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24 October 2020 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 19:37 GMT+2

September 22, 2020

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Original news
Open letter from ECSA, ICS, ETFs and ITFs to the EU asking for urgently solve the problem of migrants rescued from ships

Among the requests, that of indicating in a short time a port safe in which to disembark the rescued people

Le associazioni armatoriali European Community Shipowners' Associations (ECSA) and International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) and The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) issued an alarm about the impact that the growing number of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean have on maritime transport and, in an open letter addressed European Union leaders, urged the institutions Community to take action to ensure landings are insured fast and predictable for people rescued at sea by ships Merchant.

In the letter, the four organisations recall that, since the height of the migrant crisis in 2014, commercial helped save more than 80,000 people in need central Mediterranean waters and these rescues have been completed thanks to the prompt assistance of European states and their activities in the region. Although the number of people who cross these waters has decreased - explain ECSA, ICS, ETFs and ITFs - evidence suggests that this trend is reversing, with Frontex recently reporting an increase in 86% of the number of migrant transits through the route compared to the same period in 2019. "This - wrote ECSA, ICS, ETFs and ITF - it is very alarming for shipping industry, as migrant routes international shipping ladings, increasing merchant ships are likely to be called upon to lend Rescue. As recent incidents, such as those that have involved Talia and Maersk Etienne,there is no guarantee that those ships will receive timely assistance appropriate when they fulfill their responsibilities humanitarian aid.'

"UNCLOS and SOLAS - also remind ECSA, ICS, ETFs and ITF - impose additional obligations on ships and coastal states to ensure the rescue of people in danger at sea, regardless of their nationality, status or status circumstances in which they find themselves, and to land them in a safe place according to the instructions received by the research authority and coordinates the search and rescue operation.

"Merchant ships - continues the letter of the four organizations -- will not shirk their responsibility legal and moral to provide assistance to those who need assistance at sea. However, merchant ships are neither equipped to save and sustain substantial groups of people in need. This exercises enormous pressure on the crews who provide assistance Humanitarian. Even when you follow the guidelines of the best practices, first aid provisions, medical, food and water are not suitable for large groups of people in difficulties. It is therefore essential that people rescued may be landed at the first opportunity in a place safe, as the law requires. In addition, the transfer of people rescued at sea is an atypical operation that involves a significant risk for everyone involved. Finally, a large number of people rescued and/or the extended time of their stay on board can increase the difficulty for commander and crew to meet the requirements for the humane treatment of people rescued on the basis of the rule SOLAS V/34.6 and the commander's ability to fulfill his responsibility to ensure the safety and protection of the ship's personnel."

"Although the additional pressures caused by the pandemic Covid-19 are fully recognised - still observe ECSA, ICS, ETFs and ITF - continues to be essential that states fulfill their obligations to cooperate in the rescue and rescue landing and find pragmatic and quick solutions so that at the commercial vessels involved in THE SAR operations is indicated as a safe haven where, in a short amount of time, disembarking migrants rescues.'

"Recent incidents - conclude ECSA, ICS, ETF and ITF - have seen merchant ships not recognized their right to disembarked persons in European states, causing a humanitarian crisis on board for both those rescued and crew. These situations highlight the need for long-term solutions and a coordinated framework between the EU members in relation to their obligations under the EU coordinating rescue operations. This should include clear and reliable guidance for all of these ensuring the timely disembarkation of those rescued by the merchant ships in a place that minimises the risk to safety and safety of ships, of the people rescued, commanders and crews, in accordance with the obligations imposed by SOLAS. ECSA, ICS, ETF and ITF call on the EU and States to facilitate the achievement of this result without further delay, taking into account the need safeguard and safety of merchant ships, seafarers and the people they rescued."

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