UNSC adopts resolution to allow EU countries to use force to tackle Refugee Crisis

United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has adopted a resolution authorizing the European Union (EU) and individual countries to use force to tackle the worst refugee crisis.

The EU-proposed resolution was supported by majority vote of fourteen council members of total 15 including all 5 permanent members. Venezuela remained abstain from voting.

Key facts

  • The resolution allows European naval forces to board ships for inspecting, seizing and destroying vessels smuggling migrants and refugees on the high seas.
  • It was adopted under Chapter 7 of the UN charter, which authorizes use of force. The resolution is valid for period of one year.
  • The resolution will help to take military action against human-trafficking gangs and does not authorize action in Libyan territorial waters or on its coast.

The resolution was adopted by UNSC after EU countries had launched second phase of Operation Sophia giving it greater legitimacy (but does not give mandate for this operation). The naval operation was launched against human smugglers and traffickers in the Mediterranean Sea.


  • European countries are witnessing greatest illegal refugee and migrant crisis since World War II and it is considered as one of the worst humanitarian crisis.
  • The crisis had erupted after an unprecedented number of people from North African (Libya, Eritrea, Sudan etc) and Middle Eastern (Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc) countries started relocating to European Countries for seeking refuge for better life conditions.
  • In year 2015 alone, around 3,092 people have died while illegally crossing the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe.
  • In June 2015, EU had launched the first phase of Operation Sophia which was primarily involved monitoring trafficker networks and rescuing refugees from rickety boats.

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Categories: International



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