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Migrants at Sea: A Growing Humanitarian Crisis

In recent years, Europe’s refugee crisis has become an increasingly acute issue in need of a coordinated political response. Political instability to Europe’s south has prompted a surge in the number of asylum-seekers seeking refuge in the European Union. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), more than 398,000 asylum applications were filed across the EU’s 28 member states in 2013, representing a 32 percent increase over the previous year.

In its publication, Asylum Trends, UNHCR estimated that in 2014 the world’s industrialized countries would witness the highest number of asylum applications in approximately 20 years. Seeking basic human security, migrants and refugees are fleeing areas experiencing extreme poverty, armed conflict or political and social unrest.

Facilitated by networks of human traffickers and smugglers, more and more migrants are embarking on dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean Sea in an effort to reach Europe. In 2013, three times as many migrants arrived in Italy by sea compared to 2012, and in January 2014, that figure was nearly 10 times what it had been the year prior.

Read complete report here.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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