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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
09/15/2014 15:22 GMT
by Ella IDE
ROME, September 15, 2014 (AFP) - As many as 500 migrants are feared to have drowned after traffickers reportedly rammed and sank their boat in what the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) described Monday as "the worst shipwreck in years".
Horrific details of the shipwreck, which occurred Wednesday near Malta, told to IOM by survivors.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visited the naval rescue headquarters in Malta yesterday, on a weekend in which new boat sinkings were being reported off Egypt and Libya claiming more innocent lives. Ms. Jolie and Mr. Guterres met three survivors of one of the tragedies, who had been rescued by a commercial vessel and brought to Malta by the Maltese authorities.
09/13/2014 10:14 GMT
ATHENS, September 13, 2014 (AFP) - A young girl was one of at least two migrants who drowned and six more were rescued when their boat sank on Friday in the Mediterranean Sea, Greek port police said.
"The survivors, including a girl in critical condition, are suffering from hypothermia and were hospitalised in Chania on the island of Crete", a spokesman told AFP Saturday.
With restricted access to the EU territory for people fleeing war and persecution, and asylum seekers ending up destitute or detained in some European countries, the EU remains an elusive safe haven for refugees.
GENEVE, 26 août (HCR) – Plus de 300 personnes ont trouvé la mort durant leur tentative de traversée irrégulière depuis l'Afrique du Nord vers l'Europe la semaine dernière, ce qui porte le bilan des naufrages cette année à près de 1 900 personnes, y compris environ 1 600 depuis juin.
« Ces derniers jours ont été les plus meurtriers de 2014 en Méditerranée pour les personnes qui effectuent des traversées irrégulières vers l'Europe, avec au moins trois embarcations ayant chaviré ou coulé », a indiqué Melissa Fleming, porte-parole du HCR, aux journalistes à Genève.
08/25/2014 22:29 GMT
VALLETTA, August 25, 2014 (AFP) - The first privately-funded operation to rescue boat immigrants in the Mediterranean launched Monday, as a ship owned by an Italian-American couple set off from Malta for a 60-day mission to scour the sea for people in distress.
The 40-foot-long Phoenix I, equipped with drones to spot migrants in distress, set sail after a series of shipwrecks this weekend left at least 200 people dead.
The Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) is the brainchild of Italian Regina Catrambone and her American husband Christopher.
• On 30 July, the Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos briefed the Security Council on the first cross-border operation under SC Resolution 2165 (2014). The operation was carried out on Thursday, 24 July, from Turkey through Bab Al Salam border crossing into Syria and included food, shelter materials, household items and water and sanitation supplies for approximately 26,000 people in Aleppo and Idleb Governorates.
By Andreea Anca, Sr. Communications Officer, EZ
In Sicily, dozens of Italian Red Cross (ItRC) vehicles and ambulances as well as volunteers, receive migrants who land on the southern shores of Italy on a daily basis, exhausted and traumatized after a perilous journey at sea.