Un camino más seguro para obtener asilo

LONDRES – En 2014 más de 190,000 personas arriesgaron su vida mientras cruzaban el Mar Mediterráneo desde el Norte de África hacia Europa. Alrededor de 3,500 perdieron la vida mientras trataban de cruzar la que se ha convertido en la frontera que cobra más muertes en el mundo. No hay duda de que algunos de los que intentaban llegar a Europa estaban buscando empleos mejor pagados. Sin embargo, los orígenes de estas personas que tanteaban su suerte indican que muchos de ellos son refugiados políticos, no migrantes económicos.

Gran parte de los que atravesaron el Mar Mediterráneo el año pasado venían de Eritrea y Siria. Muchos han sido reconocidos formalmente como refugiados por la Agencia de las Naciones Unidas para los Refugiados (ACNUR) en los países de los que en principio huyeron. Alrededor de 90% de aquellos que piden asilo en Europa obtienen algún tipo de protección –una constancia de su estatus como refugiados bona fide.

Es tiempo de que la Unión Europea separe de sus debates globales sobre migración el tema de la crisis del Mediterráneo. Las políticas, lenguaje y respuesta a los acontecimientos que se desarrollan en la frontera meridional de la UE tienen que ser diferentes de aquellos que tienen que ver con el movimiento voluntario de buscadores de empleo de un país seguro a otro. En efecto, el contexto apropiado de la discusión se encuentra en las obligaciones de los países europeos conforme al derecho internacional de refugiados.

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