In his written statement, Türk said that a “terrible tragedy” was experienced off the Peloponnese Peninsula.
Expressing his condolences to the relatives of the 78 irregular migrants who lost their lives, Türk said, “There are nearly 500 casualties, including children and women. It is important to be in solidarity with the survivors and the families of the disaster victims.”
Volker Türk emphasized the importance of investigating smugglers and human smugglers and bringing them to justice regarding the incident.
Calling on countries to open more regular migration channels and increase responsibility sharing, Türk demanded that arrangements be made for the safe and timely disembarkation of all persons rescued at sea. Türk also reiterated his proposal for independent monitoring and auditing of policies and practices related to immigration.
Boat disaster off the coast of Greece
On 14 June, 47 nautical miles from Navarino in Greece’s Peloponnese, a fishing boat carrying irregular migrants capsized in international waters.
In the incident, 78 people lost their lives, 104 people were rescued and brought to Kalamata Port.
The Greek Coast Guard announced that 47 of the rescued migrants were Syrian, 43 Egyptian, 12 Pakistani and 2 Palestinian citizens.
According to the nonprofit Alarm Phone, there were about 700 people on board.
Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing. Experts are worried that the death toll will rise.