- Support search and rescue operations: Countries should allow all vessels conducting search and rescue activities to dock in their ports, disembark people who have been rescued, and return to sea in a timely manner. Attempting to prevent the life-saving operations of NGOs and commercial vessels is a dangerous approach that puts lives at risk and undermines citizens’ trust in their governments to resolve the situation.
- Adopt timely and predictable disembarkation arrangements: Until positive reform of the Dublin System, including a permanent responsibility-sharing mechanism, is adopted, arrangements should be put in place to ensure timely disembarkation and distribution of rescued persons among EU Member States. Concrete proposals for relocation arrangements following disembarkation have been made by NGOs. Given the urgent need for measures on responsibility-sharing and the obstacles to an EU-wide solution, the arrangements should be agreed immediately, and the participating states should be identified from the outset, not on a “ship-by-ship” basis. No arrangement should absolve other member states from their legal obligations under EU law, international refugee law or maritime law.
- End returns to Libya: Libya is a country torn apart by war, where refugees and migrants are regularly detained in horrific conditions that violate their basic human rights. Women, children and men who are returned to Libya by the EU-supported Libyan coastguard or under instructions from Maritime Rescue and Coordination Centres face automatic, arbitrary detention and the real risk of torture and other serious human rights violations. Authoritative sources, including some of the signatory organisations, have documented specific cases in which intercepted or rescued persons were tortured and abused upon their return to Libya. The UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, has urged states to refrain from returning any third-country nationals to Libya because of risk to their safety. European governments should establish clear benchmarks, including an end to arbitrary detention, and be prepared to suspend cooperation and assistance to the Libyan coastguard if not met.
The situation is becoming more urgent than ever and we urge you to take immediate action.
List of Signatories
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
ACT Alliance EU
Action Against Hunger
Churches´ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME)
Danish Refugee Council
The European Council on Refugees and Exiles
European Evangelical Alliance
Human Rights Watch
The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC)
Missing Children Europe
Mixed Migration Centre
The Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM)
Médecins Sans Frontières
AOI (national network)
Concord Italia (national network)
Focsiv (national network)
Gcap Italia (national network)
Marche Solidali (regional network)
Sonia per un mondo nuovo e giusto
African Media Association Malta
Blue Door English
Amnesty the Netherlands
Dutch Refugee Council
Pax for Peace