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BELGIUM: A European call for the regularisation and dignity of undocumented people

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.

Organisations:

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

SNAPAP-CGATA/ Algeria

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