Italian Senator Says Some NGOs Profiting From Migrant Rescue Operations in Med

Migrants on wooden boat being rescued by Save the Children NGO crew from the ship Vos Hestia in the Mediterranean sea off Libya coast, June 18, 2017

© REUTERS/ Stefano Rellandini
Sergio Divina, Italy’s Lega Nord party member and a Senate lawmaker, stated that he wanted nongovernmental organizations working in the Mediterranean to be transparent about their funding and to call for setting monitoring mechanisms that would allow the Italian coastguards to check their boats for smuggling activity.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Some nongovernmental organizations working in the Mediterranean have turned migrant rescue operations at sea into a profitable business and are thus encouraging more migration, Sergio Divina, Italy’s Lega Nord party member and a Senate lawmaker, told Sputnik on Friday.
“There are different type of NGOs, established ones such as Save the Children and Doctors Without Borders, and there are also recently founded, and no one really knows how they are funded. They have a lot of money, they have nice, modern, fully equipped boats. They should be operated on the voluntary basis but, in fact, their activity is strictly professional and really profitable. They are not only encouraging new migrants to cross the Mediterranean but also turned these rescue operations into business,” Divina said.
The Italian senator also stressed that he wanted such groups to be transparent about their funding and to call for setting monitoring mechanisms that would allow the Italian coastguards to check their boats for smuggling activity.
In the first half of 2017, about 85,000 migrants arrived on Italy’s shores, versus 71,000 for the same period last year, according to the International Organization for Migration.

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