In view of the high numbers of lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea by asylum seekers trying desperately to reach Europe on makeshift boats, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)“calls on member States to respect international obligations and to co-ordinate efforts to save lives at sea.

“Saving lives at sea and on land is a moral as well as legal obligation for member States,” PACE pointed out in a resolution, based on a report by Petra De Sutter. In particular, states should establish clear geographical responsibilities for international search and rescue operations at sea. Rescue operations carried out at sea by member States should be disconnected from subsequent applications for asylum by those rescued.

Read more on the report here.