World Vision UK calls for immediate ban on tear gas at borders

World Vision UK is calling for an immediate European-wide ban on using tear gas and batons against refugee families fleeing war zones.

As the EU-Turkey migration summit gets under way this morning, the international children’s charity is urging European leaders to prohibit the use of dangerous riot-control weapons at borders.

World Vision UK's CEO Tim Pilkington says: "Children are being caught-up in violent clashes between refugees and government security forces breaking out across Europe. Distressing scenes of children fleeing baton attacks and choking on tear gas shame us all.

"The use of tear gas and other anti-riot weaponry against children is reprehensible. Tear gas is prohibited in war. It damages eyes, lungs and skin and can lead to vomiting, chemical burns, nerve damage and blindness. The psychological impact on distressed children seeking refuge from war can only be imagined.

"Every day World Vision staff look after hundreds of children who have arrived physically and emotionally exhausted at the borders of Eastern Europe. Many have survived perilous boat journeys and endured freezing temperatures for weeks on end.

"Using weapons banned in war against children is an outrage. Riot control is an unacceptable way of regulating the flow of refugee families into Europe. We want to see an urgent halt to such tactics. European leaders need to find a humane solution which does not inflict further violence and damage on extremely vulnerable children."

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