Last week, a delegation of Eurodiaconia’s Dutch member ‘Kerk in Actie’ paid a solidarity visit to churches on the Italian island of Lampedusa. For refugees escaping their war-torn homes in Africa and the Middle East, Lampedusa often marks a first stop on the way to the European mainland – yet many of them fail to arrive and drown in their desperate attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea in unseaworthy vessels. In 2015 alone, hundreds of refugees have lost their lives. According to Doris Peschke from the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), ‘only legal and safe passageways to Europe can prevent that this tragedy keeps repeating itself.’
Kerk in Actie therefore plays a coordinating role in the ‘Safe Passage’ project, a European initiative which explores methods to make the passage across the Mediterranean safer. In this context, Kerk in Actie will organise a conference called ‘Veilig naar Europa, kan dat als je moet vluchten voor oorlog en geweld?’ (Going safely to Europe, is that possible if you have to flee war and violence?) in Utrecht on 18 June.