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Human Rights in the EU Return Policy: The Case of the EU-Albania Relations

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image of European Journal of Migration and Law

Abstract The examination of the approach of the EU return policy to Albania – a country to which the EU returns about one fifth of the total number of the third country nationals removed – demonstrates that the predominant focus of the EU return policy on the effectiveness and efficiency of returns has left little room for safeguarding the human rights of the returnees. The article finds that the return procedures of the readmission agreement that should guarantee the protection of human rights in the return process are not observed by the EU member states. There are insufficient guarantees that the reception and possible detention of returnees in Albania will offer a dignified treatment. Moreover, the readmission agreement opens the way for the return of asylum seekers to Albania in line with the ‘safe third country’ practice in the absence of conditions that ensure effective access to fair and efficient asylum procedures and protection in the country.

Affiliations: 1: University of Ghent Ghent Belgium


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