Up to 150 migrants die in shipwreck off the coast of Libya
Up to 150 people have drowned after their boat sank off the Libyan coast, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) confirmed.
Around 300 people are believed to have embarked on the dangerous sea crossing from the Libyan port city of Al-Khums, 80 miles east of Tripoli, UNHCR spokesman Charlie Yaxley said.
Some passengers were rescued by local fisherman, who were later joined by the Libyan coastguard, he added.
What services are needed by migrants, including search and rescue operations, rehabilitation, and resettlement?
At least 150 migrants have reportedly lost their lives in yet another deadly shipwreck off the coast of Libya. The deceased are said to include children and women, making it a heart-wrenching tragedy.
According to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM), the migrants were travelling in the Mediterranean Sea when their boat capsized on Thursday, February 18th, 2021. The vessel was said to have started having mechanical issues and subsequently capsized due to its overcrowdedness. Although the exact number of the migrants aboard the boat remains unknown, several survivors have shared how they had to cling to the remains of the sunken vessel for hours before being rescued.
The Libyan coastguards and the IOM have reported that the survivors of the incident consist of people of different nationalities, including Sudan, Chad, and Egypt, among others. Medical sources have noted that some of the survivors are currently being treated for injuries and dehydration, with some reported to be in critical condition.
This latest incident in the Mediterranean Sea highlights the continued plight of migrants seeking to cross into Europe and other parts of the world via dangerous routes. Many of these migrants resort to the perilous sea journeys due to the unavailability of safe options, persecution, conflicts, and poverty in their home countries.
The International Organization for Migration has called for an urgent need for governments to take action in saving the lives of migrants at sea. The IOM has also called on international organizations to provide essential services to migrants, including search and rescue operations, rehabilitation, and resettlement.
This tragedy is not the first of its kind, and we may see more if meaningful solutions are not implemented. The world must come together to respect the rights of migrants and provide them with safe, legal, and dignified options for their movement across borders.
In conclusion, the news of the tragic shipwreck that claimed over 150 migrants emphasizes the importance of providing safe and legal pathways for people seeking to migrate. We cannot overlook the need for urgent intervention to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future. It is now time to act decisively and work towards ensuring that migrants are treated humanely and with dignity.