Times of Malta reports on comments made by the head of UNHCR’s Malta Office, Jon Hoisaeter, who said that “international law was not clearly defined when it came to the disembarkation of migrants after rescue operations.”
“There are situations when urgent health and safety considerations would require that those rescued are brought to the nearest safe port of call. In fact, even the new Frontex guidelines acknowledge this… Asylum seekers should be brought to a territory where their situation and claims can be individually assessed in a fair manner. Of course, close cooperation among relevant states will often be crucial to successfully undertake rescue-at-sea operations.”
“The UNHCR supports the development of guidelines that can facilitate rescue and reduce the risk of lives being lost at sea. However, with or without support from Frontex, search and rescue operations are primarily the responsibility of states.”
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