PRESIKA, Slovenia, July 23, 2020 — A Dutch migrant smuggler, caught transporting 29 migrants through Slovenia on Wednesday, will return to Croatia.
Slovenian police found 29 illegal migrants in a van driven by a Dutch migrant smuggler. However, after booking, authorities will return him to Croatia, according to an official announcement on Thursday.
Migrant Van Contained Afghan and Somalian Citizens
Police stopped a van driven by a Dutch citizen on Wednesday near the Slovenian village of Presika near Ljutomer, which is close to the Croatian border. Then, they discovered the van contained 24 men from Afghanistan and 5 women from Somalia, Slovenian media reported on Thursday.
Police handed the Dutch smuggler over to a judge for additional questioning. Hina/Večernji list reported that the migrants, who crossed the Slovenian border illegally, return to Croatian police after processing.
Increased border restrictions during the height of the COVID-19 epidemic slowed migrant traffic on the so-called Balkan route earlier this year. However, Slovenian police point out that it has increased in recent weeks. The Slovenian center-right coalition government, which began its term in mid-March, announced changes this fall to tighten state asylum policy .
Slovenia Coalition Supports Migrant Agreement Withdrawal
Several coalition parties also support Slovenia’s withdrawal from the Global Compact for Migration agreement, signed by the previous government. Although not binding, sections of the agreement caused controversy in several countries and many have chosen not to sign it.
The non-binding document respects states’ sovereign right to determine who enters and stays in their territory. It also demonstrates a commitment to international cooperation on migration.
Global Compact: Comprehensive Human Mobility Policy
By adopting the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, the precursor to the Global Compact, 193 UN Member States recognized the need for a comprehensive approach to human mobility and enhanced cooperation. In September 2016 they committed to:
- Protecting the safety, dignity and human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants, regardless of migratory status.
- Supporting countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants.
- Integrating migrants – addressing their needs and capacities as well as those of receiving communities.
- Combating xenophobia, racism and discrimination towards all migrants.
- Developing non-binding principles and voluntary guidelines for the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations.
- Strengthening global governance of migration through the development of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.
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