World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Stemming migration death toll from Africa to Spain

UN-backed conference seeks to stem death toll in migration from Africa to Spain

Faced with a rising death toll at sea among migrants seeking to reach Spain from Africa, the United Nations refugee agency today sponsored a conference in Madrid to promote practical and effective cooperation between Mediterranean States to tackle the humanitarian and protection aspects of irregular migration.

“Thousands of lives have been lost over the last decade,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesperson Jennifer Pagonis told a news briefing in Geneva. “The rising death toll at sea stemming from movements from North Africa has put the issue of irregular migration on the international agenda.”

The conference – Rescue at Sea and Maritime Interception in the Mediterranean – has been organized by UNHCR with funding from the European Union and aims to foster greater understanding of the dynamics of maritime movements.

“People taking the perilous sea journey, crammed in unseaworthy vessels, do so for a variety of reasons,” Ms. Pagonis said. “Although the majority tend to be economic migrants, a proportion of those travelling across the Mediterranean – and, inevitably, of those dying in the attempt – are refugees.”

UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, Erika Feller, in Madrid for the opening of the conference, will also visit the Canary Islands where, in recent weeks, hundreds of people have arrived by sea from North Africa. She is due to meet with local authorities and visit recent arrivals at a reception centre in Las Palmas.

Last week, Ms. Feller was in Mauritania, where she discussed with the authorities how and where UNHCR can contribute to better management of the problem.

UNHCR sees itself as a partner in a broad collaborative response to the challenges posed by mixed flows of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees. These challenges demand responses which address the specific needs and rights of the individuals involved, including the prompt identification of those in need of international protection.

© Scoop Media

World Headlines


At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>



Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news