Right in the middle of a world sanitary crisis, Belgium tried to cross a new boundary in its migratory policy. The first ‘push back’ ever recorded on the Belgian territory should have taken place Friday 8 May a.m.
E. is 16, she left Syria 5 months ago. Her journey led her to catch a flight from Greece to Belgium. She landed in Airport Brussels on Tuesday 5 May. As soon as she arrived, the authorities immediately tried to put her on a flight back to Greece, with the greatest discretion.
On 6 May, warned by the authorities, the Foreigners Office gave an order to leave the territory (Annex 13) to the young girl and planned a new deportation to Greece on Friday 8 May.
On 7 May, a whistleblower warns of the situation. Several actors urgently put pressure on the Foreigners Office to avoid this new deportation attempt.
Following the ongoing pressure by these different actors towards the Office, the Guardianship service was warned at 3 p.m on 7 May and the young Syrian girl was released in extremis. E. was retained for around 48 hours in the transit zone of the airport.
At no moment E. was allowed to use her right to international protection.
A situation all the more serious since she is minor, therefore vulnerable by definition, and according to article 3 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, she should be protected.
Such a deportation practice also called “push back”, is totally illegal.
This practice that is known to be implemented in Greece, Spain, at the border between France and Italy and many other borders of our continent, with the support of Frontex, was already denounced as illegal by the UNCHR in 2016, notably on the Balkans road. Resorting to that practice is illegal, violent and racist. How does Belgium allow itself to cross a boundary in the cruelty of the treatment inflicted to migrants? Who is hiding behind this kind of recommendation? It is in total contrast to international conventions since it violates the non-refoulement provision of the Convention on Refugees. If that refoulement is the first we are being informed of, we are wondering how many people might already have been subject to it in breach of their rights?!
We denounce all the deportations, all the more when they are applied to children.
Stop to racist policies !
No escalating horror !
No to Push backs