Action is needed to address the Central Mediterranean Sea migrant issue, says the UN rights chief

Date:

Action is needed to address the Central Mediterranean Sea migrant issue, says the UN rights chief

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Friday, April 14, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • Over 26,000 individuals who were sea migrants have perished or gone missing while traveling across the Mediterranean Sea since 2014.

  • Over 20,000 of these deaths or disappearances took place in the Central Mediterranean, one of the world’s worst migratory routes.

  • His statement was made the day after the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) revealed that during the first three months of the year, 441 migrants died in the Central Mediterranean, making it the deadliest first quarter on record since 2017.

  • After two migrant boats capsized off the coast of Tunisia on Saturday, at least four people died, and more than 20 sea migrants are still missing.

  • Approximately 31,300 sea migrants have entered Italy so far this year, compared to about 7,900 during the same period in 2022.

Over 26,000 individuals who were sea migrants have perished or gone missing while traveling across the Mediterranean Sea since 2014. Over 20,000 of these deaths or disappearances took place in the Central Mediterranean, one of the world’s worst migratory routes.

“We are witnessing a sharp rise in the number of desperate individuals endangering their lives,” stated Mr. Türk.

“We cannot afford to hesitate and become entangled in yet another blame-game argument. There are lives on the line.

Regular pathways for migration

The UN rights head urged coordinated action to guarantee quick maritime rescues. In addition, the humane, efficient, and comprehensive processing of migrants at secure places.

He urged nations to increase responsibility-sharing, plans for the disembarkation of rescued people, and control of migration-related policies and practices. He also urged governments to open up more regular migration pathways.

His statement was made the day after the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) revealed that during the first three months of the year, 441 migrants died in the Central Mediterranean, making it the deadliest first quarter on record since 2017.

Savings at sea

The Italian Coast Guard has saved about 2,000 individuals since Friday, and the High Commissioner commended them for their efforts.

400 or so persons are apparently still at sea and in need of assistance. After two migrant boats capsized off the coast of Tunisia on Saturday, at least four people died, and more than 20 others are still missing.

Approximately 31,300 migrants have entered Italy so far this year, compared to about 7,900 during the same period in 2022. The majority of migrants arrive in Libya and Tunisia from Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Bangladesh, Tunisia, and Pakistan.

Assistance and collaboration

“Now is the time for solidarity with Italy and enhanced cooperation to safeguard the protection of the human rights of all people on the move,” Mr. Türk declared, encouraging EU nations to unite on migration policy.

He emphasized that any new policies enacted under the State of Emergency, which Italy declared this week in order to handle the situation, must be compliant with the nation’s commitments with regard to human rights.

“Human rights protections, such as the right to life and the prohibition of refoulement, cannot be derogated from, even during such times,” he declared.

The High Commissioner also pleaded with the Italian government to repeal a new law that was passed earlier this year and limits civilian search and rescue efforts as well as to forgo prosecuting anyone who aids in saving lives at sea.

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