Article 14: Asylum from Prosecution

  1. Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
  2. This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

One country has the obligation to protect victims of persecution from another country. Oftentimes this will be seen when people have to flee their country because they risk – or are –  being unlawfully prosecuted in their own country.  The reasons for having to flee one’s country are many, but oftentimes it is based on people being prosecuted based on political opinions, religion, nationality, ethnic minority, social standing, and war. The asylum seekers have to prove that they are in fact in danger of prosecution. If this is the case they have the right to be granted asylum and are considered refugees. This means that the country has to accept them and their job is to not violate the refugees Human Rights. Furthermore, the country must not send the refugee back to the country they came from as long as the threat of unlawful prosecution is present. 

In Europe, only about 25% of the asylum seekers are actually granted asylum. The rest are most often deported back to the country from which they fled. However, until an asylum seeker’s case has been processed and determined, the asylum seeker has the right to stay in the country. In recent years huge amounts of asylum seekers fleeing from war, prosecution, and poverty come to Europe for protection. Many of the countries do not have the capacity to cope with the amounts of asylum seekers, as the processing of cases can take a long time. Therefore more and more refugee camps are seen throughout Europe, in which many have horrible living conditions. 

In Greece, the refugee camp Moria is housing asylum seekers beyond its capacity. With the massive amount of people arriving to seek asylum, Greece simply does not have the capacity to go through the huge amounts of applications for asylum. This means that currently there are living approximately 13000 people in the camp, even though it is only built to house 3000 people. This results in horrible living conditions for the humans living there. There is no electricity, not enough water, broken tents, and no protection from the cold during winters.  The lack of help or cooperation from the rest of the European countries is greatly criticized around the world and within Europe itself.

Written by Nanna Orloff Mortensen

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