IMO High-Level Meeting to Address Unsafe Mixed Migration by Sea

On 4-5 March, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) hosted a High-Level Meeting to Address Unsafe Mixed Migration by Sea at IMO’s headquarters in London. The meeting aimed to facilitate dialogue and promote enhanced cooperation between United Nations agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, Governments and the shipping industry.

The plenary session was opened by IMO’s Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. Participating in the discussion as panellists were: Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of UNODC; Volker Türk, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection at UNHCR; Gilbert Houngbo, Deputy Director General for Field Operations and Partnerships at the ILO; Neil Buhne, Director of the UNDP Office in Geneva; Bernd Hemingway, Director of the Department of Migration Management at IOM; Gabriele Goettsche-Wanli, Director of the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) at the UN Office of Legal Affairs; and Craig Mokhiber, Chief of the Development and Economic and Social Issues Branch at OHCHR.

In a Joint Statement on Protection at Sea in the Twenty-First Century that was agreed by the Principals of OHCHR, UNHCR, IOM, UNODC and IMO in December 2014, the Principals expressed concern about the loss of life, injury, trauma and serious human rights violations affecting migrants, asylum-seekers and refugees traveling by sea.