EuropeHuman Rights

EU rights watchdog warns UK govt. over migrant rhetoric

saberimoghaddam20130330122321800Human rights commissioner of the European Council has accused British politicians of shameful rhetoric against migrants.

Referring to recent moves by the UK government to restrict migrants’ access to social provisions, Latvian activist Nils Muiznieks warned that immigration debate in Britain has taken a worrying turn, The Guardian reported on Friday.

He also said it is unacceptable to treat Bulgarian and Romanian citizens like a “scourge”, stressing that such behaviour would fuel stereotypes and hostility towards migrants and create problems in the long run.

“A stigma is put on Bulgarian and Romanian citizens just because of their origin. This is unacceptable because a state cannot treat Bulgarian and Romanian citizens differently from other EU citizens,” Muiznieks was quoted as saying.

Immigrants will face tougher curbs on unemployment and housing benefits and also access to National Health Service (NHS), under a new crackdown unveiled by the British Prime Minister on March 25.

Speaking at University Campus Suffolk in Ipswich, Cameron said jobless immigrants from the European Union (EU) will have the government allowance ripped from their hands after six months unless they prove they have been actively looking for a job.

The British premier’s speech was welcomed by far-right groups such as French political party, the National Front.

However, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, one of Cameron’s closest European allies, described his British counterpart’s plan to curb access for new European migrants to public services as “unfortunate”.

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