(Brussels): ActionAid today called on European Union leaders meeting on Libya this week to overhaul principles of co-operation with governments in the Middle East and North Africa, and support member states welcoming people escaping violence and persecution.
“Libyans fleeing massacres and oppression need a unified EU response guaranteeing protection”, said Marco De Ponte, Director of ActionAid Italy.
“We have an urgent moral, political and legal duty to grant relief and asylum to the women, men and children reaching our shores”.
Policies of supporting dictatorships and oppressive regimes to promote interests including energy supply, the arms trade and immigration controls are under intense fire, and the EU must respond says ActionAid.
“It’s time to end shady trading in arms, energy and immigration control, and rise to human rights responsibilities", said De Ponte.
“EU co-operation with the governments of the Middle East and North Africa must be overhauled to place democratic principles firmly before self-interest, and human rights at the heart of our relations”, he added.
ActionAid is also urging officials meeting in Brussels to send a special message to women in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Women are a leading force in change across the region and should receive a clear message from the EU supporting their full participation in building democratic long-term political solutions and inclusive, just societies”, said De Ponte.