In view of the migration tragedy taking place in the Mediterranean and Middle East, the Board of the International Platform for Cooperation and Migration (IPCM), at its meeting in Madrid, has agreed the following:

1. The International Platform for Cooperation and Migration (IPCM) is deeply concerned by the illegal migration occurring in the Mediterranean Sea area over the recent months.

2. We appeal to the shared responsibility of the authorities in all European countries in the Mediterranean basin, whether countries of origin, transit or destination, in order assist the victims, save human lives and ensure the safety of all. Finding a solution for many thousands of people is a responsibility shared by the entire international community.

3. We deeply regret the tragic deaths of many people in Mediterranean waters, travelling in precarious and unsafe vessels to seek a better life, and fleeing from several countries where the situation is extremely difficult. May they rest in peace.

4. We strongly condemn the killing of immigrants which occurred in one of these boats, due to their Christian faith. We find particularly repugnant the killing of people as a result of their Christian faith, committed by radical Islamists, and even more shocking in these circumstances, at sea, when they were about to reach European shores.

5. We support the European Union taking urgent measures to ensure compliance with international law, to defend human rights; to help people who need this assistance; and to act against mafias trafficking in human beings.

6. As a Platform which groups together NGOs based on the values of Christian humanism, we sympathise with all those who suffer; those who seek a better life; and those who flee desperately from untenable situations.
7. We believe that organisations in civil society have a very important role within the specific field of each one, to contribute to development through international cooperation projects; to attend to immigrants and refugees; to debate and propose solutions; and to generate a social climate of solidarity.

8. The authorities must give different treatment to those fleeing from armed conflicts - especially the conflicts that have been bleeding Syria and Iraq dry for years. Civilians fleeing war situations should have the necessary international protection and, in the appropriate cases, formal refugee status.

9. In addition to political reasons, Middle East conflicts have an ethnic and religious element which must be stressed. Many of those fleeing are persecuted Christians (Syriacs or Chaldean Catholics, Orthodox and Coptic Christians), who are suffering real genocide in the land where they have lived for many generations. The institutions of the European Union and our countries' societies should be especially sensitive to providing a refuge to those fleeing this persecution.

10. The IPCM and its member organisations reiterate our commitment to continue day by day working on the construction of an international society where freedom, democracy, tolerance, human development and social welfare are ensured.

Madrid, June 2015

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