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24 May May 2017 1614 24 May 2017

Are rescuers not transparent? Only isolated cases

The opinion of Giampaolo Silvestri, AVSI's Secretary-General, regarding the stories of NGOs rescuing migrants from the sea, that Italian Public Prosecutor, Carmelo ​Zuccaro, accuses of being "in collusion with people traffickers acting in Libya."

Burundi By Brett Morton (1)

A rotten apple, at most. Maybe some smaller NGOs have taken advantage of the absence of any authorities and have considered making agreements with traffickers. Not the big ones "they've got enough money". Basically, not a widespread system.

This is the opinion of Giampaolo Silvestri, AVSI's Secretary-General since 2013, regarding the stories of NGOs rescuing migrants from the sea, that Catania's Public Prosecutor, Carmelo Zuccaro, accuses of being "in collusion with people traffickers acting in Libya."

Silvestri, 47, is the head of a network that operates in 30 countries, with more than 100 development cooperation projects, particularly educational, with €46m of public and private contributions.

"This incident raises the question of the transparency of NGOs", says Silvestri, "money is gathered on trust and it is mandatory to say how it is used. Everything must be monitored. However, I believe there are no bad intentions in those involved in the controversy. I don't think there is nothing more than isolated cases".

There are still concerns about some rescue modes, though. "Migrants are not inventions by the NGOs. They will continue to come for the next 30 years. If the State is not doing enough, NGOs will act. And you can get your hands dirty, acting and running risks, in good faith". It wouldn't be the first time that some of them are suspected of misconduct. "Yes, around the world, I've heard about this. But, to my knowledge, there were no convictions”.