IOM Welcomes Malta’s Safe Harbour and EU Solidarity for Sea Rescue Survivors, Appeals for Swifter, Reliable Solutions

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Floriana/Rome/Brussels The International Organization for Migration (IOM) commends the Maltese authorities for providing a safe port for the disembarkation of the 49 migrants rescued by the Sea Watch 3 and Sea Eye boats. IOM also notes the contribution of those EU Member States that have agreed to step up and operationalize EU solidarity, as well as the European Commission for its role in coordinating the agreement.

This joint action strengthens the recognition that front-line states are not solely responsible for the reception of rescued migrants and that greater solidarity is needed to address this issue.

IOM recognizes the tireless life-saving search and rescue work conducted in the Mediterranean by front-line states and NGOs, and reiterates its position that the swift disembarkation of rescued migrants to places of safety is a legal and moral priority.

Events of the last few weeks demonstrate the urgent need to reduce risks and move beyond ad hoc arrangements to a more predictable disembarkation mechanism and reliable post-arrival solidarity solutions in line with the joint IOM-UNHCR proposal of 2018.

Since July 2018, IOM has provided support with the transfer of migrants and refugees from Malta to Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands and remains ready to support the continuing relocation efforts.

For more information please contact Eliza Fenech-Khan in Floriana, Malta, Tel: +356 213 74613, Email:; Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:; or Ryan Schroeder, IOM Regional Office for the EU,  Tel: +32 2 287 7116, Email:


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