WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) says shipwrecks of boats carrying immigrants on the Caribbean Sea from Haiti, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and other countries in the region have jumped significantly during the last year.
The IACHR reports that the latest shipwreck took place on May 1 when a boat with 18 Haitians headed to Puerto Rico sank off the coast at Boca Chica, in the Dominican Republic. Of the Haitians aboard the boat, six died and 12 were rescued by Dominican Republic’s Navy.
More than 20 incidents at sea have occurred in various places in the Caribbean in 2014 so far, affecting around 320 people, of which 19 drowned and 12 are still missing.
“We call upon all governments to carry out tasks to search for, rescue and intercept migrants at sea to establish appropriate measures to identify persons who may be refugees or have special protection needs for condition on their vulnerability, such as children,” the IACHR said in a statement.
The UN High Commissioner (UNHCR) says 440 maritime accidents with boats carrying migrants on the Caribbean Sea have taken place since 2010, affecting 15,190 people, of which 240 have died and 176 others are missing.