It’s urgent to save lives: Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean 

migrants

 

April 21, Rome: Lampedusa Island 120 kilometers south of Italy’s, latest incident involves the capsizing of a double-deck boat on Monday in waters about. So far, 142 people have been rescued and eight bodies recovered. But survivors said some 400 others were aboard and are feared lost BBC reported.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres on Wednesday expressed shock at Fox news from the Mediterranean that hundreds of people were missing after their boat sank and called anew for urgent action to prevent such tragedies in the future.

According The UN Refugee Agency the Mediterranean has emerged in recent years as the most dangerous of the World‘s four major sea routes in use by refugees and migrants Last year, some 219,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean, and at least 3,500 lives were lost According to the Italian Coastguard more than 8,500 people have been rescued from several dozen boats and rubber dinghies since last Friday. If the 400 deaths are confirmed from the latest incident the death toll so far this year will have reached 900.

UNHCR has been advocating for a comprehensive and urgent response from the European Union (EU) and member states to deal with the challenges posed by the thousands of refugees and migrants who risk their lives trying to reach Europe, it is very important to increase the number of resettlement opportunities, humanitarian admission opportunities, to have a more flexible visa policy, to have enhanced family reunification programs, and again I repeat to have an effective mechanism to rescue people at sea in the central Mediterranean.

The European Network against Racism (ENAR) is deeply concerned by the recent tragic deaths, and reported from their website, that the tragic incident is a wake-up call to EU institutions and Member States to take responsibility to prevent these deaths instead of letting them happen time after time.

ENAR Chair Sarah Isal said: “How many more deaths will we have to witness before the EU and its Member States finally take action? There is a shocking lack of reaction and solidarity and the “fortress Europe” approach is becoming increasingly lethal.” And the organization suggested that EU and its Member States should be to urgently resume a joint European search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean and respect its international humanitarian obligations.

ENAR told in a statement that the EU’s approach, which focuses only on border controls, cracking down on smugglers and tackling the ‘root causes’ of migration, is inadequate as it does not take into account the EU’s responsibility to uphold human rights inside and outside its borders and its duty to save human.                                   The Oslo Times

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