There needs to be more safe harbors for asylum seekers and other migrants rescued from the Mediterranean sea, otherwise unsafe situations will arise on merchant ships, the Royal association of Dutch shipowners KVNR said to newspaper Trouw.
The umbrella organization for Dutch shipping companies KVNR will be meeting with the Ministry of Defense on Monday to discuss increased tensions on the Persian Gulf. Recent attacks on oil tankers in the region prompted fears that more commercial ships may be targeted.
Shipowner groups and seafarer unions are demanding European Union member states take immediate action to address the growing humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean sea, a joint letter from the associations states. Thousands of people from Northern Africa have tried to cross the sea to Europe on overcrowded boats and 3,500 have already lost their lives since 2014, the letter claims.
Ship owners are outraged at the decision that PvdA made in Parliament to disallow private, armed security on board merchant vessels. The Royal Association of Dutch Ship Owners (KVNR) says that the party is leaving the vessels to their lots.