Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on the international community to do more to tackle the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean which has already claimed the lives of thousands.
Speaking from Lampedusa, Sicily, as part of a GUE/NGL delegation to see the impact of the migrant crisis at first hand, Ms Anderson said;
“The scale of the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean demands immediate humanitarian action from the international community.
“More than 2,000 migrants fleeing violence and poverty have already died making the Mediterranean crossing this year and many more have been rescued from the sea.
“Many of those who are rescued are taken to taken to reception centres in Lampedusa, including one for children who have made the crossing alone or lost their parents.
“No one who has visited those reception centres could fail to be moved by the harrowing experiences of the migrants, both during the crossing and the circumstances that led them to make such a perilous journey.
“Others have been returned to the horrendous conditions they sought to escape. Detaining migrants in Sicily or returning them to war zones is not the way to deal with this crisis. Any response must be based on humanitarian grounds.
“We also met with lawyers and others who are working on behalf of the migrants to get an update on the picture of the ground and it is clear that the humanitarian situation is getting worse.
“The international community, and the European Union in particular, must take immediate humanitarian action to prevent further deaths in the Mediterranean.” Ends/Críoch