- Title: Aid groups split over Italy's code of conduct for migrant rescues
- Date: 31st July 2017
- Summary: AT SEA (FILE - JUNE 21, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS LOOKING TOWARDS LAND FROM RESCUE SHIP MIGRANT ON SHIP LOOKING TOWARD PORT OF CROTONE EMERGENCY SERVICES ON PORT SIDE SEEN FROM SHIP CROTONE, ITALY (FILE - JUNE 21, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MIGRANTS DISEMBARKING
- Embargoed: 14th August 2017 18:44
- Keywords: sea rescue Italy NGOs migrants Mediterranean Medecins sans Frontiers Save the Children Juggend Rettet
- Location: ROME AND CROTONE, ITALY AND AT SEA
- City: ROME AND CROTONE, ITALY AND AT SEA
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0036S1TG7B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: At least two aid groups that operate migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean refused on Monday (July 31) to sign a code of conduct produced by the Italian government, but others said they had signed up.
Italy fears the groups, which pick up migrants from rickety boats alongside military and commercial vessels, are facilitating people smuggling from North Africa and encouraging people to make the perilous passage to Europe.
The government had threatened to bar groups that did not sign the code from Italy's ports.
Among those who refused to sign was Medecins sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), whose ship has taken part in many of the roughly 95,000 Mediterranean rescues this year. MSF objected to a ban on transferring migrants between boats, which they said limited their ability to save lives, and to an obligation to allow armed police on board.
But Save The Children gave its backing, saying it already complied with most of the rules and would monitor to be sure that their application did not obstruct rescues.
Spanish group Proactiva Open Arms had still not decided whether to sign, a spokeswoman for the group said. Small German organisation Jugend Rettet refused to sign.
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