1,500 migrants perish in Mediterranean in 2018: UN

Published: July 28, 2018 12:21:40 | Updated: July 30, 2018 14:44:15

Representational image (Collected)

For the fifth consecutive year, at least 1,500 migrants were perished in the Mediterranean so far this year, the UN migration agency has said.

Between Libya and Italy being the deadliest route, claiming the lives of one in 19, the migration agency said on Friday.

Spain has registered nearly 21,000 migrants in this year, almost more than in the whole of last year, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said.

In all, about 55,000 migrants have reached European shores so far this year, against more than double that number at this time last year, 111,753, the IOM said.

Italy— whose new government has closed its ports to rescue vessels—has had about 18,130 migrants arriving by sea from Libya this year, with the rest going to Greece, Malta and Cyprus, according to global media reports.

“Despite incredibly low numbers arriving to Italy, the per capita death or the rate of death per 1,000 people may be at its highest point since the emergency began,” IOM spokesman Joel Millman said.

The IOM and the UN refugee agency UNHCR confirmed that they would host a meeting in Geneva on Monday to discuss a collective approach to disembarkation points aimed at making rescues at sea more manageable. They declined to say which government officials would attend the closed-door meeting.

On Tuesday, the European Commission presented a proposal for “regional disembarkation platforms” that would likely be located outside the EU to process migrants rescued at sea.

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