The new stringent norms adopted by the Italian government toward NGOs conducting sea rescues will not stop migrant arrivals, declared Italy's National Forum of the Third Sector. The root causes of migration need to be solved instead, they said.
A new law decree, introduced by the Italian government at the start of the year, sets out a code of conduct for rescue ships seeking to disembark in Italy, which further limit NGOs' search and rescue (SAR) capacities to respond to boats in distress.
"It will not be the new rules for NGO to stop arrivals in Italy, but rather long-ranging and structured policies that can intervene on the causes of the migrations and remove the need that pushes people to abandon their countries of origin."
This is what a recent note issued by Vanessa Pallucchi, spokesperson for the Third Sector Forum, the organization of reference for non-profit Italian organizations, stated.
'The responsibility for the migration phenomenon is not of the NGOs'
"The responsibility for the migration phenomenon certainly does not come from NGOs, which operate solely on the basis of the principle of human solidarity and respect for international law and that are only responsible for 10% of arrivals on Italian coasts," the statement noted.
"There is a lot of discussion about "helping them at their home" in reference to migrants, however Italy does not respect the commitment signed to earmark and destine 0.70% of its GDP to cooperation and development, which has a strategic role delivering aid and creating opportunities in places from which people flee from."
"We believe that what has been highlighted in these last hours by the NGO network should be held in high consideration, they have a long experience in sea rescue operations and they highlight the contrast between the Code of Conduct introduced by the government and international law, and the consequent risk of creating legal uncertainly. We hope that the Parliament will resolve the contradictions that exist in the text", concludes Pallucchi.
Also read: Italy planning to tighten rules on NGO migrant rescues