Commenting on the Lampedusa tragedy, Francois Crepeau, the U.N. Human Rights Commission’s Special Rapporteur on Migration, told The Hindu in an exclusive interview:

“Borders have never been sealed. Borders will never be sealed. Borders cannot be sealed. There is no short-term policy solution that the politicians will like. Most European migration policies are blind to the reality and more tragedies like Lampedusa will happen unless they change tack quite dramatically. That will require political courage because they will have to explain uncomfortable truths to their nations and with the rise of the Extreme Right and the anti-immigration trends that are flaring up everywhere including the anti immigration movements, this is going to be difficult.

“If you want to stop people dying you have to open up a lot more channels for regular migrations, you have to stop trying to intercept ships at sea and you have to stop trying to empower neighbouring states to intercept people on their territory. Because all this is creating, entrenching and empowering smuggling rings to get around barriers. You create a barrier and if you have a push-pull factor with a barrier in between you create a market for smuggling ring. This was the case with prohibition. This is the case with the war on drugs. We should understand that the war on migration will not be won because it can’t be. Open up the channels for legal migrations so that people will not try to use smuggling rings. If you don’t want people to die, more border controls will not help they will inevitably result in more tragedy.”

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