The Palestinian Return Centre (PRC) in London submitted a written statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) which was circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31.
Entitled “Rawnd Alayde’s: A victim of European Immigration Policies”, the document revealed the details of Rawnd’s story. The latter, a Palestinian-Syrian refugee, was pronounced dead at sea, among at least 16 people whose bodies were found on Friday, December 24, in the Aegean Sea, after a boat carrying migrants capsized in Greek waters.
The statement said that Rawnd, born on November 21, 1998, risked her life onboard the Greek-bound “death boat” whishing to reunite with her family and her father whom she has not seen for ten years.
The document stated that the incident is the latest in a series of similar boat tragedies that have seen at least 72 Palestinian refugees breathing their last at sea, fleeing the war-torn Syrian Arab Republic since the outbreak of the conflict in 2011. Scores of others died of cold on route to EU destinations.
Quoting the victim’s father, the statement said that Rawnd died because the family reunification procedure excluded her.
PRC called on the UNHRC to pressurize the EU and European Parliament to embark on a fact-finding probe to determine the root causes of the Greece boat tragedy and hold those responsible for the migrant deaths to account in order to save more lives and help bring such crimes against humanity to a halt.
PRC also called on the UNHRC to urge the EU to reconsider its migration policy and family reunion red tape at embassies, migration departments, and consulates in host countries and to work on protecting the lives of migrants, among them hundreds of children, who are the victims of displacement, poverty, and economic marginalization.