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UN Secretary General criticises European migrant-restrictive policies

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Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on April 28 condemned restrictive policies on migrants in European Union member states. Ban addressed the Austrian Parliament a day after it passed a strict new asylum law that sets forth limiting asylum rights and allows rejecting most claimants.

«I am concerned that European countries are now adopting increasingly restrictive immigration and refugee policies. Such policies negatively affect the obligation of member states under international humanitarian law and European law,» UN Secretary General noted to MPs in Vienna.

BBC reports that Ban did not name any country but, given the context and the venue, the speech has been widely interpreted as being aimed at least in part at Austria.

Reportedly, Days after a right-wing politician won the first round of Austrian presidential election, the country has adopted a strict new asylum law that sets forth limiting asylum rights and allows rejecting most claimants.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka stated that Austria had no other options as long as «so many other EU members fail to do their part» to limit the influx of migrants and refugees.

Austrian officials have revealed they are also considering erecting a fence at the main border crossing with Italy.

In addition, the new asylum law lets the government declare a state of emergency over migrant influx and reject most asylum-seekers, also those from war-torn countries such as Syria.

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