United Nations (UN) agencies concerned with migration have agreed to set-up a mechanism to improve existing inter-agency communication on migration by sea.
The meeting between UN agencies discussed loss of life, injury, trauma and serious human rights violations affecting migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees travelling by sea.
The new mechanism is expected to facilitate operational-level communication between relevant agencies bilaterally and multilaterally.
In addition, it will provide a better way to inform the Global Migration Group (GMG) about maritime issues.
Office of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights representative Craig Mokhiber said: "There is a broad recognition that this is a multi-dimensional problem that requires multi-dimensional solutions.
"The beauty of having the entire international system come together and talk about these issues is that you have the expertise, the experience and the perspectives from across the spectrum."
The new process would lead to the establishment of joint databases to share and collate information and statistics on irregular movements and suspect vessels, and quantify the effects of irregular and unsafe crossings on the shipping industry.
It will also result in efforts to improve maritime situational awareness or any other maritime issues identified as being of relevance to the work of the GMG.
Agencies that participated in the meeting include International Labour Organization (ILO), International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Image: Several United Nations agencies met at the headquarters of the IMO to discuss maritime migration. Photo: courtesy of International Maritime Organization.