2014 05 DEC
A senior United Nations official has harshly criticized the UK government’s invective against immigration and described the idea that a core British culture is being threatened by a growing number of immigrants as a “fantasy.”
Francois Crepeau, the United Nation's special rapporteur on migrants’ rights, harshly criticized the UK’s stance on immigration in an interview with The Independent published Tuesday.
“The fantasy is that there is a core British culture that was created probably 2,000 years ago and carried on, and now it's being threatened by all those barbarians that are coming to our gate,” he said.
“This is utter bullshit, but who is going to say this? That is why I think we have a problem with political conversations that we can’t have.”
Crepeau condemned the UK government’s decision in October to end the support for search and rescue operations of migrants in the Mediterranean, called Mare Nostrum. He said that this basically means letting refugees die while they are trying to reach Europe.
“This is what happens, if you don't search and rescue them; they die. If we accept that, I think we go well beyond the moral boundaries of our political system.”
The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights, Francois Crepeau (AFP Photo)
The UK’s Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Joyce Anelay, argued in October that such rescue operations would only encourage more refugees to make the dangerous journey.
However, Amnesty International, as well as other human rights groups, has warned thousands more migrants could die because of this.
‘Control’: Cameron outlines EU migrant benefit caps
Crepeau also addressed the rise of anti-immigration parties across Europe, including Britain’s UK Independence Party (UKIP), blasting the politicians who are not challenging such sentiments.
The Canadian national added it would be “not cool” if the anti-immigration party UKIP was able to influence policy, or formed part of a future government.
Thousands of lives ‘at risk’ as Italy scales down migrant sea rescue op
He also criticized the fact that migrants are illegally employed in the EU, earning well below the minimum wage and living in poor conditions, but too afraid to speak out for fear of being deported.
“We have found a system to subsidize a series of sectors of our economies by people who have no power and can be exploited at will. This was the slavery system in the old days.”
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to cut net migration from hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands before the UK’s next general election, which is scheduled for May 2015.