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Over 12,500 refugees entered Europe in 2019: UN

International Organization for Migration says 407 migrants perished at sea since beginning of 2019

Busra Nur Bilgic   | 12.04.2019
Over 12,500 refugees entered Europe in 2019: UN FILE PHOTO


ANKARA 

Some 12,546 irregular migrants and refugees have reached Europe by sea since the beginning of 2019, the UN migration agency said Friday.

Also, 407 migrants perished at sea this year, according a report published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

During the same period last year, nearly 16,218 refugees and migrants entered Europe and 558 others drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.

Arrivals to Spain and Greece between January 1 and April 10 stand at close to 5,880 each. The number of arrivals are much lower to Italy (551 from 6,894 over the same period last year), Malta (246) and Cyprus (177).

The IOM, United Nations Refugee Agency and UNICEF expressed concern earlier today over the situation of 62 migrants and refugees rescued on April 3 by the Alan Kurdi, a vessel operated by the German NGO Sea Eye.

“The Agencies reaffirm the absolute priority of saving lives at sea and guaranteeing safe and timely disembarkation,” a joint statement said.

“The situation in Libya makes it absolutely necessary to establish disembarkation mechanisms that are predictable and in line with all international conventions, under which the North African country cannot be considered a safe port.”

In the last few days, two women have been disembarked from the ship for health concerns, IOM Italy’s Flavio Di Giacomo confirmed.

Some 30,510 migrants died between 2014 and 2018 while making the treacherous journey to Europe, the UN agency reported early January.

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