“Refugees and migrants cannot be put at risk while states argue over responsibility” – UNHCR

DOI / Kevin Abela

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, Filippo Grandi said that the lives of refugees and migrants cannot be put at risk while states argue over their responsibility in a statement on Sunday. He also stressed that the capacity of the search and rescue in the Central Mediterranean and the disembarkation in places of safety has to be everyone’s goal. The statement by UNHCR came after the 58 people rescued by MV Aquarius 2 were allowed to disembark in Malta after days stranded at sea.

The United Nations Refugee Agency, called on for an increased search and rescue capacity in the Central Mediterranean. The Agency also warned over the Mediterranean rescue capability, calling on states to allow for space where non-governmental organisations which carry out search and rescue missions to be able to contribute in a coordinated manner. UNHCR reiterated that saving lives was a primary concern stressing that it was collective responsibility.

The Agency also showed its gratitude to Malta for allowing the 58 asylum seekers to be disembarked and to France, Germany, Portugal and Spain who offered to receive the people.