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The latest report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows that 1.504 people have died trying to migrate during the first half of 2020 and the Mediterranean region accounts for 443 of these deaths.
Spanish non-governmental organization (NGO) Open Arms rescued 116 migrants that were left unprotected in international waters in the Mediterranean sea on Friday.
This is the third rescue in the area in recent days as the ship already has 276 shipwrecked people on board. According to the NGO's founder Oscar Camps, the Maltese authorities had prevented a merchant boat from assisting the vessel, so they reported the incident to the Open Arms ship.
The 116 migrants are "in a state of severe dehydration, confusion and extreme weakness after three days adrift without food or water," Camps explained.
In previous days the ship had saved another 77 people, including 11 women and two children. On September 8, Open Arms also rescued 83 people, with five women and three children among them.
The latest report from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shows that 1.504 people have died trying to migrate during the first half of 2020, and the Mediterranean region accounts for 443 of these deaths.
Alertados por un mercante sobre una barca en peligro, con orden expresa de @Armed_Forces_MT de no asistirles durante horas, rescatamos las 116 personas ya a bordo en estado de deshidratación severa, confusión y debilidad extrema, tras 3 días a la deriva sin comida ni agua en #Medpic.twitter.com/SWHCwGBRhw
"Alerted by a merchant about a boat in danger, with an express order from @Armed_Forces_MT not to assist them for hours, we rescued the 116 people already on board in a state of severe dehydration, confusion, and extreme weakness, after three days adrift without food or water in #Med."
The IOM considers that the situation is much worse as several migrants disappear at sea without further detail of how the event unfolded. Nevertheless, the organization estimates that more than 800 people have been lost in such shipwrecks worldwide in the first semester of this year.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, several governments have tightened their measures against migrants despite the claims of several international organizations.
On Septemeber 7, the International Chamber of Shipping, the United Nations Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration called for the immediate disembarkation of 27 rescued people, including a pregnant woman, trapped aboard a cargo ship.
Governments have been denying the ship's captain permission to disembark migrants and refugees who fled Libya, in violation of international law, which establishes that ships and coastal States have to ensure that people in distress are rescued and promptly disembarked in a safe place.