Titus Stahl

Open Letter by Academics on Refugee Crisis in the Mediterranean

Daily Nous reports about an open letter signed by over 300 academics that makes important points concerning the rhetoric which is used to justify the upcoming military operations of the EU against those who help refugees cross the Mediterranean:

In particular, the letter objects against an analogy between the unauthorized smuggling of humans and the slave trade. Smuggling is clearly consensual (even if exploitative) and has its origins in the restrictive immigration policies of EU countries, and therefore not the same thing as forced transportation.

There is no moral basis for measures that lead to the death of peaceable women, men and children, including victims of torture, and those fleeing persecution and war. Europe’s leaders and people must remember their own history, recent and not so recent, and the responsibilities Europe bears for the bodies in the Mediterranean and the people on the boats. We call for the resettlement of many more refugees within Europe and the dismantling of the barriers to movement that have been put in the way of all but the most wealthy.

I encourage others to sign the letter (I did so myself).