Use of cargo ships to transport migrants "worrying"

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Migrants arriving on Italy's Lampedusa Island after crossing the Mediterranean on a dilapidated boat. Photo: UNHCR/F. Noy

The use of larger cargo ships to illegally transport migrants across the Mediterranean Sea is a "worrying situation" that can no longer be ignored according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

On Friday, 450 migrants were left stranded on a vessel off the coast of Italy after its crew abandoned ship.

Two days previously almost 800 people were rescued from another boat.

UNHCR said the use of cargo ships was a "new trend" that needed to be stopped by concerted and urgent action by European governments

In 2014, over 3,000 migrants drowned in the Mediterranean after being transported illegally by criminal gangs on unseaworthy vessels.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 49″

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