29 drown as smug­glers push mi­grants into sea

Europe records big­gest rise in slav­ery due to vul­ner­a­ble sta­tus

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

GENEVA — Smug­glers forced more than 120 So­mali and Ethiopian mi­grants into rough seas off Ye­men on Wed­nes­day, leav­ing 29 dead and 22 miss­ing, the In­ter­na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Mi­gra­tion said.

The agency said it had found the shal­low graves of 29 mi­grants on a beach in the south­ern prov­ince of Shabwa af­ter they had been buried by sur­vivors.

“The smug­glers de­lib­er­ately pushed the mi­grants into the wa­ters since they feared that they would be ar­rested by the au­thor­i­ties once they reach the shore,” said an IOM emer­gency of­fi­cer in Aden.

Then they “sim­ply went back to where they came from to pick more mi­grants and try to smug­gle them into Ye­men, again”.

IOM said around 55,000 mi­grants have left the Horn of Africa headed for Ye­men since the start of the year. The jour­ney is es­pe­cially haz­ardous at this time of year due to strong winds in the In­dian Ocean.

The of­fi­cer said there were “many women and chil­dren among those who died and those who are still miss­ing”.

The sur­vivors told the IOM that a smug­gler had pushed them to the sea af­ter see­ing peo­ple who looked like of­fi­cials, said Lau­rent de Boeck, head of the IOM’s Ye­men mis­sion.

“They also told us that the smug­gler has al­ready re­turned to So­ma­lia to con­tinue his busi­ness and pick up more mi­grants to bring to Ye­men on the same route,” he said.

Mean­while, around 115,000 mi­grants and refugees have reached Europe by sea so far this year, with more than 80 per­cent ar­riv­ing in Italy, ac­cord­ing to the IOM.

Mean­while, the Euro­pean Union recorded the largest in­crease in slav­ery of any world re­gion this year, with the ar­rival of more than 100,000 mi­grants, many of them ex­tremely vul­ner­a­ble to ex­ploita­tion, an­a­lysts said on Thurs­day.

The risk of slave la­bor in farm­ing, con­struc­tion and other sec­tors rose across the re­gion, with 20 of the EU’s 28 mem­ber states scor­ing worse than last year in an an­nual global slav­ery in­dex by Bri­tish an­a­lyt­ics com­pany Verisk Maple­croft.

Glob­ally there are 21 mil­lion peo­ple in forced la­bor, in­clud­ing chil­dren, in a busi­ness worth $150 bil­lion a year, ac­cord­ing to the In­ter­na­tional La­bor Or­ga­ni­za­tion.


A fam­ily re­act to waves break­ing over the sea wall ahead of Hur­ri­cane Franklin in Ver­acruz, Mex­ico, on Wed­nes­day. The hur­ri­cane slammed into Mex­ico’s eastern coast on Thurs­day, sweep­ing the re­gion with pow­er­ful winds and heavy rain.


Mi­grants on a wooden boat are res­cued by the Ger­man ship in the Mediter­ranean Sea on June 18.

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