Terre des Hommes Position Paper

There is no more time.

Fortress Europe has to open its doors to human lives.

Terre des Hommes urges the European Council and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to initiate clear and decisive interventions recognizing and protecting the right to life and finally tackle the legal vacuum adding to death and despair in the Mediterranean.

Human life has to be at the very heart of priorities of what we call our ‘Union’

Given that

1.      There is an urgent need to establish legal escape routes from conflicts and persecution as the only possible mean to outweigh smuggling and organized crime.

2.      There is an urgent need to resume Mare Nostrum or an equal operation in order to save lives and prevent the mass deaths we are witnessing, as the crises in the Middle East and Libya will not be resolved in the short term.

3.      There is an urgent need to review the Dublin regulation and make sure that the European Member States cooperate for once united in the sense of responsibility, mutual loyalty and justice.

Terre des Hommes demands

·         To, first and foremost, ensure an international protection system for all children fleeing war and persecution.

We further demand

In the countries of origin:

·         An intervention of the High Representative of Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union in order to pass a resolution establishing the immediate coordination of all the embassies and consulates of European Member States present in countries neighbouring those affected by armed conflict, to issue entry visas to the EU on humanitarian grounds, thus only implementing what is already provided by the Schengen agreement;

·         The automatic recognition of the right to protection to all those who enter these embassies and/or consulates with the intention to apply for asylum;

·         To open an official protection channel directly in the refugee camps of the affected countries via an agreement of close cooperation between UNHCR, EU and NGOs;

·         To implement a reception plan providing for transfers to safe places and protection for asylum seekers;

·         To review the priorities of EU Development Cooperation Programming, with particular review of EU Budget Support Policy, ensuring that resources are redirected towards services to the population and support civil society-oriented local development;

In the Mediterranean

·         We urge the Council of Europe and the High Representative for External Affairs and Security Policy of the European Union establish a search and rescue operation at European scale, enabled to extend its range beyond 30 nautical miles off the Italian coast, and provided with fleet and resources from all European Member States, following the example of Mare Nostrum (in contrast to Triton, whose mandate is limited to border control and not to search and rescue).

In Europe

·         The establishment of a European Reception Plan providing for proportional commitment amongst all EU Member states (and non-EU Member States) and guaranteeing the fundamental right to asylum in a perspective of relocation, while respecting the will of the refugees. Particular attention should be given to the protection of and to the reception conditions for unaccompanied minors and families with children.

Press Dossier

Read the full Terre des Hommes Position Paper

Contacts for Interviews

Raffaele Salinari, Chair Terre des Hommes International Federation, (English, Italian, Spanish, French) Mobile: +39.320.225.3773 raffaelesalinari@yahoo.it

Federica Giannotta, TDH Italy Program Manager, FARO Project Sicily, (English, Italian, Spanish): Mobile: ++39.347.160.4055 – f.giannotta@tdhitaly.org

Rossella Pannuzzo, TDH Italy Press Relations, r.panuzzo@tdhitaly.org, Office Tel: +39 02 28970418

Salvatore Parata, Head European Office, Terre des Hommes International Federation (English, Italian, Spanish, French) Office Tel: +322.743.09.51 – Mobile: +32.474.209921 paratas@terredeshommes.org