A delegation from the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population has just completed a two day visit to Lampedusa. The members of the delegation were Christopher Chope (United Kingdom, EDG), Chair of the Migration Committee, Giacomo Santini (Italy, EPP/CD), First Vice-Chair of the Migration Committee, Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC), Chair of the Sub-Committee on Refugees, Tina Acketoft (Sweden, ALDE), and Annette Groth (Germany, UEL). The delegation reported that while the situation in Lampedusa in regard to newly arriving migrants is under control when compared with the situation earlier in the year, the “reception facilities on Lampedusa were inadequate for longer stays – especially for vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied children – and that transfers to better-equipped centres elsewhere in Italy should be carried out within days: ‘In particular, the situation of the Tunisians that have been on the island in detention-like conditions for almost three weeks should be dealt with as soon as possible.’”
The delegation also said that “[t]he arrivals to Lampedusa are not the sole responsibility of a tiny island. There have been enough calls for responsibility-sharing and for solidarity. It is time that Europe acted on them. … Too many have already died at sea trying to reach Europe. … Europe must try to protect asylum seekers and refugees in a way that they are not forced to risk their lives first.”
Click here for PACE statement.
Click here for earlier announcement of the visit.