Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Unicef - With growing numbers of child deaths at sea, UN agencies call for enhancing safety for refugees and migrants
An average of two children have drowned every day since September 2015 as their families try to cross the eastern Mediterranean, and the number of child deaths is growing said IOM, UNHCR, and Unicef.
The agencies are calling for enhancing the safety of those escaping conflict and despair.
Since last September, when the tragic death of toddler Aylan Kurdi captured the world’s attention, more than 340 children, many of them babies and toddlers, have drowned in the eastern Mediterranean. The total number of children who have died may be even greater, the agencies say, their bodies lost at sea.
"We cannot turn our faces away from the tragedy of so many innocent young lives and futures lost – or fail to address the dangers so many more children are facing,” said Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake. “We may not have the ability now to end the desperation that causes so many people to try to cross the sea, but countries can and must cooperate to make such dangerous journeys safer. No one puts a child in a boat if a safer option is available.”
The stretch of the Aegean Sea between Turkey and Greece is among the deadliest routes in the world for refugees and migrants. The winter’s rough seas, overloading and the poor quality of boats and lifesaving equipment increase the risk of capsizing, making the journey significantly more dangerous.
"These tragic deaths in the Mediterranean are unbearable and must stop,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “Clearly, more efforts are needed to combat smuggling and trafficking. Also, as many of the children and adults who have died were trying to join relatives in Europe, organising ways for people to travel legally and safely, through resettlement and family reunion programmes for example, should be an absolute priority if we want to reduce the death toll," he added. The UN Secretary General has called for a high-level meeting on global responsibility-sharing through legal pathways for admission of Syrian refugees, to take place in Geneva on 30 March.
With children now accounting for 36 per cent of those on the move, the chance of them drowning on the Aegean Sea crossing from Turkey to Greece has grown proportionately. During the first six weeks of 2016, 410 people drowned out of the 80,000 crossing the eastern Mediterranean. This amounts to 35-fold increase year-on-year from 2015.
“Counting lives is not enough. We must act,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM’s Director General in Geneva. “This is not only a Mediterranean problem, or even a European one. It is a humanitarian catastrophe in the making that demands the entire world's engagement. Haiti's 2010 earthquake was not a matter for only one hemisphere, nor was the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami. Those disasters were met by an outpouring of humanitarian action. So must this one.”
Notes for editors:
For further information or interview requests please contact:
Unicef UK Press Office +44 (0)20 7375 6030 firstname.lastname@example.org
Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental partners. With 162 member states offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. UNHCR is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees, but also has a mandate to help people without nationalities. For more than six decades, UNHCR has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of some 9,700 people in 126 countries are helping some 60 million people.
Latest News from
Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
TUC: Support for manufacturing must be a bigger priority in 201708/12/2016 15:05:00
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has commented on yesterday’s (Wednesday) figures from the Office for National Statistics, which show that manufacturing fell by 0.9% and production fell by 1.3% between September and October.
LGA responds to Which? report on broadband08/12/2016 14:40:00
Cllr Mark Hawthorne, Chairman of the LGA's People and Places Board responds to research by Which? on broadband.
WWF - UK’S major environmental organisations unite to highlight “Once in a generation opportunity” for the environment as UK exits the EU08/12/2016 13:40:00
Thirteen major environmental organisations including WWF, the National Trust, the RSPB, The Wildlife Trusts and Friends of the Earth have united through a new Greener UK coalition to ensure that the UK uses the pivotal moment presented by the forthcoming Brexit negotiations to restore and enhance the UK’s environment.
FRC correspondence to BEIS Select Committee08/12/2016 13:25:00
Building on his recent evidence to the BEIS Select Committee inquiry into corporate governance, FRC Chief Executive Stephen Haddrill has written to the Committee further outlining the FRC's position.
LGA responds to new food rules on advertising in children's media08/12/2016 12:40:00
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association's Community Wellbeing Board, responds to new rules announced today by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) banning the advertising of high fat, salt or sugar (HFSS) food or drink products in children's media.