France welcomes arrival from Malta of 52 refugees

Migration policy – 52 refugees from the boat Lifeline are welcomed onto French territory – Press communiqué issued by the Ministry of the Interior

Paris, 5 July 2018

Gérard Collomb, Ministre d’Etat, Minister of the Interior, welcomes the arrival from Valletta (Malta) this morning of 52 refugees off the boat Lifeline. These people, who were rescued in the Mediterranean, were identified on their arrival in Malta by the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA) as requiring asylum protection. The French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII) will find them accommodation and they will be given language training and taught the Republic’s values as part of the Republican Integration Contract.

This operation, like the one France carried out in Valencia (Spain) for the people who came off the Aquarius, “shows France’s very concrete solidarity with its European neighbours on the front line in terms of arrivals by sea”, according to Gérard Collomb, who emphasizes that “France was one of the first European countries to commit itself to taking this group of people in”. This solidarity is part of an active policy to deter people from departing by sea, which is highly dangerous, and recall the need for everyone’s international duties to be to fulfilled, particularly when it comes to sea rescue.

Taking in these people from Malta is wholly in line with the conclusions of the European Council of 29 June 2018, which called for a solidarity mechanism to be established to manage disembarkations in Europe of migrants picked up at sea. Gérard Collomb reaffirms the determination to tackle all migration challenges in a joint, concerted European framework.

Gérard Collomb is keen to thank all the Interior Ministry, OFPRA and OFII staff for their involvement in this operation./.

Published on 18/07/2018

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