Daily World News Digest, 12 February 2015

As many as 300 feared dead in new Mediterranean tragedy

UNHCR on 11 February said it was “shocked” at evidence that some 300 migrants and refugees, mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa, may have died after setting off from the coast of Libya in four dinghies at the weekend. “This is a tragedy on an enormous scale and a stark reminder that more lives could be lost if those seeking safety are left at the mercy of the sea. Saving lives should be our top priority. Europe cannot afford to do too little too late,” said UNHCR Europe Bureau Director Vincent Cochetel.  http://bit.ly/1ynswtf

EU member states “must hang their heads in shame” as hundreds die at sea off Italy

Amnesty International issued a statement on 11 February saying the European Union and its member states “must hang their heads in shame” following reports that as many as 300 migrants may have drowned off Lampedusa en route to Europe. “This new tragedy realizes our worst fears about the end of Italy’s Mare Nostrum search and rescue operation and exposes the predictable consequences of the European Union’s failure to provide an adequate replacement,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Program Director at Amnesty International. http://bit.ly/1Ee32Tp

IOM condemns Libya-based people smugglers

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) issued a statement on 11 February condemning the Libya-based people smugglers whom it said were responsible for the mass drownings off Lampedusa.  “What’s happening now is worse than a tragedy – it is a crime – one as bad as any I have seen in fifty years of service,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “These smuggling networks act with virtual impunity and hundreds are dying. The world must act.” http://bit.ly/198N7fX

18 Dead, many more missing after attacks in southeastern Nigeria

AllAfrica.com carried an 11 February report by Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper that up to 18 people were feared dead and many more were missing following an 8 February attack by herdsmen on towns and villages in Benue Sate in southeastern Nigeria. http://bit.ly/1DkaFti

Mumbai police use railway database to identify missing persons

The Indian Express reports today that the Mumbai police have started to use the railway police Shodh online portal, which is designed to help families track down missing railway accident victims. The paper reports that 37 persons have been found by the Mumbai Police since the initiative began a fortnight ago. Noting that 50 per cent of deaths on Indian railways end up as unidentified bodies, the deputy commissioner of police in Mumbai said that using the existing railway police online portal, which was launched in July 2012, it is possible to crosscheck photographs, possessions and additional information of missing persons. http://bit.ly/1Ciibnc

Items in Daily World News Digest are summaries of published reports relevant to the issue of missing persons, compiled by ICMP staff.  These items do not necessarily reflect the position of ICMP.