Six migrants, including three children aged 1, 2 and 12, have been found dead of hunger and dehydration in a boat full of people with serious burns and injuries that has been located off the coast of Sicily after a long journey from Turkey.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported the incident after the Italian Coast Guard located the boat and transferred the migrants to the Pozzallo post. There are 26 survivors.
“They left Turkey,” the coordinator for the Mediterranean of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Flavio Di Giacomo, posted on Twitter. “It is unacceptable that people die of hunger and thirst at sea,” he added, while advocating “a patrol system that saves people in time.”
ACNUR has recalled for its part that they are victims of “a desperate journey by sea in search of safety in Europe.” “UNHCR is present at the landing and is working with non-governmental organizations to ensure the necessary assistance to the survivors,” he added.
In addition, the UN refugee agency has defended the need for “a timely and efficient search and rescue mechanism.” “Rescue at sea is a humanitarian imperative firmly rooted in international law,” said Chiara Cardoletti, UNHCR’s representative in Italy.
The death this weekend of a 4-year-old Syrian girl from dehydration has shocked Italy because she died after days at sea without receiving calls for help from her boat.
This year at least 1,033 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean, according to UN estimates.
Source: Europa Press