In the early hours of 14th June a residential tower block in West London caught fire. At least 79 people died with many more hospitalised. The fire which was reported as being started by a fridge freezer setting alight was made worse by cladding to the building which was highly inflammable.
Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights refer to the right to life. Tragically those people who lost their lives were denied that protection. This tragic loss of life was wholly preventable. Tests to other tower blocks in the United Kingdom have detected similar failings in materials used which could result in similar fires and loss of life.
There are also many tower blocks in the 47 member States of the Council of Europe. Many citizens are being exposed to needless dangers which could result in the loss of life and life altering injuries.
Governments of all member States have a responsibility to protect their citizens. They should, as a matter of urgency, test the materials used in the construction of tower blocks and table urgent action to rectify any failings.
The Parliamentary Assembly could be a driving force behind ensuring that Governments co-operate with each other, sharing best practice and guaranteeing the safety of its citizens. Recommendations are necessary to ensure lessons are learned from the Grenfell fire tragedy and a programme of action should be initiated without delay.