IOM calls for more legal migration avenues to end human trafficking and smugglingListen /
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling for global concerted efforts to address the situation of migrants attempting life-threatening journeys across seas and deserts in the hope for a better life.
IOM says the death this week of 30 Haitian migrants off the coast of The Bahamas was yet another stark reminder that the international community needs to develop a more comprehensive approach to protect migrants and uphold human dignity.
IOM Director-General William Swing is calling for more legal migration avenues for migrants seeking better prospects abroad, adding that it will help remove the need for some migrants to risk their lives at the hands of smugglers and traffickers.
He says governments should recognize that the majority of migrants arriving by sea and land are not criminals but refugees and asylum seekers in need of protection.
Christiane Berthiaume is IOM Spokesperson in Geneva.
"The deaths at sea of these migrants in the Caribbean and others in the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, as well as in the deserts of Mexico and the Sahara, are a wake-up call for the international community to act. We must take urgent measures to ensure that these tragedies become a thing of the past."
IOM is calling for increased cooperation between governments to crack down on people-traffickers and smugglers as well as more information campaigns to raise awareness among potential migrants in countries of origin and transit of the dangers of trafficking and smuggling.
Patrick Maigua, United Nations Radio, Geneva.