Migrants would have died without Italian rescue, says UN

(AGI) Rome, Dec 5 - It is more important "to protect a humanlife than to protect a border," said UN special rapporteur onmigrant rights Francois Crepeau. It was cynical of Italy toclaim its Mare Nostrum migrant rescue operation would attractmigrants rather than serve as a deterrent. "It is false," hesaid at a press conference, "but even if it were true whatshould we do, let them die at sea?" What needs to be done todeter traffickers is to work on the resettlement of refugees inricher countries and to abandon "repressive policies that do

(AGI) Rome, Dec 5 - It is more important "to protect a humanlife than to protect a border," said UN special rapporteur onmigrant rights Francois Crepeau. It was cynical of Italy toclaim its Mare Nostrum migrant rescue operation would attractmigrants rather than serve as a deterrent. "It is false," hesaid at a press conference, "but even if it were true whatshould we do, let them die at sea?" What needs to be done todeter traffickers is to work on the resettlement of refugees inricher countries and to abandon "repressive policies that donot discourage migration because hope is always stronger thanfear". So, for example, "if we planned the resettlement of amillion Syrian refugees within the next five years, my country,Canada, would receive 8,000, a sustainable number". Europe, headded, should start a police of "regulated openness andmobility" and acknowledge that the West needs low-skilledlabour and the abolition of "barriers and prohibitions whichgive rise to the modus operandi of people traffickers and inwhich they thrive by circumventing the restrictive immigrationpolicies of many EU member states". As for Italy, the UNspecial rapporteur preferred to skirt the issue of the scandalsinvolving the running of reception centres for migrants inRome. "The issue does not fall within my mandate," he said. .