Wednesday, 23 November 2016
I specifically asked about Ireland's role in upholding the rights of refugees and migrants. We cannot separate the conflict in Syria from the refugee crisis. My party and I have consistently raised concerns about the EU-Turkey migration deal, about which we have major reservations and which has been widely criticised as undermining refugee and migrant rights. As part of the Turkish Government's crackdown post the failed coup, more than 90 journalists have been arrested, 2,500 civil servants have been sacked, while opposition MPs have been imprisoned. In the light of this, can Ireland, as an EU member state, really designate Turkey as a safe country to which to send people who are fleeing the conflict in Syria and beyond? Does the Minister not see the paradox in supporting the EU-Turkey migration deal while calling for countries to abide by humanitarian laws and ensure refugees' rights are upheld?