WE thank the panellists for their interesting introductions.
We are today witnessing a complex and dramatic situation both in the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. We are deeply concerned by the human rights situation these migrants are facing.
Mixed groups of people are fleeing war, conflicts, oppression, grave human rights abuses and poverty. Many are victims of human smugglers and human trafficking. Regardless of reasons for migrating, concern for the individual migrant must be at the centre of our efforts, and we must uphold international human rights standards and international refugee law.
This is a complex issue that concerns pathways to legal migration, as well as issues of border control and migration management, including adequate legislation and policies to combat human trafficking and smuggling. At the same time, crucial considerations when addressing this challenge include caring for the victims and upholding asylum systems, respecting human rights and the principle of non-refoulement.
While dealing with migration on the high seas we need to address the root causes. In many cases, the root causes can be traced back to grave human rights violations in countries of origin and along the migratory routes both on and off shore. We welcome the advice of the panellists on how States can best address the issue of migration and its root causes in a comprehensive manner.