EU’s response to situation in Mediterranean fails refugees and migrants, say NGOs

April 25, 2015 by  
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ecreDays after what appears to be the deadliest incident in the Mediterranean, where over 800 migrants and refugees died, EU leaders gathered in an emergency summit in Brussels to decide on immediate steps to put an end to the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. ECRE, together with other NGOs, has expressed concern over the European Council’s response as it predominantly aims at preventing migrants and refugees from reaching Europe and externalising restrictive border control policies to countries of transit and origin.According to the Council’s conclusions, the EU intends to “strengthen [its] presence at sea, to fight the traffickers, to prevent illegal migration flows and to reinforce internal solidarity and responsibility”.”If one looks at the nationalities of the people who are [arriving by boat] they are Syrians and Eritreans – these are people that are fleeing for their life. They are fleeing conflicts and dictatorships and they will leave no matter what. If [the EU] tries to address smuggling and trafficking only, it is only addressing the symptoms. But if you want to put smugglers out of business you need to create the opportunity for people to come legally,” stated Aspasia Papadopoulou, ECRE’s Senior Policy Officer. Read more

Amnesty International investigates gap in EU search and rescue since the end of Mare Nostrum.

April 25, 2015 by  
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Amnesty report mediterranean

In a new report Europe’s Sinking Shame. The Failure to Save Refugees and Migrants at Sea’,Amnesty International analyses the gap in search and rescue operations in the central Mediterranean following the end of Italy’s search and rescue operation Mare Nostrum.

Amnesty’s investigation on three accidents occurred between January and March 2015, including testimonies of shipwreck survivors, reveals that in two cases, more lives could have been saved if vessels had been patrolling the sea further south, closer to Libya and meaning people could have been assisted earlier. In addition, according to the organisation, in the third accident, professional rescuers could have prevented one of the boats from capsizing. Read more

2015 April 23 – death in the Mediterranean

April 24, 2015 by  
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MOAS rescue 105 migrants in rubber dinghyPhoto: Darrin Zammit Lupi/MOASOpen Security: Crisis in the Mediterranean: Europe must change course

NILS MUIŽNIEKS 22 April 2015

As leaders of European Union member states prepare to meet to discuss the Mediterranean refugee crisis, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights sets the bar for an adequate response.

The Mediterranean Sea has for centuries been the cradle of modern European civilisation. It has today become a huge graveyard, as thousands of migrants continue to drown under Europe’s distracted look. When in October 2013 a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa took the lives of 300 migrants, European leaders were unanimous in declaring ‘no more deaths’. Yet, 18 months and some 5,000 deaths later, we see these tragedies again and again. Read more

Letter to David Cameron

April 24, 2015 by  
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quaker_home_theme1Quakers in Britain have written a letter to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, follows:

“Quakers in Britain have been shocked and angered by the needless deaths of thousands of desperate people in the Mediterranean in recent months. Every human life is a precious gift to be treasured – each person a child of God – and the loss of just one diminishes all of us.  It is immoral to use the threat of loss of life as a deterrent to migration.

“We urge you as our Prime Minister, in your work with other European leaders, to ensure that Britain, one of the richest countries in the world, plays its part in preventing these unnecessary drownings and addressing the economic inequality and violence which leads to these desperate attempts to reach a new home.” 

The letter is signed by Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain. Read more

More Boats Sinking

April 22, 2015 by  
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2015 April 21EU mulls boat-sinking plans to curb migrant smugglers


  • EU mulls plans to capture and destroy migrant boats disembarking from Libya (Photo: Royal Netherlands Navy)

By 

Search and Rescue: no evidence of deterrent effect

April 20, 2015 by  
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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

April 18, 2015 by  
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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.

http://www.quaker.org.uk/meeting-sufferings-6-december-final-minutes-follow-letter-and-other-related-papers

MSF and MOAS to launch joint Mediterranean search, rescue and medical aid operation

April 18, 2015 by  
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MOAS rescue 105 migrants in rubber dinghy Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi/MOASMédecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) announced today that they will launch a joint search, rescue and medical aid operation in the central Mediterranean between Africa and Europe. The life-saving operation will run from May to October, when thousands of people are expected to risk their lives attempting to reach safe haven in Europe.

Last year was the deadliest on record for people crossing the Mediterranean; more than 3,400 people died trying to reach Europe. This year the death toll is predicted to be even higher, as even less assistance is available to boats in distress. The Italian navy’s search and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum, was discontinued in November 2014 due to a lack of funding from European governments and has not been replaced. Read more

Destitution: Meeting for Sufferings Minute 28 March 2015

April 18, 2015 by  
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quaker_home_theme1At a Meeting for Sufferings held in London on Saturday 28 March 2015 MfS/15/03/15 Asylum Seekers:

Destitution We receive the following minutes from Area Meetings: South East London AM minute 14/102; Pendle Hill AM minute 10; Leeds AM minute AM14/109; North East Thames AM minute 15/36; Leicester AM minute 15/32; South Wales AM minute 14:12:07; and Oxford and Swindon AM minute 16/2015c. These minutes bring to our attention a statement made by Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network about the use of destitution as an instrument of immigration control.

Sheila Moseley of Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network has spoken to the concern. Many Friends are deeply troubled by the situation and we have heard of the work that Friends are doing locally, both as Meetings and as individuals. Many are working with local asylum and refugee groups, the Red Cross and the City of Sanctuary movement.

This is not an issue that is going to go away quickly, and we feel it would be useful to develop a public statement that we can use in working with national and local governments.

We forward this minute to QPSW Central Committee and ask them to bring a draft back to a future meeting.

Ethel Livermore

Clerk

Juliet Prager

Deputy Recording Clerk

Migrants killed in ‘religious clash’ on Mediterranean boat

April 17, 2015 by  
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2015 April search and rescueMigrants killed in ‘religious clash’ on Mediterranean boat

About 1,000 people a day are being rescued at the moment trying to reach the Italian coast

Italian police say they have arrested 15 Muslim migrants after they allegedly threw 12 Christians overboard following a row on a boat heading to Italy. Read more

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