Lampedusa tragedy highlights need for more effective EU immigration policies, says development organisation

worldvisionAs European Commission President José Manuel Barroso visits Lampedusa on 9 October, the site where more than 100 East African refugees recently drowned, World Vision is calling on the EU to review its approach to immigration and development policy.

“This desperate tragedy has highlighted once again the need for a unified and humane EU policy on refugees and asylum seekers – an issue raised at a recent EU Justice and Human Affairs Council meeting,” said World Vision’s EU representative, Marius Wanders. “Those who died in this awful situation were a part of the ‘human tide’ from south of the Sahara and among the lives lost are those of innocent children.”

World Vision is calling on the EU to reassess its treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as commit to aiding people in their countries of origin.

“It is not enough to crack down on the smugglers who lure Africans onto their unseaworthy boats, or discuss changes in border control policy. The tragedy begins when people put their lives on the line, because they feel they do not have a choice or any prospects for survival,” says Wanders.

“Eritrea and Somalia have been ravaged by conflict and hunger. If further tragedies such as Lampedusa are to be avoided, then the EU and its member states will have to make a long-term commitment to promoting social and economic transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

“The Post 2015 global development framework currently being negotiated at UN level provides an opportunity for the EU and other major powers to commit to a sustained engagement with the countries of Sub-Saharan Africa to eradicate poverty and to promote their economic development over the coming years,” he says.

“If the EU develops more effective immigration and development co-operation policies, we will avoid having to witness many more desperate migrants meeting their deaths in the same tragic manner as those who recently died off Lampedusa.”


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Category: A Frontpage, Development, Disasters, European Commission

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