Search and Rescue: no evidence of deterrent effect

House of Commons Libraryln the light of the debate around a replacement for Mare Nostrum and the government’s claim that search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean have created a ‘pull factor’, I would be very grateful if you could make me aware of any figures or research which suggests that an increase in the number of migrants attempting to make the journey across the Mediterranean is linked to the success of search and rescue operations.

We are not aware of any hard evidence to prove (or indeed to disprove) the claim made by Lady Anelay, the FCO Minister. lt would be difficult for any researcher to obtain hard evidence either way. One could of course interview a sample of migrants and ask them whether the efficacy of search and rescue operations was a factor in their decision to make the journey, but to our knowledge no such studies have been conducted.

For further information click here: Search and Rescue HoC March 2015

You could ask your MP and MEP what they will do to support Search and Rescue operations in the Mediterranean

MfS Search and Rescue Minute December 2014

quaker_home_theme14 Search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean
We receive minute 14/129 of Sussex West AM held on 8 November, regarding the announcement that the British Government will not support planned EU search and rescue operations to save migrants from drowning in the Mediterranean Sea as they try to reach Europe.

We note that the Deputy Recording Clerk has signed a letter to David Cameron, calling on the Government to work with the rest of Europe to ensure that no asylum seekers are left to drown in the Mediterranean and to organise safe routes for these people to find shelter and security.

We forward this minute to QPSW for advice.

Brussels plans migration centres outside EU to process asylum applications

 in Brussels

The European commission is planning to establish immigrant-processing centres outside the EU for the first time, in a radical policy departure aimed at stemming the movement of hundreds of thousands of people across the Mediterranean.

Struggling to draft coherent immigration strategies at a time when the issue has become one of the most toxic in the politics of many EU countries, the European commission announced it was fast-tracking a policy paper on migration.

Read more here:

Please don’t let the Mediterranean be a graveyard for migrants

Avaaz MediterraneanPlease sign the petition:

To the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Federica Mogherini, We call on you urgently to reinstate a comprehensive search and rescue operation for migrants in the Mediterranean and to ensure that the treatment of all migrants is based on the European Charter of Fundamental Rights and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.


QCEAOur organisations represent Churches throughout Europe – Anglican, Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic – as well as Christian agencies particularly concerned with migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. As Christian organisations we are deeply committed to the inviolable dignity of the human person created in the image of God, as well as to the concepts of the common good, of global solidarity and of the promotion of a society that welcomes strangers. We also share the conviction that the core values of the European Union as an area of freedom and justice must be reflected by day-to-day politics. It is against this background that we make the following proposals for the development of safe and legal paths to protection in the European Union.

[The group included QCEA – Quaker Council for European Affairs] – read the full report here:

Over 300 people feared dead at sea

ECRE save livesEurope needs to step up search and rescue in the Mediterranean –

Some 300 people are now confirmed missing and believed to have drowned in the Mediterranean according to reports gathered by UNHCR following the rescue of some 100 people by the Italian Coast Guard on Monday.

Survivors said that four dinghies left from a beach near Tripoli on Saturday. Twenty-nine migrants died, most of them of hypothermia, after they were rescued from an inflatable dinghy carrying 106 people. Only two people were recovered from a dinghy which, according to survivors, had departed with 107 passengers and only seven people survived on another which had carried 109 people. A fourth boat with approximately 100 people is missing. Continue reading “Over 300 people feared dead at sea”

Sign the letter: Saving refugees in the Mediterranean.

Italy MigrantsDear Mr Cameron,

It is with great sadness that we write to you today.

As the world faces its most pressing refugee crisis since the Second World War – with hundreds of thousands fleeing deadly conflicts and oppressive regimes across Africa and the Middle East – the announcement that Britain will not support any future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants and refugees drowning in the Mediterranean has shocked us.

Where there should have been humanity, there was cold cynicism; where there should have been compassion, there was indifference.
This is not an issue of immigration or economics, but of ethics and morality.  The announcement on Monday has revealed that Britain’s respect for the sanctity of human life has all but vanished.     Continue reading “Sign the letter: Saving refugees in the Mediterranean.”