Save Lives, Look After Public Health. Press Release from the Forum Lampedusa Solidale


The Forum LampedusaSolidale, which has for years been committed to working for the island community of Lampedusa, in the light of experience gained, is today asking for the health of everyone – resident and non-resident – to be looked afterby means of a systematic approach and an effective strategy.  This healthcare emergency should not be used as an opportunity to foment fear and create tension, upset or anger in a community which already lives with serious healthcare, economic and social difficulties.

It is absolutely clear that the flow of people coming from the coasts of North Africa will increase in an exponential manner in the next few months, in particular as a consequence of the civil war underway in Libya.  It is equally clear that that Lampedusa, which is without a hospital and about to face a difficult summer season, cannot be the landing place appointed to welcome the thousands of human beings who will arrive in a vulnerable condition and in need of appropriate humanitarian and health care.

To that end:

WE CANNOT ACCEPT that a specific healthcare strategy has not been developed given Lampedusa’s evident fragility: WE SUBMIT that it is fundamental that appropriate health safety procedures and facilities be put in place, be they for residents, be they for whoever arrives on the island (Italian citizens, law enforcement, military or healthcare personnel, migrants).

WE CANNOT ACCEPT migrants being left for entire days and nights on the Favaloro quay without decent accommodation, nor the failure to implement healthcare measures enacted in recent weeks: WE SUBMIT that immediate transfers are necessary, not only via commercial ships but also via other available means.

WE CANNOT ACCEPT that these measures taken are always of an emergency nature: WE FEAR that a quarantine ship off the island may become a permanent floating hotspot; WE SUBMIT that, instead, appropriate buildings must be identified to house migrants and, thus, ensure the right healthcare arrangements and access to asylum procedures.

WE CANNOT ACCEPT that people continue to die at sea: WE SUBMIT that rescue at sea must be immediately re-started, including rescue beyond Italian territorial waters, that assignment of safe ports and that freedom of movement and safe and legal entry mechanisms must always be guaranteed.

The Forum will continue to monitor and work for the rights of all to be upheld, believing the life of each person to be of equal worth and dignity, in a spirit of reciprocal solidarity.

6th May 2020

Forum Lampedusa Solidale

Consequently, FCEI will maintain its commitment to keeping those who live in camps informed, always seeking greater rights for those who live in precarious health conditions with insufficent wages and no guarantees.