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19 Apr 2015 description

Rome, Italy | AFP | Sunday 4/19/2015 - 08:50 GMT

Seven hundred people are feared to have drowned when a fishing boat smuggling migrants to Europe capsized off Libya, the UN's refugee agency said Sunday, in what could be the deadliest Mediterranean migrant disaster yet.

Only 28 people survived the capsize, UNHCR spokeswoman Carlotta Sami told the Skytg24 news channel in Italy. The survivors indicated there had been more than 700 on board, she said.

16 Apr 2015 description
report IRIN

By Carolina Montenegro and Kristy Siegfried

LAMPEDUSA/OXFORD, 15 April 2015 (IRIN) - With Italian authorities rescuing 8,500 migrants in the Mediterranean over the weekend and reports up to 400 may have perished, there can be no doubt that an unprecedented summer surge in migrant sea crossings is already under way.

04 Mar 2015 description

United Nations agencies are meeting in London today (Wednesday, 4 March) to discuss concerted ways to address the high numbers of lives being lost at sea in unsafe craft, particularly in the Mediterranean Sea, where hundreds of people are reported to have died in recent weeks alone on dangerous and unregulated sea passages.

13 Feb 2015 description

The migration flow at sea increased dramatically in 2014 and large flows of migrants will continue in the Mediterranean in 2015. NRC and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association calls for European and international solutions to avoid further humanitarian disasters at sea.

Joint statement by the NRC and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association - January 2015

22 Jan 2015 description

22/01/2015 - 16:47 GMT

L'armée maltaise a annoncé jeudi avoir secouru en mer et mis en quarantaine 87 migrants en provenance d'Afrique, qui étaient à bord d'un canot pneumatique et ont dit avoir jeté par dessus bord une vingtaine de leurs compagnons morts pendant le périple.

Ces clandestins, tous des hommes, qui ont déclaré être originaires du Burkina Faso, du Mali, de Guinée et de Côte d'Ivoire, ont été placés en quarantaine pour 21 jours, par crainte du virus Ebola même si aucun d'eux ne présentait les symptômes de la maladie.

22 Jan 2015 description

1/22/2015 - 16:09 GMT

Nearly 90 migrants rescued at sea by the Maltese navy were on Thursday being held in quarantine as a precaution against Ebola, after 20 others reportedly died during the journey and were thrown overboard.

Charles Mallia Azzopardi, who heads the national Ebola Response Unit, told a press briefing that the 87 migrants were being held in isolation "as a precaution" after one of the passengers said he was from Guinea.

10 Dec 2014 description

VALETTA (10 December 2014) – Malta needs to step up its preparation for the foreseeable number of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean Sea and arriving at its external borders, United Nations human rights expert François Crépeau has warned today. He urged European countries to support Malta’s efforts and “shoulder their share of responsibilities”

03 Dec 2014 description

GENEVA (3 December 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will visit Malta from 6 to 10 December 2014 as follow-up to his 2012 year-long study on the management of the external borders of the European Union.

“Given Malta’s proximity to North Africa, Malta is a key entry point for those wishing to reach Europe,” Mr. Crépeau said. “Understanding how this maritime border is managed, and their impact on the human rights of migrants, will be an essential part of the visit to Malta.’’

13 Nov 2014 description

11/13/2014 - 04:11 GMT

The way she tell its, Regina Catrambone is just a regular Italian Catholic.

"I go to church, I pray, but I'm not a religious freak," says the joint founder of MOAS, a unique humanitarian venture that owes its existence to a combination of Pope Francis's inspirational turn of phrase and a chance encounter with a winter coat separated from its owner in tragic circumstances.

MOAS stands for Migrant Offshore Aid Station. Essentially, it is a boat, albeit a pretty sophsticated one.

31 Oct 2014 description

GENEVA (30 October 2014) – Allowing people to die at Europe’s borders just because of their administrative status is a complete disregard for the value of human life, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, said today urging the British authorities to reconsider its decision not support search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean.

14 Oct 2014 description

IOM, UNHCR Launch Report on Reception of Unaccompanied Minors and Refugee Children in Malta

Malta - A joint IOM-UNHCR report: “Unaccompanied Migrant and Refugee Children: Alternatives to Detention in Malta” was launched yesterday at the San Anton Palace in Attard, Malta.

10 Oct 2014 description

Italy - Some 8,736 irregular Syrian migrants have arrived in Italy by sea in recent weeks, bringing the total number of Syrian arrivals this year through the end of September to 32,681 – the largest number from any country – overtaking 32,537 from Eritrea.

“In September, there were more Syrians than Eritreans,” said IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo. “Both groups are fleeing from war and persecution. Together they represent almost half of the total number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Italy by sea this year.”

10 Oct 2014 description

GENEVA (9 October 2014) – Malta has made progress in preventing the torture and ill-treatment of people deprived of their liberty by setting up two national monitoring bodies in line with its treaty obligations, but more needs to be done, UN rights experts have said at the end of their first official visit to the country.

30 Sep 2014 description
report Amnesty

The death toll in the Mediterranean rises while Europe looks the other way

A year on from the Lampedusa shipwrecks, which claimed more than 500 lives, a new report by Amnesty International highlights how the shameful inaction of European Union (EU) countries has contributed to a spiralling death toll with thousands of refugees and migrants losing their lives in a desperate bid to reach European shores.

30 Sep 2014 description
report UN News Service

29 September 2014 – In attempting to seal their borders, European nations are facing an “impossible” task, the United Nations independent expert on the human rights of migrants said today, as he encouraged the European Union (EU) to identify new legal channels of migration in an effort to save lives.

“Sealing international borders is impossible, and migrants will continue arriving despite all efforts to stop them, at a terrible cost in lives and suffering,” Special Rapporteur François Crépeau wrote today in an Open Letter to the EU’s Committee on Fundamental Rights and Freedoms.

23 Sep 2014 description

Switzerland - Investigations are proceeding in three countries following the loss of up to 500 migrants who sailed to Europe from the port of Damietta, Egypt, earlier this month.

The International Organization for Migration is assisting Italy, Greece and Malta in separate investigations into a September incident that eyewitnesses say amounted to the deliberate scuttling of a vessel carrying at least 300 migrants from Egypt, Syria, Sudan and Palestine. Nearly two weeks later only 11 survivors have been reported.

22 Sep 2014 description

Switzerland - News of up to 500 seaborne migrants being tossed to their doom near Malta — deliberately, according to eyewitness accounts — is merely the latest chapter in a horrible story unfolding on Europe’s doorstep.

Criminality, on top of desperation, has been this summer’s recipe for death — even murder, according to eyewitness accounts.

16 Sep 2014 description

GENEVA, September 16 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency is alarmed at the death toll from boat sinkings in the Mediterranean in recent days, which underlines the need for collective European action to avoid further loss of lives at sea.

According to information received by UNHCR from coastguards, five shipwrecks occurred over the weekend, leaving between 650 and 850 people dead or missing, although the figures are constantly, being revised upwards.

16 Sep 2014 description

Switzerland - Investigators from the International Organization for Migration have obtained eyewitness testimony of a tragic incident in which as many as 500 migrants were drowned when their vessel was deliberately sunk in the Mediterranean.

These reports point to a growing death toll off Europe’s shores which this year already approaches 3,000. That’s nearly four times the figure from 2013, which IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimated to be 700 deaths.