We hear again and again the accusation that civilian sea rescue ships are a “pull factor”. The two researchers Eugenio Cusumano and Matteo Villa have addressed this accusation in their study. The result: no pull factor could be found. Or even: the pull factor is pullshit.
For the study, the researchers examined all available international and Italian data between October 2014 and October 2019 for a pull effect, with negative results. The researchers examined the period from 1 January to 27 October 2019 particularly closely. Day after day, they checked whether private rescue ships were on the move off the Libyan coasts and how many boats attempted to cross with refugees. Again: No correlation between NGO ships and intended crossings. On the other hand, the correlation between attempted crossings and the weather was strong.
This study shows us once again clearly: The accusation that civilian sea rescue ships represent a pull effect is pullshit.
Read the study here.