Europe cannot turn its back on migrants dying of hunger and thirst

Sant’Egidio: Acting urgently and finding solutions

enriqueduprat- cathopic

Tragedies at sea are all terrible, but they are not all the same. Those of these days, with the death of some children and their parents from hunger and thirst, tell of real torture suffered by innocent victims of unbearable situations that force them to flee their own country: wars, environmental disasters, terrorism, and the denial of a livable future. Worse and worse because the journeys are increasingly difficult and risky, the routes longer and more complicated to hope to survive. The one that requires migrants leaving Lebanon to head for faraway Italy, because the European borders closest to them are off limits, is unacceptable.

Europe cannot turn its back in the face of migrants dying of hunger and thirst, pretend nothing is happening, or accept these events as ‘normal’, almost a price to pay for continuing to delude itself that the problem does not affect us too. Instead, we need to act urgently: to save, first of all, at sea, without blaming each other between states over the control of territorial waters. But we must also find solutions, which involve the humanitarian corridor model (which combines reception with integration), resettlement quotas for refugees seeking asylum, and regular entry for work purposes (which the Italian economy sorely needs).

Standing idly by is not only guilty, but it harms everyone because it devours the future of our continent, which we believe can and must find the energy to react to such inhumanity.

Rome, 13 September 2022