Incident at Christmas Island
The United Nations Refugee Agency today expressed its deep concern and sorrow at the tragic loss of lives after the sinking of a vessel presumed to be carrying asylum-seekers off Christmas Island.
UNHCR recognizes the essential role played by agencies and individuals who are assisting in rescue and recovery efforts.
This incident is a tragic reminder of the danger faced by people fleeing persecution and human rights violations in their home countries, and the desperate measures they will resort to in search of safety, UNHCR Regional Representative Richard Towle said today.
It also reinforces the need for the international community to redouble its efforts to cooperate more closely to find humanitarian protection options for people in need of such protection, and to prevent the need for vulnerable individuals to undertake these perilous journeys by boat, he said.