Doha/Vienna, 15 April 2015 - According to recent news reports, 400 migrants have died off the coast of Libya when their boat capsized. I am deeply saddened and horrified by this most recent tragedy, which follows many others over the last year.
Migrant smuggling cruelly exploits desperation and provides the criminal networks with enormous profits. Migrants can suffer inhumane conditions and torture during their journey.
As an urgent priority, we must introduce measures to protect the human rights of smuggled migrants, particularly women and children, and unaccompanied migrant children in accordance with the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air.
But we must also confront the criminals and break up their network. This means cooperation among nations, inter-governmental organizations and civil society must be strengthened.
UNODC is playing its role through a targeted strategy to address migrant smuggling in the Mediterranean. But more is needed. We must all work to ensure that the perpetrators of these callous crimes that cause so many deaths are brought to justice.
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