Secret Balkan Camps built to hold UK asylum seekers (vom 16.06.2003),
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[16. Jun 2003]

Secret Balkan Camps built to hold UK asylum seekers

"In an attempt to crack down on rising levels of illegal immigration" Asylum-seekers arriving in Britain will be shipped to an "offshore" camp in Croatia as part of a radical move to process all asylum claims outside European Union borders, the British newspaper The Observer can reveal."

"The Croatian camp will hold up to 800 people. It has been built in at the village of Trstenik, 30 miles from Zagreb near the town of Dugo Selo. The £1 million centre, funded by the European Commission, will take refugees arriving at British ports and airports from the Balkans and eastern Europe."

"Britain"s vision of Europe"s future asylum policy. The proposals have two main pillars. The first, of which the Croatian camp is the vanguard, are plans to set up a regional network of "transit processing centres" outside the EU. Here asylum- seekers would lodge their claims and be detained while they are being processed.

The camps will be placed in countries bordering the EU creating a "buffer zone" from asylum seekers. Countries likely to play host to such camps include Russia, Belarus, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine and Albania."

"Britain wants the camps to be managed by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with a screening system approved by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). Any applicants who are rejected will then be returned to their own countries." Almost certainly also by the IOM, which in that lights appears as a "catch - intern - return" - agency.

First, without such an internationally active organisation the scheme would be difficult to implement and IOM seems crucial to any such plans.
Second, Britain and certainly some others obviously aim to circumvent the UNHCR by even giving IOM authority to "screen" - not to orderly process - the asylum claims.

In order to fight these plans a campaign must run along three lines, in the UK, against IOM, and where the camps are, hence first in Croatia.

(Quelle/Source: The Observer, Sunday June 15th 2003)