Helping migrants for humanitarian reasons should not be considered a crime, according to the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee. The MEPs on the committee highlighted concerns EU laws on humanitarian help to migrants is having “unintended consequences” for EU citizens that provide it.

This is according to a non-legislative resolution passed by 38 votes to 16, with 2 abstentions on June 25.

According to a European Parliament press release, the MEPs stressed that individuals and NGOs help national authorities to ensure that humanitarian assistance reaches those in need – by carrying out rescue operations at sea and on land, and regret that few member states have incorporated  the “humanitarian assistance” exemption in their national laws.

This is why the Parliamentary’ Committee called on EU countries to include this exemption in their national laws, to ensure that individuals and civil society organisations who assist migrants for humanitarian reasons are not prosecuted for doing so.

The non-binding resolution prepared by the Civil Liberties Committee will be put to vote by the whole Parliament in Strasbourg on July 4.