News on migration and asylum from around the region - Nouvelles de la région sur les questions de migration et d'asile

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

[EU] BBC News: Migrants drowned in Mediterranean 'could have been saved'

12 February 2015

The drowning of more than 300 migrants in the Mediterranean Sea this week could have been prevented with better EU lifesaving provisions, experts say.
The UN's refugee agency, UNHCR, says more migrants are dying because search and rescue efforts have been reduced.
Italy's major patrol and rescue operation ended last year. A smaller scale EU operation, Triton, took over.
The UNHCR says about 3,500 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2014.
In the latest disaster, more than 300 people drowned after the four dinghies they were travelling in got into trouble setting off across the sea from Libya - a favoured but perilous route used by migrants trying to get to Europe.
"We warned everybody in October that by lowering the tension and the operational capacity of the search and rescue operation, this might happen," Carlotta Sami, the UNHCR's representative for southern Europe, told the BBC.