EU must take urgent action prevent to migrant deaths at sea

Urgent action is needed by the EU to ensure no further migrant deaths in the seas on Europe’s borders, Amnesty International said amid news of further shipwrecks in the central Mediterranean, with reports of more than 700 feared drowned in the last few days.

Amnesty is calling for the EU to invest more resources in search and rescue capabilities in the central Mediterranean, to open more safe and legal routes for refugees and to ensure access to asylum for those who need it.

John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International, said:

“The mounting death toll is a blight on the reputation of the EU and its member states who must urgently act together, now, to ensure that no more men, women and children lose their lives making the perilous journey in their desperate attempt to reach European shores.

 “With hundreds of thousands fleeing war and poverty across the Middle East and Africa, the priority must be to protect lives rather than creating an impenetrable fortress.”

On 30 September Amnesty will publish a major report, Lives adrift: Refugees and migrants drowning in the Central Mediterranean. Its findings are based on recent visits to Italy, including a recent research trip on an Italian Navy vessel and interviews with asylum seekers, migrants and authorities. The report – part of Amnesty’s S.O.S Europe campaign - will be launched just ahead of the first anniversary of the shipwreck off the coast of Lampudusa last year in which 300 migrants drowned.

Amnesty has launched a video entitled Not on your radar ahead of the publication of the report. The video can be downloaded here:

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