Campaign launch: EU must take urgent action in the face of increasing migrant death toll at sea

Amnesty International researchers, recently returned from observing rescue operations on board an Italian navy vessel, are available for interviews.

Amid news of further shipwrecks in the central Mediterranean, with reports of more than 700 feared drowned in the last few days, Amnesty International is releasing a promotional video ahead of a major report to be published on 30 September. As part of its S.O.S. Europe campaign the organization is calling on the European Union (EU) and its member states to protect the lives and rights of refugees and migrants, and to ensure access to asylum for those who need it.

“The mounting death toll is a blight on the reputation of the EU and its member states who must urgently act together, now, to ensure that no more men, women and children lose their lives making the perilous journey in their desperate attempt to reach European shores,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International.

“With hundreds of thousands fleeing war and poverty across the Middle East and Africa, the priority must be to protect lives rather than creating an impenetrable fortress.”

Amnesty International’s promotional video, Not on your radar, can be downloaded here:

On 30 September Amnesty International will launch a major report, Lives adrift: Refugees and migrants drowning in the Central Mediterranean. Its findings are based on recent visits to Italy, including a recent research trip on an Italian Navy vessel and interviews with asylum seekers, migrants and authorities.

Amnesty International is calling for the EU to invest more resources in search and rescue capacities in the central Mediterranean, and to open more safe and legal routes for refugees.

The report is to be unveiled on 30 September 2014 in Brussels just ahead of the first anniversary of the shipwreck off the coast of Lampedusa, which claimed over 300 lives. 

For more information and to arrange an interview please contact:

Lydia Aroyo, Europe and Central Asia Press Officer at the International Secretariat on +44 (0) 20 74135599, +44 (0) 7771796350 (mobile) or write to [email protected].