• 14-JAN-2015

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

The European Union must escalate its fight against Human Trafficking of Refugees

Brussels, 14th of January. Yesterday in Strasbourg, the European Socialists and Democrats strongly called on the European Commission and Governments to respond accordingly to the recent escalation of human traffickers' criminal strategy, as during the last weeks a few ghost ships, filled with refugees locked aboard, were sent speeding towards the European coasts with no one at the helm.


MEP Birgit Sippel, S&D spokesperson on civil liberties, justice and home affairs, said:


"The fight against smugglers and human traffickers is not enough.


"The main problem is still that people in need of protection do not have any legal means to enter Europe. Instruments like resettlement and humanitarian visa are voluntarily and often not used. Some member states barely resettle a hand full! We welcome the pilot project of the European Commission in order to resettle 10.000 refugees all over Europe – but this again is only voluntarily. We need a genuinely integrated resettlement scheme with allocated reception quotas for each member state.


"Furthermore, the Commission has to come forward with additional proposals for the creation of more legal channels for refugees and economic migrants who want to come and work in Europe."


This video includes stock shots, extracts of the plenary debate as well as interviews with MEP Birgit Sippel and with Azzam Daaboul, a 24-years-old Syrian refugee.


Living in Belgium, Azzam talks about the gruelling ordeal his family went through on its way to Europe. The full transcription is available in the shotlist.