We, the undersigned, declare the following:
The situation on the Mediterranean Sea is dramatic. Thousands died since 2014 trying to reach a safe haven in Europe. As Ms Dunja Mijatović, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, has rightly pointed out, European States have to act. They have to start responding to the humanitarian needs at sea rather than focusing on preventing refugees and migrants from reaching European shores.
Member States have to install a European civil search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean. Not only are States failing their duty to uphold such a mission, but also do they hinder NGOs filling this gap by rescuing people under stress and saving lives. Some are even facing legal prosecutions, being criminalised and alleged as traffickers. This has to stop. Rescued people need to be disembarked as safely and as soon as possible. The current situation with States refusing access to harbours is neither morally nor legally acceptable. Those rescued need to have access to a fair and constitutional asylum procedure. The situation for refugees in Libya is inhuman and Libya can not serve as a safe haven. Therefore, member States have to offer accessible safe and legal routes out of Libya through evacuation and resettlement schemes.