Europe. A year of work on the Route of Solidarity

4 March 2019, 15:29

After a year of meetings, activists from all over Europe have finalised a document about immigration for presentation to candidates at the next European elections. In order to put human rights at the top of the political agenda.

“The Route of Solidarity” is the result of a year of work  by hundreds of activists from Spain, Greece, Italia and Croatia. The name comes from the journey made by thousands of Syrians fleeing across the Balkans in 2015, which inspired men and women from civil society to acknowledge this wave of human suffering and the hopes of people desperate enough to undertake this journey.

Along that route, which was blocked in 2016 by the States, thousands of activists from around the globe met over a year to discuss best practice and to understand and discuss European Union policies, working together on grassroots solutions.

Rome, Ceuta, Zagabria, Lesbos, Palermo, Pola, Salonica, Seville, welcoming cities that by hosting meetings provide a starting point to consider and discuss immigration and exile in Europe.

Every city and every meeting was an opportunity to experience real life, who deal on a daily basis with the problems that government policies create for refugees and immigrants, and to explore how the European scenario and political choices are betraying the very values that lay at the heart of European integration.

Meeting by meeting and city by city, shared considerations and the testimonies of the people who every day fight for the betrayed and denied values of human solidarity, were brought together in a document that represents the new awareness of the need to defend the rights of all men and women.

The denial of human rights set forth in the Universal Charter of Human Rights, the basis of the European Union’s Human Rights Charter, is a real outrage and a step backwards in terms of the fight for the recognition f human rights started by men and women in the 18th century.

Criticism of the right to exile, the right to safe harbour and the right to life is a serious affront to our safety and the knowledge that of the sanctity of our rights is still possible in Europe today, which has been undermined and violated at its very core.

For these principles and our rights, for the safety of all men and women, on the occasion of the up-coming European elections, the conclusions drawn during our meetings have been consolidated in a document for distribution to all European candidates and current MEPs.

The document highlights the importance of putting the defence and universal respect of human rights at the top of the political agenda.

The 5 action points which have been established will need to be backed by European decision-makers, and we hope they will become central to the European agenda:

– Prevent deaths at sea, violence at borders and on migration routes;

– End the criminalisation of solidarity;

– Fight xenophobia through positive perceptions of immigration and exile-seekers, promoting good relations between communities;

– Elimination of ‘hot-spots’;

– End illegal rejections and returns.

We invite NGOs who would like to sign up to this manifesto  to contact us by 13th March, sending name and logo of the organisation /association / collective) to: with subject line “sign-up to Manifesto of the project “the Route of Solidarity”