Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said on Thursday that the deal between Ankara and the EU leaders may lead to "collective and arbitrary expulsions” of refugees, which the UN official described as illegal.
Zeid, who was delivering his main annual speech to the UN Human Rights Council, also urged the EU to “adopt a much more rights-compliant and humane set of measures” on refugees at the continental body’s imminent summit next week.
“Any returns of people must be in conformity with international human rights standards,” he said.
On Monday, Turkey proposed to take back all refugees who cross into Europe from its soil in return for more money, faster EU membership talks and quicker visa-free travel.
European Union leaders also welcomed the initiative.
The deal has already triggered concerns among rights advocates while governments and international organizations have also blasted it as inhumane.