EU response to migrant crisis “shameful”: Amnesty International
By Libya Herald
In response to the latest shipwreck found off the Libyan coast, Amnesty International has called on European leaders to do more to provide safe and legal ways for refugees and migrants to access international protection in the EU.
The shipwreck was found off the coast of Tripoli on Sunday evening. The Libyan Navy was able to pull 36 people to safety, but some two hundred other passengers of African descent drowned.
According to Amnesty International Europe and Central Asia Director John Dalhuisen, the increasing death toll in the Mediterranean Sea points to the ineffectiveness of the current asylum and migration policies and practices under the EU.
“The response of EU member states to the refugee crises in the Middle East and North Africa has been shameful,” Dalhuisen said.
European leaders want to prevent people from reaching Europe at any cost, he explained. The result is that desperate people are forced to take more dangerous routes.
The resettlement options within the EU offered by European countries are very few in proportion to the number of refugees fleeing conflicts, such as the situation in Syria, he said. In Dalhuisen’s opinion, if the EU were to offer more places for resettlement, fewer refugees would be driven to risk crossing the Mediterranean illegally.
According to the UNHCR, Amnesty said, more than 2,500 people have drowned or gone missing attempting the crossing this year.
Amnesty has called on EU leaders to open up settlement, humanitarian admission programmes and to facilitate family reunification in order to ensure safe and legal routes to Europe for refugees trying to reach its shores.