Tag Archives: Tineke Strik

PACE to Conduct Hearing: “Lives Lost in the Mediterranean Sea: Who is Responsible?” (Paris, 29 Nov)

The PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, in connection with the preparation of a report by Ms Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) on the deaths of boat people who have died in the Mediterranean, will conduct a hearing in Paris on 29 November.  Ms Strik was appointed in June 2011 by the PACE Committee as Rapporteur to prepare a report on the deaths of boat people who have died in the Mediterranean since January 2011.

“The hearing will look at the loss of human life at sea, it will examine the right of families to receive information on the victims, and it will consider the rules applicable under international law and maritime law relevant to rescue at sea. The hearing will also examine international co-ordination regarding interception and rescue at sea, as well as the role of the national authorities, NATO and FRONTEX.  The participants include representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, FRONTEX, the Italian Council for Refugees, and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law.”

The hearing seems to be open only to members of the press and will be held at the Council of Europe, 55 avenue Kléber, 75016 PARIS (Metro: Boissière).

Click here and here for more information.

Click here for my last post on this topic.

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PACE Report: Lampedusa Reception Centres Not Suitable Holding Facilities for Migrants

The PACE Ad Hoc Sub-Committee on the large-scale arrival of irregular migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees on Europe’s southern shores has issued a report on the migrant reception centres on Lampedusa.  A delegation of the sub-committee members visited Lampedusa in May of this year.

From the PACE Press Release:  “The reception centres in Lampedusa are not suitable holding facilities for irregular migrants, in particular Tunisians. In practice, they are imprisoned there without access to a judge, according to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Ad Hoc Sub-Committee on the large-scale arrival of irregular migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees on Europe’s southern shores, in its report on its visit to Lampedusa*, which was declassified today [3 October 2011]. ‘The reception centres should remain just that and not be turned into holding centres,’ said Christopher Chope (United Kingdom, EDG), Chair of the ad hoc sub-committee and of the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population.  In this context, the ad hoc sub-committee is concerned by the tensions on the island, which have increased exponentially: arson in the main reception centre on 20 September caused serious damage and led to an upsurge in violence, leading the Italian authorities to declare Lampedusa an ‘unsafe port’. ‘These acts of violence are to be strongly condemned. They do not acknowledge the efforts of both the local population of Lampedusa and the Italian coastguards, who day after day do their utmost to rescue people at sea and to offer them temporary shelter on the island,’ declared the members of the ad hoc sub-committee….”

Excerpts from the Report:

“XV. Conclusions and recommendations

82. Much of the work observed by the delegation on Lampedusa warrants admiration, praise and broad support, even if some of the images provided in the media in the past have conveyed a rather more negative image. However some of the underlying problems noted by the delegation during its visit have manifested themselves in recent events, notably the arson attacks on the centre and the rising violence. Unfortunately what happened recently was foreseeable by the authorities and was inherent in the challenges of handling mixed flows of migrants and asylum seekers in the context of detention in a centre designed for reception.

83. What’s done is done, but lessons can usefully be learnt from the episode which has been painful both for Lampedusa and for the migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers who have been subjected to appalling conditions.

84. Lampedusa is still in the front line for arrivals of mixed migration flows by sea, in particular from Libya. The arrivals have not decreased in intensity and Italy and Europe must be ready to face up to a potentially even larger influx.

85. However, if we look at the number of arrivals so far, this is not a crisis for Italy or for Europe, but it is for Lampedusa.

86. In the immediate future, as soon as the situation is settled and the port is again considered safe, Lampedusa must remedy its limited reception capacity as the centres are immediately saturated by the arrival of boats with more and more people on board.

87. In the possibly very near future, if the number and frequency of arrivals increase, reception capacities in Italy will have to be brought into line. At the time of the visit, the Vice-Prefect and the Mayor were optimistic and convinced that the transfer system put in place was working, and that the situation would not deteriorate to the point reached earlier in the year. Furthermore, they considered that the transfer capacity could be increased through the planned provision of an additional boat. The members of the Sub-Committee at the time was confident that the Italian authorities would continue to do everything necessary to manage arrivals, even if their number were to increase. However, these measures – mostly designed for dealing with refugees and asylum-seekers fleeing Libya – have been proved insufficient to handle the challenge of handling the situation of the Tunisian migrants.

88. The Ad Hoc Sub-Committee wishes to voice its concern regarding a new agreement which the Italian authorities are reported to have signed with the authorities in Benghazi in Libya. The situation in Libya is not safe enough for people to be returned there and UNHCR’s position on this question remains unchanged. Furthermore, any attempt to deny access to persons entitled to international protection (and there are many of them in Libya) would be a clear breach of Italy’s international obligations.

89. There remains the issue of minimising loss of lives at sea and the need to ensure that all states fulfill their obligations of rescue at sea and the provision of access to international protection following any intervention.

90. Due to its proximity to North-Africa, Lampedusa is a key island to avoid even greater deaths at sea. If the boat people cannot hope to reach Lampedusa, their already highly dangerous journeys will become longer and therefore even more unsafe. To avoid more tragedies, Lampedusa’s reception capacities must be rebuild and improved as soon as possible.

91. The Ad Hoc Sub-Committee urges the Italian national, regional and local authorities to maintain their co-ordinated effort to manage arrivals of mixed migration flows in Lampedusa while complying with the relevant international standards and in co-operation with the international organisations and NGOs present on the island.

92. On the basis of its observations, the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee calls on the Italian authorities:

  • i. to continue to comply immediately and without exception with their obligation to rescue persons in distress at sea and to guarantee international protection, including the right of asylum and nonrefoulement;
  • ii. to introduce flexible measures for increasing reception capacities on Lampedusa;
  • iii. to improve conditions at the existing centres, and in particular the Loran base, while ensuring as a matter of priority that health and safety conditions meet existing standards – even when the centres are overcrowded – and carrying out strict and frequent checks to ensure that the private company responsible for running the centres is complying with its obligations;
  • iv. to ensure that new arrivals are able to contact their families as quickly as possible, even during their stay on Lampedusa, particularly at the Loran base, where there are problems in this regard;
  • v. to provide appropriate reception facilities for unaccompanied minors, ensuring that they are not detained and are kept separate from adults;
  • vi. to clarify the legal basis for the de facto detention in the reception centres in Lampedusa;
  • vii. where Tunisians in particular are concerned, only to keep irregular migrants in administrative detention under a procedure prescribed by law, authorised by a judicial authority and subject to periodic judicial review;
  • viii. to continue to guarantee the rapid transfer of new arrivals to reception centres elsewhere in Italy, even if their number were to increase;
  • ix. to consider the requests by the population of Lampedusa for support commensurate with the burden it has to bear, particularly in economic terms;
  • x. not to conclude bilateral agreements with the authorities of countries which are not safe and where the fundamental rights of the persons intercepted are not properly guaranteed, as in Libya.

93. Recalling the Assembly’s Resolution 1820 (2011) on “Asylum-seekers and refugees in Europe: sharing responsibilities”, the Ad Hoc Sub-Committee also recommends that all Council of Europe member states, and particularly the European Union member states, display greater solidarity by providing direct assistance to the countries, including Italy, which are currently faced with arrivals from the southern Mediterranean, and by accepting relocations within Europe where appropriate.

94. The Sub-Committee also urges member states to follow the example of the close co-operation between the Italian authorities and the member organisations of the “Praesidium Project” (UNHCR, IOM and the Red Cross) in managing arrivals and reception centres.

95. The Ad Hoc Sub-Committee invites the Italian authorities, through the Italian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly, to keep the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, appraised of progress on the 10 specific issues raised above on a six monthly basis.”

Click here for Report.

Click here for PACE Press Release.

Click here for my previous post.

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PACE Rapporteur Conducts Interviews in Italy Regarding Mediterranean Migrant Deaths

Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) concluded a two day fact-finding trip to Italy on 7 September as Rapporteur for the PACE Migration Committee.  She is investigating the deaths of boat people who have died in the Mediterranean since January 2011.  Strik interviewed Father Moses Zerai, an Eritrean priest, who was in satellite phone contact with several migrant boats during their voyages from Libya, including the disabled migrant boat that drifted for days in March-April this year and on which 61 persons are believed to have died.  In addition to Zerai, Strik interviewed three of the nine survivors from the boat, Italian Coastguard officials, and NGO and UNHCR staff.  Strik “is planning interviews with officials from Nato and the Maltese government, which the Italian coastguard says was alerted to the boat’s plight.”

From the PACE press statement: “‘There is an obligation to help all people in distress.  If anyone did not live up to this responsibility and deliberately did not assist them, they must not be allowed to get away with it. … The testimonies of witnesses directly involved in this incident are coherent, but we have to continue to collect more data and information on who was when and where in the area,’ Mrs Strik reported.  ‘My mission is to try to find out what went wrong, and if there was perhaps a gap in responsibility-sharing. The recommendation which will be contained in my report is aimed at establishing responsibilities and trying to determine how to deal with such incidents in the future. We have to draw the right lessons to prevent similar situations from occurring again.  … At the end of my inquiry, I expect national jurisdictions, governments and parliaments to carry on the investigations and I very much hope that the dynamic of truth … will pave the way,’ she concluded.”

Click here (EN), here (FR), and here (ES) for articles.

Click here for PACE press statement.

Click here for previous post.

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PACE Rapporteur to Begin Fact-Finding Mission to Italy to Investigate Mediterranean Migrant Deaths

Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) will begin a two day fact-finding trip to Italy on 6 September as Rapporteur for the PACE Migration Committee (Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe).  She is investigating the deaths of boat people who have died in the Mediterranean since January 2011.

From the PACE press statement of 2 September:  “Meetings are scheduled with survivors of a shipwreck, officers of Italian coastguard units, representatives of NGOs active in the field and representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  During her visit the rapporteur will in particular look into the way boats are intercepted – or not intercepted – by national coastguard forces, or by military vessels under either NATO or national command.  Further to reports that migrants and refugees have perished after their distress calls were ignored, the PACE Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population appointed Ms Strik in June to conduct an inquiry into these matters.”

From the PACE press statement issued in June 2011: “‘There have been allegations that migrants and refugees are dying after their appeals for rescue have been ignored,’ said Mrs Strik. ‘Such a grave allegation must be urgently investigated.  I intend to look into the manner in which these boats are intercepted – or not – by the different national coastguards, the EU’s border agency FRONTEX, or even military vessels. I also intend to speak to witnesses directly involved in reported incidents, and put questions to national authorities, the UNHCR, FRONTEX and NATO, among others.’  On 8 May, the Guardian newspaper reported that 61 boat people escaping from Libya had died after their appeals for rescue had been ignored by armed forces operating in the Mediterranean. The following day PACE President Mevlüt Çavusoglu called for ‘an immediate and comprehensive enquiry’ into the incident.”

Presumably Ms. Strik’s investigation will also seek information from Maltese authorities.  The Maltese Rescue Coordination Centre run by the Armed Forces of Malta is in possession of relevant information pertaining to incidents within the Maltese Search and Rescue Area where many (perhaps most?) of the migrant deaths have occurred.

Click here and here for COE press statements.

Click here for link to COE’s web page regarding “PACE’s Response to Migrants and refugees arriving from North Africa.”

Click here and here for my previous posts on the topic.

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PACE Appoints Tineke Strik as Rapporteur to Investigate Mediterranean Sea Deaths

The Migration Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has appointed Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) to prepare a report on the deaths of boat people who have died in the Mediterranean since January 2011.

From the PACE press statement: “‘There have been allegations that migrants and refugees are dying after their appeals for rescue have been ignored,’ said Mrs Strik. ‘Such a grave allegation must be urgently investigated.  I intend to look into the manner in which these boats are intercepted – or not – by the different national coastguards, the EU’s border agency FRONTEX, or even military vessels. I also intend to speak to witnesses directly involved in reported incidents, and put questions to national authorities, the UNHCR, FRONTEX and NATO, among others.’  On 8 May, the Guardian newspaper reported that 61 boat people escaping from Libya had died after their appeals for rescue had been ignored by armed forces operating in the Mediterranean. The following day PACE President Mevlüt Çavusoglu called for ‘an immediate and comprehensive enquiry’ into the incident.”

Click here for PACE press statement.

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PACE Adopts Resolution and Recommendation Regarding the Interception and Rescue at Sea of Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Irregular Migrants

On 21 June 2011, PACE adopted Resolution 1821 and Recommendation 1974 both relating to “the interception and rescue at sea of asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants.” 

Here are extensive excerpts:

Provisional edition – The interception and rescue at sea of asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants – Resolution 1821 (2011)1

“1.       The surveillance of Europe’s southern borders has become a regional priority. The European continent is having to cope with the relatively large-scale arrival of migratory flows by boat from Africa, reaching Europe mainly through Italy, Malta, Spain, Greece and Cyprus.

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5.       The Assembly notes that measures to manage these maritime arrivals raise numerous problems, of which five are particularly worrying:

5.1.       Despite several relevant international instruments satisfactorily setting out the rights and obligations of states and individuals applicable in this area, interpretations of their content appear to differ. Some states do not agree on the nature and extent of their responsibilities in specific situations and some states also call into question the application of the principle of non-refoulement on the high seas;

5.2.       While the absolute priority in the event of interception at sea is the swift disembarkation of those rescued to a “place of safety”, the notion of “place of safety” does not appear to be interpreted in the same way by all member states. Yet it is clear that the notion of “place of safety” should not be restricted solely to the physical protection of people, but necessarily also entails respect for their fundamental rights;

5.3.       Divergences of this kind directly endanger the lives of the persons to be rescued, in particular by delaying or preventing rescue measures, and are likely to dissuade seafarers from rescuing people in distress at sea. Furthermore, they could result in a violation of the principle of non-refoulement in respect of a number of persons, including some in need of international protection;

5.4.       Although the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member states of the European Union (Frontex) plays an ever increasing role in interception at sea, the guarantees of respect for human rights and obligations arising under international and European Union law in the context of the joint operations it co-ordinates are inadequate;

5.5.       Finally, these sea arrivals place a disproportionate burden on the states located on the southern borders of the European Union. The goal of responsibilities being shared more fairly and greater solidarity in the migration sphere between European states is far from being attained.

6.       The situation is rendered more complex by the fact that these migratory flows are of a mixed nature and therefore call for specialised and tailored protection-sensitive responses in keeping with the status of those rescued. To respond to sea arrivals adequately and in line with the relevant international standards, the states must take account of this aspect in their migration management policies and activities.

[***]

8.       Finally and above all, the Assembly reminds the member states that they have both a moral and legal obligation to save persons in distress at sea without the slightest delay, and unequivocally reiterates the interpretation given by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which states that the principle of non-refoulement is equally applicable on the high seas. The high seas are not an area where states are exempt from their legal obligations, including those emerging from international human rights law and international refugee law.

9.       Accordingly, the Assembly calls on the member states, when conducting maritime border surveillance operations, whether in the context of preventing smuggling and trafficking in human beings or in connection with border management, be it in the exercise of de jure or de facto jurisdiction, to:

9.1.       fulfil without exception and without delay their obligation to save people in distress at sea;

9.2.       ensure that their border management policies and activities, including interception measures, recognise the mixed make-up of flows of individuals attempting to cross maritime borders;

9.3.       guarantee for all intercepted persons humane treatment and systematic respect for their human rights, including the principle of non-refoulement, regardless of whether interception measures are implemented within their own territorial waters, those of another state on the basis of an ad hoc bilateral agreement, or on the high seas;

9.4.       refrain from any practices that might be tantamount to direct or indirect refoulement, including on the high seas, in keeping with the UNHCR’s interpretation of the extraterritorial application of that principle and with the relevant judgements of the European Court of Human Rights;

9.5.       carry out as a priority action the swift disembarkation of rescued persons to a “place of safety” and interpret a “place of safety” as meaning a place which can meet the immediate needs of those disembarked and in no way jeopardises their fundamental rights, since the notion of “safety” extends beyond mere protection from physical danger and must also take into account the fundamental rights dimension of the proposed place of disembarkation;

9.6.       guarantee access to a fair and effective asylum procedure for those intercepted who are in need of international protection;

9.7.       guarantee access to protection and assistance, including to asylum procedures, for those intercepted who are victims of human trafficking or at risk of being trafficked;

9.8.       ensure that the placement in a detention facility of those intercepted – always excluding minors and vulnerable categories –, regardless of their status, is authorised by the judicial authorities and occurs only where necessary and on grounds prescribed by law, that there is no other suitable alternative and that such placement conforms to the minimum standards and principles set forth in Assembly Resolution 1707 (2010) on the detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants in Europe;

9.9.       suspend any bilateral agreements they may have concluded with third states if the human rights of those intercepted are not appropriately guaranteed therein, particularly the right of access to an asylum procedure, and wherever these might be tantamount to a violation of the principle of non-refoulement, and conclude new bilateral agreements specifically containing such human rights guarantees and measures for their regular and effective monitoring;

9.10.       sign and ratify, if they have not already done so, the aforementioned relevant international instruments and take account of the Guidelines of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on the Treatment of Persons rescued at Sea;

9.11.       sign and ratify, if they have not already done so, the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (CETS No. 197) and the so-called “Palermo Protocols” to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (2000);

9.12.       ensure that maritime border surveillance operations and border control measures do not affect the specific protection afforded under international law to vulnerable categories such as refugees, stateless persons, women and unaccompanied children, migrants, victims of trafficking or at risk of being trafficked, or victims of torture and trauma.

10.       The Assembly is concerned about the lack of clarity regarding the respective responsibilities of European Union states and Frontex and the absence of adequate guarantees for the respect of fundamental rights and international standards in the framework of joint operations co-ordinated by that agency. While the Assembly welcomes the proposals presented by the European Commission to amend the rules governing that agency, with a view to strengthening guarantees of full respect for fundamental rights, it considers them inadequate and would like the European Parliament to be entrusted with the democratic supervision of the agency’s activities, particularly where respect for fundamental rights is concerned.

[***]”

Provisional edition – The interception and rescue at sea of asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants – Recommendation 1974 (2011)1

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4.       [***] the Assembly reminds the Committee of Ministers of its dual responsibility: to support those member states that are in need, but also to make sure that all human rights obligations are complied with in the context of the interception and rescue at sea of asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants, including by guaranteeing to those intercepted access to a fair and efficient asylum procedure.

5.       The Assembly therefore calls on the Committee of Ministers to:

5.1.       include in the training material all necessary elements to enable the trained persons to proceed to a screening assessment of the international protection needs of intercepted persons and to ensure that staff involved in the operations of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member states of the European Union (Frontex) are trained accordingly;

5.2.       define, in close co-operation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), guidelines and standard operating procedures, when interception and rescue at sea takes place, determining minimum administrative procedures to guarantee that those persons with international protection needs are identified and provided with the appropriate protection;

5.3.       continue monitoring the situation of large-scale arrivals of irregular migrants and asylum seekers, and in particular the issue of interception and rescue at sea, including by holding extraordinary meetings on the situation, where appropriate, and use the good offices of the UNHCR with its representative at the Council of Europe, where relevant.”

Click here for full text of Resolution 1821 (2011).

Click here for full text of Recommendation 1974 (2011).

Click here  for speech by Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) presenting the Resolution. (Scroll down page for the English text of speech.)

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PACE Delegation Completes Visit to Lampedusa

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.

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COE Parliamentary Assembly Adopts Resolution Regarding North African Migrants & Asylum Seekers

Earlier today PACE approved a resolution based on a report by Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC) addressing the large influx of migrants and asylum seekers on Europe’s southern borders.  From the PACE press statement: the Assembly “welcomed the efforts so far of the ‘frontline states’ to provide humanitarian assistance in line with their international obligations, and urged other European countries to ‘show solidarity’ with them, including by agreeing to resettle refugees and other persons with international protection needs. Malta was in a ‘particularly difficult situation’ given its small size, high population and limited resources… If the current wave of arrivals in Europe increases because of an even greater exodus of persons from Libya, in particular Libyans fleeing terror from Colonel Gaddafi’s regime or an entrenched civil war, the EU should consider applying its temporary protection directive….”

Excerpts from PACE Resolution 1805 (2011):

The large-scale arrival of irregular migrants, asylum seekers and refugees on Europe’s southern shores

“[***]

6.       The Parliamentary Assembly recognises that one of the first priorities is to deal with the humanitarian and international protection needs of those who have arrived on Europe’s shores, primarily in Italy and Malta. Member states, the European Union, international organisations, civil society and others all have a contribution to make and need to show solidarity with the front-line states. This solidarity and willingness to share responsibility needs to extend to the coast of North Africa and the many thousands of refugees and displaced persons still seeking ways to return home after fleeing from Libya. It should also extend to those migrants and refugees who are trapped in Libya awaiting the chance to flee.

7.       The Assembly notes that while there has been a wave of arrivals, there has not yet been the feared total deluge. This distinction is important because it has not always been clearly made by politicians, the media and others, leading to heightened fear and misunderstanding among the general public and calls for exaggerated responses.

8.       The Assembly recognises the pressure that the front-line countries of the Council of Europe are under, and welcomes their efforts to provide humanitarian assistance in line with international obligations and encourages them to continue with these efforts. The Assembly reminds states of their international obligations not to push back boats which are carrying persons with international protection needs.

[***]

12.       The Assembly, recognising that events in North Africa are of concern to all member states of the Council of Europe, therefore calls on member states to:

12.1.        acknowledge that the arrival of a large number of irregular immigrants on the southern shores of Europe is the responsibility of all European states and requires a solution which envisages the need to share this responsibility collectively. The Assembly reminds member states of the repeated appeals of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights for the need for effective responsibility sharing;

12.2.       provide urgent humanitarian aid and assistance to all those persons arriving on Europe’s southern shores and other borders, including through the provision of adequate accommodation, shelter and health care, as highlighted previously in Assembly Resolution 1637 (2008) on Europe’s boat people: mixed migration flows by sea into southern Europe;

12.3.       refrain from automatic detention and have recourse to detention only where there is no other reasonable alternative, ensuring that conditions comply with minimum human rights standards as outlined in Assembly Resolution 1707 (2010) on detention of asylum seekers and irregular migrants in Europe;

12.4.       ensure that vulnerable persons, including women and children, victims of torture, victims of trafficking, and the elderly, are not detained and receive appropriate care and assistance;

12.5.       guarantee the right of asylum and non-refoulement through, inter alia:

12.5.1.       ensuring that states give access to their territory to persons in need of international protection;

12.5.2.       assuring the quality and consistency of asylum decisions in line with Assembly Resolution 1695 (2009) on improving the quality and consistency of asylum decisions in the Council of Europe member states;

12.6.       ensure that, in screening arrivals and carrying out asylum determinations, these are carried out without delay, but that speed is not given preference over fairness;

12.7.       provide full support to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), International Organisation for Migration (IOM), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and other international and national organisations providing humanitarian and other assistance, both in North Africa and in the European countries of arrival, and generously take part in resettlement programmes for refugees stranded in North African countries;

12.8.       show solidarity in the challenges faced, which includes sharing responsibility with front-line states, including by:

12.8.1.       giving further support to the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (Frontex) and the newly established European Asylum Agency (EASO), and encouraging further use of European Union funding available through the External Borders Fund, the Return Fund, the European Refugee Fund and the Integration Fund;

12.8.2.       looking into the possibility of taking on commitments for resettlement of those with international protection needs from the European countries of arrival and on suspending the application of the Dublin Regulations or on considering other forms of responsibility sharing, through the use of existing mechanisms provided for in the Dublin Regulation, including the solidarity clause in Article 3(2) and the humanitarian clause in Article 15;

12.8.3.       working together, including with the European Union, on the issue of voluntary and forced returns, taking into account necessary human rights safeguards when relying on readmission agreements in line with Assembly Resolution 1741 (2010) on readmission agreements: a mechanism for returning irregular migrants;

12.8.4.        acknowledging the particularly difficult situation in which Malta finds itself, in view of the size of its territory, its high population density and limited human and material resources, and committing to the resettlement of those with international protection needs.

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14.       If a mass exodus of Libyan refugees occurs because of increasing terror by Colonel Gaddafi or the emergence of a civil war, the Assembly encourages the European Union member states to consider applying the temporary protection directive (Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof). It is important, however, to ensure that no states are considering returning Libyans at this stage and that at least a form of temporary protection is provided in practice.

[***]”

Click here for Resolution. (Resolution 1805 (2011))

Click here for Recommendation. (REC 1967 (2011))

Click here for PACE press statement.

Click here for Report, Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, Rapporteur: Ms Tineke STRIK, (Doc. 12581, 13 April 2011).

 

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