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Story of the day: Wold Humanitarian Day: Migration in the Mediterranean

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August 19, 2015 Posted in : EU affairs, Europe, Experts, Galzacs Guide, Galzacs15, Government, International affairs, Ireland, Journalists, Migration, MSF

Today is World Humanitarian Day and we have an expert available to comment throughout the day.

Story Idea: Recent tragic mass-drownings at sea and disgraceful behaviour by authorities on European soil have put the spotlight on the Mediterranean; where record numbers of people are fleeing brutal wars and insecurity in the Middle East and Africa by attempting the dangerous crossing in un-seaworthy boats. Three Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) search & rescue vessels have saved over 10,600 lives at sea (about 15% of all those saved) but tragically there have been too many drownings and deaths at sea. Our medical teams are also working with refugees and migrants in the port of Pozallo, Sicily and in Kos, Greece; where in-adequate reception facilities exist. The scale of this humanitarian crisis requires Europe to do more for people who risk their lives at sea, and when they reach land in Europe.


Expert:
 Jane-Ann McKenna (Expert in Migration on the Med) Director of Médecins Sans Frontières in Ireland.

The Hook:
MSF has saved about 15% of the total number of people rescued in the Mediterranean this year, but far too many others have died. Europe’s restrictive migration policies and its inadequate search & rescue response, are contributing to the mass grave forming on the Mediterranean sea-floor. European governments must do more to save people from drowning while at sea by increasing S&R capacity; providing safe & legal ways for people to escape conflict, and must fulfil their responsibilities to those who reach land by receiving them humanely.

Jane-Ann McKenna says:

“Too many lives have been lost in the Mediterranean this year; turning the sea-floor into a mass grave. People are dying in their thousands in drowning incidents, or by suffocation or asphyxiation in holds, or by dehydration. Europe must do more to assist people fleeing war and violence. Not only should safe and legal channels be created for those who migrate; so people don’t have to risk their lives in leaky vessels on a dangerous sea crossing; but more humane reception facilities must also be provided in the ports of Europe. Human dignity and the right to flee violence must be respected”.

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