THE Coalition of Eritrean Canadian Communities and Organizations (CECCO) commemorated the anniversary of the Lampedusa shipwreck in which hundreds of migrants lost their lives off the the coast of southern Italy. The sinking of the ship in Lampedusa shocked our tight-knit Eritrean community , Canadians of Eritrean descent mourned and reflected on the magnitude of this tragic loss of human life.
Last year, CECCO met with the federal government in the House of Commons, urging them to take the lead in investigating and prosecuting human trafficking in the Horn of Africa and to raise its concern over the European laws which made it an offence to offer help to migrant boats. Canada is signatory to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. As Canadians we must honour our obligation to stop migrants from falling into the hands of criminal traffickers.
As we did a year ago, CECCO will continue to work constructively with all our stakeholders to stop the preventable loss of more lives in the Mediterranean. We remain hopeful that the Canadian government will address these issues with our partners in Europe and place the issue of criminal human and organ trafficking as one of its political priorities.
We call on the federal government to integrate the complex issue of migration into its overall policy approach to the Horn of Africa. Security issues are exacerbating the continent-wide trend of African migration to Europe. Ethiopia’s refusal to implement the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission’s (EEBC) 2002 decision is a significant obstacle to the demobilization and normalization of regional economic relations. The full implementation of the EEBC decision is the pillar in confidence-building measures needed between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Ensuring the implementation of the final and binding border demarcation and returning occupied land to Eritrea will prevent further tragedies and create a safer road to development and peace in the Horn of Africa.
CECCO is made up of the following organizations:
– The Eritrean Canadian Association of Ontario
– The Eritrean Canadian Community of the Prairie Inc.
– The Eritrean Cultural & Civic Centre of Calgary
– The Eritrean Community Cultural Centre of London
– The Eritrean Community in Quebec
– The Eritrean Community in Winnipeg Inc.
– The Eritrean Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver
– The Eritrean Community of Saskatoon