Crew on the Dutch rescue ship Sea-Watch 3 have announced that they have entered Italian waters in an attempt to provide assistance to the 42 migrants on board who have been stranded at sea for two weeks.

“The 42 people on board the Sea Watch 3 must be allowed to disembark in Italy in line with international law.  The decision by the European Court of Human Rights to reject the ship’s request to dock severely underestimates the effect that such a prolonged period at sea can have on the health of people who are already extremely vulnerable. Saving human lives is a long-standing humanitarian imperative and must never be considered a crime,” said the co-chair of the European Green Party Monica Frassoni reacting to the situation.

“Reforming the Dublin regulation overseeing migration and asylum procedures must be one of our key priorities for the next Commission.  In order to meet the challenges in the Mediterranean, additional search and rescue assets and resources need to be deployed by Member States with the support of the European Commission and Frontex and coordinated by the European Commission.  The fair sharing of responsibilities will be crucial in building a system that doesn’t unfairly penalize any country or region. Salvini cannot be allowed to wash his hands of the duty to protect. The  Commission must verify if the Italian decree complies with EU law and the charter of fundamental rights.  But our first priority must now be to provide urgent assistance to the migrants on board the Sea-Watch 3 and allow them their right to seek asylum,” Frassoni added.