from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – NO less than 560 migrants and asylum seekers have died or gone missing in the Mediterranean Sea since the beginning of the year.
This includes 53 who died off the coast of Libya last week when a small wooden boat capsized.
As of April, 193 migrants and asylum seekers have died or gone missing in eight drowning incidents in the Mediterranean.
This is compared to 72 during the same period last year.
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, which disclosed the figures, said the continued indifference towards the increasing loss of life reflected a catastrophic moral failure of all parties involved.
The organisation stated that desperate migrants and asylum seekers would continue to risk their lives to try to reach Europe despite the dangers that might threaten them.
“Instead, they should be provided with new ways to find safe passages, and strict policies and requirements for receiving and seeking asylum should be eased.”
The sentiments come after many European countries’ reluctance to accept migrants.
Greece, Italy and other European destination countries have been urged to activate official rescue missions and work on permanent patrols to ensure a rapid response to drowning incidents.
Euro-Med Monitor believes the European Union should establish a new mechanism to protect migrants and asylum seekers from human traffickers’ exploitation.
“They should also develop reception mechanisms and conditions, stop arbitrarily rejecting asylum applications and work to integrate migrants and refugees into their new communities.”
Euro-Med Monitor reported that the number of migrants and asylum seekers arriving in Europe via the Mediterranean increased to approximately 116 573 during the past year.
This is an increase of more than 20 percent from the year 2020.
– CAJ News