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Main Discussion

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Posted - 21 April 2017 15:17
obligation on who?
Posted - 21 April 2017 15:20
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if you amend the question as follows, what do you think the answer should be?

Should there be an obligation for any vessels to rescue people in the mediterranean?
ReggiePerrin is voting Lib Dem
Posted - 21 April 2017 15:23
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I thought there already was such an obligation?
Posted - 21 April 2017 15:24
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If you're stopping to interview them on whether they are fleeing poverty, famine or genocide you're probably going to feel a bit of a dick chucking the back the ones without a compelling case for asylum

Unless you are proposing that the people crossing the Mediterranean should adhere to some sort of system of flags to allow ships to identify them as entrepreneurs or victims from a distance

alternatively maybe you're actually a racist thicko who's using the public's fear of change to try to attack desperate people who don't see why the lines drawn across Africa by Europeans 150 years ago mean they can't go looking for a better life in a temperate malaria free climate now
old git roundabout
Posted - 21 April 2017 15:28
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er they've crossed all those lines and are trying to get beyond them.
Posted - 21 April 2017 16:04
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Reggie is right - it is a law of the sea that the nearest bat has to rescue people in distress. So the issue should perhaps be is it right we endanger lives by when people set sailin something that will sink within a few minutes we always rescue them - thus aiding smugglers and puttnig more lives at risk. What about towing them safely back to Libya for example?
old git roundabout
Posted - 21 April 2017 16:24
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wot Lyds sed. At the moment the Navy is an unpaid ferry service.
Sigh of the Oppressed
Posted - 21 April 2017 18:10
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Osama: have you never heard Attenborough wax lyrical about the abilities of the Zodiac Dirigible Bat?

Fvcking wonder of nature, that game little mammal is. All heart, and navigation skills.
Jon Snow
Posted - 21 April 2017 18:14
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A hero of our time
Posted - 21 April 2017 14:54
Should there be an obligation for any vessels to rescue economic migrants in the mediterranean?

Why not? We let you breathe.
Posted - 21 April 2017 18:17
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Clearly yes, as others have said it is the law of the sea but also basic humanity.

The better questions are on this one I think those posed by Lydia. First do we in Western Europe have an obligation to place ships in the Med to increase the chances people will be rescued (helping the people smugglers). Those boats in a rescue situation clearly should rescue, but a positive step was taken to increase the number of rescue boats in the Med. That is more and more going to be seen as a politically contentious decision that not everyone would agree with in altering the odds for the people smugglers/encouraging more refugees/economic migrants.

Second even if you have a duty rightly to rescue is there then a duty to then take the people onboard to the EU. Under current laws about refugees there is such a convention duty but I can see pressure for offshore processing of refugee applications a la Australia to increase (indeed you could argue Turkey is fulfilling that role as well now).

Clearly nobody should be left to drown, but I think it is valid to say the current approach makes it too easy for refugees/asylum seekers and puts the odds in there favour/minimises risks. That is probably not sustainable in a Europe moving to the right without severe unrest and rioting arising.

It is also debateable given the levels of migration into Europe whether the current conventions on refugees are ones that can continue in their present format, some countries such as Hungary have already in effect de facto withdrawn from such conventions and more are likely to follow.
Posted - 21 April 2017 18:41
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I agree broadly with BST ^^^

The people smugglers earn billions and are utterly ruthless gangsters with a complete disregard for anything except money. Putting the migrants afloat in the cheapest unseaworthy boats with fake lifejackets, just enough fuel to get them into international waters, with no crew, only a satphone to call for rescue with instructions to throw it overboard so it cannot be traced back to the smugglers.

As well as this they are diversifying by selling many of the migrants into slavery, not even putting them into boats. With impunity.

Rescuing the migrants just outside Libyan territorial waters and landing them in Italy encourages these despicable gangsters. They need to be hunted down and tried as murdering criminals. Work needs to be done to separate the genuine asylum seekers from the rest, and repatriate the economic migrants without landing them first in the EU. Otherwise it will never end and there will be more avoidable deaths by drowning, and suffering as slaves.

Where is the political will to take effective action. I only see cans being kicked down the wrong road. We spend £12 Bn ++ annually on international aid to give these migrants better opportunities in their countries of origin yet that stupendous amount of aid is mostly stolen or wasted.