When it comes to preventing deaths at sea politicians posting photos of themselves with the hashtag "#refugeeswelcome" simply could not be doing less. To encourage more refugees to come to Europe without facilitating their transit across the Mediterranean is to push them into the arms of the human traffickers who operate with such impunity.

If Europe seriously wants to prevent more drownings then it either needs to tackle the scourge of human trafficking or conduct humanitarian evacuations itself. Given the lawless nature of certain states across the Mediterranean it cannot do the former, therefore the only option left is to deploy its own navies and expedite the evacuation of those refugees it is prepared to accept.

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