Unable to see images? Click here

18 October 2018

Comments/questions: editor@iom.int

Image
LinkedIn
 
Twitter
 
Medium
 
Instagram
 
YouTube
 
Facebook
 
IOM
 
 

main banner

Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. Photo: Francesco Malavolta/IOM

UNHCR, IOM Appeal to European Leaders to Tackle Mediterranean Deaths

Brussels – Ahead of this week’s meeting of European Union (EU) Heads of State and Government, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, are together appealing to European leaders to urgently take steps to address this year’s record rate of drownings on the Mediterranean Sea.

The leaders of the two organizations warn that political discourse concerning refugees and migrants, particularly those arriving by boat, has become dangerously toxic in some countries, even at a time when arrivals to Europe are declining. This narrative is stoking unnecessary fears, making it harder for countries to work together and blocking progress towards solutions.

“The current tenor of the political debate – painting a picture of Europe under siege – is not only unhelpful but completely out of touch with reality,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “Arrival numbers are falling but the rate at which people are losing their lives is on the rise. We cannot forget that we are talking about human lives. Debate is welcome – scapegoating refugees and migrants for political gain is not.”

“Perilous irregular migration is in no one’s interest. Together we must invest more in regular migration, enhanced mobility and integration to foster growth and development that benefits both sides of the Mediterranean,” said IOM Director General Antonio Vitorino.

With more than 1,700 lives lost since the start of 2018, the rate at which people are drowning while trying to cross the Mediterranean has risen sharply this year.  In September alone, one person died or went missing for every 8 people who crossed to Europe on the Central Mediterranean, in large part due to reduced search and rescue capacity.   

In addition to the need to enhance search and rescue capacity, UNHCR and IOM have proposed a workable regional arrangement that would make disembarkation and processing predictable and swift.

Read on


Image
Image

Junior: "It was 4am on the day the smugglers loaded 300 people onto the boat. Many fell into the water - the smugglers called it a sacrifice."

Share on Twitter | Facebook


Image

Learn more about how to partner with the Festival on our GMFF website.


Image

Read here

 

  • Thomson Reuters Foundation, IBNS, FNA, PTI and Telesur reported that Rohingya refugee girls are being sold into forced labour to raise money for desperate families in overcrowded camps in Bangladesh, according to IOM.
     
  • Reliefweb reported that ahead of this week’s meeting of EU Heads of State and Government, UNHCR and IOM are together appealing to European leaders to urgently take steps to address this year’s continuing spate of drownings in the Mediterranean Sea.
     
  • AFP reported that 44 migrants rescued at sea by a merchant vessel are being taken to Malta after two days in limbo following Italy's refusal to accept them.
     
  • Xinhua reported that a total of 52 irregular migrants have been voluntarily repatriated from Libya to Guinea with IOM’s assistance.
     
  • The Jakarta Post reported that as many as 27 undocumented migrants from Afghanistan are being transferred from an immigration detention center in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), to Tanjung Pinang, Riau.
     
  • UCA News reported that a regional pilot project to curb human trafficking has been launched in Indonesia's impoverished East Nusa Tenggara province.
     
  • Gurtong reported that representatives from a joint UNDP-IOM youth peace building project, Beyond Bentiu Protection of Civilian Site, celebrated progress made so far on a peace building initiative in Northern Liech State.

  • Associated Press tracked a Venezuelan mother and daughter over nine days as they crossed three borders and travelled nearly 2,700 miles (3,460 kilometers) – about the distance from Los Angeles to New York City – to resettle in Peru.
     
  • Thomson Reuters Foundation reported that as climate threats drive migration, Indian women are finding opportunities to make money, support family members back at home and try out new options.