More illegal migrants make perilous journey to Europe by sea

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Weary migrants on a fishing boat intercepted by the Spanish coastguard off the island of Tenerife

Hundreds of migrants have been rescued at sea recently while fleeing their homeland, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

60 people onboard a vessel, the majority women and children, were recently rescued by the Moroccan Royal Navy in their waters.

In a separate incident, 80 people onboard two sailing ships were rescued by the Italian coastguard on Monday off the coast of Greece.

Most of the passengers were Afghans.

UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming says there is a resurgence of migrants and refugees using Libya as a transit route to Europe.

"Also, there was a boat that we just learned about that left from the Libyan coast over the weekend rescued in distress by the Maltese Armed Forces overnight. Many of these were Somali. And just to note that the Libyan coast guard has reported that up to four hundred people were rescued in boats off their coasts in recent days."

Duration: 24''

A new UN report on migration says that up to a billion people have been on the move in 2011.

Many are migrating illegally because of the closing of borders and visa restrictions.

Filed under Today's News.
UN Radio Daily News Programme
UN Radio Daily News Programme
Updated at 1800 GMT, Monday to Friday
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