The Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) followed-up on drowning cases on the Tunisian coasts as well as consequent humanitarian tragedies and the amassment of migrants’ bodies in Sfax hospitals amid reluctance to expedite their burial, a reluctance justified by the unavailability of vacant spots or the high cost of burial procedures. The FTDES calls on relevant authorities to take legal and medical measures that will later allow families to identify the bodies and to check identities, and calls on municipalities of the governorate of Sfax to express their solidarity and to ensure that the bodies are buried in appropriate and decent places and in full respect of human dignity.
A call for a decent burial of the bodies of migrants
Since the beginning of the year, the FTDES has monitored and noted 276 victims and missing persons on Tunisian shores (compared to 24 victims and missing persons for the same period of the past year). The European migration policies of borders’ closure and militarization, ratified and adopted by the Tunisian state, may momentarily succeed in controlling migration flows, but it is clear that they continue to exacerbate danger and death on Tunisian coasts. The FTDES reiterates its invitation to Tunisian authorities to effectively and practically commit to saving the lives of migrants in Tunisian waters by launching a proactive mechanism of maritime rescue and assistance focusing on saving human lives and involving all structures and stakeholders along the coastal line and in national waters. It is equally necessary to establish a permanent communication framework to inform on operations of search for missing persons at sea and to assist their families as part of such a mechanism. The FTDES also calls on all Tunisian municipalities, especially those located along the coastal line, to develop local emergency plans to handle cases of drowning due to undocumented migration.
Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights
Abderrahmane Hedhili, President