After the death of around 50 migrants illegally smuggled into the United States, UN organizations have called for clarification.
People smugglers must be stopped, the Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) demanded in Geneva on Wednesday. IOM and UNHCR called on all countries to initiate safe migration routes and address the root causes of people fleeing.
About 66 survivors and dead were discovered on Monday in sweltering heat in the trailer of a parked truck in the US state of Texas, apparently without water or air conditioning. The trailer was about 250 kilometers north of the Mexican border near the city of San Antonio. 16 people, including minors, were recovering from heat, exhaustion and dehydration in hospitals, according to media reports on Tuesday.
Refugees typically include asylum-seekers who face persecution and human rights abuses at home, said UNHCR regional representative Matthew Reynolds. Each individual case had to be examined.
“We mourn with the families at the loss of their loved ones and call on authorities on both sides of the border to vigorously investigate and hold accountable those who may have died in the horrific incident through their heartless contempt for life,” she said responsible IOM Regional Director Michele Klein-Solomon. Since 2014, around 3,000 people have died or disappeared trying to cross the Mexico-US border. In the first six months of this year, 290 people died.
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