Saturday, May 27, 2017 — Following the G7 summit this weekend in Taormina, Italy, the Executive Director of MSF UK, Vickie Hawkins, says:
"The G7 leaders missed an important opportunity to address the failure of governments and provide a humane response to the global displacement crisis. Instead they decided to address it only through the lens of national security, punishing and criminalizing people who are on the move. We see first-hand the consequences of these policies on people we assist across the world -- from the Mediterranean Sea that has turned into a giant cemetery; to the awful detention conditions in Libya; to the humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees; or the extreme level of violence on the Central American migration and refugee route. The failure of the G7 Summit in Sicily will only cause more suffering, increase deaths at sea, perpetuate appalling reception conditions for migrants and refugees, and justify inhumane deals that outsource migration to unsafe countries.
What role did the UK play in this failure?
"Just last week, Theresa May set out in her election manifesto an ambition to lead a reform of the definition of a refugee. UK leadership of this nature would only further undermine the protection that people fleeing violence in search of safety should be afforded by international law. The British Government and its G7 colleagues should instead focus on the strength and stability of the existing system rather than diluting it at a time when millions of people are trapped in violence and fear."
Please direct any enquiries or requests to:
Regional Press Officer | MSF UK