At least 82 people died and hundreds more are feared dead in the June 12-13 shipwreck along the world’s most deadly migration route from Libya to Italy.
Pakistan, which had 350 of its nationals aboard the ship that capsized and sank, said the incident was a “grim reminder of the protection gaps.”
“The human cost of such a status quo is unacceptable,” Pakistan’s deputy permanent ambassador, Zaman Mehdi, told the 47-member council in unusually frank comments. “Gaps in responsibility sharing, arrangements for the safe and timely search and rescue, disembarkation of all people rescued at sea and accountability must be plugged in the spirit of solidarity.”
The envoy for Gambia, a country from which many migrants depart on perilous journeys towards Europe, said that the issue required “urgent attention.”
Felipe Gonzalez Morales, UN Special Rapporteur on Migration, called on states to end the criminalisation of irregular migrants and find regular pathways for them.
He also reiterated a call made by hundreds of NGOs for the rights body to create a new international investigative body looking at human rights abuses committed against migrants. The idea is being discussed as part of the ongoing council session in Geneva.