Panel debate in Lund, Sweden about boat refugees drowning in the Mediterranean

“Current Situation in the Mediterranean is Absolutely Extraordinary”

Around 120 people attended a panel debate in Lund on Monday on how to stop the drownings in the Mediterranean.

A few highlighted statements from the debate

Morten Kjaerum, director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law: “We are boiling the protection of refugees down to the bare essence of refugee protection — saving life. Some of us have worked with refugee protection issues for quite some years, and now we are back to the basics — how do we save lives? I’m stressing this because in many ways Europe is at a crossroads.”

Gregor Noll, Professor of International Law at the Faculty of Law at Lund University: “I’m a lawyer and when I see the law being used to kill people and drown people in the Mediterranean I think there’s a kind of professional sense that we have to act as a professional collective.”

Eleni Karageorgiou, Doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law at Lund University: “A whole range of legal instruments were adopted by the European Union, among them directives in regards to the reception of asylum seekers, the determination procedures, qualification criteria and the mechanism which determines which state has the responsibility to examine, the Dublin regulation.

“According to the EU primary law, all of these policies should be governed by the principles of solidarity and fair sharing of the responsibilities of states. But the Dublin system, for example, is a mechanism that from its very inception counteracts the principle of solidarity as it basically shifts responsibilities to states at the external borders of the EU.”

Martin Ratcovich
, Doctoral candidate at the Faculty of Law at Stockholm University: “Issues of maritime migration are nothing new. But the current situation in the Mediterranean is absolutely extraordinary given the high numbers of deaths. International law requires Italy and other concerned coastal states to rescue boat migrants in distress at sea around their coasts. They shall offer it and provide an adequate and effective maritime search and rescue service.”

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