From: All About Shipping
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has joined with other UN agencies in calling for concerted action from the international community to address the deeply concerning problem of the loss of life, injury, trauma and serious human rights violations affecting migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees traveling by sea.
In a joint statement, IMO, along with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that closer cooperation between States of origin, transit and destination, and other relevant actors, was critical to reducing loss of life at sea, addressing the drivers of dangerous sea journeys, as well as ensuring that responses by States upon arrival and disembarkation uphold human rights and dignity, and address specific needs for protection of migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees.
“Such cooperation is also critical to identifying, prosecuting and punishing the criminal gangs who are responsible for human rights abuses and for arranging sea transportation in breach of all safety regulations,” the statement said, noting that while the high frequency of incidents involving death in the Mediterranean has captured international attention, these tragedies are not only occurring in the Mediterranean, but in many locations around the globe. Behind the statistics of those rescued or lost at sea are individual stories of human tragedy and human rights violations throughout the migration process.