In the first week of May, refugee specialist Geesje Werkman from Dutch Eurodiaconia Member ‘Kerk In Actie’ accompanied Arjan Plaisier from the Protestant Church of the Netherlands to the isle of Lampedusa. In the context of their ‘solidarity visit’, they had discussions with the coast guard, the mayor and the priest of the local catholic church. They also spoke to staff members of ‘Mediterranean hope’, a project coordinated by Italian protestant churches to support refugees stranded on Lampedusa.

In light of the tragedies which continue to unfold across the Mediterranean Sea, Kerk in Actie reaffirmed its commitment to lobbying for safer travelling routes. The Protestant Church Federation of Italy emphasised the importance of better regulation concerning humanitarian visa, of saving refugees instead of stopping them, of spreading refugees over EU Member States, and of transferring refugees from military camps to alternate locations as soon as possible.

To read a more comprehensive report of the visit (in Dutch), please click here.