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The Latest: UN: Migrant Death Rate Rising in Sea Crossings

The Latest: UN: Migrant Death Rate Rising in Sea Crossings

Wednesday, 30 January 2019 07:38 AM

ROME (AP) — The Latest on migration in Europe (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

The U.N.'s top refugee official says six people died on average every day trying to cross the Mediterranean last year and that the death rate in perilous sea crossings is rising.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that the figure "should make all Europeans reflect very deeply."

Grandi said the fact that "this continent with all its power, money, technology, means, allows people to die in the Mediterranean at the rate of six per day is quite dramatic."

A new report from the U.N. refugee agency says that while the number of people crossing the sea in search of sanctuary and better lives in Europe dropped, the death rate doubled over a year.

Migrants are increasingly trying to enter Europe via Spain and the report says the death toll in that area almost quadrupled from 202 in 2017 to 777 last year.

12:45 p.m.

Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte says 47 migrants kept at sea for over a week as Europe squabbled over their fate will disembark "in the coming hours" after a half-dozen countries came forward to take them in.

Conte said Wednesday that Luxembourg had joined Germany, France, Portugal, Romania and Malta in agreeing to take some migrants from the Sea-Watch 3 ship operated by a German aid group.

The migrants were rescued Jan. 19 off the coast of Libya and have been off Sicily since Friday, drawing the ire of the U.N. and sparking an emergency appeal to the European Court of Human Rights. Italy's populist government has refused to allow humanitarian ships to dock in a bid to dissuade them from conducting rescues and to force other countries to share the burden.

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The Latest on migration in Europe (all times local):1:15 p.m.The U.N.'s top refugee official says six people died on average every day trying to cross the Mediterranean last year and that the death rate in perilous sea crossings is rising.U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees...
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Wednesday, 30 January 2019 07:38 AM
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