The EU has recently agreed on a new scheme to help tackle the Mediterranean crisis. According to recent UNHCR figures, 105,000 people so far this year have reached Europe, with more than 1,800 known to have died in the attempt. Two-thirds making the crossing are from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Somalia, with Syrians making up the largest country contingent.
A majority of EU members have agreed to a voluntary redistribution scheme, which will see 40,000 asylum-seekers who are currently living in Greece and Italy relocated to other member states (the UK has opted out of participating).
The other part of the agreement will involve resettling 20,000 Syrian and Eritrean refugees who are not yet in Europe.
In a recent Guardian article entitled 'EU sidestep on migrants will do nothing to curb Mediterranean death toll', Professor Cathryn Costello expressed doubt about whether the voluntary redistribution scheme would be effective: 'It could work if there is goodwill behind it, but you have to wonder whether it will work.' She said that similar schemes in place elsewhere had not demonstrated much success, even if they were legally binding.
European Justice for Migrants and Refugees, by Cathryn Costello
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