The UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, says up to 150 people are feared dead after a wooden boat carrying migrants capsized off Libya.
The head of the UNHCR, Filippo Grandi, said in a tweet that it was the worst such tragedy in the Mediterranean this year.
The Libyan navy said it had rescued 134 people, with 115 missing, feared drowned.
It said about 250 people were on board the ship when it capsized off the coast near Khoms, east of the capital Tripoli. Most are thought to be from Eritrea and other sub-Saharan Africa and Arab countries.
Dozens of survivors were brought to Khoms after being rescued. A Sudanese migrant, Sabah Youssef, who lost her seven-year-old son in the sinking, blamed the International Organization for Migration for turning her away when she went to them for help.
Libya is a hub for migrants and refugees, many of whom try to reach Europe in unseaworthy boats. The latest shipwreck takes the death toll of Mediterranean migrants to over 600 this year. (REUTERS)
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has warned Filipino job seekers against individuals in the Philippines who have been recruiting workers to Libya.
The DFA emphasized through the Philippine Embassy in Tripoli that recruitment, processing, and deployment of Filipinos in the Philippines or abroad remains suspended for all jobs in Libya.
“The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has also informed the Embassy that it has not issued any approval to any individual or agency in the Philippines and in Libya to recruit and deploy nurses, engineers, and other workers to Libya,” the Embassy added.
According to the advisory, only Filipinos with existing work contracts and certificates of exemption from the Embassy and those who are on vacation in the Philippines are allowed to return to Libya.
Amid the escalating civil war in Libya, the Embassy said it is currently working with Libyan authorities to ensure the safety and security of Filipino workers in the North African state.
The Embassy reminds Filipinos recruiting jobseekers to Libya from the Philippines and other countries that they are liable for violating the law in accordance with the Anti-Trafficking Persons Act and the Migrant Workers Act.
The DFA encourages the public to report such illegal activities to the DFA, the Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration or other concerned agencies of the government in the Philippines.
Those abroad may report to the Philippine Embassy and Consulates in their host countries for any act of illegal recruitment to the conflict-stricken nation.
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