European foreign and defence ministers meet today at an emergency summit to deal with the deepening migrant crisis off Italy’s southern coast. In the last week alone more than 1,000 men, women and children are feared to have drowned in Mediterranean shipwrecks.
Commenting on the meeting, Refugee Action Chief Executive Stephen Hale OBE said:
‘More than 1,500 people have died in the Mediterranean already this year. These are human beings fleeing war, conflict and human rights atrocities, forced to risk their lives in search of safety. The termination of search and rescue in October 2014 was a death sentence for refugees issued by European governments.’
Hale continues: ‘Britain and other European countries must all play their part. We are in the midst of a global refugee crisis. Lives are at stake. Today Europe’s foreign ministers must rediscover their humanity, and restart search and rescue efforts.’