Mediterranean Sea

Home Office written question – answered at on 6 January 2015.

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Photo of Roger Williams Roger Williams Liberal Democrat, Brecon and Radnorshire

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to seek a reduction in the incidence of deaths among refugees crossing the Mediterranean by boat.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

The Government is working with EU partners to prevent the deaths of people crossing the Mediterranean through joint efforts under the EU’s Task Force Mediterranean, established following the Lampedusa tragedy inOctober 2013.

While the UK is providing support for the new Frontex (EU External Border Agency) Operation ‘Triton’, an enhanced maritime border management operation that intercepts migrants in the Mediterranean, we believe that the only

sustainable means of addressing this issue is to take action to dissuade migrants from making these perilous and illegal journeys in the first place, enhance protection in refugees’ region of origin, and combat the criminal facilitators who place migrants’ lives at risk. This is why we support the EU’s focus on action ‘upstream’ in third countries of origin and transit.

For instance, we are playing a leading role in the new ‘Khartoum Process’ under which the EU countries and countries in the Horn of Africa will work together to combat people smuggling and human trafficking in that region. We also

support the EU’s proposals for Regional Development and Protection Programmes (RDPPs) to provide sustainable protection for refugees in North and East Africa. The UK also continues to work with EU partners and international organisations to develop information campaigns in North and East Africa, aimed at dissuading migrants from risking dangerous Mediterranean and Saharan crossings and countering the work of criminal facilitators.

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