GENEVA (30 October 2014) – Allowing people to die at Europe’s borders just because of their administrative status is a complete disregard for the value of human life, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, said today urging the British authorities to reconsider its decision not support search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
The United Kingdom Government announced earlier this week they will not support any future search and rescue operations to prevent migrants and refugees drowning in the Mediterranean, stating that such operations can encourage more people to attempt the dangerous sea crossing to enter Europe.
“Governments that do not support the search and rescue efforts have reduced themselves to the same level as the smugglers,” the human rights expert stressed. “They are preying on the precariousness of the migrants and asylum seekers, robbing them of their dignity and playing with their lives.”
“Migrants are human beings and just like the rest of us they too have rights. They too have the right to live and thrive,” Mr. Crépeau said. “To bank on the rise in the number of dead migrants to act as deterrence for future migrants and asylum seekers is appalling. It’s like saying, let them die because this is a good deterrence.”