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An open letter to people fleeing war, persecution and poverty

As Europeans, ‪#‎WeApologise‬ on behalf of our national and European leaders for their inexcusable lack of coordinated humanitarian aid to the situation you and thousands of others are in while crossing our borders to escape war, persecution and poverty.

We understand that making this journey was not an easy decision for you and may have involved putting the lives of your loved ones at risk, or worse. We will continue to urge our decision-makers to provide safe and regular channels to the EU, so that your wellbeing does not rest in the hands of people smugglers.

Civil society organisations and thousands of people across the EU are taking a stand despite many governments’ inaction by opening their homes, sharing their food and donating their clothes. We will keep pressuring our politicians to fulfil their humanitarian obligation to ensure the provision of such services rather than leaving it up to individuals or organisations to provide them without support.

The decision you made that led you here to Europe required a lot of courage. We implore our leaders to demonstrate the same courage by coming together to find a pan-European response that respects each individual’s human rights regardless of their status

While several of our leaders seem to have forgotten the EU’s core values of solidarity and human rights, we have not. The EU has the capacity to welcome you with open arms, and the unwillingness to do so is an embarrassment to us. We acknowledge your right to seek refuge in safer regions and to be treated with dignity. We also recognise the contribution that you can make and we will fight to give you this opportunity.
In solidarity,

Social Platform
AGE Platform Europe
ATD Fourth World
Caritas Europa
Center for the Empowerment Youth of people who are living with HIV and AIDS (AS)
Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS
Corelyon Group
European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN)
European Association of Schools of Social Work
European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)
European Citizen Action Service (ECAS)
European Civic Forum
European Council on Refugees and Exiles (ECRE)
European Disability Forum (EDF)
European Environmental Bureau (EEB)
European Federation of Older People (EURAG)
European Federation of Parents and Carers at Home (F.E.F.A.F)
European House Budapest (Hungary)
European Humanist Federation (EHF)
European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development (CONCORD)
European Social Action Network (ESAN)
European Students’ Forum
European Network of National Civil Society Associations (ENNA)
European Network of Social Integration Enterprises (ENSIE)
European Parents Association (EPA)
European Platform for National Non-Profit Umbrella Organisations and for National Associations of General Interest (CEDAG)
European Platform for Rehabilitation (EPR)
European Roma Information Office (ERIO)
European Union of the Deaf
European Volunteer Centre (CEV)
European Youth Forum (YFJ)
Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP Europe)
Hellenic Platform for Development
Inclusion Europe International Council on Social Welfare Europe (ICSW)
Integrationshuset Kringlebakken
International Cultural Youth Exchange Federation
International Federation of Social Workers Europe (IFSW Europe)
International Planned Parenthood Federation European Network (IPPF-EN)
International Union of Tenants (IUT)
Latvijas Platforma attīstības sadarbībai (LAPAS)
Mental Health Europe
National Union of Training and Research Actors in the Field of Social Work (UNAFORIS – France)
Pax Christi International
Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
Portuguese NGDO Platform
Socialpolitisk Forening, Denmark/Danish National Committee of International Council on Social Welfare
The Salvation Army
Transgender Europe (TGEU)

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