Illegal Migration: Solving The Problem Of Migrants Crossing Through The Mediterranean Sea
Hundreds of people were reported dead last week. Similar death toll was recorded this week. This migrant crisis on the southern shores of Europe is not new – from 2000 till now, more than twenty-two thousand people have lost their lives in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean.
Even with the rate people are dying, it seems the number of people attempting the dangerous crossing is on a sharp increase.
It is unreasonable to forget that these people are humans. According to Save the Children, most of these migrants are children. Yet, politicians and the media describe these migrants in a way that make them look less human. There is need for an approach to help solve this issue in order not to fail these people over and over again.
The decision taken by the EU to put an end to search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean was taken with good motives. People thought that with this decision, the number of death toll will shoot up, but surprisingly, the reverse is the case. It was discovered that the presence of recue ships encouraged the migrants to cross. That decision now looks to be unlawful. That is why the Liberal Democrats are calling for an emergency review of the EU policy and providing funds for search and rescue operations. There is need for the EU to work with the Italian government to put better arrangement in place. With the financial crisis the Italians are facing, Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, is completely right to come out and say that this crisis cannot be handled by Italy alone. See more on European Banks: The Complicated Failure Of Two Italian Lenders.
Secondly, there is need for coordinated actions to tackle human traffickers. The security forces in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya need support to lay hold of the gangs involved in this heinous trade and capture their boats in the port. Since the essence of this is to drastically reduce death toll at sea, more security experts from EU need to join hands with theirs to disrupt these organized criminal gangs that profit from the death of these migrants.
The ultimate solution to this problem is not found at sea, but on land. There is need to change the mentality and the lives of these migrants who believe their only option is to flee. This is where more attention is needed and the EU needs to play a role in this to help put an end or drastically reduce the problem of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea. Frankly, the EU rarely put effort on this issue, of which their part is hugely needed to coordinate this problem.
Only by tackling this issue from the root cause – insecurity on the southern frontier of Europe – can there be positive reasons for people to stay. That entails a coordinated, effort to establish stable governments and booming economies across Africa. It means investment, it means aid, and it means reassessing the way the EU exercise its influence outside its scope. This will have to do with Europe giving up its protectionist instinct and making its market accessible for the countries to the south. 2000 years ago, Rome largely depended on North Africa for most of its wheat.