Carlos Coelho : “Saving human lives should be a priority for all “
The European Parliament debated today, in Strasbourg, the statement by the Council and the Commission on the “Recent incidents of human trafficking in the Mediterranean“, debate with the participation of MEP Carlos Coelho.
It is estimated that over 3,500 people died trying to cross the Mediterranean. Only on Christmas Day 1300 were saved .
Carlos Coelho warned of the fact that “we observe a new – and frightening – traffickers strategy: abandoning large freighters, on autopilot, loaded with third-country nationals . There were over a thousand immigrants in inhumane conditions”, honoring the authorities whom have rescued thousands of people in recent months.
For the Social Democrat, “we have to think in the long run, work the source of the problems: in particular through agreements with the countries of origin, legal immigration routes, help to development. Only in that way we can reduce sustainably this growing migratory pressure“.
On the other hand, Carlos Coelho stressed that “it is imperative to prevent the Mediterranean from becoming yet another tragedy scenario, similar to that where immigrants struggle to escape. Many have said and I agree that the Mediterranean can not become the Europe’s cementery” and stressed that “we must effectively punish traffickers and must be human with the weakest element of this phenomenon: men, women and children trying to escape the unimaginable scourges.”
For the MEP “we must rethink the role of Frontex and ensure it has the most appropriate instruments and we have to have a real solidarity asylum system“;
Carlos Coelho, finished calling for the standardization of search and rescue operations, pointing out that last year a Regulation was approved that establishes mandatory rules on search and rescue operations at sea of migrants for what “we must now answer to the different rules between operations financed by the EU budget and Member States’ responsibility. Saving human lives should be a priority for all“!