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UN: Nearly 5,000 Caribbean people risk lives by sea to avert poverty

Published:Monday | December 15, 2014 | 9:42 AM

The United Nations refugee agency says nearly 5,000 people in the Caribbean have taken to boats this year in a bid to escape poverty.

However, the agency is warning that given the high number of global migrant arrivals by sea, the international community is steadily losing focus on saving lives and intensifying its efforts to deny foreigners access to asylum.

The Bahamas has constantly urged Haitians authorities to do more to prevent their nationals from undertaking the dangerous travel by sea in unseaworthy boats.

Many of the Haitians either try to remain in The Bahamas or use the chain of islands for an easier passage into the United States.

The United National refugee agency says in addition to the difficulties of these journeys, many of those migrating succumb to trafficking and smuggling networks coordinated by international organised crime.

UN estimates suggest that 348,000 people have risked seafaring journeys worldwide since the beginning of 2014 as they flee conflicts and poverty.

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