The state pushes back: the moral and legal obligations towards asylum seekers in the Aegean Sea

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Apostolou, Orestis
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In recent years, the Aegean Sea has been an area of political tension due to the undermining of human rights. Particularly after 2015 refugee crisis, Europe was found in an unprecedented position, unable to manage the flows arriving from the East. Today the pushbacks of asylum seekers have become a daily practice of Greece's foreign agenda and a tool of political expediency. States have moral and legal responsibilities towards refugees with regard to their treatment and refoulements are contrary to these duties, as they violate the principle of non-refoulement and disrespect human dignity. This paper examines the phenomenon of pushbacks as a state practice within the European Union and the ethical and legal concerns they raise as a challenge to safeguarding human rights. The management of the refugee issue calls into question the moral objectives manifested by the European Union and undermines the validity of international law. The mass expulsions in the Aegean Sea are a plague on the realization of a society of solidarity and make it necessary to mobilize both the European Union and the international humanitarian community to deal with them.
Second semester University: Maastricht University
asylum seekers, refugees, European Union, Greece, repatriation