December 2, 2013 | 8:43 am | Print
Above: migrants at sea (Photo: UNHRC/A Di Loreto)
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is expressing concern at the recent incident in which a boat of migrants from Haiti capsized in the Bahamas.
That incident led to the deaths of at least 30 people.
It was the latest in a string of incidents in which migrants in the northern Caribbean lost their lives at sea.
Since the beginning of this year, there have been 128 maritime incidents in the region in which 4,281 people were intercepted or rescued at sea.
The UN said that represented a “very significant” rise, compared to a total of 2,600 people involved in such incidents in 2012.
“In this hemisphere and globally, we have seen increasing numbers of desperate people fleeing dire levels of economic deprivation or escaping political turmoil and violence by taking to the high seas in search of safety or a better future,” said Shelly Pitterman, the UNHCR’s regional representative in Washington.
The number of reported deaths or missing people at sea in the northern Caribbean has risen to at least 81 so far this year, according to the UN.