World Bulletin / News Desk
The UN International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reported that about 45,000 immigrants have risked their lives by sailing across the sea to escape persecution in their countries.
José Angel Oropeza, Director of IOM's Coordinating Office for the Mediterranean in Rome, said that mostly Syrians and Palestinians have been making the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean Sea, which is quickly turning into a mass graveyard for the hundreds of immigrants who don’t make it to land.
"This year migration towards Italy's southern shores tells that there has been an increase in the number of people escaping from war and oppressive regimes," he was reported to have said by the Middle-East Monitor.
"Most of the migrants came from Syria (11,300), Eritrea (9,800) and Somalia (3,200). All of them were effectively forced to leave their countries and they have the right to receive protection under the Italian law," he added.
"The real emergency in the Mediterranean is represented by those migrants who continue to lose their lives at sea. They disappear and their loss simply remains unknown. The identification of the bodies is still a humanitarian issue to be resolved. Numerous relatives of the victims are still waiting to know if their loved ones are among the bodies collected after October's shipwrecks."
IOM said around 700 people drowned trying the cross the Mediterranean in 2013, with around half of them dying after a boat sank off the Italian island of Lampedusa in October. The tough tides of the sea have also claimed around 20,000 in total in the past two decades.
Last Mod: 30 Ocak 2014, 17:03