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A distress call for Human Rights, The widening gap in Migrant Protection in the Mediterranean to read the bulletin issued by the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, Dunja Mijatović

On page 5 there is a link to the Recommendation Lives Saved. Rights protected. Bridging the Protection Gap for refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean

This bulletin refers mainly to the situation in the central Mediterranean and especially to the question of funding Lybia to enable its coastguards to deal with the problem of rescuing small boats containing mainly migrants who want to escape the situation of the lack of human rights in Lybia.  France has therefore cancelled its programme to supply eight rescue ships to Libya.

In addition, mention is made of Malta's refusal to the reception of migrants rescued by NGOs. It also refers to

the obstacles imposed on rescue vessels by some Member States so that they cannot go out to sea to carry out rescue operations.

The articles briefly mention the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean with pushback returns of migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then the general issue of the pushback which prevents the registration of migrants, who may be refugees from war or inhumane situations, at the frontier which they reach.*

Barring error, there is very little explicit information on Spain.  However, click on the 1 July 2022 letter from the Commissioner for Human Rights to the Spanish Minister of the Interior on the deaths at the Melilla border.

The letter from Commissioner Dunja Mijatović is in English and the reply from Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska Gómez is in Spanish with the English translation underneath. The Commissioner calls for an independent investigation into the 23 deaths on 24 June 2022. The Minister comments that Spain has rescued 177,091 migrants from the sea since 2018 and credits the numbers certified for international protection granted between 2019 and 2022 and advises that investigations are being carried out by the State Attorney General's Office and the Ombudsman.

For more background information on migrants arriving or perishing before reaching the Spanish coast or the borders of Ceuta and Melilla, see the detailed report: Monitoring the Right to Life: January-June 2022 by the Spanish NGO CA-MINANDO FRONTERAS. 

The question I ask myself every time I think of the migrants crammed into the open boats, unable to move, is: What is my personal responsibility in allowing emigration in these unseaworthy boats? Doesn't Spain have funds to promote Spanish studies and vocational training in the countries from which these dangerous open boats leave, as well as consulates to process residence permits to allow the migrants to travel by plane or boat? This question also applies to France, Italy, Turkey, Greece, etc.hen I think of droughts, famine, wars, gender abuses, the diversion of profits from extractive industries to tax hideaways forcing their host countries to resort to onerous debt that drains their resources to finance social services when in a fairer world they should be rich countries with surplus balance of payments.

Caritas UK's Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD) video Fix the Food System explains another reason why farmers in impoverished countries are forced to migrate to avoid starvation and asks its readers to write to the UK Foreign Secretary to change this situation. I propose to ask CAFOD &/or Caritas Europe to allow us to join them in their campaign in all Council of Europe member States.

*Readers who have read these Council of Europe documents and who think it is worth adding further comments to this summary are asked to send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. under the heading "More Comments Migrants".

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