Despite the fact that the global community is facing the worst refugee crisis since WWII, the European Union (EU) has undertaken aggressive efforts to divert or even block some of the safest pathways. Over 19.5 million people–of the over 60 million displaced people globally– have so far been recognized as refugees, meaning they are people fleeing their countries because of a well-founded fear of persecution from which the government cannot or will not protect them.
Yet rather than providing protection to asylum-seekers and refugees, countries throughout the EU have shut down their borders and forced them to traverse more dangerous routes. Amnesty has reported on the increased securitization of borders along the Eastern Migration Corridor through Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece, and up through the Balkan region into Slovenia and Hungary. As the first entry points into the EU for refugees arriving by land or boat, these countries are required to handle their registration and asylum requests, not attempt to make it more difficult.