The United Nations (UN) partly blames the European Union (EU) for the deaths of migrants while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat on their way to Europe.
The international organization that works together on human rights and global security bases this on a report released by the UN Commission on Human Rights on Wednesday.
So far, according to the UN, at least 632 migrants have died in 2021 trying to reach Europe by boat from the North African country of Libya via the Mediterranean.
, the UN calls this a "human tragedy on a massive scale".
The UN states in
that the deaths are no exception, but the result of policies by EU member states and Libya.
The report concludes, after discussions with dozens of migrants and research covering the period from January 2019 to December 2020, that several countries have opposed aid organizations in their efforts to save migrants.
Vessels of aid organizations are said to have been confiscated.
The UN also concludes that the EU itself is carrying out fewer rescues.
Boats carrying migrants are said to have been pushed back to sea, in some cases causing migrants to end up in the water.
Greek coast guard pushes migrant boat back into the sea
UN commissioner calls on the EU to respect international law
In response to the UN report, UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet calls on EU member states to comply with international law.
"The real tragedy is that much of the suffering and deaths in the Mediterranean is preventable."
In October, the German magazine
Der Spiegel concluded
after an investigation that the European border guard Frontex was guilty of pushing back boats carrying migrants to the sea.
This prompted the EU to start an investigation into Frontex.
GroenLinks MEP Tineke Strik chairs hearings in the European Parliament on the Frontex case.
See also: MEP Strik: 'EU consciously helps refugees in destruction'