UNHCR Calls On European Governments To Allow Over 507 Rescued Refugees To Disembark

UNHCR Calls on European Governments to Allow Over 507 Rescued Refugees to Disembark

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 13th August, 2019) The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in a statement on Tuesday urged European countries to allow more than 500 people, who were recently rescued in the Central Mediterranean and remain stranded at sea, to disembark at their ports.

According to the UNHCR, 151 people who remain aboard the Open Arms boat and 556 people who were recently rescued by the Ocean Viking ship have reportedly fled from Libya and other countries, and are in urgent need of international protection and humanitarian assistance.

"Storms are coming and conditions are only going to get worse. To leave people who have fled war and violence in Libya on the high seas in this weather would be to inflict suffering upon suffering. They must be immediately allowed to dock, and allowed to receive much-needed humanitarian aid," UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Vincent Cochetel said, as quoted by the statement.

The UNHCR said that European countries must share the responsibility for hosting the refugees and providing asylum procedures.

The refugee agency added that about 600 people have died or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean this year, and that increased search and rescue capacity, and support for NGO boats was needed in the region.

Europe has been hit by its worst migrant crisis since World War II. It started in 2015 and reached its peak just a couple of years later, but it has recently shown signs of slowing down. Despite this, the migration issue remains a stumbling block for the European Union as it has no proper system to regulate the distribution of refugees rescued in the Mediterranean.

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