Point to Tunisia to convince the rebel NGOs

by Giuseppe Terranova - 2017.08.08
Point to Tunisia to convince the rebel NGOs
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There is a missing piece in the effective strategy put in place by Italy's Interior Minister to create order out of the Mediterranean chaos.  And, which would be useful to counter the objections of the NGOs who have not signed the code of conduct because they are opposed to rejecting the refugees in the name of upholding the sacrosanct right to save human lives.

The missing piece is called offshore processing, based on the model of the EU-Turkey agreement of 2016. This is, as the expert Michael S. Teitelbaum explained in this paper, a humanitarian emergency management approach focusing on providing refugees with the opportunity to seek protection in neighbouring countries of the crisis area. The rational is simple. In order to avoid death in an attempt to escape the danger and destruction that wars have created at home, they are guaranteed, within a few steps from their home land, a sort of security zone, represented by UNHCR camps where refugee status is guaranteed to those who come under the terms of the Geneva Convention of 1951.

How can this theory be put into practice to solve the immigration emergency in Italy?

As there is no war in the Mediterranean, we cannot afford to shrug off the international hub of human cargo that Libya has become. This is why we should make agreements with neighbouring but stable Tunisia to host, in return for money, special UNHCR refugee camps. This solution has a triple advantage.

The first, allows thousands of migrants who are leaving daily from Libyan ports in fear of their lives, to apply for asylum in absolute security and safety.

The second is the reduction of the business of traffickers who make a fortune from the flesh, blood and hopes of migrants.

The third  the number of migrants who, dazzled by the myth of Europe and diverted by human traffickers,  choose to risk death by crossing the Mediterranean, instead could benefit from the precious work of NGOs who sail their boats near the Libyan waters to help rescue any shipwrecks and bring them safely,  not to Italy, but to Tunisia.

And you can bet, that the new Tunisian government, who are short of tourists to drive their local economy in the pre-Arabian Spring, presented with a serious economic proposal, would not say no.


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