In view of the high numbers of lives lost in the Mediterranean
Sea by asylum seekers trying desperately to reach Europe on makeshift
boats, member States should respect their international obligations
and co-ordinate their efforts in protecting human life at sea. In
particular, they should establish clear geographical responsibilities
for international search and rescue operations at sea. Rescue operations
carried out at sea by member States should be disconnected from
subsequent applications for asylum by those rescued.
This report calls on all member States to put the protection
of human lives above all other considerations and regardless of
the status of the persons concerned. The Parliamentary Assembly
calls on the Committee of Ministers to prepare guidelines on the
protection of human life at sea through search and rescue operations, and
on member States to implement fully the Council of Europe Convention
on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.