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Tackling people smuggling in the Med - Lords launch inquiry into EU naval mission


On Thursday 25 February the House of Lords EU Committee will hold the first evidence session of its new inquiry on the EU's naval mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia.

The Committee will hear from international humanitarian organisations Amnesty International and Médecins Sans Frontières, asking for their experiences and views on people smuggling in the Mediterranean, the scale of the problem, to what extent EU intervention has worked, and the most effective sanctions to impose on smugglers.

The House of Lords EU External Affairs Sub-Committee is holding a short inquiry into Operation Sophia, and how effective it is in disrupting the business model of smugglers in the Southern Central Mediterranean.

Giving evidence on Thursday will be Mr Steven Symonds, Refugee and Migrant Rights Programme Director, Amnesty International and Dr Natalie Roberts, Adviser on Refugees and Migration in Europe, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders).

They will be asked a variety of questions, which could include:

  • What are the migrant routes through Europe?
  • How many migrants and refugees are coming through the Central Mediterranean?
  • How does Operation Sophia compare to Mare Nostrum?
  • Does it work as a deterrent?
  • What are your thoughts on the destruction of vessels as part of this operation?
  • Once apprehended, what would you advise as an effective sanction on smugglers?
  • How should the root causes of the flow of refugees and migrants be tackled?

The evidence session will take place at 10.05am, on Thursday 25 February, in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

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