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EU Interior Ministers discuss migration in Brussels



The interior ministers of the European Union (EU) said in Brussels, on Thursday, that the EU intends to prevent the illegal immigration movements from the Libyan coast through the Mediterranean Sea to reach to Europe.

The EU’s determination was criticized by human rights activists who stress that the EU plan would worsen many human rights situations by causing more suffers that needed to be looked at as humanitarian cases, not as political problems.

According to the AFP news agency, the deputy director of the International Organisation for Migration, Laura Thompson, said, on Wednesday, at an immigration conference in Costa Rica that “I think there are somewhere around 31 or 32 detention centers, and around half are controlled by, or are in the areas controlled by, the (Libyan) government.”

Thompson added that “I don’t think that anybody knows how many people are being kept in the facilities, where extremely bad conditions reign.”

She stated that “lack of food, lack of adequate sanitary conditions, but in addition to that a mix of women, children, men all thrown in together.”

According to Reuters news agency, a UN human rights official said that the EU strategy was “very thin on the protection of the human rights of migrants inside Libya and on the boats, and silent on the urgent need for alternatives to the arbitrary detention of vulnerable people.”

From his side, the European Commissioner for Migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said that “we also need to redouble our efforts to provide assistance to the migrants stranded in Libya and …. exposed to unacceptable, inhumane treatment and human rights violations,” according to Reuters.

But in Brussels, The EU expressed its optimism that after about two years’ efforts the illegal migration through the Mediterranean Sea became less than 10 thousand immigrants in August after it was 28,000 in June.

In the same context, the Estonian Interior Minister, Andres Anvelt, said that “if we looked at the flows of migrants across the Mediterranean a few months ago and now, the decrease in illegal migration has been big in numbers,” adding that “we’ll discuss how to have this success story going on.”

On his side, the German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere, stated that “I am happy that the number of people sent across the Mediterranean by the smugglers to Italy has really fallen in the last two months,” stressing that “these developments need to be carried on.”

De Maiziere added that “we really need to work to ensure that many people simply do not make the trip across the desert to Libya. The neighbourhood policy with Africa is very important for a sustainable decline in migrants coming to Italy.”