IMO Summit planned to address migrants at sea

The IMO will host an inter-agency meeting on the Travelling of Migrants by Sea on 4 March to tackle the problem of unregulated passage which is placing “intolerable strain” on rescue services said the IMO Secretary General.

The situation is acute in the Mediterranean where daily thousands of migrants board unsafe vessels bound for Europe to flee conflict in Syria and Libya.

Insisting on the migrants’ right to safe passage IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu said: “Something needs to be done against the smugglers or the situation will not improve. It is placing an intolerable strain on rescue services and on merchant vessels.”

UN agencies, including the IOM, UNHCR, UNODC, OHCHR and Interpol are expected to participate alongside members of the Global Migration Group as well as interested Member States and shipping industry bodies.