Human Rights Council - Statement by Turkey at the Enhanced Interactive Dialogue on the human rights of migrants

Mehmet Ferden ÇARIKÇI 15.06.2015

Mr. President,

We thank both Special Rapporteurs for their presentations.

Turkey welcomes Mr Crépeau's detailed follow-up analysis on the EU border management. This report is another clear indication that the issue of migration needs a far more comprehensive, human rights-based framework.

As mentioned in the report, it is evident that focusing mostly on security is not the right approach to address irregular migration. As the current Chair of the Global Forum on Migration and Development, Turkey believes that efforts to ensure the dignity and well-being of migrants essentially depend on the effective integration of human rights into policies. This vision involves opening more regular migration channels, upholding the duty to protect and effectively pursuing search and rescue operations to save more lives.

The perception about migrant workers that is conducive to rising xenophobia and racism is worrying. Discrimination in any form against migrants should be prevented with all available legal means. Therefore, we would like to reiterate our call on the States to adhere to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers.

On the other hand, we welcome the EU’s recent efforts in response to the situation in the Mediterranean. Likewise, we expect EU Member States to increase their low shares in the global resettlement rates. For effective results, close cooperation with key countries is essential.

As a target country itself, Turkey is multiplying efforts to manage irregular migration. More than 11.000 migrants and 63 smugglers have been apprehended by the Turkish Coast Guard in the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas since the beginning of this year. The number of rescued migrants in this period is about two times higher than the same period of last year.

On minority issues, we carefully examined the report of Special Rapporteur Mrs Izsak and were disappointed to see unfair references to two isolated cases as negative stereotyping of Roma in Turkey.

Citizens of Roma origin are deep-rooted in Turkey's diverse social fabric, to the extent that one of them is recently elected as Member of Parliament. Good practices involving Roma include a five-year long extensive series of national workshops on their problems and solutions, as well as a Strategy and Action Plan, and the establishment of a university research center on Roma language and culture.

Thank you Mr. President.


Sadık Arslan Ambassador

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