Francine Uenuma 202.450.9153 (M)
Fairfield, Conn. (May 13, 2015) — Save the Children calls on the European Commission to recognise the shared responsibility for the lives of migrants risking — and sometimes losing — their lives in a desperate and dangerous journey to reach Europe's shores, including victims of persecution, violence, and torture, and those fleeing conflict. EU member states must do more to ensure the care and protection of these vulnerable migrants, especially children.
"The responsibility of EU states starts even before migrants reach their border — it starts in the middle of the Mediterranean, where thousands of children have witnessed the death of their loved ones, including parents, relatives and friends," said Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children.
Save the Children welcomes the EU Commission's commitment to work on a European response that ensures migrants have safe and legal means of reaching the EU. Given the high number of asylum seekers and refugees attempting the perilous journey in search of a better life — including many children — EU member states must also strengthen resettlement and humanitarian admission programs.
Save the Children also welcomes the EU's commitment to reinforce Operations Triton and Poseidon by tripling its budget and expanding its geographical scope. That said, there is a need for a robust multi-state search-and-rescue operation, with a clear and direct mandate to save people in distress and proactively search for them — especially given the magnitude of the current crisis in the Mediterranean and the risks faced by thousands of migrants attempting the perilous crossing, including death. EU member states must pledge to allocate resources and assets to conduct this operation.
Save the Children believes that basic compassion and proper treatment are essential in any nation receiving migrants, including those who have crossed the southern border of the United States. Save the Children is currently working to maintain standards of child protection for those who have crossed the border, to provide psychosocial support services to families that have resettled, and to address factors causing children and families to leave Central America.
Save the Children invests in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.