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Lives lost in the Mediterranean: PACE hearing to examine Europe’s responsibility

Strasbourg, 24.11.2011 – It is estimated that over a thousand boat people have perished in the Mediterranean Sea since January 2011 while attempting to reach Europe. Who may be responsible? What could have been done to avoid these tragedies? What lessons can be learned from these events? These questions will be central to a hearing organised on Tuesday 29 November in Paris by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in connection with the preparation of a report on the subject by Tineke Strik (Netherlands, SOC).


The hearing will look at the loss of human life at sea, it will examine the right of families to receive information on the victims, and it will consider the rules applicable under international law and maritime law relevant to rescue at sea. The hearing will also examine international co-ordination regarding interception and rescue at sea, as well as the role of the national authorities, NATO and FRONTEX.


The participants include representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, FRONTEX, the Italian Council for Refugees, and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law.


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The hearing, which will take place on Tuesday 29 November from 2 to 6.30 pm at the Council of Europe Office in Paris (55 avenue Kléber, Paris 16th arrondissement, Métro station: Boissière), is open to the press.


Contact : Micaela Catalano, Head of the PACE Communication Division, tel. +33 (0)6 08 56 40 65