Amnesty International has asked the European Union (EU) and its Member States to urgently act to protect the rights and lives of all migrants and refugees.
The human rights organisation made the call after the latest tragedy and loss of migrants’ and refugees’ lives off the coast of Lampedusa, Italy.
More than 50 people have lost their lives in the two consecutive shipwrecks between Italy and Libya, with hundreds still missing.
Last October’s shipwrecks off the coast of Lampedusa cost over 400 lives and triggered many statements of sadness and solidarity up to the highest level in the EU.
Amnesty pointed out that to date, “EU leaders have consistently and collectively failed to take concrete action to prevent further deaths a long Europe’s borders.”
The organisation said the “increasing death toll highlights the ineffectiveness of the EU’s current migration and asylum policies and practices, which focus on preventing people from reaching Europe at any human cost.”
Amnesty added that the “increasingly restrictive policies and practices have only forced desperate people to take more hazardous routes. With virtually no safe and legal routes to Europe, people are increasingly pushed into the hands of smugglers and traffickers, and are forced to risk their lives on unseaworthy vessels.”
Amnesty called for an urgent shift in the EU asylum and migration policies to save lives.
The organisation urged the European leaders to use their Justice and Home Affairs Council taking place on 5th and 6th June and the European Summit taking place on 26th and 27th June “to redefine Europe’s approach to migration and asylum policy, before further lives are lost.”
Amnesty further asked the “EU leaders to ensure people are put at the heart of migration and asylum policies and practices by ensuring more search and rescue, safe and legal routes to Europe.” The organisation also asked the EU to stop “the outsourcing of migration control to non-EU countries with deplorable human rights records.”
( Courtesy News Africa & Amnesty International ……… Source …….. Our Freelance Contributor in London)