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28th June 2018, 14:45:21 UTC

Amnesty International Ireland welcomes the Irish government’s ‘offer of refuge’ to 20- 25 people who were stranded on board a ship that was refused docking in a number of countries, but calls for a European wide response.


“The Irish government’s decision to take in approximately 25 people is a very welcome, and humane, move. Though the numbers are comparatively small, this is a clear example of what a Europe built on solidarity could function and look like. It also shows us that if political will was there, Europe would be perfectly capable of responding to this crisis, “said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland.


“Instead, we are seeing policies designed to inflame fear against refugees and asylum seekers. Leaving people stranded at sea is a cruel way to stoke political hysteria, especially when it is clear that the actual solution is European leaders working together to fix the broken asylum system.


“Europe also needs to refrain from further externalising border control and refugee protection. Forcing people back to Libya, including by allowing the Libyan coastguard to take people back, makes Europe complicit in the horrific human rights abuses people face there. They should instead focus on building a fair asylum system based on solidarity.


“We urge all European states to come up with a solution that ensures the safety of those aboard these boats, that access to international protection remains at the heart of this solution and that Member States shares the responsibilities for reception and processing.”