The number of newly registered asylum seekers in Southern Europe went up to 170,700 in 2014 – the highest on record (+95%), according to the 2014 UNHCR Asylum trends.
As the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year, the UN refugee agency warned on Thursday that millions of refugees in neighbouring countries and those displaced within the country are caught in deteriorating conditions, facing an even bleaker future without more international support.
The UN refugee agency is shocked at new information emerging on the actual scale of the tragedy in the Mediterranean after Monday’s rescue attempts by the Italian Coast Guard. Reports gathered by UNHCR from the Italian Coast Guard and the survivors in Lampedusa now suggest some 300 people are confirmed missing.
UNHCR commends the efforts of Armed Forces of Malta as 87 people were found in distress and rescued from a dinghy east of Malta in the morning of 22 January.
UNHCR welcomes the publication of the inquiry report regarding the tragic death of Mamadou Kamara in 2012, who had arrived in Malta as an asylum seeker and died while in custody of Detention Service officers.
The UN refugee agency on Wednesday warned that the international community was losing its focus on saving lives amid confusion among coastal nations and regional blocs over how to respond to the growing number of people making risky sea journeys in search of asylum or migration.