international campaign for the de-criminalization and legalization of undocumented migrants and refugees.

(Source: Manila Bulletin, with a report from Samuel Medenilla)

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker