The situation on the Mediterranean Sea is getting worse, despite the warnings of human rights defenders and despite the recommendations of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights who criticizes the approach focused on measures preventing migrants and refugees to arrive in Europe at the expense of the human rights-based humanitarian approach.
The absence of a systemic and durable solution, the lack of solidarity towards the States concerned by the arrival of migrants across the Mediterranean (Greece, Spain, Italy), the restrictive measures employed towards civil society acting within the limits of humanitarian law and international maritime law, many citizens organize rescue at sea, fulfill their ethical duty, civil disobedience, and risk their lives and freedom.
The courage shown by Carola Racket, captain of the last Sea Watch boat that docked at Lampedusa, has once again awakened public opinion and parliamentarians across Europe. We cannot remain indifferent to this new disaster that continues to transform the Mediterranean Sea into a cemetery.
In April 2019, solidarity and indignation were shown at the event organized at the Palais de l’Europe by the Intelligence Unit – Migration of the Conference of INGOs, sponsored by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons. Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The many participants “called on the governments concerned and the EU to take steps to ensure that the complex problems of migration no longer lead to the criminalization of those who assist people in distress”.
Faced with these new cases of “crime of solidarity”, the watch cell of the Conference of INGOs calls for respect for the rule of law and requests the cancellation of the charges against Pia KLEP, captain of the Sea Watch 3, accused by the Italian justice of complicity in illegal immigration between 2016 and 2017.
Both national authorities and intergovernmental institutions should remember that “civilizational” progress is only possible through the participation of civil society and the commitment of the population to human rights, democracy and the state. by right. This is the time to demonstrate it by agreeing on a common and effective response for a management of the reception of migrants who takes as a compass the dignity of the human person.
Marie Hélène, RENATE representative to Council of Europe Conference of INGOs. Strasbourg the 5th of July 2019.