The international humanist organisation World without Wars and Violence has issued this statement in regard to the refugee crisis currently affecting Europe.


World without Wars and Violence, World Coordination Team.

September 5, 2015.

In the last 5 years, the world has witnessed a huge increase in the number of migrants, most of them refugees coming from areas experiencing the extreme violence of war, and its accompanying atrocities, and the inhuman suffering that accompanies it. Major migration flows are in Mexico, Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean.

Specifically, it is now more than 15 years, since war was unleased in the Middle East with the direct or indirect involvement of European states. Continuous wars, with thousands of civilian victims and millions of displaced people, have caused incalculable material, environmental and cultural disaster in societies whose human history is older than that of Europe. War, this ultimate form of violence, continues to rage; affecting even more territories than in the beginning, creating even greater violence, destruction and misery for millions of people: migrants and non-migrants alike, refugees and non-refugees as well.

All these years, European countries, for their own reasons (policy, economy, energy), financially and militarily, supported rival factions in areas of conflict, openly and/or covertly. Countries of the EU were not the only ones that fomented and supported this instability, but they, through their governments, business, financial and military institutions, certainly had a large share of participation and responsibility.

The EU must admit its mistakes (intentional or not) of the previous years and finally make serious and effective efforts to end conflict and alleviate the huge humanitarian crisis taking place in the Middle East and North Africa. We must put an end to the tragedy of all those people fleeing from war zones that the EU itself has helped create and to actively recognize the rights of all refugees. Essentially, the EU must stop acting like an “ostrich” look at the problem directly and squarely in the face and with a firm determination to resolve it constructively and positively.

The thousands of dead refugees in the Mediterranean Sea, far from reflecting an enlightened policy, can be identified as a contradiction, a reversal in action of an EU that declares the protection of individual, social and human rights. This is a hypocrisy that has to end.

WWWV urges central administration from the EU to financially and logistically support countries receiving the large wave of refugees and migrants: Greece, Italy, Spain, Malta, Serbia, and Hungary. We also consider important the rapid absorption of refugees in all EU countries depending on the economic situation of each host country.

An important step would also be to also increase the financial and logistical support to countries bordering war zones, while, in cooperation with the U.N., impose a strict embargo on arms sales to rival factions. In addition, the withdrawal of all troops of EU countries located in areas of conflict would be a significant move towards the disengagement of manpower and resources, and redirecting the effort to a speedy absorption of thousands of refugees arriving in EU countries.

Finally, we strongly support the necessary funding and implementation of campaigns for all EU citizens, informing them about the huge humanitarian crisis taking place in the geographical borders of EU, and the rights of refugees that are protected by international treaties. This action could be a great step in developing a culture of solidarity and tolerance for migrants and refugees who are directly threatened by the rise of racial violence occurring in all EU member States.

The EU has at its disposal the resources and the experience to manage, with full respect for human rights, the increasing number of refugees in its territory. We believe that the EU should redirect its values, policy priorities and resources by putting human life at the center, not only of “what is said” but also of “what is done”. This is the EU we all aspire to.

World without Wars and Violence

World Coordination Team