Last migrant boat disaster in the Mediterranean means too much tragedy. 700 migrants died last Saturday after 400 the previous Sunday. How many people will die before the European authorities take the necessary steps? The Mare Nostrum, cradle of civilizations, should not become a seaside cemetery.

 

Doctors of the World – Médecins du Monde (MdM) asks the 28 countries of the European Union to take immediate action, to find a solution to save the thousands of people fleeing the crisis in the Middle East and Africa and to put an end to these repeated tragedies.

There are many reasons why people flee their country, their communities, and their past life: poverty, hunger, discrimination, violence, war, and hope for freedom and a better future for their children. Behind each of these victims, men, women and children, there are hard facts, tragedies and the will to rebuild a destiny.

We must never forget migrants do not leave their country for pleasure. They do so in order to save their life, to escape poverty, to find opportunities that are not available at home, get trained, provide a future to their children. They do it in the hope of a better life, and maybe one day go back home proud of their success.

“Today, due to an escalation in conflicts around the world, a growing number of people are fleeing their home countries with no prospect of returning. These refugees are fleeing violence and other extreme circumstances. Why not welcome them, instead of requiring them to risk their lives? How can we not be outraged that Europe cannot organize even one Mediterranean Sea rescue worthy of the name? European leaders are pretending to be powerless; this is a serious failing. Humanitarian NGOs do not hold the solution in their hands. But, if European leaders continue to procrastinate UNHCR should step in and lead rescue operations. The United Nations have the responsibility to protect civilians in these war zones. It is imperative that we provide them more protection, more solidarity, more brotherhood.” Thierry Brigaud, president of MdM France.

Migration is a human right. Let’s change the paradigm. Let’s cease to see it as an assault. Let’s see it for what it really is, that is to say, an opportunity.

 

Médecins du Monde has long been committed with migrant populations and advocating for migrant rights. MdM accompanies migrants from their home countries of Afghanistan, Syria, sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere, and along the migration routes through Turkey, Algeria and Sahel. Along the way, MdM provides much-needed medical care and bears witness to the negative health consequences of the migration policies implemented by 28 European countries.

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