Political turmoil in North Africa fueling illegal migration into Europe

The political turmoil in parts of North Africa and the Middle East is likely to trigger an increase in the number of migrants making the perilous sea journey to Europe, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Migrants

Migrants

The agency says people smugglers are likely to take advantage of the instability to lure migrants with promises of a better life in Europe.

Melisa Fleming from UNHCR says at least 200 minors and 20 women are among the over 4,000 Tunisian migrants who have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

“We are hearing that the smugglers are not only hanging out at the ports waiting for people to come, but they are actually moving inland and seeking out people and falsely advertising what kind of future they could offer to young Tunisians frustrated and wishing to move on.”

UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies assisting the Tunisian migrants in Lempedusa are say the rights of the migrants should upheld regardless of their current status and access to asylum procedures be granted to those found to be in genuine need of international protection.



Filed under Today's News.
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