Human Rights

At least 25 dead in shipwreck off Tunisia’s coast

The death toll from a shipwreck off Tunisia’s coast rose to 25 people, with another 35 unaccounted for, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said on Sunday.

The ship was carrying 60 migrants, most of whom were from Syria and Tunisia, according to Reuters

A civil protection official said on Saturday that the migrants were attempting to cross the Mediterranean to make it to Italy, Al Jazeera reported.

Tunisia’s coast guard reportedly recovered the bodies of 12 unidentified migrants on Friday after they washed up on the shore. 

In November, over 20 migrants died trying to cross the English Channel, prompting France and Britain to agree to do more to stop migrants from making perilous journeys through the rough waters.

Last summer, 43 migrants drowned in July while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. The boat involved in that incident was carrying 127 migrants had left the coast of Libya in hopes of making it to Italy. 

In May, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged Libya’s government and the European Union to take more action to protect migrants. 

“Every year, people drown because help comes too late, or never comes at all,” Bachelet said at the time.

“Those who are rescued are sometimes forced to wait for days or weeks to be safely disembarked or, as has increasingly been the case, are returned to Libya which, as has been stressed on countless occasions, is not a safe harbour due to the cycle of violence.” 

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