Malta: Responsibility to rescue and protect people at sea scarcely addressed in review

Index Number: EUR 33/0056/2019

Since Malta’s last review, hundreds of thousands of people have attempted to reach safety in Europe by crossing the central Mediterranean on overcrowded, unseaworthy boats. Thousands have drowned trying.

The central Mediterranean route cuts through Malta’s vast search and rescue region, engaging its responsibility to ensure assistance at sea and disembarkation in a safe port.

Yet, Malta has displayed little inclination to expand rescue efforts and to ensure prompt disembarkation in a place of safety. Malta first relied on disembarkation in Italy, and now assists Libyan authorities in intercepting people and bringing them back to Libya where they are not safe.

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