Italy's Far-Right Government Leaves Hundreds Of Migrants Stranded At Sea
12 June, 2018, 01:32 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
Charity boats operating off the Libyan coast have played an increasingly important role in rescuing migrants who are often put to sea in flimsy inflatable boats not designed for the open sea. Speaking to Spanish public radio broadcaster RNE Monday, Vimard said that on-board food supplies would last only one more day.
A migrant rests on the deck of the MV Aquarius as it sails into the Sicilian port of Messina, on May 14, 2018.
Muscat said he told Conte "that Malta is acting in full conformity with its worldwide obligations".
Earlier, Aquarius crew member Alessandro Porro told news channel Sky TG24, that the ship was north of Malta and had "received no communications from the Maltese authorities".
But they need the cooperation of the Italian coastguard.
Rescue at sea is regulated by global law, which "is clear on the fact that any shipmaster has the obligation to provide assistance to persons in distress at sea", said Dr. Sarah Wolff, a lecturer in Public Policy at Queen Mary University, London.
The rescuers say those on board Acquarius include 123 unaccompanied minors, 11 children, and 7 pregnant women. "We will continue, where possible, carrying out individual&humanitarian emergency medical evacuations", Prime Minister Joseph Muscat tweeted.
"A state which allows disembarkation on its territory of rescued persons - particularly in situations involving large numbers of people - need not, in UNHCR's view, be exclusively responsible for providing durable solutions on its own territory".
"From now on, Italy isn't alone, and we hope other European leaders follow" Spain's example, said Di Maio, who along with the League is seeking to renegotiate the EU regulations that determine which EU country is responsible for processing asylum claims.
It suggested that the hundreds on board "are running out of provisions".
"Broader issues such as who has responsibility and how these responsibilities can best be shared between States should be looked at later", he said in the statement. "We will not stop now", Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, said.
EU rules mean migrants must apply for asylum in the European country where they first arrive, putting pressure on Italy and Greece, the entry points for hundreds of thousands of people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Africa and Asia since 2015.
"Naples is ready, without funds, to save lives", he said. "Above all else we have to save human lives", said Colau, when asked about the crisis during a breakfast meeting.
Such rhetoric is largely symbolic as the MRCC in Rome is the only organization that can authorize the docking of a foreign-flagged ship in Italy - city mayors do not have the power to do so.
With a new government in place in Italy this month, it didn't take long for some new policies to come into effect.
Italy has had to accept some 700,000 migrants since 2013, in line with the controversial Dublin Regulation requiring to declare refugee status in their first country of arrival.
Last week, Salvini said Rome should increase its deportations of migrants. The island nation has reduced the number of migrants it has taken in over the past decade, from a high of 2,775 in 2008 to just 23 a year ago, according to U.N. statistics.
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