January 31, 2019

One in Fifteen Libyan Refugee Died in Mediterranean – UN

Poor funding of search and rescue operations last year in Europe made the Mediterranean Sea the most dangerous route for refugees and migrants – 6 persons on average died at sea every day, UNN informs with reference to the UN Refugee Agency.

In 2018, 2,275 persons died or went missing when trying to reach European coasts by crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The total of nearly 140,000 refugees reached the continent, which is the lowest index for the last 5 years. 

“Saving lives at sea is not a choice, nor a matter of politics, but an age-old obligation. We can put an end to these tragedies by having the courage and vision to look beyond the next boat, and adopt a long-term approach based on regional cooperation, that places human life and dignity at its core,” Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said. 

It is noted that the changes in the policies of some European countries caused the situation when a big amount of people have been just left at sea for several days without the permission to land, while the ships of NGOs have been restricted in their attempts to carry out rescue operations.

UN has emphasized that “on routes from Libya to Europe, one person died at sea for every 14 who arrived in Europe.”