Statement on the Human Tragedy in the Mediterranean
Geneva, 22 April 2015
We, the undersigned civil society organizations are deeply shocked by the tragic death of hundreds of asylum seekers in the Mediterranean Sea in the early hours of Sunday, 19th April 2015. The exact number of the victims of this latest incident is unknown but according to the survivors account between 700 and 1,000 would be immigrants were on board the unfortunate boat. The overwhelming majority of the deceased are from Sub-Saharan Africa, Maghreb and the Middle East. The death of such a large number of persons is the latest in a series of such tragic incidents reported recently in the Mediterranean Sea. It brings the total number of people perished in their desperate attempts to cross the Mediterranean into Western Europe since the beginning of this year to about 2,500 individuals.
It is utterly unacceptable that a growing number of young people from Africa and the Middle East are paying their life savings money to lose their lives in this tragic way. It is a scare on the collective conscience of the countries of exit and countries of entry to remain idle towards a human tragedy of such a large scale.
We look forward to the International Conference on Illegal Migration in the Mediterranean to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh (Egypt) on 23 and 24 April 2015. This Conference should be an occasion for frank and fruitful discussion between all the concerned countries to address the root causes of this kind of migration and to provide adequate answers to the needs of the countries of exit and transit. We encourage the participants at the forthcoming Conference to:
1. Assume a leading role in supporting efforts for peace and political stability in the countries that face trouble in North Africa and the Middle East.
2. Redouble their efforts to dismantle organized human trafficking groups.
3. Provide sufficient financial resources and means for rapid intervention to the boarders guard in Western Europe and North Africa and ensure that they intervene on a timely basis to save the lives of immigrants at risk.
4. Elaborate a comprehensive plan of action to support development projects in the countries of origin and of transit so that suitable work conditions could be created.
5. Provide the internationally recognized government of Libya, as a matter of priority, with the necessary means to control the coasts and to combat organized criminal gangs that are active in human trafficking as a means to finance militia activities in the country.
1. African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Study
2. Al-Hakim Foundation
3. Association Apprentissage Sans Frontière (ASF)
4. Association Guinée Développement (GUIDE)
5. Association Solidarité Suisse Guinée
6. African Association of Education for Development
7. BANGWE et DIALOGUE/ONG
8. Comité Rwandais Pour la Démocratie et les Droits de l’Homme (CRDDH)
9. Conseil Mondial de la Diaspora Panafricaine (CMDP)
10. Coordination des Associations de la Société Civile et de Défense des Droits de l’Homme (CASCIDHO)
11. Darfur Relief and Documentation Centre
12. Espace Afrique International (EAI)
13. Himalayan Research and Cultural Foundation (HRCF)
14. Interfaith International
15. International Movement For Fraternal Union Among Races and Peoples
16. Nord Sud XXI
17. Omar Al-Mukhtar Human Rights Institute
18. Organisation de l’Unité Syndicale Africaine (OUSA)
19. Rencontre Africaine pour la Défense des Droits de l’Homme (RADDHO)
20. Réseau de Formation et de Recherche sur les Migrations Africaines (REFORMAF)
21. Tchad Agir pour l’environnement (TCHAPE)
22. Union Interafricaine des Droits de l’Homme (UIDH)
23. Vision Internationale d’Entraide (VIE)
24. World Igbo Congress (WIC)
25. Maloca International (MAIN)
Abdelbagi 0041 78 300 23 53
Jibril Biro Diawara 0041 76 467 98 66