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Today’s famine ships? The Mediterranean migrant emergency

News21 April 2015Sadhbh Goodhue

The UN has confirmed that 800 people were killed as a boat carrying migrants capsized off Libya last Sunday. It is believed there were around 60 unaccompanied minors on this boat.

Yesterday saw further reports of migrants being rescued from three additional capsized boats in the Mediterranean.

Joel Millman, spokesman for the International Organisation for Migration told reporters in Geneva:

The 2015 death toll now is more than 30 times last year's total at this date... when just 56 deaths of migrants had been reported on the Mediterranean.

Dominic MacSorley on the migrant crisis

Concern Worldwide CEO Dominic MacSorley speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland has said:

This is only really the tip of the iceberg of what we’re dealing with at a global level, and certainly within Syria and the region. There is a need not to focus only on rescue and resettlement – these are very critical parts, but they’re band aids. We need to have the uncomfortable conversations around trying to find sustainable solutions to these problems.

Legal mechanisms

We need to start establishing legal and credible avenues for migrants that are seeking protection...And we need to start supporting the countries that are carrying the bulk of the refugee crisis, like Lebanon.

There has to be faster legal mechanisms within Europe to process genuine cases of persecution. Also we have to look at the quotas. There has been a huge call by UNHCR to accept more refugees for resettlement. The quotas that Europe has imposed need to be looked at and need to be expanded.

Political diplomacy

We now have 50 million people that are homeless or displaced throughout the world. International aid organisations are struggling financially to meet those demands. Money should never be an issue…the bigger issue is to use the might of the UN for political diplomacy. Those efforts need to be redoubled.

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