VAP News > 2014 > 4th May 2015: No More Deaths in the Mediterranean Sea!

We, organisations and networks of the International Voluntary Service movement promoting peace, common understanding and human rights, want to address to International and National Institutions an urgent appeal to change direction of the actual policies on migration, that are causing suffering and death for thousands and thousands of people.

Stop the massacres!

On 19 April 2015, more than 800 migrants died on the Sicilian channel whilst attempting to reach the shores of Europe. This is only the most grave of the numerous massacres that go through the Mediterranean sea which testifies to the failure of both national and international policies governing migration: years of closed borders, of monitoring the sea, of illegitimate, of arbitrary arrests and of human rights violations have not done anything to stop the arrival of migrants into Europe, despite having been at the heart of the public debate on a political, legislative and even financial level. In fact, the most effective tool to combat “irregular” immigration is the facilitation of legal entry on the grounds of economic migrants who are individuals in need of international protection. There is no law that can stop those who risk their lives in their own country and have fled from war zones and persecution.

The six priorities to make a change in direction: the right to arrive and to seek asylum.

The European “Fortress” endangers the lives of thousands of people every year. It is essential to:

- Facilitate the “legal” entry into the European Union for work and job seeking;
- Immediately open the humanitarian corridors which allow refugees to enter into Europe without having to risk their lives;
- Launch a European operation that has as its sole objective the safety of human lives through the activities of search and rescue operations at sea;
- Suspend the Dublin III Regulation and abolish the requirement to apply for asylum in the first country of arrival;
- Suspend the existing agreements with countries who do not offer adequate and effective guarantee in respect to human rights;
- Prepare a welcome programme for asylum-seekers coordinated at European level, providing adequate resources.

The drafting of new agreements with third countries should be subject to the guarantee of the right to seek asylum, to the prohibition of collective expulsions and to the commitment to the principle of non-refoulement.

Our associations, which are active in the field of international volunteering, recognize human rights for all and reject all forms of intolerance and discrimination: we do not accept that national and international policies cause the death of thousands of people in search of a better future.

For this reason we launch this appeal to the international community and the European institutions so that action is taken as soon as possible in order to make a change in direction.

The signatories:

Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service - CCIVS; Alliance of European Voluntary Service Organizations; Service Civil International - SCI; International Cultural Youth Exchange - ICYE; Legambiente (IT); Lunaria (IT); Youth Action for Peace - YAP (IT); Volunteer Action for Peace - VAP (UK); Veraldarvinir/Worldwide Friends (IS); ESTYES (EE); Volunteers for Peace - VFP (US); Chantiers Sociaux Marocains - CSM (MA); Vive Mexico (MX); Subir al Sur (AR); Genctur (TU); Compagnons Bâtisseurs Belgium (BE); Internationale Begegnung in Gemeinschaftsdiensten - IBG (DE); INEX Slovakia (SK); Associazione Informagiovani (IT); Xchange Scotland (UK); Workcamp Switzerland (CH); Vereinigung Junger Freiwilliger - VJF (DE); Compagnons Bâtisseurs France (FR); Voluntarios Internacionales México - VIMEX (MX); Kenya Voluntary Development Association - KVDA (KEN); UNAREC Etudes et chantiers (FR); Stowarzyszenie Promocji Wolontariatu – FIYE (PL); De Amicitia (ES); JAVVA (BE); NICE (JP); Young Researchers of Serbia - YRS/VSS (SR); INEX-SDA (CZ); Citizens in Action (GR); Pro-International e.V. (DE); Association Concordia (FR); Solidarités Jeunesses (FR); Concordia (UK); Jeunesse et Reconstruction (FR); ICJA Freiwilligenaustausch (DE); Fundación Proyecto Ecológico Chiriboga (ECU); Centre for International Voluntary Service - CIVS (KEN); Vrijwillige Internationale Aktie - VIA-B (BE); UNA Exchange (UK); COCAT (ES); Grenzenlos (AT); IBO (IT); ICYE Ghana (GH); See Beyond Borders - SEEDS (IS); DaLaa (TH); Cambodian Youth Action - CYA (KH); AJOV (MZ); Association Tunisienne d’ Action Volontaire - ATAV (TUN); Alliance Burundaise du Service Volontaire - ABSV (BUR); International Palestinian Youth League - IPYL (PSE); AJUDE (MZ); Volunteers for International Solidarity (US).

member of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Co-ordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the Volunteer International Network Exchange UK
with the support of:
Volunteer Action for Peace, member of the European «Youth in Action» Programme

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