In light of the recent tragedies; and with reference to what our colleagues at FYEG have said, we would like to express our opinion on what has happened.
We have long observed what was happening at sea, the story of people dying at sea seems to be an ongoing loop which happens at least yearly. This incident is not isolated solely to the Sicily Channel, since such incidents have been happening also near Mellilla in Spain. The story of 900 people though, seems exaggerated. We are now discovering that the issue lies deeper than ‘migrants’ running away, but it also is a story of human trafficking, abuse and murder. The people in that sea died a miserable death. No one deserves it.
For years, the EU seems to have been putting this tragedy under the proverbial Mediterranean Carpet – either by ignoring or by increasing the funding to the border countries in the South such as Malta. No mention of ever changing Dublin 2 was encouraged, lest the problem escapes from the Southern states.
This tragedy however, seems to have tickled the issue of the rest of Europe. There seems to be a suggestion of blocking the borders – putting the problem elsewhere.
The 1951 convention for the Rights of Refugees and Displaced person still applies. The EU needs to make sure that the right of the Human Being is not destroyed or touched upon. People living under threat still have the right to apply for a humanitarian Visa. There is a need to ensure that people living under threats have this right, together with all the human rights owed to them by dignity.
Anna Azzopardi (ADŻ Malta Green Youth General Secretary)