“I welcome yesterday’s decision of the European Court of Human Rights to grant an interim measure regarding the Dutch vessel SeaWatch 3 anchored outside the Sicilian harbour of Syracuse (Applications nos. 5504/19 and 5604/19). It is important that the Italian Government takes all necessary measures immediately to provide all persons on board with adequate medical care, food, water and basic supplies, as well as adequate legal assistance to the unaccompanied minors,” said Petra De Sutter (Belgium, SOC).
“As stated in Parliamentary Assembly Resolution 2229 (2018) on “International obligations of Council of Europe member States to protect life at sea”, for which I was rapporteur, saving lives at sea is a moral and legal obligation for member States. States should establish clear geographical responsibilities for international search and rescue operations at sea and disembarkation under the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue,” she added.
"Saving lives at sea is a moral and legal obligation for member States."
“It is particularly urgent to allow commercial and non-governmental ships to enter the ports of coastal states, and assist those ships in their rescue operations where the European Union Naval Force Mediterranean (EU NAVFOR Med or Operation Sophia) does not operate,” Ms De Sutter concluded.