RESOLUTION ON

CALLING FOR URGENT SOLUTIONS TO THE TRAGEDY OF DEATHS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN

    1. Taking into account the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951, as supplemented by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967 (“The Geneva Convention”), which ensures that no one is sent back to their country of origin to face persecution, maintaining the principle of “non-refoulement,”

    2. Recalling the Resolution on Comprehensive Immigration Reform of the 2014 Baku Declaration of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, which asks the participating States to call for a comprehensive immigration reform at the national and European level,

    3. Taking into account that the increasing number of arrivals on the southern coasts of Europe puts in evidence the limits of the EU’s Dublin Regulation, according to which the whole responsibility for receiving irregular migrants and asylum seekers is laid upon a restricted group of receiving countries (mostly Italy, Malta, Greece, Turkey, Spain),

    4. Appalled by the tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean Sea, and expressing deep sympathy for the families of the victims and concern for the survivors,

    5. Also recalling the previous resolutions of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly which consider the problem of migration and its social and economic consequences as a permanent challenge for the OSCE (the Oslo Declaration of 2010, the Astana Declaration of 2008, and Chapter II of the Kyiv Declaration of 2007),

    6. Noting that, in accordance with the European Commission’s evaluation, immediate measures should be taken by means of long-term programmes and initiatives aimed at addressing the root causes of irregular migration working in close co-operation with third countries especially countries of origin and transit,

    7. Welcoming the new regulation of the European Union Council of Ministers of 20 April 2015 (ten-point action plan) on migration,

    8. Recalling the final statement of the special meeting of the European Council on Migration of 23 April 2015, establishing a stronger presence at sea in order to tackle the flow of illegal migrants (by reinforcing the Triton and Poseidon operations), reinforce legal and political instruments to prevent illegal migration flows, and fight trafficking of human beings in the Mediterranean, and reinforce solidarity and responsibility among countries, in order to attain a common legal framework on the right to asylum,

    9. Taking into account the launch of the EU naval operation EUNAVFOR Med, which aims to disrupt the business models of human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean and for which the approval of the United Nations Security Council or a request from the Libyan authorities is needed,

    10. Welcoming the decision of the European Commission on the new migration agenda of 13 May 2015, establishing resettlement mechanisms and country-specific quotas for the distribution of migrants in EU Member States,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Strongly reaffirms the full right of all people fleeing from persecution and armed conflict to apply for asylum in an OSCE country, as enshrined in the Geneva Convention and other international covenants;

    2. Calls for concerted, consistent and determined action to be taken through the United Nations in order to fight against traffickers in human beings, who, in order to maximize profits, use inappropriate and dangerous means of transport through the Mediterranean that put the lives of thousands of people at risk;

    3. Holds it essential that all EU Member States make efforts to make sure that ships in the Mediterranean comply with the “Montego Bay” UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, by rescuing vessels in distress transporting refugees and migrants;

    4. Invites the European Union and especially Italy, whose decision to treble the resources made available for Triton is highly commendable, to promote a fresh, more pervasive and effective search and rescue initiative;

    5. Encourages Italy to make efforts for an EU humanitarian admittance plan, in order to set up application desks in transit countries in the Southern Mediterranean which, with the assistance of UNHCR, the European Union's external action service, and the embassies of Member countries, may receive asylum applications according to set quotas and resettlement procedures, and ensure that migrants can travel safely at no risk to their lives;

    6. Calls upon the participating States of the OSCE to make full use of existing instruments to issue humanitarian visas in their embassies and consulates;

    7. Expresses deep concern and grief that many of the victims of the mass tragedies in the Mediterranean are children, and urges national governments, the EU and the international community to promote and protect the rights of people, especially children on the move, infants and unborn children, who are particularly vulnerable to the devastating impact of all forms of physical or mental violence, injury, abuse, neglect and exploitation;

    8. Recalls the 2013 statement by the European Independent Human Rights Institutions for Children that children on the move are children first and that fundamental principles with regard to children's rights as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments need to be mainstreamed into the development, implementation and monitoring of laws, policies, procedures and practices affecting children on the move;

    9. Holds it essential that, from the moment of their arrival, the particular and specific needs and interests of children on the move, infants and unborn children are immediately taken into account and effectively dealt with so as to safeguard their physical, mental and social wellbeing;

    10. Calls for States to fulfil their obligation to secure immediate access to the same health care and education services to children on the move as those offered to other children within the jurisdiction of the transit or host State, as this would strengthen their psycho-physical and psycho-sexual development and ensure their social integration and unqualified right to enjoy their upbringing;

    11. Supports the efforts of the European Union to develop migrant reception quotas for Member countries under a new Agency on Migration, calls for an increase in the number of migrants to be accepted and hopes that migrants will be provided with decent conditions of reception in full compliance with fundamental human rights and the international conventions on the protections of migrants and refugees;

    12. Invites the President and the Bureau of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to strengthen the interparliamentary Mediterranean dimension, also through the Mediterranean Forum and a Special Representative on Migration, for the purpose of tackling the challenge of migration and refugees in a consistent fashion, through an intensification of relations with Mediterranean countries of transit and origin, especially Libya and Syria;

    13. Invites the OSCE participating States to enhance their development co-operation with States of origin and transit in order to tackle the root causes of migration flows, such as instability, poverty and conflicts.