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Antonio Vitorino. Photo: IOM Facebook

IOM: ‘EU must guarantee vaccines for all migrants on its soil’

The Coronavirus pandemic would cause more migratory "pressures" said the Director General of the International Office for Migration (IOM), Antonio Vitorino. He himself has put some pressure on countries in the European Union (EU) by demanding that migrants have access to vaccines against the Coronavirus, when such vaccines are ready and available.

Published: November 20, 2020, 2:04 pm

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    During a video conference on migration and asylum in Europe, he therefore urged the EU to help illegal immigrants in the fight against the epidemic, on Thursday, November 19. According to French daily Le Figaro, Vitorina believes that the challenge facing the Member States of the European Union is to ensure access to the vaccine for all people in their territory, not just their citizens, but also all “refugees, displaced persons and migrants who find themselves in Europe”.

    The director of the IOM said that it was “not only a question of protecting the human rights of these migrants”, but that it was also “a question of health security and well-being of all populations and host countries”. Antonio Vitorino underscored that the Coronavirus pandemic does indeed add “additional” migratory “pressures”.

    Faced with this crisis – and after several recent shipwrecks of makeshift migrant boats – he also asked European countries to establish a more secure system for the rescue at sea and the disembarkation of migrants.

    The official added that Libya was “not a safe port for disembarking” even if the EU supports the training of coast guards. “Migrants live in Libya in conditions that are well below minimum humanitarian requirements,” Antonio Vitorino concluded during his request.

    But he failed to point out that these migrants were not from Libya, but from neigbouring African countries not at war.

    The IOM is currently linked to the UN and implementing the policy devised by Peter Sutherland to destroy States, according to French journalist Thierry Meyssan.

    Traditionally the IOM has been led by a US Diplomat. The outgoing director, William L Swing called for more migration because it was “inevitable, necessary and desirable”.

    The candidate put forward by the US was the evangelist Ken Isaacs was rejected in favor of Vitorino following a campaign by the Washington Post to expose his anti-Muslim tweets.

    The new director Vitorino had been forced to withdraw from politics due to tax fraud, but this did not hold him back from becoming the European Commissioner for Justice and the President of the Jacques Delors Institute.

    Vitorino, a lawyer, is a former European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs (1999-2004) and Portugal’s former Minister of the Presidency and National Defence (1995-1997).

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