Saturday, 18 April 2015

The shame of Fortress Europe

This week we have  seen  the tragic loss of 400 peoples lives , dying in an attempt to reach Italy from Libya, after boat capsized.  The boat was carrying about 500 people in total, according  to some of the  150 survivors who were rescued.  Italian coastguards intercepted 42 boats on April 12 and 13, carrying 6,500 people attempting  to make the crossing to Europe.
Human beings seeking a new way of life, many driven by desperation, fleeing persecution, violence, the torture, or the threat of,  fleeing from regions where human rights abuses are rife, inncents simply seeking a future. As many as 700 people have now been lost at sea this year alone. Human beings with dreams and fears in pursuit of some happiness.
Europes response has been shameful, inadequate, inhumane, and quite simply pathetic.We are after all talking about what is an injustice.
The European Union and its member states, under the guise of its Fortress Europe policies has been complicit  in these tragedies to occur, again and again,  leading to innocent   people needlesly and shamefully dying on Europe's doorstep. A result  of inhuman policies still in place today  that deny access to the asylum system for refugees.
These  deaths are not isolated incidents but the direct consequence  of tightening our immigration policies and controls. In the face  of civil war, conflict, global politics and social unrest, Europes  response has been at the end of the day disgusting, with the use of  practices and  policies that turn a blind eye to the root causes of migration.
I do not feel we will find answers in building the walls of fortress Europe higher, what is needed is the provision of more  safe and legal channels for people to access protection. For human beings to be treated  with respect and dignity. The decision  to close doors and build fences, means that men, women and children are forced to risk their lives and take a desperate journey across the sea. The boats will not simply stop. Ignoring the situation, will not make it go away. This is Fortress Europes daily shame.

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