Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said 2016 is set to be the deadliest year yet for refugees crossing the Mediterranean with almost 4,000 men, women, children and babies dying so far this year.
And Martina Anderson said that figure is set to rise.
She called on member states across the EU need to do more to address the humanitarian crisis of refugees fleeing conflict.
Ms Anderson said;
“More and more desperate refugees are fleeing conflict and persecution and are dying at the borders of the EU as they seek safety.
“We have all seen the scale and misery of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean with countless people tragically losing their lives each year.
“A new UN report has said 2016 is set to be the deadliest year for refugees crossing the Mediterranean with almost 4,000 dying so far and that figure is set to rise.
“These are not just numbers; they are men, women, children and babies who have drowned.
“And more than 70,000 others are stranded at Europe’s borders, including children and young people at risk of horrific exploitation.
“Despite this, the Council of EU is committed to keeping them out rather than keeping them safe.
“Here in the North we have welcomed refugees with open arms and those who have made their home here add to the cultural diversity of our society.
“The EU needs to focus on the safety of refugees and individual member states need to do more to address this growing humanitarian crisis.”