Posted on 19 May 2015
Mr Martin Jones, Lecturer in International Human Rights Law, was interviewed by Elly Fiorentini on BBC Radio York on 20 April 2015 (from 1h 8m in) about the Mediterranean migrant boat tragedy. Martin said that while rescue operations of migrants should be reinstated immediately, what is needed is an immediate policy change. He also highlighted that it is essential to look into the reasons why migrants get on these boats, a major one being the awful situations in their countries of origin - countries such as Eritrea, Syria and Somalia. Governments need to more proactively respond to human rights violations in the countries of origin. He also highlighted that more capacity must be built on the ground in North Africa and the Middle Eastern region, supporting those who already provide assistance to migrants in the region.
Dr Alice Nah appeared live on BBC One Breakfast on 19 May. She commented on the situation of the Rohingyas stranded at sea in Southeast Asia, saying that while the governments of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have taken a hard line, ordinary people - fishermen, villagers, civil society groups - have been rallying to provide humanitarian support. They have also been pressuring their own politicians to respond humanely. She highlighted the obligation of states under international customary law to rescue people in distress at sea. She also emphasised the importance of regional and international cooperation to ensure that lives are saved and root causes of forced displacement addressed.