The Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) has launched a campaign on 10 April to remind voters of the power they have in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections to ensure protection for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees. Using the hashtag format of social media, they are calling the campaign #ThePowerofVote.
What makes the campaign all the more urgent is the serious threat to EU common values and principles in recent times. A shift in the culture has meant that there is now in some parts of Europe an absence of safe and legal pathways to protection. Also apparent is the extensive use of detention of asylum seekers and the worsening shortage of dignified living conditions.
Speaking at the launch, David Moriarty, JRS Ireland Assistant Director, said: “European citizens have the power to vote for a Europe that remains true to its founding values and principles – a Europe that leaves no one behind. This #ThePowerofVote campaign is calling on all citizens to stand up for the fate of asylum seekers and refugees in Europe.”
The campaign will ask citizens to vote for:
- A Europe of Protection through the establishment of enhanced safe and legal pathways to access European territory
- A Europe of Dignity by creating humane and dignified reception facilities for people in need of protection
- A Europe of Liberty by stopping the detention of vulnerable people, including children, and utilising alternatives to detention
- A Europe of Equality by making the integration of all citizens, including asylum seekers, refugees and forced migrants, a reality
In conclusion, Mr. Moriarty added: “The next European Parliament will play a crucial role in shaping EU policy. It must strive towards the creation of an inclusive society for all. In advance of the elections, JRS will be campaigning in over 20 countries with one simple message: This May, go to vote because you have #ThePowerofVote!”
The Power of Vote website is available at: www.thepowerofvote.eu.
For further comment, please contact David Moriarty (Assistant Director, JRS Ireland) at 086-6028533.