Oxfam calls for safe and legal routes for asylum seekers

"It may actually amount to trading human beings for political concessions," said Oxfam's Philip Graham

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Syrian walk near the Bab al-Salam border crossing with Turkey, in Syria. Image: Bunyamin Aygun / AP/Press Association Images

Oxfam Ireland is calling for more safe and legal routes for asylum seekers in order to ease the migration crisis in Europe.

The charity is making the calls after a controversial deal was made yesterday by the leaders of 28 EU countries and Turkey.

The agreement will see new migrants arriving in Greece from Sunday - who don't qualify for asylum - sent back to Turkey.

And in return, for every illegal migrant Turkey accepts, the European Union will resettle one Syrian refugee from Turkish camps.

"It fails to respect the right of international and EU law, but it may actually amount to trading human beings for political concessions," said Oxfam's Philip Graham.

"The cost to European border control cannot be paid in human lives this way," he added.

There are better was to address the crisis, Graham said:

Médecins Sans Frontières has also voiced ists disapproval of the deal, saying it is designed to stop the arrival of asylum seekers in Europe.

The group believes the rights and wellbeing of people are not a priority.

Director of MSF Ireland Jane-Ann McKenna says it's obvious why this deal was designed.