Yohannes and Alessandro, EMERGENCY cultural mediator and psychologist, are on board the Open Arms vessel operated by Spanish organisation Proactiva Open Arms, dedicated to search and rescue operations for people attempting to cross the Mediterranean. We are collaborating with them in order to assist more than 150 people who are at sea in a vulnerable condition and who are still waiting for a safe harbour to disembark.
After twelve days of sailing, the ship is now stationary off the island of Lampedusa, having received no authorisation from any European country, including Italy, to dock.
“The people rescued aboard the Open Arms vessel,” Yohannes and Alessandro tell us, “have experienced abuse and violence in the past and are under enormous psychological pressure.”
Faced with the denial of a safe port by European countries, we must protect the fundamental rights of men, women and children in difficulty who have already faced the deadly risks of a dangerous journey. We reiterate: ‘People first’. Always.