International Refugee Day 2020

The Fatal Policies of Fortress Europe: more than 40 000 Documented Refugee Deaths since 1993

#NoMoreDeaths – Time for Change!

This year marks the 19th anniversary of the World Refugee Day, marked on June 20.

Dozens of organizations and churches from Switzerland, along with SOS MEDITERRANEE, and UNITED for Intercultural Action, are combining efforts to bring attention to more than 40 000 refugee deaths caused by the Fatal Policies of Fortress Europe, and launching the Call by Name campaign

The causes of death are numerous, and each is more chilling than the last. Most drowned in the Mediterranean. Others were shot at borders, killed by traffickers, committed suicide at the detentions centers out of desperation, depression, and anxiety, or were killed after being deported to the countries of origin. Among them: babies, children, teenagers, pregnant women, women, and men.

Since 1993 more than 40.000 people have died trying to find a safe shelter in Europe fleeing from war, ungrounded persecutions, life threats for their: beliefs, political views, or for love.

Currently, hundreds of thousands of people are living in miserable refugee camps under catastrophic conditions on the external borders of Europe and North Africa and the Middle East. Although Jordan hosts the most amount of refugees per capita, and Turkey is one of the largest hosting countries, the situation on the Greek islands, where the camps have been declared unfit for human habitation, is particularly dramatic. The corona pandemic has inflamed the situation and demands an immediate response.

This year, we call on leaders of the European Union for humane refugee policies.

Join us and make your opinion count.

Join us by taking 5 minutes of your time and sending a letter to the president of the European Commission – Ursula von der Leyen, European Council president – Charles Michel and European Parliament president – David-Maria Sassoli, saying that you can not accept any more human sacrifices.

For your inspiration, we share with you a template letter:

Dear leaders of the European Union,

I am dismayed and horrified that over 40 thousand refugees – men, and women, children, and babies – have perished in the Mediterranean and at the borders of Europe. This is deeply upsetting and sitting idly by feels as though I am contributing to the problem. I can’t turn my head any longer and pretend that it does not exist. I can’t muffle my ears anymore and pretend not to hear the cries and pleas of thousands of refugees. I hope you cannot either.

Far too many people have died.

Have compassion. Let these deaths touch your heart. You can stop further deaths if you just make migration safe and asylum procedures just. You have the power.

Every life is sacred.

No more deaths!

Sincerely yours,


President of the European Commission
Ursula von der Leyen
European Commission
Rue de la Loi / Wetstraat 200
1049 Bruxelles/Brussels

President of the European Council
Charles Michel
Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175
B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel


President of the European Parliament
David Maria Sassoli
Rue Wiertz 60
1047 Bruxelles/Brussel

We will appreciate photos of your handwritten letters that we could publish on our FB page for broader outreach. Please send them to us on FB or via email