Scapegoats for Failed EU Politics?
Joint statement related to the EP conference on the criminalisation of SAR NGOs
BRUSSELS, 27TH OF FEBRUARY The today’s conference on the criminalisation of civil search and rescue activities, thus solidarity, along the Central Mediterranean route, concludes with the following demands. Thereby it is necessary to highlight significant policy decisions that have had a precarious impact on migrants and refugees during their journey to Europe whilst seeking for safety. We urge the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the EU leaders to choose a rights-based system to respond to migration, based on a viable human and just long-term strategic vision, rather than pursuing the inhumane objective of externalising border control as its top priority. The mortality rate in the Mediterranean is maintaining despite deterrence policies, thus, the human security needs to be prioritised.
Therefore, we call on the EU institutions and the European leaders to:
- Stop the financing and support of the Libyan Coast Guard immediately.
- Stop any readmissions of people by the EU to a third country, that violates fundamental rights and rule of law, including the principle of non-refoulement. We urge the EU to stop any policy that aims to circumvent International Humanitarian Law and the Geneva Refugee Convention by outsourcing sea rescue operations to the LCG, that do not respect international refugee and maritime law.
- Establish a European Search and Rescue operation with larger capacities and resources as the Mare nostrum program had – even under Mare Nostrum, thousands of people died at sea.
- Reject the Global Approach to Migration and Mobility (GAMM) and the European Agenda on Migration and develop a sustainable long-term, evidence-based strategy, based on human rights in consultation with civil society and experts.
- Ensure legal pathways to EU territory through the EU wide introduction of humanitarian visas, resettlement and family reunification.
- Exclude any conditionality based on migration control indicators in the allocation of development aid to third countries. Development aid is a tool to fight poverty and inequality, not to manage migration.
- Reject any policies and programs with the target to criminalise refuge and migration.
- Stop the process of defamation and criminalisation of the civil search and rescue flotilla.
- Ensure real solidarity between the member states of the European Union to guarantee that states at the external borders of the union are not left alone with people arriving at their borders – the externalisation of EU borders is not an adequate response.
- Commit to a foreign, trade and agricultural policy focused on preventing and
unlocking protracted crises.