GETTY/ Italian Coastguard
Migrant rescue mission making smugglers' job easier – Frontex claims
Vile smugglers who make millions from desperation of the poorest and most desperate, are actually benefitting from the work of charities, it is claimed in a Frontex report.
The European Border and Coast Guard Agency found search-and-rescue (SAR) missions are aiding criminals' business model.
The Frontex Risk Analysis for 2017 report said: "Both border surveillance and SAR missions close to, or within, the 12-mile territorial waters of Libya have unintended consequences."
Drownings were the cause of death for more than 4,000 migrants in 2016, according to official reports.
But those desperate souls took to the boats because of the guarantee of rescuers being around, it was claimed.
Rescue missions on the Italian coast could help smugglers make safety sell according to EU agency
The report insisted dangerous crossings on unseaworthy and overloaded vessels were organised with the main purpose of being detected by EUNAVFOR Med/Frontex and NGO vessels.
Increasing chances of success getting into Europe – strengthen the criminal business model, it said.
Despite EU vows to strengthen their approach under the Malta Agreement, it has not worked.
In recent weeks, 1,300 people have attempted crossings in 24hour periods.
Migrants arriving in Italy helped by smugglers for huge fees – often totalling all they own
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If you want to stop the deaths [and] you want to stop the drownings, you have got to stop the boats
In Australia, where the government clamped down on crossings, former prime minister Tony Abbott launched Operation Sovereign Borders which saw boats turned around by the military.
Genuine refugees are now homed outside Australia at the commonwealth’s expense and their applications processed off-shore.
The government recently reporting that it has been 900 days since the last smuggler boat reached Australia.
Tony Abbott has advised EU leaders: “If you want to stop the deaths [and] you want to stop the drownings, you have got to stop the boats.”
Abbott also warned “many of those taking to boats across the Mediterranean or clamouring at Europe’s gates look set to join an angry underclass”, and the migrant crisis could, therefore, represent an “existential threat” to European societies.
But SAR in EU the Mediterranean continue.
In 2016 crossings to Italy reached an all-time high of 182,000 while deaths also climbed.
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More than 5,000 people perished in 2016 trying to reach Europe
In 2014 3,279 perished, while in 2016 that number hit 5,083.
“The scope of the problem is alarming,” Frontex reported.
The agency also claimed the SAR gives “distinct tactical advantage” to people smugglers.
The report concludes that “SAR efforts will continue as long as the migratory crisis persists in the Central Mediterranean not only because they relate to international legal obligations, but also because they stem from European values.”
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