Migrant rescue ship Open Arms asks Spain to take around 30 children while at sea

THE Open Arms migrant rescue boat has called on Spain to grant asylum to 31 children out of the more than 150 people on board as it remains at sea.

The vessel, run by the Catalan NGO of the same name, has been in the Mediterranean for 12 days after failing to get permission to dock in Malta and Italy.

It is currently almost 54 kilometres off the Italian island of Lampedusa but cannot dock their due to a ban imposed by Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.

The request for the children’s asylum comes after eight people had to be evacuated from the boat due to ill health yesterday (Monday).

The NGO said life for those on board was becoming more difficult with every day that passed.

“The silence of Europe is infamous. The lack of humanity and empathy makes them more guilty,” Open Arms said.

Development Minister Jose Luis Abalos said Open Arms’ captain had no ‘legal right’ to request asylum for the passengers in Spain.

He added Italy was ‘not taking responsibility’ for its migration commitments.

Migration Minister Magdalena Valerio said Spain was providing ‘plenty’ of solidarity and leadership on immigration and called for the issue to be resolved at a European level.

Spanish actor Antonio Banderas has spoken in support of Open Arms saying the situation in the Mediterranean is ‘unsustainable and unbearable’.

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Written by

Joe Gerrard

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