Pushbacks prevent people seeking asylum from being able to claim protection in the country they are attempting to enter, and can result in their forced return to a country where they face the risk of torture or persecution.
A pushback is when a state actor (like the border police/coast guard of a country or of the EU) pushes people who are looking for international protection back over a border or forcefully returns them to another country without examining their individual case for international protection.
Unfortunately, pushbacks have been reported in far too many EU states, including Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. Illegal under international law, these actions are often violent and can have severe consequences for those seeking protection.
Despite these challenges, there is hope. Although political leaders keep denying any wrongdoing, journalists and international organizations are increasingly documenting instances of pushbacks and violent practices. In every location where pushbacks occur, there is also incredible solidarity of individuals and communities working towards justice, documenting these incidents and supporting survivors.
On June 7th we will have the honour of hosting activists from Poland and Greece who will share their experiences and efforts in fighting pushbacks, protecting the rule of law and those whom this law is supposed to protect. Aideen Elliott, senior policy and research coordinator at Oxfam Ireland will also talk about solutions to these human rights abuses and what people in Ireland can do to demand an end to pushbacks.
We invite you to join us for this crucial discussion and to learn more about the importance of defending the right to international protection.