Better coordination to save migrant lives, IOM and UNHCR

Meeting on migrant protection at sea. Egypt: 148 bodies retrieved

23 September, 15:31

    Egyptians wait on shore as a coast guard boat arrives carrying the bodies of migrants from a  boat that capsized  with hundreds of migrants on board Egyptians wait on shore as a coast guard boat arrives carrying the bodies of migrants from a boat that capsized with hundreds of migrants on board

    TUNIS - A regional conference organised jointly by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR that focused on migrant protection and life-saving at sea concluded in Tunis on Friday.

    The conference aimed to develop common guidelines for migrant rescue at sea based on increased cooperation and coordination between countries affected by migrant flows across the Mediterranean.

    "Saving lives at sea and ensuring effective rescue capabilities is a collective responsibility that shouldn't fall on just the coastal countries," said Tunisian Foreign Minister Elyes Lakhal.

    "In recent years Tunisia has saved 2,119 migrant lives. We're asking the international community and European Union governments to take concrete measures," Lakhal said.

    Official representatives from Morocco, Libya, Tunisia, Italy and the EU naval mission EUNAVFOR MED took part in the conference, along with experts and universities, all of whom agreed upon the need to adopt standard global measures and better coordination. 

    Meanwhile, the bodies of 148 have been pulled from the waters off the Egyptian coast by Friday, three days after a boat carrying hundreds of migrants capsized in the Mediterranean while attempting to head to Europe.

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