More than 1,000 people have been reported dead or missing while trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, according to figures published today by two UN agencies. In response, Oxfam International's Deputy Director for Advocacy and Campaigns, Natalia Alonso, said:
"For many people, risking their lives in unseaworthy boats is the only option to escape violence, disasters and poverty.
"So far, European nations have relied on shutting down their borders. But the lack of safe routes to reach Europe pushes many to rely on smugglers and increases the suffering of people.
"All European nations must expand safe alternatives for people in need, so they are not forced to risk their lives in search of safety and dignity."
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