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Amnesty International: 'The people will not be stopped'

The influx of refugees will be among the biggest challenges in the coming years, activists from Amnesty International in Germany have said, criticizing the EU's approach on International Human Rights Day.

The international community should fight the causes of the migration wave, by stopping the human rights abuse in the countries of origin, the German representatives of Amnesty International said.

"The so-called refugee crisis is actually a crisis of international solidarity and responsibility," the General Secretary of group Selmin Caliskan said on Wednesday, ahead of December 10's International Human Rights Day.

The organization specifically decried the international failure to stop the war in Syria, which prompted millions to flee.

Caliskan also criticized the selfishness of individual EU countries when dealing with the newcomers. Trying to seal off the bloc's borders would prove useless, she warned.

"The people will not be stopped," Caliskan said.

Doing 'the impossible'

Germany has done more than most in handling the crisis, according to Caliskan. However, she attributed this positive record mainly to volunteers and the civil society.

"It is an incredible effort by people trying to do the impossible, despite the chaos in the public administration," she said.

The government's new initiative to fast-track asylum requests would open the door to new unfair treatment of asylum-seekers in Germany, she added.

Neighbors at the limit

The countries bearing the true brunt of the refugee crisis are countries closer to the conflicts, according to the organization.

"Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey have taken in over four million people," said Amnesty International activists in charge of refugees and migration Khairunissa Dhala.

The UN has received only half of the money needed to provide care to the refugees. Many western countries, as well as the oil-rich Gulf states, failed to grant enough funds. Meanwhile, the countries in the region are reaching their limit, she added.

"All of Syria's neighbors have pretty much closed their borders, and there are 12,000 people stuck in the cold in no-man's-land in front of Jordan," Dhala said.

Half of underage refugees have stopped going to school, and more and more young girls are being forced to marry as the crisis continues, according to Amnesty.

Some 400,000 refugees would need to be transported to Europe, North and South America or Australia and Japan to relieve the burden in the region, the organization said, citing UN estimates.

dj/msh (epd, dpa)

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