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Migrants: IOM; 2016 deadliest year on record for Mediterranean crossings

GENEVA, JANUARY 6 – More migrants were killed crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2016 than ever before, according to IOM, the United Nations migration agency in the region. At least 363,348 people crossed the sea – mostly to Italy and Greece – but 5,079 additional people were either killed or are missing. The UN International Organization for Migration released its preliminary figures today, but they are expected to increase with the addition of fatalities from December.

“The probable addition of several hundred more fatalities recorded in 2016 only deepens the tragedy,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. He added that Europe’s frustration with a seemingly endless cycle of migrant rescue followed by reports of shipwrecks and more drownings will continue unless Governments throughout the region find a way to manage migration comprehensively.

Mr. Swing called for “finding creative means to permit safe, legal and secure migration” which could be done through work visas, family reunification or temporary protected status. “Instead of doubling down on tactics that don’t work, let’s use this New Year to try something that’s actually new,” he stressed.

Meanwhile, IOM today carried out its first aid training courses in Libya with rescuers involving migrant lifesaving operation in the Mediterranean Sea. The training, which is part of the Sea and Desert Migration Management for Libyan Authorities to Rescue Migrants (SEA DEMM), was funded by the European Union

The training courses included theoretical and practical sessions on responding to critical cases through first aid practices, as well as a session on disaster management. They were attended by 67 participants from the Libyan Coast Guard, Ports Security, the Directorate for Combating Irregular Migration (DCIM) and the Libyan Red Crescent.

“I would like to extend my thanks to IOM and the EU. We now have more knowledge and skills that can be used for saving lives of migrants during rescue operations,” said Abdulrahman Hassan from Ports Security, Ministry of Interior, Libya. (@OnuItalia)

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Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia.

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About Alessandra Baldini

Alessandra Baldini e’ stata la prima donna giornalista parlamentare per l’Ansa, poi corrispondente a Washington e responsabile degli uffici Ansa di New York e Londra. Dirige OnuItalia. Contact: Website | Twitter | More Posts