The illicit trafficking of migrants has reached a global scale

2018. 07. 12.

Press release by Kinga Gál and Lívia Járóka

“Migrant trafficking has turned into a global crime, one that calls for serious responses,” Fidesz MEP Kinga Gál said following the EP’s plenary session on humanitarian aid and migration. “We need to put an end to the practice that NGO vessels pick up migrants a few kilometers from the Libyan coast, yet they ship them to Europe through a journey of several hundred kilometers,” said the EPP Vice-President. 

The report on migrant trafficking issued June 13 by the United Nation’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed that in 2016 human traffickers smuggled at least 2.5 million migrants illegally across borders, making a revenue of more than 7 billion dollars.

“Migrant traffickers don’t care about human lives. They pack illegal migrants aboard crowded rafts without any water, food or life vests and count on NGO vessels to quickly find and pick them up. Sadly, European NGOs assist this activity by rescuing people close to the Libyan coast and shipping them to Europe,” the Fidesz politician said. We need to put an end to this practice, according to Gál, because it serves as a strong pull factor for both the human traffickers and the illegal migrants.

“I agree with the conclusions of Friday’s EU Summit claiming that all ships active in the Mediterranean Sea should respect related regulations and refrain from hampering the operations of the Libyan Coast Guard. I also support that in order to tackle the business-like activity of human traffickers – thereby preventing many tragic deaths – we need to eliminate all those factors that might encourage people to embark on this dangerous journey,” Gál emphasized.

“The current EU legislation doesn’t rule out the culpability of those who support illegal immigrants in achieving their plans,” said EP Vice-President Lívia Járóka during the debate. “On the contrary, all Member States have the right to impose sanctions upon persons who help citizens of third countries illegally enter an EU Member State or assist immigrants – for financial gains – to stay in the country.”

“All NGOs should respect the regulations of the European Union and must take into account that under EU law they are culpable if they provide assistance to illegal border crossers. It has always been the aim of the Hungarian government that judicial bodies would be able to take action against organizations facilitating illegal immigration,” Járóka concluded.