Democracy & Justice

Deaths at Sea Rise; Italy Rights Group Announces New Rescue Guidelines

Rescue operations at sea continue to fuel debate so the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights has decided to update its guidance on rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

by Flaminia Delle Cese

There is no end in sight to the attacks against civil society members rescuing migrants at sea. Media and politicians continue to point the finger at NGOs conducting search and rescue operations, while the Libyan Coast Guard taking over rescue missions, and Italy’s refusal to allow vessels involved in rescue operations in the Mediterranean to dock, has caused deaths at sea to rise sharply.

Guidance published

A year ago, to provide information for an informed debate, and to protect tools for those working on the front line in rescue operations, the Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties and Rights published its first guidance on rescue operations in the Mediterranean, in the Know Your Rights series.

Changes needed due to serious breaches

Following developments in the debate and the policies on the issue of solidarity at sea, the organisation decided to update the guidance. The update includes detailed information on the responsibilities of captains of vessels involved in rescue operations and the obligations of states towards shipwrecked migrants. These changes come in the light of several cases in which international, European and national laws on rescue at sea and asylum have been seriously breached.

Read and download CILD’s new guidance on rescue operations in the Mediterranean.