Tomorrow, on the occasion of the Italian National Day of Remembrance and Reception on 3 October, we remember the 368 victims – including 83 women and 9 children – of the tragic shipwreck off the coast of Lampedusa on 3 October 2013, and those who have continued to lose their lives in the desperate attempt to find safety and protection in Europe.
Despite the emergency response triggered by the 3 October shipwreck, many people still die or go missing on the central Mediterranean route. According to the Missing Migrants project of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2021 alone it is estimated that over 1,000 people lost their lives – around 18,400 in total since 2014.
IOM, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are in Lampedusa with civil society organisations and representatives of local and national authorities to express their solidarity with the survivors and relatives of the victims of the 3 October shipwreck and to reiterate once again how saving lives at sea remains a humanitarian imperative.
IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF recognize the concrete commitment of the Italian Government in the field of reception and the activation of a timely response to the recent Covid-19 emergency.
However, the UN Organisations reiterate the urgent need to restore an effective search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean, which today rests mainly in the hands of NGOs, to promote structured and shared disembarkation procedures, to identify safer alternatives to sea crossings by promoting regular migration channels, and to ensure a mechanism for relocating those arriving in EU Member States.
Timely identification of the most vulnerable groups, including unaccompanied and separated children and girls and women survivors of trafficking, also remains necessary, as well as ensuring protection for those fleeing violence, persecution and poverty.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We lead international action to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We deliver life-saving assistance, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place called home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. We work in over 130 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.
www.unhcr.org/it – https://www.facebook.com/UNHCRItalia/ – https://twitter.com/UNHCRItalia – https://www.instagram.com/unhcr_italia/
Founded in 1951, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration. IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration, promote international cooperation on migration, assist in the search for practical solutions to migration problems and provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced persons. There are currently 173 Member States and the more than 460 offices are located in more than 100 countries. Since September 2016, IOM has entered the UN system by becoming a Related Organization of the United Nations. The IOM headquarters are in Geneva. Italy is one of the founding countries.
https://italy.iom.int/ – https://www.facebook.com/OIMItalia/ – https://twitter.com/OIMItalia
UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes the rights and well-being of children and adolescents without exclusion. It works in 190 countries and territories to turn this commitment into concrete action for all children and adolescents, particularly the most vulnerable and excluded, anytime and anywhere in the world. Since the end of 2016, UNICEF has been operating in Italy with a response programme in favour of migrant and refugee minors.
http://www.unicef.org/eca @unicefeca UNICEF Europe & Central Asia