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Sea Watch and Sea Eye: COMECE, Bishops urge governments to “take their responsibilities”

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU welcomes the solution reached today among some EU Member States, with the intervention of the EU, that have accepted to receive some migrants who were for days stranded at sea, rescued and brought to a Maltese harbour. The Bishops, however, urge Member States to “take their responsibilities towards migrants in distress at sea”. COMECE shares the appeal made by the Maltese Bishops’ Conference: we cannot remain “deaf to the cry of those who suffer”. However, they point out, “the efforts made by the Catholic Church and civil society in welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating migrants can’t substitute governments’ responsibility to ensure that newcomers are rescued when stranded at sea, brought to a safe place, treated in a humane way and provided with the necessary assistance”. A safe migration also requires “the cooperation between countries of departure, transit and destination in order to avoid that persons looking for a better life embark on dangerous trips that have caused thousands of victims in the Mediterranean Sea”. COMECE invites EU Member States “to exercise their shared responsibility towards migrants, in particular when stranded at sea, cooperating with those countries that are more affected by the arrivals of migrants, and creating a mechanism ensuring that the principles of human dignity and the common good will prevail over other”.

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