Alison Johnstone, Scottish Green MSP for Lothian, today used Topical Questions at Holyrood to raise the plight of migrants escaping conflict and poverty in Africa.
So far this year an estimated 1,500 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean.
“Poisonous, damaging rhetoric on immigration has allowed governments to create a policy where thousands of people drown at sea. I welcome the Scottish Government’s agreement that it is simply wrong to believe that allowing migrants to drown will stop others from making the crossing.
“The UK Government believe investing in search and rescue is a ‘pull factor’ which encourages migration. They don’t take into account the factors that lead people to leave home and family behind, such as persecution, conflict, war and scarce resources. Can you imagine embarking on such a terrifying journey, with no guarantee of a safe arrival, let alone a compassionate warm welcome?
“I support the call from Amnesty and others for more safe and legal routes to Europe for people fleeing conflict and persecution. This is a longstanding humanitarian issue on our doorstep that we must face up to, and we must challenge those who would rather we turned away from it.”