24 April 2015 – Terre des Hommes condemns the short-sightedness and hypocrisy with which the heads of state of the European Union have decided to deal with the humanitarian emergency unfolding before our eyes. The decisions taken during the Summit of yesterday do not respond in the slightest to Terre des Hommes demand to address the phenomenon with a broad, forward-looking and solution-oriented vision.
Terre des Hommes denounces that:
1. The saving of human lives in the Mediterranean has not been recognized as a top priority although President Donald Tusk had announced that before the European Summit.
2. The request to set up a search and rescue operation at European level, committing all 28 EU member states to invest in boats and rescue vehicles has not been met. The argued lack of resources cannot be reiterated as they are now spent in favour of an operation that will still have the primary mandate to patrol, and with a limited rescue capacity. No reference whatsoever is made to an extension of the mandate and outreach of the operations.
3. Priority is given to the fight against human trafficking and smuggling, taking these phenomena deliberately out of the context of global instability and the lack of protection mechanisms in countries of escape which are their prime causes.
4. The key measures for the combat against trafficking are identified as capture, destruction and sinking of vessels used by the traffickers, operations that put the lives and safety of those on board at high risks.
5. The construction of a network of protection for asylum seekers in the countries of escape, through the provision of EU Embassies and Consulates EU therein as well as in refugee camps, places where it would be of prime importance to establish an opportunity to express the request for protection, has not even been mentioned.
6. No decision regarding humanitarian corridors enabling to reach Europe without crossing the Mediterranean Sea through unsafe and full or risks journeys was taken. Such dangerous journey will continue being operated by smugglers as long as the demands to cross the Sea will be the only option and hope of life for migrants.
7. Full silence on the design of an immediate contingency and reception plan from the EU which would allow equal and uniform distribution of quotas of migrants reception. Such plan would have enabled an immediate possibility for migrants to benefit from protected location in our continent. No agreement was pronounced among 28 EU Member States to define such plan.
8. No reference to revising the Dublin Treaty was made
If Europe seeks to tackle trafficking and smuggling of persons, why does it not courageously tackle the root causes which feed such shaming offence?
Read full Press Release
France 24 TV interview of Salvatore Parata, Head of European Office and communication – (29/04/2015)
Contacts for interviews
Raffaele Salinari, Chair Terre des Hommes International Federation, (English, Italian, Spanish, French) Mobile : +39.320.225.3773 firstname.lastname@example.org
Federica Giannotta, Terre des Hommes Italy, Faro Project Manager (English, Italian, Spanish) Mobile: +39.347.16.0455 email@example.com
Salvatore Parata, Head European Office, Terre des Hommes International Federation (English, Italian, Spanish, French) Mobile: +32.474.209921 firstname.lastname@example.org