Today, EMERGENCY’s President Rossella Miccio joined a discussion at the European Parliament organised by the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean (DMED), in association with Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries and Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries. She appeared on a panel alongside Luigi Soreca, EU Special Envoy for External Aspects of Migration, Beate Gminder, Deputy Director-General in charge of the “Task Force Migration Management” at DG Migration and Home Affairs European Commission, Stefano Failla, Director for Situational Awareness and Monitoring Division at FRONTEX, and Ola Henrikson, Regional Director of the International Organization for Migration.
The meeting covered the state of play of EU migration and asylum policy in the Mediterranean Sea. Rossella shared the experience of EMERGENCY’s Life Support vessel in saving migrants and refugees’ lives in the central Mediterranean, which has become the world’s deadliest migration route.
“Saving Lives and Promoting a Human Rights-Based Approach to Migration” was the title of her presentation.
EMERGENCY recommends eight steps to implement through a European effort for a comprehensive response in the Mediterranean Sea:
- Increasing the SAR capacity in the Mediterranean by activating a European-led SAR mission
- Recognition of the life-saving role of NGOs in the Central Mediterranean
- Ensuring cooperation between coastal, neighbouring and flag states, and mutual regional arrangements for an effective search and rescue service
- Advocating for the assignment of closest available places of safety
- Revoking all the agreements that support the so-called Libyan coast guard or delegate migration management to actors with poor human rights records
- Not replicating externalisation policies in North Africa and further south
- Investing in long-term aid programmes in third countries
- Ensuring and amplify safe and legal pathways
“Saving lives must be a European priority as human rights underlie Europe’s foundations. What we’ve been witnessing is crimes against humanity, and serious violations of human rights. That’s not tolerable. Resources are there. Tools are there. It’s a matter of putting the right policies in place.”