European Union bungling, refugees drowning

This video says about itself:

Hundreds of refugees reportedly drown in Mediterranean

18 April 2016

Sergio Mattarella said Europe needs to reflect on the new disaster. The asylum seekers were reportedly fleeing from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. They died when their boats capsized near Egypt. The Somali ambassador in Egypt says over 4-hundred are thought to have lost their lives. European countries have recently reduced search and rescue operations for likely stranded refugee boats. They took the measure as part of plans to halt the inflow of asylum seekers, escaping war in Africa and in the Middle East, especially Syria.

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Fears 400 refugees have drowned in Mediterranean after boats capsize

Reports say the refugees were fleeing to Italy from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

EU neglect on search and rescue ‘killed refugees’ in Mediterranean

Monday 18th April 2016

EUROCRATS are guilty of “killing by neglect” by cutting rescue missions in the Mediterranean, potentially costing the lives of more than 1,500 refugees, academics revealed yesterday.

A report said that charities and UN officials warned European Union policymakers against ending Italy-led search and rescue mission Mare Nostrum in 2014.

Triton, its replacement, deployed fewer ships and prioritised deterring refugees over rescue operations.

The move could have a disastrous effect and lead to far more deaths at sea, according to the report, Death By Rescue: The Lethal Effects Of The EU’s Policies Of Non-assistance At Sea.

Documents unearthed by British academics showed the European border force Frontex pushed ahead with the change despite an internal assessment warning that if it was not properly planned, it “would likely result in a higher number of fatalities.”

The subsequent scaling-back of search-and-rescue operations during the refugee crisis “created the conditions that led to massive loss of life,” the report concludes.

Over 1,500 refugees died trying to cross the sea in the months after the change was implemented.

Report co-author Charles Heller of Goldsmiths, University of London said policymakers were guilty of “institutionalised wilful neglect.”

He asked: “Can we really qualify the ending of Mare Nostrum and its replacement by Triton, in all knowledge of the consequences this would have, as a mistake?

“I would rather argue that this was a case of institutionalised wilful neglect, and that European policymakers and Frontex have made themselves guilty of killing by omission.”

We face the greatest displacement of humanity in decades — more than 60 million people forced from their homes by war, misery or oppression from places like Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, or Eritrea. A tiny percentage of these desperate men, women and children have risked their lives on overcrowded boats and knocked on Europe’s front door. Faced with this crisis, European leaders were given a choice — to work together to provide asylum and help those in need, or push people out of sight to other countries, where the European public cannot see their suffering and where European leaders can more easily hide their shame. They chose the latter: here.

10 thoughts on “European Union bungling, refugees drowning

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  4. Tuesday 17th May 2016

    posted by Morning Star in World

    Rights envoy calls on rich countries to do more

    by Our Foreign Desk

    A UN human rights envoy savaged the European Union’s “lack of vision” over the refugee crisis yesterday, adding that he had doubts whether the bloc’s deal with Turkey on the issue was even legal.

    Special rapporteur on the rights of migrants Francois Crepeau spoke out after five days touring the detention centres and migrant camps that have sprung up across Greece.

    Greece remains mired in an economic depression with 25 per cent unemployment following several devastating rounds of cuts mandated by the “troika” of the EU, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.

    But despite its lack of resources it is currently holding around 50,000 people who have fled war and genocide in the Middle East and become stranded there after borders slammed shut across Europe earlier this year.

    Mr Crepeau condemned the incarceration of children in many of the centres. “Children should not be detained, period. It can never ever be in the best interest of the child,” he said.

    “There’s a lack of vision at EU level — there’s no long-term human rights-based policy.”

    The special rapporteur’s words came as UN high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi told the BBC that shutting borders in response to the crisis “won’t work.”

    With more people fleeing conflict and poverty than at any time in history, rich countries need to do more both to help resettle people escaping danger and in providing funds for the small number of countries close to war zones which take the bulk of the refugees in, Mr Grandi said.

    The British state broadcaster was hosting a day of special coverage on the issue, which also saw the UN refugee agency’s special envoy Angelina Jolie condemn “the politics of fear and separation.”


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