A group of researchers presented, on July 29 in Tunis, the first book of the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) on migration policies of the European Union (EU) in the southern Mediterranean and Tunisia. The topics discussed are mobility, visa issues and the fight against human trafficking in the context of irregular migration which has made Tunisia a bridge to Europe.
According to the researchers, EU countries do not respect the rights related to migration because the visa has become, for them, a tool of exclusion which does not respect human rights.
FTDES also found that the bill drafted by the Tunisian government on the right to asylum does not correspond to the standards and includes articles that do not respect human rights. This bill involves the creation of a Council for Irregular Migration composed of representatives of civil society and the Ministries of Defense and the Interior. From the researchers' point of view, the position of civil society within this council must be strong and the approach adopted must not focus solely on security.
FTDES also found legal violations by companies granting Schengen visas, imposing extra costs on visa applicants stemming from a purely lucrative approach. The first FTDES book also examined the subject of irregular migration in Tunisian criminal case law, stressing the importance of amending the law that determines the entry and exit of persons from Tunisian territory to clarify certain concepts such as irregular migration and its legal framework. During the presentation of this first book, attendees also emphasized the importance of setting clear migration policies with the EU, stressing that Tunisia must know how to deal with migrants coming from Africa and not only protect the EU's maritime borders.
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