Don't miss




Ethiopia violence: 1200 detained after Addis Ababa clashes

Read more


Macron's former bodyguard's gun selfie

Read more


Which world order? Trump, Macron spell out rival visions at U.N.

Read more


Debra Granik: 'There aren't many women who love making films about blood and gore'

Read more


Medical breakthrough? Researchers find way to tackle Alzheimer's

Read more


Jihadists, but no terror attacks: The case of Italy

Read more


A controversial pastor in Haiti, pollution in Casablanca, and more

Read more


Photojournalist Reza: 'Children are now the best photographers'

Read more


Instagram founders quit photo app

Read more


UN aid agencies give cautious welcome to EU migration deal

© Karpov, SOS Méditerrannée, AFP | Migrants being rescued in the Mediterranean Sea on June 9, 2018.


Latest update : 2018-06-30

United Nations aid agencies welcomed a migration deal reached by European Union leaders on Friday but urged the bloc to prioritise the lives and safety of migrants in its approach.

After nine hours of often heated talks, EU leaders agreed to share out refugees arriving in the bloc on a voluntary basis and create “controlled centres” inside the European Union to process asylum requests.

“We will welcome any outcome from Europe that leads to a more collaborative and harmonised approach to asylum, and also one that has at its core and priority saving lives at sea,” Charlie Yaxley of the UN refugee agency UNHCR told a briefing.

More than 1,000 people have drowned or gone missing in the Mediterranean already in 2018, a “grim milestone” for the fifth year in a row, he said.

Later on Friday, a Libyan coastguard official said that around 100 people are thought to have drowned from a migrant boat off Libya’s western coast.

The Brussels summit underscored how Europe’s 2015 spike in immigration continues to haunt the bloc, despite a sharp drop in arrivals of people fleeing conflict and economic hardship in the Middle East and Africa.

>> Read more: EU leaders reach pivotal deal on migration

Leonard Doyle of the UN’s International Organization for Migration said that “any solution needs to be a European solution” that helps frontline states led by Italy. To the extent possible, the processing centres should be in Europe.

“It’s anticipated that the majority of the regional disembarkation points as they are so called will be in Europe,” he said.

“The crucial point really is that you now have a rationalisation of the existing search and rescue (operations) and you have a predictable mechanism to provide immediate assistance to those who have been saved,” Doyle said.

“And it all hinges on the commitments they have made to immediately distribute those who have been rescued among the countries who are part of the new mechanism,” he added.

Disembarkation points should not be located in Libya due to insecurity and lawlessness, the agencies said. Sites must meet international human rights standards, such as access to food and health care, and be subject to rigorous monitoring.

UNHCR’s Yaxley, referring to Libya, said: “We are and remain very concerned about the use of detention there, people remain exposed to considerable risks at the hands of human traffickers and smugglers.

“So we wouldn’t want to see an increase in the numbers of people taken to Libya at this point,” he said.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said it awaited clarification about the treatment of children.

“It’s important also to remember that the majority of children coming in on the Italy route, the central Mediterranean route, are unaccompanied - 92 percent,” UNICEF spokeswoman Sarah Crowe said.

“So they need special care and protection and obviously we await further clarification and details that children will not be detained in this way because ...there are alternatives,” she said, citing voluntary guardianship and foster care.



Date created : 2018-06-29


    Italy holds ‘mother of all’ EU summits hostage over migrant row

    Read more


    EU split on migration at 'mother of all summits'

    Read more


    Migrant rescue ship Lifeline enters Malta port

    Read more