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de Brún travels to Italy to attend conference on migration and refugees

27 June, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún is today taking part in a conference at the Regional Assembly of Sicily in Palermo, Italy, on the subject of "Europe and its Migrants".

Conference participants include Italian legal, political and academic figures, representatives of Amnesty International and other NGO‚s. MEPs from Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, Germany, Portugal and Cyprus are also in attendance.

Speaking at the conference Ms de Brún said:

"On this the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, we have a duty to seek adequate responses to the challenge of migration that are based on dealing with the underlying factors of extreme poverty and conflict in the world. We must also understand that the number of immigrants in Europe is tiny compared to those elsewhere in the world and that the vast majority of those who flee to save their lives are still in the poor regions of the world. None of this warrants the security of the 'Fortress Europe' approach we see at present."

This evening Ms de Brún will travel with a delegation of MEPs from her group in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL) to the island of Lampedusa. Tomorrow she will visit a detention centre which has been criticized by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commission on Refugees) and Amnesty International. ENDS

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