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Refugee and migrant crisis: Amnesty response to Nigel Farage comments in European Parliament today

In response to UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s comments on asylum and immigration at the European Parliament today, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“The fact is that the refugee and migrant boats making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean are crammed full of desperate women, children and men fleeing terrible human rights abuses. Most come from Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea.

“I’ve just returned from Lampedusa and the stories I heard were truly harrowing. A two-year-old child in a reception centre in Lampedusa and his mother in hospital in Sicily reunited after a week apart, and a 15-year-old boy who had lived on the streets of Mogadishu since he was nine and lost his close friend in the journey across Africa, are just two of the young people caught up in recent shipwrecks.

"I also spoke to a Nigerian woman whose village was burned to the ground by Boko Haram, her mother was killed and she lost her sister as they ran for their lives. She made it to Libya where she was forced into prostitution for months, before she was able to get on a boat to Europe.

"The reality is that many of the desperate people trying to make it to Europe are fleeing terrorism, conflict and persecution. The refugee and migrant crisis is an EU-wide problem that needs an EU-wide solution. Leaders must act now to share responsibility for refugees across Europe."

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