UNHCR Calls for More Robust Rescue Operations at Sea


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has called for enhanced rescue at sea as the only way to prevent refugee tragedies, after six Syrian refugees were found dead in a boat off the Italian coast.

The UNHCR in Italy, Chiara Cardoletti, said that the six refugees died of hunger, thirst and extreme exposure to the sun resulting in severe burns, stressing that this was “unacceptable.” They declared that the victims were among a group of 26 asylum seekers who were on a boat that arrived at the port of Pozzallo in Sicily.

The statement indicated over 1,200 asylum seekers have died or disappeared this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean and reach the European Union.

Turkish media reported the death of refugees pushed by EU member Greece into Turkish territorial waters in the Aegean Sea, where they were abandoned to die, those killed included two infants, a woman and three children.

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