Over 12,500 refugees entered Europe in 2019

Migrants are seen on a inflatable boat as they try to reach Greece

Some 12,546 migrants and refugees have reached Europe by sea since the beginning of 2019, the UN migration agency said, as reported on Anadolu Agency.

Also, 407 migrants died at sea this year, according a report published by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

During the same period last year, nearly 16,218 refugees and migrants entered Europe and 558 others drowned in the Mediterranean Sea.

The IOM, United Nations Refugee Agency and UNICEF expressed concern over the situation of 62 migrants and refugees rescued on April 3.

“The Agencies reaffirm the absolute priority of saving lives at sea and guaranteeing safe and timely disembarkation,” a joint statement said.

“The situation in Libya makes it absolutely necessary to establish disembarkation mechanisms that are predictable and in line with all international conventions, under which the North African country cannot be considered a safe port.”

In the last few days, two women have been disembarked from the ship for health concerns.

Some 30,510 migrants died between 2014 and 2018 while making the treacherous journey to Europe, the UN agency reported early January.