Refugee Action warns Home Secretary against ending search and rescue in the Mediterranean

Last updated June 16, 2015Press release

Meeting EU counterparts in Luxembourg today Theresa May rejected the EU’s relocation package as providing a pull factor to asylum seekers. It also transpired that there is a risk that the UK will terminate its search and rescue operations next month.

In response, Stephen Hale, Refugee Action’s chief executive, commented:

“The fact that almost 2,000 lives were lost earlier this year by those crossing the Mediterranean despite the lack of search and rescue operations is a testament to the brutal conditions people are leaving behind.”

He added:

“Britain must continue to contribute to search and rescue during this humanitarian crisis as well as offer solutions to the problem at its source.”

“Theresa May needn’t wait for the EU’s negotiations to conclude. The UK has a proud history of offering a way out for refugees fleeing humanitarian crises in Vietnam, Uganda and Kosovo. David Cameron must commit to resettle thousands of refugees to the UK at the European Summit next week, and help prevent people risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean.”

Refugee Action and Citizens UK will celebrate the role the UK has played protecting those fleeing persecution on Wednesday 24th June. Over fifty refugees including those who fled Nazi Germany and wars in Vietnam and Bosnia will unite in a walk of witness across London. The group will call for increased resettlement to those at urgent risk.

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