UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- The international community should take action to protect the rights of migrants and prevent such tragic incidents as ship capsizing, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday.
Ban made the statement following reports of loss of lives in a second ship capsizing off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa, where a tragic shipwreck killed more than 300 people a week earlier.
"The secretary-general is deeply saddened to hear reports of the loss of lives as another boat carrying migrants capsized yesterday off the coast of Italy, only a few days after the tragic incident near Lampedusa which had already claimed more than 300 lives," said the statement released by Ban's spokesperson.
According to media reports, at least 33 people were dead and some still missing after a boat carrying around 250 African migrants capsized Friday in waters between Malta and Italy.
In the first nine months of 2013, more than 30,000 migrants arrived in Italy, doubling the number in 2012. Just two days before the latest disaster, the European Union promised to help Italy with the problem, providing an additional 30 million euros (40.6 million U.S. dollars) in funding this year.
"The secretary-general calls on the international community as a whole to take action to prevent such tragedies in the future, including measures that address their root causes and that place the vulnerability and human rights of migrants at the center of the response," the statement said.