Oxfam appeals to the EU for the reactivation of a robust search and rescue program and for legal and safe passage for migrants

Up to 700 people - possibly more - may have died in the latest wreck of a migrants' ship in the straits between Libya and Italy. Words and consternation are no longer enough, says international agency Oxfam. 

According to Alessandro Bechini, the Manager of Oxfam Italy's Programs, “We must admit now that the multi-national European force that has been in operation for less than six months, Operation Triton, is not strong enough to cope with the huge stream of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea, often in great peril. The apparent indifference being shown by the European community is reckless. The Italian Coast Guard are saving hundreds of human lives every day, as are many sea workers, and they deserve our gratitude.”

“Oxfam is demanding that EU Member States stop wringing their hands in consternation and instead find the resources needed immediately to pay for a decent search and rescue mechanism that can cope with this unfolding and worsening crisis. Europe can no longer be party to the scandal of thousands of women, children and men, desperate enough to risk their lives to escape war and hunger, ending up in body bags from the tragedies now happening in the Mediterranean Sea."

Contact information: 

Maria Teresa Alvino, 0039 348 9803541
Email: mariateresa.alvino@oxfam.it

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.