Open your ports to migrant rescue boats

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A dangerous violation of human rights has just taken place in the Mediterranean Sea. The rescue ship Aquarius carrying 629 migrants, including over 100 children, was turned away by the Italian authorities. I’m calling on Britain to apply pressure on the Italian government to uphold its obligation to human rights and allow rescue ships to dock.  

I escaped from my country at the age of 17, from a fierce dictatorship, to avoid conscription for life. In my journey I suffered violence and imprisonment, I risked death, and I was rejected on the first attempt to cross the Mediterranean. In the end I managed to reach Italy. I survived but in the years since, thousands of other people with stories like mine did not make it.

Under the European Convention on Human Rights, Italy must welcome rescue ships. The Italian government played a dangerous game with the lives of those on board the Aquarius. Spain announced that it would welcome the ship, but next time it could end in tragedy.

This is why we need your support. We need you to call on Foreign Minister Boris Johnson to tell the Italian Government to #StayHuman: open your harbours and welcome rescue ships at your ports.

We also demand that all EU countries commit to opening their ports and welcoming refugees. EU governments must invest resources in search and rescue programs in the Mediterranean Sea and, at the same time, invest resources in the countries of migrants’ transit and adopt common policies on the migrants’ countries of origin.

Europe cannot continue to be a silent spectator of these tragic events. We must mobilise so episodes like this are never repeated. Migration must be tackled with policies that seriously involve all the countries of the EU. I ask you with all my heart: #StayHuman.



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