World leaders call on Europe to address migrant crisis

World leaders call on Europe to address migrant crisis

The UN Secretary General, the US President and the UNHCR have all called on Europe to address the increasing number of migrant deaths.

The call comes as  Austria said overnight 71 refugees, including a baby girl, were found dead in an abandoned freezer truck, while Libya recovered the bodies of 105 migrants washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe.

Almost 100 more were missing and feared dead.

Both tragedies were a result of a renewed surge in migrants fleeing war and poverty that has confronted Europe with its worst refugee crisis since World War Two.

The International Organization for Migration said it estimated a third of a million people had crossed the Mediterranean so far this year to wash up in southern Europe.

Almost two-thirds had arrived in Greece and most of the rest in Italy, while at least 2,636 had perished in the attempt.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for a collective response from the international community in the wake of the deaths, which he has described as “heartbreaking and horrifying.”

“This is a human tragedy that requires a determined collective political response,” Mr Ban said.

“It is a crisis of solidarity, not a crisis of numbers. Let us do all we can to provide people in the most desperate circumstances with a measure of safety and a sense of hope.”

Mr Ban has been joined by US President Barack Obama, who has called for more resources to be deployed to address the crisis.

Meanwhile the UNHCR said the human trafficking industry must be addressed as these events have demonstrated its “ruthlessness.”

“This, we believe, underscores the ruthlessness of people smugglers who have expanded their business from the Mediterranean Sea to the highways of Europe,” UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Flemming said in a briefing.

“It shows they have absolutely no regard for human life and that they are only after profit. And it also shows the desperation of people seeking protection or a new life in Europe, and that their only means is to submit themselves to these criminals.”

“The way people are being packed onto boats is causing their deaths.”

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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