MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The code of conduct for organizations engaged in migrant rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea that was proposed by Italy and backed by the European Commission could result in increased migrant deaths, Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, said Tuesday.
"Through this new code of conduct, Italy and the European Commission are imposing procedures that could reduce the ability of NGOs to carry out life-saving activities. This could lead to more deaths at sea, and the resulting loss of lives, being foreseeable and preventable, would constitute a violation of Italy’s human rights obligations," Callamard said, as quoted by the UN Office at Geneva's (UNOG) press service.
EU countries, such as Italy, are currently struggling to manage a massive refugee crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people leaving conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa to seek asylum in Europe. According to Frontex, about 94,000 undocumented migrants have already arrived in Italy in 2017 via the Central Mediterranean route.