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UN official highlights plight of migrants in Mediterranean
November 29,2017   By:Xinhua
UNITED NATIONS, Nov.29,2017-- A UN official has stressed the need to protect refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean by highlighting their plight.
 
Briefing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said that without legal pathways to safety, refugees and migrants are exposed to torture, rape, sexual exploitation, slavery and other forms of forced labor.
 
The grave abuses perpetrated against migrants and refugees along the central Mediterranean routes can no longer be ignored, and the international community's inability to prevent and resolve conflict is at the root of their plight, he said.
 
Grandi called for a comprehensive approach to protect refugees and migrants that encompasses countries of origin, transit and destination.
 
"Too often, measures pursued in relation to the Mediterranean routes have centred on how to control, deter and exclude," he said.
 
"This can have a dehumanising effect. And more importantly, alone, it does not help refugees and migrants avoid exploitative, deeply harmful situations," he added.
 
Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) William Lacy Swing also briefed the Security Council.
 
The IOM reported that the number of migrants or refugees who have died on Mediterranean Sea routes has surpassed the 3,000 figure so far this year. This makes it the fourth consecutive year that migrant drownings reach that number.
 
Migrants and refugees take the Mediterranean routes to enter Europe.
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