Archive for April 20th, 2015

20/04/2015

Dying for Europe

Human Wrongs Watch

According to latest estimates, around 700 human beings would have lost their lives trying to reach European coasts. The tragedy, which occurred overnight (18 to 19 April) comes just days after a similar maritime incident took another 400 lives. Some 1600 people would have died already this year attempting to cross the Mediterranean into Europe.

Risking their lives to reach Europe from North Africa, a boatload of people, some of them likely in need of international protection, are rescued in the Mediterranean Sea by the Italian Navy. Photo: UNHCR/A. D’Amato

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The head of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has expressed shock at the news of the latest boat capsizing in the Mediterranean Sea in which hundreds of people are feared lost, adding that such a catastrophic event provides yet another indication of the need for a “robust” rescue-at-sea mechanism aimed at preventing future tragedies.*

“This disaster confirms how urgent it is to restore a robust rescue-at-sea operation and establish credible legal avenues to reach Europe,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres confirmed in a press release issued on 19 April 2015.

“Otherwise people seeking safety will continue to perish at sea.”

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