Search and rescue at sea: a legal obligation?
Humanitarian and legal perspectives on the ‘Refugee Crisis’
Wednesday 8 June 2016, Middlesex University (London)
An event co-organised by Middlesex University, AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe), University of Palermo and CLEDU (Clinica Legale per i Diritti Umani)
Between January and May 2016, over 150,000 migrants crossed the Aegean sea to reach Europe, mostly escaping the war in Syria. In the same period, nearly 30,000 people reached the Italian shores through the central Mediterranean route. The majority of them flee their countries because of war, conflict or persecutions. Many of the migrants, who, risking their lives, undertook an extremely dangerous journey to look for a better life in Europe or to get international protection, died because they were not rescued in time.
The current debates on the issue offer lengthy press releases, shocking photographs and estimates of the number of people drowning in an attempt to reach safety. Tearful press obituaries and background policy analysis as to the reasons why this situation is occurring complete the picture. However, what is not heard enough is the voice of the Law: what are the obligations of the EU, its member states, and other neighbouring countries towards the migrants attempting this risky journey? Are there any legal steps that can be taken in order to help eliminate deaths in the Mediterranean?
Middlesex University (London), the Italian legal clinic CLEDU (Clinica Legale per i Diritti Umani) and the UK legal organisation AIRE Centre (Advice on Individual Rights in Europe) are working together to take forward this debate by holding a roundtable on the positive legal obligations of EU member states under international maritime law, EU law and national law towards migrants, asylum seekers and persons in distress at sea. The roundtable will take place in London, at Middlesex University, on 8 June 2016, bringing together European experts on the subject.
For further information and to book a place visit: