On the 23rd of October, the European Commissioner Cecilia Malmström hosted the seminar:
“One year after Lampedusa: the journey in search of protection in Europe: Politics meets practice”.
This seminar gathered European politicians, journalists, members of various NGOs, academicians and Farah Abdi Adbullahi, as representative of all children on the move.
The different panelists contributed to the debate following their personal or professional experiences in order to present the phenomenon of migration to Europe: from the reasons to leave their countries of origin to the risks migrants are facing when moving.
European Commissioner Malmström has focused her speech on three issues : the Mare Nostrum Operation, the solidarity with Mediterranean countries, and the smuggling of migrants.
“Mare Nostrum will be replaced by the joint operation Triton. His success depends on the willingness and contribution of the Member States.(…) It will not replace Mare Nostrum, it’s a smaller operation but it’s still a first very important step”
“Solidarity is needed among Member States, especially those who see the highest number of asylum seekers”
“The smuggling of migrants, whose growing proportion in the Mediterranean needs to be addressed by the EU commission with a comprehensive and integrative plan”
Farah Abdi Adbullahi, a Somali refugee living in Malta, shared his personal story and his journey from Kenya to Malta.
“It took me five months (from Kenya to Libya) to arrive there and I was 5 times in prison in Libya. We cannot call it a prison, there are militia detention centers.(…)I was in the hands of those traffickers, my life was in their mercy.”
“When I made it to Malta in 2012, I was fingerprinted and driven to a detention center (…) there, nobody asks for your age or your name.”
” So when I speak, I am not speaking for myself, I am speaking for millions of children on the move and for the ones who will continue to be on the move”
Fabrizio Gatti, an Italian journalist, presented his investigative report “Alle cinque della sera”, a theater play to tell the tragedy of 11 October 2013 when 260 migrants, between them around 100 children, died in the Mediterranean.
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“I choose to tell this story because what is happening in the Mediterranean is an humanitarian tragedy.”
“The Dublin regulation is not working anymore in Italy, in Greece and in other countries…I think the main question today is : why not to change the Dublin regulation and improve a different system ?”