(translated from Italian)
On the occasion of World Refugee Day, which will be celebrated on 20 June, Arci adheres to the universal mourning proclaimed, after the dramatic shipwreck in Greece, by the NGOs Sea-Watch, Open Arms, Doctors Without Borders, Emergency, Mediterranea Saving Humans, ResQ, Sos Mediterranee, engaged with rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea.
Today, 20 June, Arci will black out its social profiles, to draw attention to the deaths at sea, to stop the slaughter of innocents and the attack on the right to asylum being carried out by the Italian government and the governments of EU countries, and to call for an international commission of enquiry into the Peloponnese and Cutro shipwrecks.
We want to mark World Refugee Day by sounding the alarm about the attack to which governments are subjecting the right to asylum and the principles enshrined in International Law. An attack that aims to erase the principles of European legal civilisation and humanistic culture by denying our common history.
A reprehensible action carried out scientifically for electoral reasons and political propaganda and not in the interests of Europe or Italy.
Law No. 50/2023, written in Cutro after the 26 February massacre, as well as the agreement signed in recent days by EU governments, have as their main objective the externalisation of borders and the cancellation of the core of the Geneva Convention, namely the principle of non-refoulement.
A framework of legislative and policy changes that have nothing to do with reality, nor with the public interest, and only have the effect of increasing the number of deaths, increasing the number of illegal immigrants, and increasing the business of traffickers and organisations that profit from illegal border crossings and sea journeys to Europe.
After another massacre, the one that took place in Greek waters, caused by the choices of European governments and not by destiny nor by the will to seek protection for the victims of the terrible shipwreck, we want to appeal, on World Refugee Day, to the Parliaments, the Italian and the European ones, so that political responsibilities are ascertained before judicial ones with an independent International Commission, and so that the attempt to cancel the right to asylum is stopped.
Finally, it is good to remember some numbers. Faced with 110 million people forced to leave their homes, according to the UNHCR, the European Union is one of the areas least affected by these extraordinary flows.
Italy, in the last 10 years, has always received less than the average of the other EU countries, which means that if a principle of solidarity were introduced (it is good to remember that EU countries take charge of the reception of those who apply for asylum) we would receive more people than we have received so far. In 2022 alone, Germany accepted more than 220,000 asylum seekers and we 77,000. Even France and Spain take in more than us and in relation to population we continue to be a country that does less than others.
For World Refugee Day 2023, we have chosen to join the universal mourning to express our dissent in the face of yet another massacre at sea and a terrible season of cancellation of rights.
Stop the attack on the right to asylum, stop the slaughter of innocents.