Taroudante - German lawmakers have voted on a proposal to add Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to a list of "safe countries of origin," in a bid to reduce the number of asylum-seekers in Germany.
Taroudante – German lawmakers have voted on a proposal to add Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to a list of “safe countries of origin,” in a bid to reduce the number of asylum-seekers in Germany.
According to Germany’s international broadcaster DW, 422 German lawmakers in the lower house of parliament voted on Friday in favor of a law classifying the three North African countries as “safe countries of origin.”
The law, which needs to be approved by the Bundesrat – Germany’s upper house of parliament – before it can be implemented, will allow German authorities to proceed in sending asylum-seekers from those countries back to their homes of origin.
The move was strongly criticized by human rights associations and some political parties, including Germany’s Greens.
“Human rights in the Maghreb are in a bad way,” Greens foreign affairs expert Jürgen Trittin told the German newspaper “Saarbrücker Zeitung” on Friday.
“These are not safe countries of origin. Period,” Trittin argued, urging German states with Green representation to vote against the proposed change when it comes before the Bundesrat.
Leaders from Germany’s biggest social organizations, including the Gay and Lesbian Federation also expressed their disapproval for the new law.
Diakonie President, Ulrich Lily, said “Classifying these three countries as safe countries of origin and deciding in future on the asylum applications with a fast-track procedure affects the core of the fundamental right to asylum – the right to individual examination.”
North African migrants have been a subject of concern in Germany, ever since members of a crowd of “mostly North African men” allegedly committed hundreds of sexual assaults and petty thefts against women during the New Year’s celebrations in Cologne.