Press release - 289(2011)

PACE President: “Each death of a boat person is one too many”

Strasbourg, 01.04.2011 – Mevlüt Çavusoglu, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), today expressed his distress after 27 irregular migrants were found off the coast of Tunisia, drowned in the Mediterranean.

“Each death of a boat person is one too many”, he deplored. “The events this year in Tunisia and Egypt and now in Libya have brought about a new wave of desperate people, using desperate means to find a new life”, he said. “We can’t just plug the hole and stop this flow without dealing with the root causes, and in the meantime we have to help those in need whether they are persons in distress on the sea, people fleeing persecution or small islands talking the brunt of responsibility”, he stressed.

“The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population has asked for a debate on the arrival of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees on Europe’s southern shores at the coming Session and work on “Rescue at sea” and “Responsibility sharing in Europe” has been accelerated in view of the urgency of finding solutions”, Mr Çavusoglu concluded.

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The Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population is currently preparing

a report on Asylum seekers and refugees: sharing responsibilities in Europe


and one on The interception and rescue at sea of asylum-seekers, refugees and irregular migrants

( and

They should be ready to be debated by PACE in June.

Resolution 1637 (2008) Europe’s boat people: mixed migration flows by sea into southern Europe

Recommendation 1645 (2004) on access to assistance and protection for asylum seekers at European seaports and coastal areas

Resolution 1521 (2006) on mass arrival of irregular migrants on Europe’s southern shores.

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