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EUNAVFOR MED: FIGHTING MIGRANT SMUGGLING UNDER UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 2240 (2015)

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To face the extraordinary migration crisis and consequent human tragedy in the Mediterranean, the need has emerged to fight human smugglers and traffickers. The European Union (EU) has launched EUNAVFOR MED, a naval crisis management operation aiming to disrupt the business model of human smuggling in the Central Mediterranean. With Resolution 2240 of 9 October 2015, the UN Security Council, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter, authorised the EU operation to undertake “all measures commensurate to the circumstances” in order to visit, seize, and dispose of vessels used by smugglers. The EU operation is currently limited to the high seas, yet its expansion into Libyan waters and territory is envisaged. This article discusses some issues arising from Resolution 2240 and its implementation by the EU, notably from the viewpoint of the international law of the sea, the rules governing the use of force and human rights law. Problems have also emerged as to the prosecution in Italy of the smugglers apprehended on the high seas. It is submitted that a number of issues have not been clarified by the legal texts adopted and that the action of the EU in this field is still ineffective and rather opaque.

10.1163/22116133-90000106
/content/journals/10.1163/22116133-90000106
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/content/journals/10.1163/22116133-90000106
2016-10-18
2016-12-05

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