Disaster in the Mediterranean Sea
Mediterranean boat capsizing: deadliest incident on record
On 18 April a boat carrying some 850 people, including many children, capsized in the Mediterranean Sea and only 28 people are known to have survived. According to survivors, the boat departed from Tripoli in Libya and among those on board were a majority of Eritreans and also people from Syria. This year, almost 40,000 refugees and migrants have made sea crossings and more than 1,700 people have lost their lives. In Italy, ten per cent of refugee and migrant arrivals in 2015 are Syrian whilst in Greece, the majority of the new arrivals by sea, some 60 per cent, are Syrian nationals.
Joint statement on Mediterranean crossings
On 23 April, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for International Migration and Development Peter Sutherland, and Director-General of the International Organization for Migration William Lacy Swing made a joint statement encouraging European leaders to take bold collective action including: proactive and well-resourced search and rescue operations as well as making a firm commitment to receive significantly higher numbers of refugees through EU-wide resettlement. The statement can be accessed here: http://www.unhcr.org/5538d9079.html