Peace Institute: EU must take immediate action to prevent more migrant deaths

April 24, 2015

News Source: The peacePeace Institute, Slovenia

The EU should take responsibility and immediately act to prevent more migrant deaths in the Mediterranean, according to a Peace Institute statement.

“The death of 800 persons as well as thousands other deaths before that are a horrific reminder that the European Union, its leaders and institutions, have not done their job,” according to the statement, which was released in the aftermath of a disaster that left hundreds of migrants dead in the Mediterranean. “We as researchers in the field of human rights and migrations and as citizens of the EU feel that politicians are pulling us into an organized guilt for these deaths.”

The tragedy is one in a series that have resulted in a huge increase in the number of migrants and refugees who have died trying to reach the shores of Europe this year. The Peace Institute statement includes six actions the think tank said are needed to prevent more deaths.

“We demand from EU leaders as our representatives and the leaders of all EU Member States, including Slovenia, to adopt concrete measures and support them with sufficient human, financial and technical resources, in particular:

  • To immediately engage all available capacities for search and rescue operations which is the only way to prevent tragedies of vessels that are already on the way;
  • To ensure that international law on refugee protection is strictly respected and that people in need of protection are granted access to asylum;
  • To consider activating the Temporary Protection of Displaced Persons Directive for persons massively fleeing war, to enable them to leave the country safely and obtain a temporary protection status in EU member states which will enable them to wait for the end of the conflict;
  • To change the racist framework of migration policies so that options are available for legal migration into the EU and people would not be forced to use irregular migration mechanisms to travel;
  • To rethink partnership-based development cooperation schemes in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East as the ones in place are obviously not addressing the roots or true causes of the problems and are not improving the living conditions of many that risk their lives and try to find their way to Europe;
  • To shift the European attitudes that are now focusing predominantly on border surveillance and prevention of irregular migration to attitudes of humanity, solidarity and human rights.”

The full statement can be read on the Institute’s website here.

 

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