In recent week’s more than 2000 migrants were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea, and several hundred lost their lives. International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu has called for greater action to address the criminal gangs arranging for illegal and unregulated sea passage by migrants that put thousands of lives at risk – both migrants and rescue services.
More than 200,000 migrants have been rescued from the Mediterranean Sea during the course of 2014, and the rescue services provided by a number of countries are overstretched. In November 2014, the Club updated Members on the end of Mare Nostrum and the start of Triton, however even with rescue practices in place; over 600 merchant ships were diverted to support persons in distress at sea at last year.
The IMO will be hosting an inter-agency meeting on the Travelling of Migrants by Sea on 4 March 2015. The meeting aims to build on the momentum gained at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' Dialogue on Protection Challenges held in Geneva in December 2014. It is envisaged that the meeting will develop potential ways forward both by individual agencies and through the Global Migration Group, with a view to establishing a database of incidents to help law enforcement agencies to identify, arrest, prosecute and punish smugglers.
Neil Beckwith is a Senior Claims Executive for London Syndicate 3. London Syndicate 3 – The People Claims Syndicate exclusively handles all P&I/Defence matters relating to crew, stevedores, passengers, stowaways, refugees and third party visitors involving injury, illness, death, drug smuggling, immigration fines, loss of or damage to effects of crew/others and occupational disease. contact/europe/london-syndicate-3/