Marta Foresti, Director of the Human Mobility Initiative at the London-based think tank the Overseas Development Institute, said in reaction to the biggest death toll so far this year of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean:
“These 150 deaths are the latest example of entirely avoidable and senseless loss of human lives. It must stop.
“Search and rescue in the Mediterranean needs to restart immediately.
“This week’s Franco-German initiative seeking agreement to handle resettlement around a coalition of the willing among selected EU states is a step in the right direction.
“We need pragmatic working agreements between states willing to cooperate rather than attempting unrealistic EU-wide alliances.
“Governments in Europe must stop returning people to Libya as it is a dangerous country, and call for the closure of the camps in north Africa.
“At the same time, they must support a voluntary repatriation processes when it is safe to do so.
“In accordance with international law there must also be legal and protected pathways to Europe when it is too hazardous for people to stay in their home countries.”
Feel free to use any of this quote in round-ups of reaction to the deaths.
For more information or to interview Marta Foresti please reply to this email or call the Overseas Development Institute on +44 (0)7808 791265.
Marta was one of the first experts to call for a coalition of the willing in Europe to find homes for refugees and migrants.
See Marta's biography for more information about her media appearances, CV and research papers.