From the TUC

Save migrants’ lives in the Med

23 Apr 2015, by in International

The TUC has joined the international chorus calling for the European Union to restore the funding needed for initiatives like ‘Mare Nostrum’ to protect the lives of refugees and migrants attempting the dangerous Mediterranean crossing. Ahead of the emergency leaders’ summit today, Frances O’Grady wrote directly to Prime Minister David Cameron, urging him to back appropriate action to save lives.

She was joining the European Trade Union Confederation, who on Monday expressed their horror at the deaths over the weekend, and bodies like Amnesty International, who are calling for a more effective approach.

ETUC General Secretary Elect Luca Visentini said on Monday:

“The world’s richest nations cannot sit by and watch desperate people drown in their thousands just off the EU’s coastline. The deaths that have followed the end of search and rescue operations last year were entirely predictable, and are all the more reprehensible as a result. Those who said that search and rescue just encouraged migration should hold their heads in shame.”

And Frances O’Grady added yesterday that:

“The huge number of migrants who have lost their lives in the Mediterranean this year alone must move EU leaders to immediately resume the ‘Mare Nostrum’ search and rescue operation. It is inexcusable that this operation which could have prevented the deaths of migrants at sea was stopped last year. 

“Only stability and social justice at home will stop desperate people risking the crossing to Europe. But we shouldn’t let austerity and euro-scepticism obstruct the EU’s humanitarian duty to protect those fleeing war and poverty.”