Statement published by the European Civic Forum on 07/12/2021
We, civic actors from across Europe and Members of the European Parliament are calling on the Belgian government to meet their commitments stated this summer to the negotiators of the Union des Sans-Papiers pour la Régularisation (USPR).
In July 2021, the State Secretary for Migration stated that the hunger strikers’ applications would be considered admissible and fully reviewed and that proof of prior employment, including undeclared work, would be considered positively. This ended a 56 day-long hunger strike and built hope among those asking their fundamental rights to be respected.
4 months later strikers started to get negative answers with government compromises not respected. People whose applications have been refused, have also been given an obligation to leave the territory, and are at greater risk of detention and deportation. Police harassment has increased on the strikers, especially on spokespersons, who are regularly stopped, their identities checked and picked up by the police and then released.
The case of undocumented people in Belgium is not an exception; the lives of undocumented people in many situations across Europe are at stake. Migrants in Calais are also currently undertaking hunger strikes. All around Europe, migrants are victims of systematic violations of fundamental rights and blackmail strategies between countries, as in the EU-Belarus border. Further to this, the coming Pact on Asylum and Migration will exacerbate the challenges and worsen the situation of undocumented migrants across Europe.
Everyone should have access to basic rights and dignity, irrespective of their migration status.
It is urgent to support undocumented people and to uphold their rights. And it is even more urgent in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In light of all this:
- We call on the Belgian government to, firstly, go back to their promises before the strikers and evaluate their demands based on clear criteria. Secondly, to put forward a concrete and durable policy on regularisation.
- We call on the European Institutions to enforce the Conventions Member States are signatories of, notably the European Convention of Human Rights.
For more information on the Union des Sans-Papiers pour la Régularisation, please find a briefing here.
Sign here the letter of solidarity.
European Civic Forum (107 member organisations)
Euromed Rights (68 member organisations)
Equinox – Initiative for Racial Justice
Lifelong Learning Platform (42 member organisations)
SOLIDAR (50+ member organisations)
ARCI (Associazione Ricreativa e Culturale Italiana), Italy
New Europeans, Europe
Institute of Public Affairs, Poland
Greek Forum of Refugees, Greece
Centar za Mirovne Studije, Croatia
Organisation Marocaine des Droits Humains, Morocco
European House Budapest, Hungary
Democracy International, Germany
Irídia – Center for Human Rights, Spain
Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol), United Kingdom
Members of the European Parliament:
Miguel URBAN CRESPO MEP The Left
Cornelia ERNST MEP The Left
Pernando BARRENA MEP The Left
Idoia VILLANUEVA RUIZ MEP The Left
José GUSMÃO MEP The Left
Nikolaj VILLUMSEN MEP The Left
Pernando BARRENA MEP The Left
Leila CHAIBI MEP The Left
Stelios KOULOGLOU MEP The Left
Malin BJORK MEP The Left
Chris MACMANUS MEP The Left
Anja HAZEKAMP MEP The Left
Anne-Sophie PELLETIER MEP The Left
Oezlem DEMIREL MEP The Left
Marc Johan BOTENGA MEP The Left
Sandra PEREIRA MEP The Left
Joao PIMENTA LOPES MEP The Left
Eugenia RODRÍGUEZ PALOP MEP The Left
Sira REGO MEP The Left
Ana MIRANDA Representative BNG at the EP
Ignazio CORRAO MEP Greens/EFA Group
Mounir SATOURI MEP Greens/EFA Group
Niklas NIENAß MEP Greens/EFA Group
Claude GRUFFAT MEP Greens/EFA Group
Salima YENBOU MEP Greens/EFA Group
Rosa D’AMATO MEP Greens/EFA Group
Damian BOESELAGER MEP Greens/EFA Group
Diana RIBA I GINER MEP Greens/EFA Group
Jordi SOLÉ MEP Greens/EFA Group
Saskia BRICMONT MEP Greens/EFA Group
Marie TOUSSAINT MEP Greens/EFA Group
Margrete AUKEN MEP Greens/EFA Group
Pierrette HERZBERGER-FOFANA MEP Greens/EFA Group
Tineke STRIK MEP Greens/EFA Group
Philippe LAMBERTS MEP Greens/EFA Group
Piernicola PEDICINI MEP Greens/EFA Group
Terry REINTKE MEP Greens/EFA Group
Damien CAREME MEP Greens/EFA Group
Ville NIINISTÖ MEP Greens/EFA Group
Pietro BARTOLO MEP S&D
Dietmar KÖSTER MEP S&D
Domenec RUIZ DEVESA MEP S&D
Milan BRGLEZ MEP S&D
Margarida MARQUES MEP S&D
Antoni COMIN I OLIVERES MEP n/a
Clara PONSATÍ OBIOLS MEP n/a
Carles PUIGDEMONT I CASAMAJÓ MEP n/a