After latest Lampedusa tragedy, Ban calls for action to protect human rights of migrants

Italian coastguards help a group of boat people found floating in a crowded craft near Lampedusa Island.UNHCR/A.Di Loreto

12 October 2013 – Following reports of a second ship capsizing off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the international community to protect the rights of migrants and take action to prevent such tragic incidents.

“The Secretary-General is deeply saddened to hear reports of the loss of lives as another boat carrying migrants capsized yesterday off the coast of Italy, only a few days after the tragic incident near Lampedusa which had already claimed more than 300 lives,” Mr. Ban's spokesperson said in a statement.

According to media reports, at least 27 people died and 221 were saved on Friday after their boat capsized near Lampedusa.

The incident occurred just over a week after more than 300 migrants, mostly Eritrean, lost their lives when their boat caught fire half a mile from the coast, leading the vessel to capsize in the same area.

“The Secretary-General calls on the international community as a whole to take action to prevent such tragedies in the future, including measures that address their root causes and that places the vulnerability and human rights of migrants at the centre of the response,” the statement said.


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