War, economic crisis, political repression and environmental degradation are pushing increasing numbers of people to make the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe.
Since the beginning of the year alone it is believed that 1,700 people have perished at sea. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) believe that number might reach 30,000 by the end of the year if the current rate continues.
For May’s First Wednesday we will be bringing together a panel of experts to answer your questions about the unfolding crisis. We will be examining the root causes of the current situation and looking at the measures that need to be taken to avoid the 30,000 deaths the IOM predicts.
Chaired by executive editor of Monocle and host of Monocle 24’s The Foreign Desk, Steve Bloomfield.
Maurice Wren is the chief executive of the Refugee Council, one of the leading organisations working with refugees and asylum seekers in the UK. Previously he was director of Asylum Aid and held senior management roles at Shelter and the Housing Associations Charitable Trust.
Patrick Kingsley is The Guardian’s Egypt correspondent. For 2015, he is also the paper’s acting migration correspondent. He’s the winner of the Frontline award for print journalism. And he was named young journalist of the year at the 2014 British Press awards, new journalist of the year at the 2013 British Journalism awards, and new voice of the year at the One World media awards.
Cathryn Costello is Andrew W Mellon Associate Professor of International Human Rights and Refugee Law, and a fellow of St Antony’s College. From 2003 – 2013, she was Francis Reynolds Fellow and Tutor in EU and Public Law at Worcester College, Oxford, during which time she also completed her DPhil studies on EU asylum and immigration law.
Quentin Peel is Mercator senior fellow at the Royal Institute for International Affairs, Chatham House, and a freelance commentator for the Financial Times. In a long career at the FT he was correspondent in Berlin, Bonn, Brussels and Moscow. He was also Africa editor, correspondent in Johannesburg, foreign editor and chief foreign affairs columnist.