The UN urges to guarantee “safe and legal routes” for migrants after the shipwreck in Calabria

The UN urges to guarantee "safe and legal routes" for migrants after the shipwreck in Calabria

27 Feb. () –

The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres, has urged this Sunday to guarantee safe and legal routes in the Mediterranean, after deploring the sinking of a ship that has killed at least 60 migrants off the coast of Calabria, in Italy.

“Another horrible shipwreck has claimed the lives of dozens of people, including children, this time off the coast of Italy. I say it once again: everyone who seeks a better life deserves security and dignity,” he said before remarking that “we need safe and legal routes for migrants and refugees”.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, who has also expressed his shock at the shipwreck, has indicated that “it is time for States to stop arguing and agree on fair, effective and shared measures to avoid more tragedies.”

The United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have jointly reiterated that the rescue mechanisms of the European Union are necessary, for which they have asked member states “to increase resources and capabilities to discharge their responsibilities effectively.

The UNHCR representative for Italy, the Holy See and San Marino, Chiara Cardoletti, has reiterated this idea, stating that “in a historical context, characterized by people fleeing conflicts and persecution, it is more necessary than ever to strengthen the capacity of rescue, which is still insufficient, to avoid tragedies like this”.

“It is unacceptable to witness such horrors, with families and children entrusted to dilapidated and unseaworthy ships. This tragedy must lead us to act and act immediately,” he said, according to a statement.

For his part, the director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Laurence Hart, asserted that “this tragedy demonstrates how the phenomenon of migration by sea must be addressed by all European states with an approach that looks more the multiple causes that push people to flee both their countries of origin and those of transit in these dramatic conditions”.

The Italian coast guard reported this Sunday that at least 60 people have died, including several children, when a boat with approximately 200 migrants on board capsized in the south of the country. More than a hundred people are still missing.

The sources consulted by the Italian media indicated that the ship was completely overloaded, which is why it ended up sinking in the waters of Steccato di Cutro, in the municipality of Crotona.

The ship, explained the Italian Financial Guard, involved in identification and rescue tasks on the country’s coasts, left the Turkish port of Izmir four days ago, and was sighted last night by a plane from the European agency Frontex. According to the Italian authorities, the Frontex plane notified the Crotona operational section, but the terrible sea conditions forced the team to turn back.

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