Following the "Malta Declaration" on migration by members of the European Council today, Arjan Hehenkamp, general director of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), issued the following statement:
With their 'Malta Declaration' on the Central Mediterranean, the European Council is delusional about just how dangerous the situation in Libya really is.
Those we rescue on our boats tell us that people still there are starving in detention centres, harassed, and abused. The last thing these people need is for the European Union (EU) and Italy to join the list of predators.
This declaration is yet more evidence that the EU leaders’ only aim is 'stemming the flow.'
Today was not about saving lives; it's clear that the EU is ready to sacrifice thousands of vulnerable men, women, and children in order to stop them reaching European shores.
The declaration does not refer to any alternatives for people who are unable to stay in Libya and would be at risk if they were returned home. The suggested ways of improving the situation in Libya for refugees and other migrants are dangerously lacking in detail.
In short, the plan is nothing more than another attempt to keep them away from European shores."