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UN: Migrants need safe alternative to move to Europe

April 22, 2015, 6:11 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS
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UNITED NATIONS, April 22. /TASS/. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has discussed with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi the situation with Mediterranean migrants, the UN press service said on Tuesday.

Ban Ki-moon called on all European countries to provide alternative channels for people to obtain a refugee status.

Ban and Renzi agreed that the international community has "shared responsibility" to ensure protection of migrants and refugees making the journey across the Mediterranean Sea, the press service said. Ban Ki-moon stressed the need to ensure a joint European rescue-at-sea mechanism.

The UN secretary general earlier compared the scale of the situation with Mediterranean migrants with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912. According to UN, at least 3,500 people died at sea in 2014 while trying to make it to Europe.

More than twice as many migrants died at sea in the past year than on the ill-fated Titanic, Ban Ki-moon said. He noted that this "truly titanic humanitarian tragedy" highlights yet again the need to address the plight of migrants, to crack down on the criminals who exploit the "most vulnerable" and to strengthen rescue capacity in the Mediterranean and elsewhere.

On Sunday, a migrant boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea, killing more than 800 people. International Organization for Migration said 1,727 migrants have died so far in 2015 and warned that death toll could top 30,000 by the end of the year.

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