U.N. warns EU plan may break law, fragment migration routes

Reuters News
Posted: Mar 08, 2016 4:41 AM

GENEVA (Reuters) - An agreement between the European Union and Turkey to manage flows of migrants and refugees might break the law if it does not safeguard human rights, and it could fragment migration routes, UNHCR's European director Vincent Cochetel said on Tuesday.

"Collective expulsion of foreigners is prohibited under the European Convention on Human Rights. An agreement that would be tantamount to a blanket return of any foreigners to a third country is not consistent with European law, is not consistent with international law," Cochetel told a regular U.N. briefing.

"It may lead to a fragmentation of the route. As long as the conflict is not solved, it's a myth to believe that the people will not try to leave. It may dissuade some people from leaving through that route, but it won't dissuade everybody."

(Reporting by Tom Miles; Editing by Hugh Lawson)