Real solutions could have been agreed today. No one should be fooled. They haven’t been.
(Brussels, 23 April 2015) The commitment from several European nations to provide resources, ships and aircrafts to search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean is welcome on paper, but the failure to extend Triton’s operational area will fatally undermine these promises.
The announcement of increased funding and assets towards existing European Union (EU) border control operations, including Operation Triton, came at the end of an emergency summit in Brussels on the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean.
A planned tripling of finances towards Triton will not address the reality of the search and rescue needs in the Mediterranean unless the operational area is extended to the high seas where most of the deaths occur.
“Having ships in the Mediterranean only matters if they are in the right place as the deadly shortcomings of Operation Triton have demonstrated. Unless they go the full mile, migrants and refugees will continue to drown,” said Iverna McGowan acting Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office in Brussels.
“If Triton’s mandate can’t be changed, then Triton is not the solution, however many resources one gives it. Real solutions could have been agreed today. No one should be fooled. They haven’t been.”
Today’s Council Conclusions on paper suggest that the European governments are taking a serious stance on the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. In practice however, they are still only meeting the problem halfway.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Head of Media & Communications
Amnesty International European Institutions Office
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +32 (0)2 548 27 73
Mobile: +32 (0)483 680 812
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