Fianna Fáil Spokesperson for Children Robert Troy TD has said he is deeply shocked by the horrific scenes unfolding in the Mediterranean Sea and South-East Europe as people attempt to flee conflict in warn torn countries.
Deputy Troy made the comments after the body of a Syrian child washed up on a beach in Turkey after the boat he was travelling in capsized. The Fianna Fáil Spokesperson says such scenes are being replicated every day, and has called on the Government to urgently engage with our partners in the European Union to ensure a co-ordinated response is put in place to adequately care for people seeking refugee status.
“What we have witnessed in recent months in the Mediterranean Sea and across South-East Europe is heart-breaking. People are desperately attempting to flee conflict in states such as Syria and Libya but thousands of people, including children of all ages, are dying as a result of the treacherous nature of the journey” said Deputy Troy.
“European leaders simply cannot sit back any longer and watch this crisis unfold from the side-lines. The international community has a responsibility to cater for refugees fleeing war torn countries, and this is especially true for states that have destabilised regions in the Middle East. A high level response is needed from the leaders of each respective state in the EU to bring an end to the tragedy unfolding, not only on our borders, but now within the union itself.
“Ireland has played a leading role in the search and rescue operation which is currently underway in the Mediterranean Sea. The Irish Naval Service is to be commended for the heroic work it is doing under extremely difficult circumstances. However our response cannot be solely confined to participating in search and rescue operations. We must share the burden with the rest of our partners in the EU by providing shelter for these refugees.
“This is the worst humanitarian crisis since World War 2. Such a crisis requires an exceptional response, and the time has come for EU states to reach out in the same manner that countries across the globe provided refuge for European people forced to flee their communities during World War 2. Sitting back and watching the crisis unfold is no longer an option. The Government needs to treat this matter with the highest priority and must push for a Europe wide summit to tackle the refugee crisis, alongside bringing an end to the conflict in Libya and Syria” said Deputy Troy.