The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has said there are at least 380,000 people that are seeking refuge in Europe every year, and the European Union should work to take in more migrants.
Currently, the EU is increasing the number of asylum seekers it takes in through legal channels at a rate of 20,000 per year, but the UNHCR said the increase is not enough. The group has called for a double-digit increase in numbers and said the new proposal to accept migrants in Africa could facilitate a growth in numbers, Austrian newspaper Kurier reports.
Ruth Schöffl, a spokesman for the UNHCR, said: “We welcome these new ideas as we expect the number of resettlements to increase.”
“The possibility of resettlement is naturally linked to the fact that the illegal migration is stopped,” she added.
Schöffl touted the “stability” of Europe compared to other parts of the world saying: “Europe is very stable compared to other continents, there are more than one million refugees in Uganda alone.”
Not everyone is happy with the new plan to have asylum seekers in Africa make their claims in Africa before coming to Europe.
Pro-migrant activist group ProAsyl slammed the policy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying: “It is inconceivable that the Chancellor has betrayed European values in such a way and then talked nicely pretending that it does not exist.”
Meeting With African Leaders, Macron Calls For Migrant Processing Areas in Niger, Chad
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 29, 2017
The plan to have migrant reception areas in North Africa or on islands in the Mediterranean is not a new idea having initially been put forward on numerous occasions by politicians like Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz.
Earlier this week, the German government signed a new agreement with the Egyptians to open an asylum reception centre in the North African country. The French have also been in discussions with Chad and Niger to open similar reception facilities.
Niger, according to a report from the EU border agency Frontex, is one of the main hubs of West African migration to Europe.