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Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 31st July 2017.

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Photo of Lord Blencathra Lord Blencathra Conservative

Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the comments by the spokesman for the Libyan navy that NGOs were operating a taxi service for migrants in the Mediterranean and were colluding with smuggling gangs.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State

The UK is not funding any non-governmental organisations (NGO) to carry out Search and Rescue in the Mediterranean. NGO activities are co-ordinated by the official Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Italy, and all NGOs should operate in accordance with international law. It is the organised criminal networks who are exploiting vulnerable migrants and profiting from these dangerous journeys across the sea. That is why our priority is to tackle these smugglers.

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