Requests SOS Mediterranei to avoid interruption of migrants at sea

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The NGO SOS Méditerranée calls for the immediate adoption of a European solidarity mechanism to avoid disruptions to migrants at sea. The call, chaired by France on the eve of the European Council of Interior Ministers and Justice, is scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The European Union, which set itself the task of taking forward the discussion on migration issues.

The NGO SOS Mediterranei, which has rescued nearly 1,000 migrants in distress at sea since the beginning of the year, called on Wednesday 8 June. immediate adoption of a system To avoid being stranded for a long time on board the people already suffering from European solidarity.

, A predictable and sustainable disembarkation mechanism is desperately needed for those rescued in the central Mediterranean “, Sophie Beau, founder of SOS Mediterranean, pleaded aboard I’ocean vikingHumanitarian ship chartered by the NGO in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).


In May, during its final mission in the central Mediterranean Sea, one of the world’s deadliest migratory routes,ocean viking About 300 people were rescued, including a three-month-old baby and six pregnant women, but these survivors had to wait about ten days before a safe harbor was designated in Sicily (Italy) to be released.

great mental pain

Every year, fleeing conflict or poverty, thousands try to reach Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya, whose coast is about 300 kilometers from Italy. , It is absolutely necessary that a solidarity mechanism is put in place, which is predictable, i.e. we know in advance where people will be directed after disembarking in a safe harbor. The frontline countries, usually in Italy or Malta, appealed to Sophie Beau in Marseille, where the NGO’s headquarters are located.

, Italian authorities need to be able to know how many people will be sent to a particular country, and in advance, so that each rescue doesn’t have to be a case-by-case discussion as is the case. “, with the blockades extending to the sea, she continued.

, This blockage at sea clearly caused much psychological suffering for those stranded on board, as demonstrated by this man who jumped overboard during the final detour. Ms. Beau said.

covid is changing the game

In autumn 2019, some EU countries supported a temporary mechanism for the delivery of asylum seekers and rescued migrants at sea to help Italy and Malta deal with arrivals and avoid long obstructions at sea for rescue ships. can get help.

The few survivors have jumped on board several times over the past two years, because the pressure was too high, the tension was too high.

Fabienne Lassalle, SOS Méditerranée . co-founder of

This The pre-agreement said “ Valletta , Countries such as France, Germany, but also Portugal or Ireland saw Italy and Malta, as well as Italian or Maltese ports, commit to receiving some migrants. But the COVID pandemic has turned the situation upside down and SOS Mediterranei supports the re-launch of a predictable and sustainable mechanism.

, Seeing that millions of people from Ukraine are being welcomed into Europe, it shows that it is possible ”, estimates Sophie Beau, pointing out that the number of people saved in the Mediterranean region is very small.

According to the Italian Interior Ministry, since the beginning of the current year, 17,000 arrivals of migrants from Africa have been registered in Italy.

(with AFP)

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